Add RAM (with images)

Table of contents:

Add RAM (with images)
Add RAM (with images)
Anonim

RAM (Random Access Memory) is the memory your computer uses to store the data that is currently in use. In general, more RAM will allow your computer to handle more tasks at once, although it also depends on a number of other factors. Upgrading or replacing your RAM is one of the easiest improvements you can make to a desktop or laptop, once you know what kind of RAM you need.

Steps

Part 1 of 3: Buying new RAM

Add RAM Step 1

Step 1. Check how much RAM is installed in your computer

Before deciding how much RAM to buy, it's helpful to know how much RAM is installed on your computer. You can quickly check this no matter what operating system you are using.

  • Windows – Press ⊞ Win+Pause to open the System Properties window. The installed RAM is listed in the System group.
  • Mac - Click the Apple menu and select "About This Mac." The installed RAM is indicated in the Memory section.
Add RAM Step 2

Step 2. Check how much RAM your computer and operating system supports

There are several factors that determine how much RAM your system can support, including your operating system and motherboard specifications:

  • If you're using Windows, a 32-bit version can handle up to 4 GB, while a 64-bit version can handle up to 128 GB. You can check which version of Windows you have by pressing the ⊞ Win+Pause keys and finding the "System Version" entry.
  • Even if your computer supports a maximum of 128 GB, there is still a good chance that this does not apply to the motherboard. Consult your motherboard's documentation or use a system scanner (possibly online, such as Crucial.com) to find out how much memory your motherboard supports.
  • Mac users should check their documentation to find out how much their computer supports, as this can vary significantly by model. If you no longer have the documentation, you can look up your model's specifications on Apple's website.
  • Read this article to learn more about determining the maximum amount of RAM on your computer.
Add RAM Step 3

Step 3. Check what type of RAM your motherboard supports

RAM (short for SDRAM), has gone through several revisions over the years. The standard these days is DDR3 RAM, but if you're upgrading an older computer you may need DDR2 or even DDR. If this is the case, you're probably better off upgrading the entire computer, as older types of RAM are getting more and more expensive.

  • You can determine what type of computer you are using by consulting the documentation, or by using a tool such as CPU-Z, a freeware utility to analyze your system.
  • DDR3 is the standard at the time of writing, but DDR4 will soon be available for enthusiasts with high-end PCs.
Add RAM Step 4

Step 4. Determine the clock speed

RAM comes in various speeds. If multiple speeds are installed, your entire system will likely clock back to the lowest speed available. This can actually decrease performance even if you add RAM.

  • The clock speed of the RAM is measured in megahertz (MHz). Motherboards usually support multiple clock speeds.
  • If you are using CPU-Z to check the memory clock speed, then you will need to multiply the displayed MHz value by two, as the memory multiplier is not displayed by the CPU-Z.
  • All installed RAM should be the same speed for best performance.
Add RAM Step 5

Step 5. Purchase RAM modules in pairs

Almost all RAM must be installed in pairs. The total value of each module should be within the limits of your motherboard. For example, if you install 8 GB of RAM, you will need either two 4 GB modules or four 2 GB modules. If your motherboard has an 8GB limit, it probably won't support a single 8GB memory module.

RAM often comes packaged in pairs to make purchasing easier

Add RAM Step 6

Step 6. Understand the difference between desktop and laptop memory

Most desktop computers use DIMM RAM, while most laptop computers use SO-DIMM, which are smaller. The exception is many iMacs, which also use SO-DIMM. Other than form, most of the other specifications discussed in this section apply to both desktop and laptop memory.

Part 2 of 3: Installing desktop RAM

Add RAM Step 7

Step 1. Turn off your computer

Remove the power cord. If you need to move the computer for easier access, remove all cables from the back. Lay the computer on its side, somewhere you can easily reach it. Lay the cabinet with the ports on the back closest to the table edge.

Add RAM Step 8

Step 2. Open the cabinet

Some cabinets have thumbscrews for easy opening, while older cabinets usually require a Phillips screwdriver. Slide the panel off or pull it open after removing the screws.

Remove the appropriate panel to access the motherboard. You can determine which panel to remove by looking for the I/O ports on the back of the computer. These ports are for the monitor, ethernet, speakers, USB, etc. They are connected to the motherboard, so remove the panel on the other side

Add RAM Step 9

Step 3. Ground yourself

When you go to do something inside the computer, there is a risk of an electrostatic discharge that can damage your components. You can reduce this risk by wearing an anti-static wrist strap, or by grounding yourself before working with the computer's components. By touching a metal water tap you ground yourself.

