How To Replace Ram Slot On Motherboard?

How To Replace Ram Slot On Motherboard
Steps of How to repair a RAM slot on the motherboard? – Before you begin with the repair, you need to make certain that the fault is really with the slot machine itself. Many times, it is the card that is at fault, and individuals are not aware of this until much later. Don’t make that mistake!

Turn off your computer and unhook all of your peripherals.Remove the computer’s case from its base. If you are doing something for the first time, go to the handbook to ensure that you do it correctly. It is possible that you may be given specific instructions to follow.Locate the RAM slot and gently remove the card from the slot. To unlock the card and pull it away, you’ll need to use both of your hands at the same time. Be polite, yet forceful in your approach.Examine the card for signs of damage and clean off all of the dust. Additionally, clean the slot.Replacing everything and turning the computer on will be necessary.

The majority of the time, this simple procedure will resolve your issue. If the computer still does not boot, repeat the previous procedures and then insert the card into another memory slot on the motherboard. If it does work, the slot has to be switched out.

Can you replace a RAM slot in motherboard?

Yes the slot can be replaced but do it only if you want to use both the ports

How do I change my RAM socket?

How to install RAM in your PC – With the buying considerations out of the way and 16GB of DDR4 memory freshly delivered to your door step, it’s time to install your new RAM. It’s a quick and rather painless task—assuming you’ve done all your homework. These are the motherboard slots you insert your RAM into. Before you can install the new memory you’ve purchased, you have to remove the old kit. Start by toggling the plastic retention clips at either end of the memory slots so you can pull out the old RAM. Release the toggles at the end of the RAM channel in order to remove your old memory. While you’re there, remove any dust from the memory slots, either by blasting the area with compressed air or by vacuuming gently. Now it’s time to put in the new RAM kit. Make sure the notch in the bottom edge of your RAM modules match up with the rises in the memory channel on your motherboard. Now that you’ve seated the RAM in the slot, toggle the plastic retention levers to lock your new memory modules in place. Snap the channel’s toggle closed again to lock in your RAM. Finally, close up your computer case, plug everything back in, and turn on your computer. It may take a couple of restarts for your motherboard to recognize and adjust to the new memory you’ve installed—so don’t panic if your computer is acting funny at first.

Can you replace DIMM slots?

You can remove and replace a faulty dual in-line memory module (DIMM) from a node canister. You can also use this procedure to add DIMMs to increase the memory capacity of the node canister.

Can you put RAM in the wrong slots?

RAM is keyed so it will only go in the correct way in compatible slots. It isn’t possible to connect it the wrong way. If you don’t use the optimal set of slots for multichannel memory, it will still work in single channel. No harm will be done.

Is RAM easy to swap out?

Upgrading RAM is a simple process Question: I’m in the market for a new laptop, and I want to be sure it has four gigabytes of RAM. My friends tell me to buy the cheapest configuration and upgrade the RAM myself. How hard is it to upgrade RAM in a computer? Answer: RAM is one of the easiest upgrades you can perform on a, but you’ll need to do your homework.

  • First, you’ll need to figure out what kind of RAM to buy.
  • Fortunately, there are a few sites that make this easy.
  • Go to Crucial.com and enter your computer’s manufacturer and model information and it’ll return not only the type of RAM you need but also how many RAM slots your computer has and the maximum RAM configuration for your system.

It’ll also let you know if there are any “gotchas” to watch out for, such as needing to add RAM in pairs. I’ve purchased from Crucial before with good results, but if you want to do some comparison shopping, try ramseeker.com, which uses Crucial’s Advisor tool but also checks other RAM sellers for the best price.

The next step is to find out how to access the RAM inside your computer. Turn off the computer, unplug it from the wall, and remove the battery if it has one. Most laptops have a small access door on the bottom to expose the RAM slots. The manual usually has upgrade instructions. If all else fails, try a Web search for your computer’s model and the words “install RAM.” Once you open the case to expose the RAM, you’ll need to remove the old RAM chips and install the new ones.

RAM is held in by small metal retaining clips. Look for the outer edges, where there are indentations in the RAM chips, and move the clips apart with your fingers. Notice the RAM will spring up to a 45-degree angle before you pull it out. You’ll insert the new RAM at this same angle firmly into the slot and press it down to catch it in the clips.

