While processing speed and power is obviously important if you want to build a powerful computer for gaming, video editing, graphic design, and so on, RAM is also just as important, but did you know that not all RAM is made equal?
Have you ever noticed that when shopping for parts, one 16GB of RAM’s price might differ from brand to brand and model to model? Some are cheap, but yet some are so much more expensive. This is because when it comes to RAM, there are different types of RAM and also the type of memory it uses and the speed.
This means that not all 16GB RAM sticks are the same, so if you find your computer is bottlenecking even though you think you have a decent amount of RAM, maybe it’s time to buy one that offers faster speeds, but how do you check which type of RAM you have?
Obviously the easiest way would be if you built it yourself and you know what you previously chose, but if you’re coming from a prebuilt, then here’s how you can figure it out.
Checking RAM Type, Speed, And Amount In Windows
- Click the Start button
- Type in “Task Manager”
- Click the Performance tab
- Click on Memory
- In the window to the left, the box in green shows you how much RAM you have, while the box in purple shows you the speed of your RAM, usually shown in “MHz”, and obviously the higher the number the better (but also more expensive)
This Memory section of the app will also show how many slots your RAM has taken up on your motherboard, so in the screenshot above, it shows 16GB taking up 2 out of 4 slots, meaning that each stick should be 8GB.
Depending on your motherboard, some older or cheaper models might only offer 2 slots, so keep that in mind when you’re trying to decide how many sticks of RAM to buy.
Under “Form factor”, this tells you the form factor of your RAM. Not all RAM sticks are necessarily the same so it’s also important that you pay attention to this.
Typically speaking, desktop computer RAM sticks are sold in the DIMM form factor, whereas SODIMMs are usually found in laptops, so do not buy a DIMM RAM stick for a laptop, or a SODIMM RAM stick for a laptop.
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