When you purchase a new Mac computer, you are given options as to how much RAM you want in it. For the most part, this means that you probably already know how much RAM your Mac computer already has, but in case you forgot, or if you  want to check the speed of the RAM or to see if it’s working properly, here’s how you can do it.

So why would you check how much RAM your Mac has? You could be using a Mac that’s bought secondhand and you’re unsure about its specs. Alternatively, if you find that your Mac is rather slow, it could be a RAM issue where maybe one of the RAM modules has stopped working, or maybe you’re looking to upgrade your RAM and want to find the speed so you can buy similar RAM modules.

How to Check RAM size and RAM speed on your Mac

  1. Click the Apple menu
  2. Select About This Mac
  3. Under Memory, it will tell you how much RAM your computer has and its speed

If you own an iMac that allows user-upgradeable RAM, do take note of this because when you buy new modules, it is recommended that you buy the same size and same speed, otherwise the RAM’s speed will be throttled to the lowest speed.

How to check the memory slots on your Mac

So like we said, if you own a Mac that supports user-upgradeable RAM, you’ll want to ensure that all RAM modules are equal. For example, if your Mac comes with 8GB of RAM or 16GB of RAM, it doesn’t mean that it is a single 8GB or 16GB module, it could be two pieces of 4GB or 8GB modules.

To check the memory slots on your Mac:

  1. Click the Apple menu
  2. Select About This Mac
  3. Click More Info
  4. Click Memory

How to check if your Mac has enough RAM

Depending on how many applications you have open or the type of application you have open, some apps might require more RAM than others, especially if you’re using a newer app on an older computer, the speed can definitely be felt. Or sometimes, a RAM module can be spoilt, resulting in your Mac not reading that module and giving you less RAM than you originally had.

This is why sometimes it might be a good idea to use the Activity Monitor to see how much RAM your computer is using at the moment, and if you find that it’s being pushed to its limits with over 80-90% of it being used, it might be time to consider upgrading your Mac by adding more RAM.

  1. Press Cmd + Space to bring up Spotlight
  2. Type in “Activity Monitor” and hit Enter
  3. Click the Memory tab
  4. At the bottom of the window, look for the Memory Used graph which will show you how much RAM your open applications are using

If you’re noticing that basic applications are already consuming the bulk of your RAM, then it might be time to consider an upgrade. At the moment the only Macs that allow user-upgradeable RAM are the iMacs and Mac Pros, meaning that you can buy the RAM modules outside and install them yourself.

As for the other models, you’ll need to reach out to Apple or an authorized service provider and see if your model can be upgraded, although in this instance if it can be upgraded, you’ll probably have to send it in to get it done.

Filed in Apple >Computers. Read more about , , , , and .