  • Most laptops have two slots.
  • You’ll probably be removing two smaller RAM chips and adding larger ones.
  • Try to find another use for the old RAM.
  • One-gigabyte chips are worth only about $10, so reselling them might be difficult.
  • There are plenty of RAM installation videos on YouTube to show you how easy it is.

Desktop RAM is not much harder to replace; only the case-opening instructions are different. Also, desktop RAM is usually held in place by plastic clips at either end, and the chips insert perpendicular to the motherboard. Replacing RAM is easy, and if you mess up, you’ll know right away, because your computer won’t boot.

  • But don’t worry.
  • If that happens, put the old RAM back in, and you should at least be back where you were before you started.
  • C) 2009, The Dallas Morning News.
  • Visit The Dallas Morning News on the World Wide Web at Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
  • Citation : Upgrading RAM is a simple process (2009, September 11) retrieved 8 November 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2009-09-ram-simple.html This document is subject to copyright.

Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. : Upgrading RAM is a simple process

Can you just swap RAM out?

Download Article Download Article RAM (Random Access Memory) is the memory that your computer uses to store data that is currently in use. Generally speaking, having more RAM can allow your computer to perform more tasks at once, though this is also dependent on a variety of other factors.

  1. 1 Check how much RAM your computer currently has installed. Before determining how much RAM you should purchase, it will be helpful to know how much RAM you already have installed in your computer. You can quickly check your installed RAM, regardless of what operating system you are using.
    • Windows – Press ⊞ Win + Pause to open your System Properties window. Your installed RAM will be listed in the System section.
    • Mac – Click the Apple menu and select “About This Mac”. Your installed RAM will be displayed in the Memory entry.
  2. 2 Check how much RAM your computer and operating system can support. There are several factors that will dictate how much RAM your system can support, including your operating system and motherboard limits:
    • If you are using Windows, a 32-bit version can support up to 4 GB, while a 64-bit version can support up to 128 GB. You can check what version of Windows you have by pressing ⊞ Win + Pause and looking for the “System type” entry.
    • Even if your computer supports up to 128 GB, there’s a good chance that your motherboard doesn’t support that much. You’ll need to check the documentation for your motherboard or run an online system scanner to see how much memory your motherboard supports.
    • Mac users will need to check their documentation to see how much their computer support as it varies significantly from model to model. If you don’t have the documentation anymore, you can look up the specs of your model on the Apple support site.
    • See this guide for more details on determining the maximum amount of RAM your computer supports.