Add RAM Step 10

Step 4. Remove existing RAM (if necessary)

If you are replacing RAM, remove the old modules by pressing the tabs on each end of the module. The RAM module should pop out of the slot so you can lift it right out.

Add RAM Step 11

Step 5. Check how the RAM slots are arranged

Many motherboards have four slots for RAM, but pairs are usually not directly next to each other. For example, the slots may be classified as A1, B1, A2, B2, with the first pair installed in A1 and B1. Check your motherboard's documentation to make sure you know which slots to use.

If you don't have the documentation to hand, you can often find out which slots are pairs by looking at the colors. They may be labeled on the bezel, with each label also etched onto the motherboard. These labels may be small, so you will need to look closely

Add RAM Step 12

Step 6. Install your RAM

Push each module directly into the slot, making sure the cutouts on the bottom rail are facing up. Apply even pressure to the top of the module until it is seated and the catches on each side click into place. Do not force the modules or they may break.

  • Almost all RAMs are installed in pairs. Most computers struggle with a single RAM.

    Add RAM Step 12Bullet1
Add RAM Step 13

Step 7. Close the computer again

Once the RAM is installed, close your computer and screw the computer case panel back into place. Reconnect all cables.

Add RAM Step 14

Step 8. Boot your computer

Turn on your computer and allow the operating system to boot. You may be asked to continue after the new RAM installation.

If your computer shows a serious error at this point, then the RAM may have been installed incorrectly, or one of your new modules may be faulty. See wikiHow for a tutorial on how to test RAM modules

Add RAM Step 15

Step 9. Verify that the RAM is recognized

Access your computer system information to verify that the RAM is properly installed and working. Double check that its size is displayed correctly.

  • Windows - Open the System Properties window by pressing ⊞ Win+Pause. Verify that the installed RAM is listed in the System section.
  • Mac - Click the Apple menu and select 'About This Mac'. Verify that the installed RAM is listed in the Memory section.

Part 3 of 3: Installing laptop RAM

Add RAM Step 16

Step 1. Turn off your laptop

To make sure you don't cause any damage, also remove the battery (if possible). Make sure to unplug the AC adapter from the laptop.

Add RAM Step 17

Step 2. Flip the laptop over so you can access the bottom

Most laptops allow you to swap RAM by opening a panel on the bottom of the laptop. you need a small Phillips screwdriver for this. The panel is often marked by a small image of a RAM module.

  • You may need to remove multiple panels to access the RAM.

    Add RAM Step 17Bullet1
Add RAM Step 18

Step 3. Ground yourself

When you have to work with the hardware of a computer, you run the risk of an electrostatic discharge that can damage your components. You can reduce this risk by wearing an anti-static wrist strap, or by grounding yourself before opening the laptop. You can ground yourself by touching a metal water tap.

Add RAM Step 19

Step 4. Remove existing RAM modules (if necessary)

Most laptops have only one or two memory module slots. So you may need to remove existing RAM if you plan to upgrade. You can remove RAM by opening the catches on each side so that the module will fire upwards at a 45 degree angle. After this you can immediately pull out the module.

Add RAM Step 20

Step 5. Install your new RAM

Place the modules at a 45-degree angle, then push it slightly to secure it. Make sure the notches fit. If you try to install RAM upside down, it won't fit. Do not force the RAM into the slot.

  • Not all laptops require pairs of RAM. Refer to your laptop's documentation for more information.

    Add RAM Step 20Bullet1
Add RAM Step 21

Step 6. Close the RAM panel

Once you have installed the new RAM, close the RAM access panel.

Add RAM Step 22

Step 7. Boot your computer

Turn on your computer and allow the operating system to boot. You may be prompted to continue as a result of the new RAM installation.

If your computer shows a serious error at this point, then the RAM may have been installed incorrectly, or one of your new modules may be faulty. See wikiHow for a tutorial on how to test RAM modules

Add RAM Step 23

Step 8. Verify that the RAM is recognized

Access your computer system information to verify that the RAM is properly installed and used. Double check that its size is displayed correctly.

  • Windows - Open the System Properties window by pressing the ⊞ Win+Pause keys. Verify that the installed RAM is listed in the System section.
  • Mac - Click the Apple menu and select 'About This Mac'. Verify that the installed RAM is listed in the Memory section.

Popular by topic