How to find out how much RAM your motherboard supports - gHacks Tech News

How to find out how much RAM your motherboard supports

One of the reasons why PC sales have slumped, at least in my opinion, is the fact that many users do not see the need to upgrade their systems as often as before.

Back in the days, upgrading the processor from a 486 to a Pentium, or a Pentium to a Pentium II, was a huge deal, as were upgrades to system RAM (128 Megabyte for the win), or the video card.

Today, upgrades do not yield those high performance gains anymore. Sure, it is nice if you install a new video card to get even more frame rates out of games you play, or a faster processor to convert those media files faster, but all in all, the gains are not as noticeable as before unless you are updating a very old system.

The mobile sector is currently were PCs were a decade ago. Innovation is fast and advancements in processing power, battery life and other technologies justify a faster upgrade cycle. This too will eventually slow down.

Back to PCs.

RAM is not expensive anymore, with 4 Gigabytes of RAM available for about $40 right now, 8 Gigabytes for $80, and 16 Gigabytes starting at $150.

Performance will jump if you have less than 4 Gigabytes in your PC while you won't notice such a visual jump in performance if you already have 4 or 8 Gigabytes and want to upgrade them to even more RAM. It may be worth it nevertheless, for instance if you do a lot of real-time work on the PC, or work with huge files all the time.

Motherboard information

motherboard model

If you are like me, you do not know the model of the motherboard that has been built into your PC. I did assemble the PC myself, but it was some time ago and my memory is not the best anymore.

If you know the model, skip this step. If you do not know it, we need to find it out exactly as it will reveal to us what the motherboard supports.

Some motherboards may not support more RAM than is already installed, while others may limit the maximum memory or types that you can install, which you need to know before you head out and buy too much of it.

You can use Speccy or any other system information program to display the model of the Motherboard.

In my case -- the screenshot above -- it is a Gigabyte P55-USB3 motherboard.

Finding out how much RAM your PC supports

Now that we know the motherboard model, we can use it to look up information. What we need to know are the specs in regards to memory.

To be precise, how much RAM the motherboard supports and which types of RAM it supports.

You have two options for that:

1. Search for the model number

This is my preferred choice. I type the maker of the motherboard and the model of it in a search engine of choice. This should display the support page for that model on the manufacturer's website, where all relevant information about it are displayed.

To take my Gigabyte example: I landed on this page and had to click on Specification to find out about the memory specification of that motherboard.

  1. 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory (Note 1)
  2. Dual channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR3 2200/1333/1066/800 MHz memory modules
  4. Support for non-ECC memory modules
  5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules

It told me that the board was supporting a maximum of 16 Gigabytes of DDR3 2200/1333/1066/800 MHz RAM.

2. Crucial

crucial memory advisor

If you cannot find such a page for the motherboard that you own, you may want to try Crucial's suggestion tool instead.

Tip: You can also run the memory suggestion tool on your Windows PC

You need to enter the manufacturer, product line and model of the motherboard in a form on the main Crucial website to receive recommendations for memory, Solid State Drives and internal hard drives on the next page.

What may be interesting here -- besides the recommendation -- is the list of specs on the left. It displays the supported memory types, maximum memory and slots available to you, so that you end up with the same information that the manual search yielded.

You do not have to make a purchase here on the site though, as it makes sense to compare prices before you make any buying decision.

Now Read: Should you buy PC hardware locally or on the Internet?

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Comments

  1. Noel said on November 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm
    Reply

    I have Acer laptop and all it says is the model name of the laptop..

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 21, 2013 at 12:46 pm
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      You should be able to look up the information on the Acer website. If not, I’d contact support to get it.

  2. Latz said on November 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm
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    The best alternative for WInamp currently is …. Winamp. I can see no reason why I should use a different player. In the far future there might be a technical reason to change the player, e.g. a new popular codec not supported by Winamp,

    1. XenoSilvano said on November 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm
      Reply
  3. Joel said on November 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm
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    I’ve always looked up info regarding my PC specs on Everest, which now renamed to Aida I think….
    And from that point you just google your Mboard model along with its brand and the word specs and that’s it :)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm
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      I think most of us do it this way. The program may vary, but the way is always the same ;)

  4. InterestedBystander said on November 21, 2013 at 4:09 pm
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    Slight tangent: Yes, PC sales have slumped, and I think Martin’s on target about the reasons. In many offices — probably most — you’ll see desktop PC workstations. IT departments have (historically!) gotten more processor, memory, and durability for their money when buying PCs rather than laptops. And CPU-memory-wise, a modern PC will handle anything that 95% of users ever try.