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  3. 3 Check what RAM format your motherboard supports. RAM has gone through several revisions over the years. The standard these days is DDR4 RAM, but if you are upgrading an older computer, you may need DDR3, DDR2 or even DDR. If this is the case, you will likely want to consider upgrading the entire computer, as older types of RAM are getting increasingly expensive.
    • You can determine what type your computer uses by referring to the documentation or running a tool like CPU-Z, a freeware utility that analyzes your system.
  4. 4 Determine the clock speed. RAM comes in a variety of different speeds. If there are multiple speeds installed, your entire system will clock down to the lowest speed present. This can actually hurt your performance, even if you are adding RAM.
    • The clock speed of RAM is measured in megahertz (MHz). Motherboards typically support a range of clock speeds.
    • If you use CPU-Z to check your memory clock speed, you will need to multiply the displayed MHz value by two, since CPU-Z doesn’t display the memory multiplier.
    • All installed RAM should be the same speed for the best performance.
  5. 5 Purchase RAM modules in pairs. Nearly all RAM should be installed in pairs. The total value of each module should be within the limits of your motherboard. For example, if you are installing 16 GB of RAM, you’ll need to install either two 8 GB modules or four 4 GB modules. If your motherboard has an 16 GB limit, it likely won’t support a single 16 GB memory module.
    • RAM often comes packaged in pairs to make purchasing easier.
    • Many computers will work with only one RAM module, but this is bad practice and you will have worse performance. You should only do this if necessary.
  6. 6 Understand the difference between desktop and laptop memory. Most desktop computers use DIMM RAM, while most laptops use SO-DIMM, which is smaller. The notable exception is many iMacs, which also use SO-DIMM. Other than form-factor, most of the other specifications discussed in this section apply to both desktop and laptop memory.
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  1. 1 Power down the computer. Unplug the power cable. If you need to move the computer to access it easier, remove all the cables from the back. Place the desktop on its side somewhere that gives you easy access. Lay it down with the ports on the back closest to the table.
  2. 2 Open the case. Some cases have thumbscrews for easy opening, while older cases typically require a Phillips head screwdriver. Slide the panel off or pull it open after removing the screws.
    • Make sure to remove the panel that allows access to the motherboard. You can determine which panel to remove by looking for the I/O ports on the back of the computer. These ports include monitor, Ethernet, speaker, USB, and more. They are connected to the motherboard, so remove the panel on the opposite side.
  3. 3 Ground yourself. Anytime you work inside a computer, you risk emitting an electrostatic discharge that could damage your components. You can reduce this risk by wearing an anti-static wriststrap, or by grounding yourself before working in the computer. Touching a metal water tap will ground you.
  4. 4 Remove existing RAM (if necessary). If you are replacing RAM, pop out the old modules by pressing down on the latches on each end of the module. The RAM module should pop out of the slot, allowing you to lift it directly out.
  5. 5 Check how the RAM slots are laid out. Many motherboards have four slots for RAM, but pairs are typically not installed directly next to each other. For example, the slots may be laid out as A1, B1, A2, B2 and you would install your first pair on A1 and B1. Refer to your motherboard documentation to ensure that you know which slots to use.
    • If you don’t have your documentation handy, you can often tell which slots are pairs by looking at the coloring. They may be labeled on the edge, which each label etched onto the motherboard. These labels may be small, so you may have to look closely.
  6. 6 Install your RAM. Push each module directly into the slot, ensuring that the notches at the bottom line up. Apply even pressure directly to the top of the module until it is inserted and the latches snap into place on each side. Do not force the modules in or you may break them.
    • Nearly all RAM is installed in pairs. Some computers will have difficulty with a single RAM stick, and using only one stick will decrease performance.
  7. 7 Close up the computer. With the RAM installed, close up your computer and screw the case panel back into place. Plug all of the cables back in.
  8. 8 Boot up your operating system. Turn on your computer and allow it to boot into your operating system. You may be prompted to continue due to your new RAM installation.
    • If your computer runs into a serious error at this point, the RAM may be improperly installed, or there may be an errors with one of your new modules. See this guide for instructions on testing your RAM modules.
  9. 9 Verify that the RAM is recognized. Open your computer’s system information to verify that the RAM was properly installed and is being used. Double-check that the amount is being displayed correctly.
    • Windows – Open the System Properties window by pressing ⊞ Win + Pause, Verify your installed RAM in the System section.
    • Mac – Click the Apple menu and select “About This Mac”. Verify your installed RAM in the Memory entry.
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  1. 1 Turn off your laptop. To ensure that you don’t cause any damage, remove the battery as well (if possible). Make sure to unplug the laptop from the power adapter.
  2. 2 Flip the laptop over so you can access the bottom. Most laptops allow you to swap out RAM through a panel on the bottom of the laptop. You will need a small Phillips screwdriver to access this panel. The panel is often marked by a small image of a RAM module.
    • You may have to remove multiple panels in order to access the RAM.
  3. 3 Ground yourself. Anytime you work inside a computer, you risk emitting an electrostatic discharge that could damage your components. You can reduce this risk by wearing an anti-static wriststrap, or by grounding yourself before working in the laptop. Touching a metal water tap will ground you.
  4. 4 Remove existing RAM (if necessary). Most laptops only have one or two slots for memory modules. You may need to remove your existing RAM if you intend to upgrade. You can remove the RAM by detaching the latches on each side, which will pop the RAM up at a 45 degree angle. This allows you to pull the module straight out.
  5. 5 Install your new RAM. Insert at a 45 degree angle and then push down to secure. Make sure that the notches line up. If you try to install the RAM upside down, it will not fit. Do not try to force the RAM into its slot.
    • Not all laptops need pairs of RAM modules. Check your laptop’s documentation for details.
  6. 6 Close the RAM panel. Once you have installed your new RAM, close up and secure the RAM access panel.
  7. 7 Boot up your operating system. Turn on your computer and allow it to boot into your operating system. You may be prompted to continue due to your new RAM installation.
    • If your computer runs into a serious error at this point, the RAM may be improperly installed, or there may be an errors with one of your new modules. See this guide for instructions on testing your RAM modules.
  8. 8 Verify that the RAM is recognized. Open your computer’s system information to verify that the RAM was properly installed and is being used. Double-check that the amount is being displayed correctly.
    • Windows – Open the System Properties window by pressing ⊞ Win + Pause, Verify your installed RAM in the System section.
    • Mac – Click the Apple menu and select “About This Mac”. Verify your installed RAM in the Memory entry.
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Add New Question

