How To Check Your Computer's Ram For Upgrade Possibilities

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 24, 2011
Software, Windows, Windows software

Computer users who want to increase the RAM of their computer have two choices to do so. They can buy all new computer memory and replace the current RAM with the newly bought modules, or they can add modules to the existing memory to increase the overall RAM this way.

Both options have advantages and disadvantages. Buying all new RAM or sets of RAM usually costs more than adding to the existing RAM. It can on the other hand speed things up if you have a slow RAM module in your PC.

The first thing that you may want to do is to check the currently installed memory. Experienced users may know the answer to how much ram their computer has installed, inexperienced users on the other hand can use software to find that out. The easiest way under Windows is to press Windows-Pause and look for the installed memory (RAM) listing in the window that opens up.

installed memory ram

But that tells you how much RAM is installed, but not the speed and specifications of the memory. A tool for that is the free software CPU-Z. It is available as a portable version at the developer website. Just download and run it. Switch to the SPD tab in the program. Here you find extensive information about each motherboard slot and RAM module. You see the general type (e.g. DDR3), the module size (e.g. 2048 MBytes), the Max Bandwidth (PC3-10700H) and the manufacturer. Those are all the information that you need to shop for additional RAM modules.

find out ram installed

Depending on your motherboard you either need dual channel memory or triple channel memory. You find those information under Memory > Channels.

Lets say you have four slots of memory available, and the first two are occupied by two 1GB RAM modules. You could now make the decision to buy two additional modules to put them in the two unoccupied slots of the motherboard, buy a 2x2 Gigabyte set instead and replace the existing modules or go overboard and buy 4x2 GB modules instead.

If the RAM is old, it is usually better to buy new faster RAM. If you got the computer recently and need more RAM for applications and tasks that you run you may be better off adding RAM to the computer if motherboard slots are available for that.

Which leads to the following question: How much RAM is installed in your computer, and do you think that it is sufficient for what you do with the computer?


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  1. Martin said on March 12, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    An even quicker way to open Task Manager is by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

  2. archie bald said on March 12, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Win+Pause used to be the goto shortcut for me since… W95… Ms recently hijacked it and you now get Sysinfo. Device manager is still accessible this way: the second to last link at the bottom.

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