    So hardware cycles can slow down, and fewer PCs are bought. But the spectrum of software cycles seems to be spreading. Apple, MS, (and Canonical, for what it’s worth) are innovating rapidly. So are Chrome and Mozilla. But some specialty software hasn’t been moved from XP to Win 7, let alone toward the looming Win 8.2. (A hospital I visited a couple of years ago used a DOS program to capture video from an endoscope, for example. And the tellers at my credit union currently boot to XP.)

    Of course, Martin’s essay concerns individual users and their machines. And he gives good pointers. For the corporate-industrial sector — where desktop PCs will likely hang on longer than anywhere else — maybe the challenge will not lie in hardware innovation but in managing the fragmentation caused by incompatible software and operating systems. Dunno, just thinkin’. (End off-topic wandering.)

    1. SubgeniusD said on November 28, 2013 at 10:09 am
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      “For the corporate-industrial sector — where desktop PCs will likely hang on longer than anywhere else”

      I work weekends at a Whole Foods Market (a large natural foods/products retailer; US, Canada and UK). At this Atlanta location nearly half the workstations are still running XP Pro. The order/inventory/networking systems are a mess. I come in and find PUPs, browser toolbars, spam emails leaked into my “isolated” user account by lamebrains using that workstation. IT-illiterate corporate executives are a menace to society. (End of off-topic wandering reply.)

  5. Blue said on November 21, 2013 at 10:49 pm
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    The, “Crucial Upgrade Scanner”, is pretty good, but it can’t tell the difference between DRAM and SODIMM. I contacted Crucial about that and they too confirm their program can’t tell the difference between the two types of RAM, but they guaranty that the Crucial RAM listed (if any) will be guaranteed to work. Though judging by the listed RAM one could tell if the listed RAM was DRAM or SODIMM, but in the case of a friend’s funny computer with the strangest case/monitor enclosure I’ve ever seen, the program registered he had 4 slots, of which 3 were empty.

    I’ve changed RAM plenty of times on both desktops and laptops, but my friend’s computer is something else. It is a first generation, All-in-one computer before the concept of All-in-one computer were being sold regularly. From the outside it looks like a regular mini widescreen monitor (15″) but with a large base about 9″x6″x2″ That right there houses the motherboard, cpu, HDD, card reader and PSU. From the size of the housing alone I don’t know of any motherboard (ATX, mATX,miniATX, subATX and Micro ATX) that would fit that case unless it was a laptop motherboard. So without cracking it open I always assumed it would take SODIMM’s… but the Crucial Upgrade scanner only reported back how many free ports and what was in the current port including the type (PC5300) but not what Crucial product that is compatible with it.

    Crucial also tells me, their scanner detects the maximum RAM possible for the motherboard in question only if it lists a compatible Crucial product. In my friend’s case… He has 4 slots… 3 empty.. the single slot holds a 1Gb RAM chip PC5300 and he’s running Windows XP Home Basic 32b… lol… I guess I will find time to go over and crack that puppy open to find out what type of RAM it requires. Anyone know? The computer is a Hewlett Packard (HP), as for model number that I do not know.

  6. BrianS said on November 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm
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    When I built my current PC at the start of the year with Asus SABERTOOTH 990FX motherboard, AMD FX 8350 8-core processor and OCZ Vertex 4 SATA III SSD, I installed 16gb of Corsair DDR3 memory “because I could”. But now I ask myself “why?”.

    Even running video editor or converter the memory usage rarely goes above 4gb and I now use 8gb as a ram drive to make some use of the spare.

    Does anyone make better use of their memory?