  • Question Can I add any number of RAM cards to my computer? Spike Baron Network Engineer & Desktop Support Spike Baron is the Owner of Spike’s Computer Repair based in Los Angeles, California. With over 25 years of working experience in the tech industry, Spike specializes in PC and Mac computer repair, used computer sales, virus removal, data recovery, and hardware and software upgrades. Network Engineer & Desktop Support Expert Answer
  • Question Does doing this risk my computer becoming unusable or other permanent damage? Any work done on a computer has the potential to damage or destroy the device. Installing RAM is one of the simplest upgrades that can be done by a novice. Just make sure the SIMM is pushed all the way into the slot and locks in.
  • Question Is it possible to just add a new RAM to the existing RAM in order to boost the memory of my desktop PC? Yes, but if you do, you will have to use the exact type of memory that came with your computer. You also have to have enough RAM slots.

See more answers Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit Advertisement Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 480,086 times.

Are RAM sockets universal?

When you’re looking to speed up an old PC, one of the first considerations to make is upgrading the RAM or hard drive. Both are relatively easy to do, and both are relatively cheap (as opposed to the cost of buying a new computer). And both can be executed by end users in seven easy steps.

Adding RAM to a desktop PC will greatly enhance the system’s maneuverability when completing tasks. Opening windows, surfing the Web, and word processing are all RAM-intensive tasks, as are editing programs like Photoshop, or spreadsheet programs like Excel. Adding RAM to help alleviate the slow loading or execution of these programs will depend on a few factors—the age of your computer and operating system, motherboard slots open for RAM, and the maximum amount of RAM your system can handle.

There are also some things that you need to consider before purchasing RAM.

How much RAM do I have?

On Windows 7 computers, click on the Windows tab, and right-click on My Computer (or go to Control Panel > System and Security and under System, click on View Amount of RAM and processor speed), on Windows 8.1, right-click on the Windows tab, click System. You should see a window that looks like this: This shows how much RAM your system currently contains.

How much RAM can I install?

Download the memory finder app at www.crucial.com, This small but useful tool will scan your system and return a report that tells you how much RAM your system can take, how much RAM you currently have, how many slots you have—both available and occupied—and even suggest which RAM to buy to upgrade.

How much RAM do I need?

Much debate has been raged (okay, maybe raged is a bit demonstrative) over how much RAM is enough RAM.4GB of RAM is usually good enough for most normal everyday tasks, including work productivity software like Microsoft Office, and multimedia viewing.

When you make the jump to 8GB of RAM, you should see a difference in speed, your ability to multitask will improve, and overall system health should be nominal. But I have a desktop with 16GB of RAM and a laptop with 8GB of RAM, both using i7 processors, and I cannot honestly tell the difference in overall speed.

Granted, the desktop has far more programs and a lot of other problems, and I certainly don’t regret 16GB of RAM (I got it on sale; it made sense when I constructed the computer), but if you’re cash-strapped, 8GB should be enough for most applications.

What kind of RAM do I need?

There are many different kinds of RAM. This is where the Crucial memory finder really helps you out, taking all the guesswork out of finding which RAM is right for you. However, a couple of things you should know are your speed limitations, DDR type, and maximum memory limitations.

DRAM (Dynamic RAM) is the RAM used in most desktop computers. It is referred to as DDR (double data rate) RAM, and it comes in four types: DDR, DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4. The original DDR RAM modules contained 184 pins, and reached a maximum speed of 400 MHz. We all thought that was enough, back in the day.

But engineers learned how to increase the speed and reduce the voltage (keeping dangerous heat signatures from popping up in your computer’s interior) and they developed DDR2, which has 240 pins and reached speeds of 800 MHz. Along came new innovations, new technologies, and soon, new memory modules.

Do I buy two sticks of higher-capacity memory or four sticks of lower memory?

A common misconception about RAM is that you can put any RAM into any slot. You can do that, but it won’t work, or it will work ineffectively. If you have four RAM slots, always buy matched pairs of RAM (two sticks from the same company, same speed, and same capacity) for the best results.