  7. Joel said on November 24, 2013 at 2:06 am
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    Sure Brian!!!
    For one- “heavy weight” graphical editing programs usually use alot of memory..
    But let’s say your a common user, I myself get to a point where my ram hits 4 GigaByte while running chrome with 40 or 50 tabs open.. why do i do that? as yourself- because I can, and I don’t want to close the tabs and later forget\look where i put them ;)
    also, If you play video games and have low ram , you’d need to close other programs for the timebeing.. if you have alot of ram though- you can leave it all running…
    there are probably more uses, that’s what pops to my mind right now…

  8. MrSparepartsonline said on November 27, 2013 at 10:25 pm
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    You can’t install two RAMs with different MHz on a single motherboard. Sometimes it works but, usually one of the RAM…

    1. Lindsay said on November 28, 2013 at 2:00 am
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      You can, you just have to ensure that the motherboard is operating the memory at the lowest speed.

  9. Bandit said on October 29, 2014 at 2:01 am
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    It’s also important to consider what OS you’re are running.
    For instance a 32bit OS, like WinXP can only use up to 4Gb ram so more ram is not helpful (unless you run ram expanders or such).

    Even with 64bit OS, like, say Win7x64, the max ram usage depends on the version.

    The typical home computer comes with Win7x64 Home Premium which only supports using up to 16Gb ram. It’s sure OK to install more than 16Gb ram (assuming the motherboard supports it), but Win7x64 Home Premium will limit itself to using only 16Gb ram.

    To use more than 16Gb ram in Win7x64, you need Pro or Ultimate or Enterprise versions.

  10. Anuj said on April 8, 2015 at 2:14 pm
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    Thanks, crucial is the good one.

  11. urgent help said on April 9, 2015 at 9:04 am
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    hey guys! I’m new to the more “technical” side of computers and i need your help. I’m going to buy an 4gb RAM
    desktop (cuz i have tight budget) and i want to upgrade it to 8gb/16gb ram. since i will be BUYING it from a STORE, i can’t download any app or turn that desktop on to visit websites that will tell me what ram that desktop’s motherboard will support. then how can i know if that motherboard will support 8/16gb ram or not? and also if the motherboard Is compatible with the ram speed?

  12. shravan said on June 30, 2015 at 3:13 pm
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    I have desktop pc p4 model
    my computer starts properly but do not display anything over lcd monitor screen

    my lcd monitor work fine in other pc

  13. jerzus said on November 25, 2015 at 4:15 pm
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    I guess dxdiag.exe can show your motherboard model.

    Windows button + R then type dxdiag.exe then Enter

  14. Jesse said on December 29, 2015 at 8:09 am
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    Thank you so much for the help, really appreciate it!!

  15. Md.Khalid said on March 25, 2016 at 12:53 pm
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    And also tell how much ram is supported.

  16. Md.Khalid said on March 25, 2016 at 12:55 pm
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    I have an Intel Corporation Product name-DG41RQ VERSION-AAE5411-203 and Serial No.-AZRQ93700CPX will it support ddr3 ram like G Skill rijpaws 8gb ddr3 ram. Please notify me

  17. Anonymous said on September 29, 2016 at 6:51 pm
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    Awesome!

  18. suba bob said on November 26, 2016 at 7:31 pm
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    boa4Uy Many thanks for sharing this great article. Very inspiring! (as always, btw)

  19. Omar said on December 17, 2016 at 11:24 am
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    Great info… Thanx a lot….

  20. Einar said on December 30, 2016 at 9:10 pm
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    Awesome! Thanks a lot for the info

  21. Daniel Eerola said on March 5, 2017 at 10:07 am
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    I cant find information about my motherboard when i type in the manufacturer and the model number :( Please help

  22. Anurag Gupta said on May 23, 2017 at 6:57 am
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    Thanks For Help . my PC has 4 memory slots
    I have Gigabyte B85M-D3H

  23. kaushal said on October 11, 2017 at 6:36 pm
    Reply

    Hi there
    I have a msi manufactured motherboard with model ms 7309
    I cant find out the mhz of ram supported by my motherboard
    Plzzzz help !

  24. Ivan said on June 7, 2018 at 9:25 am
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    Specs of my mainboard say:
    >4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory

    And I was confused whether that’s 32GB in total or per slot. Maybe that was obvious back when I bought it, but it is not so nowadays.

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