So, in this case, where there are four slots, the RAM should have been placed in quantities of 2, 4, 6, or 8. For instance, it should have 1GB of RAM in one slot, then each successive slot should have been filled with the exact same 1GB RAM module, which would have given me options of 1GB (single 1GB of RAM in first slot only), 2GB (two 1GB modules in two slots, or 4GB (four 1GB modules in each slot).

I would not have opted for 3GB of RAM, because I am not using matched pairs—it would have worked, but it would not have been as effective as matching the pairs. Consequently, I could have started just a single 2GB module, then matched it with another for 4GB, or matched it with three more for 8GB.

  1. In that scenario, I would not have gone for 6GB, which would have resulted in an uneven pair of RAM in the four slots.
  2. I certainly should not have opted for what it is now—a 2GB module, a 1GB module, a 2GB module, and another 1GB module for 6GB total.
  3. However, even that is preferable over three slots filled with 2GB modules, since the 2GB modules are a pair, and the 1GB modules are technically another pair.

The reasoning behind this has mostly to do with RAM efficiency and motherboard processing speed, especially on older boards. It puts a strain on the memory controller to hop around to different-sized modules, and increases the RAM voltage while decreasing the speed.

  1. It also affects the timing of the RAM—if it has to hop from 2GB to 2GB, then 1GB to 2GB, then 1GB to 1GB, this is all processor intensive.
  2. If it’s simply hopping from 2GB to 2GB to 2GB to 2GB of the same memory matched pairs, there’s a lot less hopping around to do on your Northridge.
  3. If you’re using newer motherboards, the IMC (integrated memory controller) was moved from the Northbridge and integrated into the CPU.

But it still makes sense to pair up RAM for best performance. Imagine that you have two slots filled with 4GB chips, the maximum this computer can take. Now the controller only needs to hop between two banks while utilizing the same amount of memory. You get 8GB of RAM, and only have to access the two banks.

Will my computer use the entire RAM?

The answer is: maybe. It depends on what you’re using the computer for. Certain processes use RAM much more than others; for instance, previewing video is RAM intensive, as is opening multiple windows in Web browsers. Think of RAM as a bus stop for parking data.

One or two buses come in; you load them up with passengers, and they move out. Ten or fifteen buses come in at once, and suddenly you have a queue of passengers, and you’re trying your hardest to ferry people on and off. Extra RAM is extra buses. Extra buses means less bottlenecking and congestion. Less bottlenecking and congestion leads to smoother service.

But if you don’t have a lot of passengers and you have forty buses, then you obviously aren’t using every bus. Buy the number of buses you need, with a few extras in case of emergencies. But you don’t have to buy the depot.

HOW TO INSTALL RAM, IN SEVEN EASY STEPS
^ Make sure to use a static-free work area when beginning any component change in your computer, and make sure the computer is unplugged. Keep pets away. Clear away any paper, tape, and electrical devices (including your smartphone) from the area. Always touch the metal chassis of your computer to ground yourself and draw away any static electricity.
^ This is a motherboard. T he RAM slots, at the right, are red and yellow, Find out how much memory your computer can handle, and how much you want to add (see steps 1 and 2 above).
^ There are four slots here. If using unbalanced RAM (a 2GB and a 4GB module, for instance) pair up RAM in slots 1 and 3 or 2 and 4. If there is old RAM here and you are going to use it, pair the new RAM correctly. Try not to put three modules in a 4 module slot. It will be less effective.
^ Unhinge the clips (on some motherboards, there is one clip, on others there are two—one on each end). Unseat the old RAM by pulling on each end, wiggling it up and down just a bit. Do not wiggle it from side to side.
^ Make sure that the pins and cutout on the RAM match the slot before placing the new RAM (if you purchased it according to the steps above, they should match). Never force a RAM module into a slot that doesn’t match the notch on the module.
^ Make sure the RAM is seated securely; it takes a slight amount of force. If positioned properly, it usually snaps the retaining hinge into place. Unseated RAM is the major cause of the RAM not being recognized by the computer OS.
^ Plug the computer back in and start it up. On Windows 7 computers, click on the Windows tab, and right-click on My Computer (or go to Control Panel > System and Security > and under System, click on View Amount of RAM and processor speed), on Windows 8.1, right-click on the Windows tab, click System. Your new RAM should be seen immediately.

So that’s how you install RAM, with a brief primer on what RAM is and how it works. Remember, installing RAM on a Mac computer is very different (and in some cases impossible) as is installing RAM on certain laptops. Remember to check the manufacturer’s website for the maximum amount of RAM your computer or laptop can take, and then get to it.

Can I put my RAM in slot 2 and 4?

Can You Run Odd Numbers of RAM sticks? – You definitely can, as long as all the RAM has matching or close to matching specs. But you might not be able to benefit from dual-channel (or more) memory. For example, some motherboards support triple-channel memory.

  • It’s quite rare, but they’re out there.
  • So if you have three sticks of RAM in a motherboard (and CPU) that supports triple-channel memory, you’ll be just fine.
  • However, if you try to use three sticks of RAM on a motherboard (and CPU) that only supports dual-channel memory, it might force all the RAM to run in single-channel mode.

I say “might” because certain CPUs handle this better than others. There’s a thing called “flex mode” that most modern CPUs support where, for example, if you have 3 RAM sticks populating a four-slot motherboard (that doesn’t support triple-channel mode), it’ll simply run two of those three RAM sticks in dual-channel mode and the remaining RAM stick in single-channel.

Is DIMM hot swappable?

Hot Plug RAID Memory enables hot replacing a failed DIMM, hot adding a DIMM to a memory cartridge, and hot upgrading a set of DIMMs with a different (higher capacity) set.

Are all RAM slots the same?

Nowadays RAM slots and cards are standard, that means that you can only have DDR3 or DDR4 in any ‘modern’ motherboard. (If you have a 10 year old motherboard you can also have DDR2 type RAM). They all have a different amount of pins (or connections) in them.

Can I upgrade just one RAM slot?

Yes, you can. As long as new 8GB RAM stick has the speed as the same as the plugged 8GB RAM stick in your computer. You can save your budget in this way.

Can you put RAM in the 2 and 4 slot?

Can You Run Odd Numbers of RAM sticks? – You definitely can, as long as all the RAM has matching or close to matching specs. But you might not be able to benefit from dual-channel (or more) memory. For example, some motherboards support triple-channel memory.

  1. It’s quite rare, but they’re out there.
  2. So if you have three sticks of RAM in a motherboard (and CPU) that supports triple-channel memory, you’ll be just fine.
  3. However, if you try to use three sticks of RAM on a motherboard (and CPU) that only supports dual-channel memory, it might force all the RAM to run in single-channel mode.

I say “might” because certain CPUs handle this better than others. There’s a thing called “flex mode” that most modern CPUs support where, for example, if you have 3 RAM sticks populating a four-slot motherboard (that doesn’t support triple-channel mode), it’ll simply run two of those three RAM sticks in dual-channel mode and the remaining RAM stick in single-channel.

Can you just swap RAM out?

Download Article Download Article RAM (Random Access Memory) is the memory that your computer uses to store data that is currently in use. Generally speaking, having more RAM can allow your computer to perform more tasks at once, though this is also dependent on a variety of other factors.

  1. 1 Check how much RAM your computer currently has installed. Before determining how much RAM you should purchase, it will be helpful to know how much RAM you already have installed in your computer. You can quickly check your installed RAM, regardless of what operating system you are using.
    • Windows – Press ⊞ Win + Pause to open your System Properties window. Your installed RAM will be listed in the System section.
    • Mac – Click the Apple menu and select “About This Mac”. Your installed RAM will be displayed in the Memory entry.
  2. 2 Check how much RAM your computer and operating system can support. There are several factors that will dictate how much RAM your system can support, including your operating system and motherboard limits:
    • If you are using Windows, a 32-bit version can support up to 4 GB, while a 64-bit version can support up to 128 GB. You can check what version of Windows you have by pressing ⊞ Win + Pause and looking for the “System type” entry.
    • Even if your computer supports up to 128 GB, there’s a good chance that your motherboard doesn’t support that much. You’ll need to check the documentation for your motherboard or run an online system scanner to see how much memory your motherboard supports.
    • Mac users will need to check their documentation to see how much their computer support as it varies significantly from model to model. If you don’t have the documentation anymore, you can look up the specs of your model on the Apple support site.
    • See this guide for more details on determining the maximum amount of RAM your computer supports.

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  3. 3 Check what RAM format your motherboard supports. RAM has gone through several revisions over the years. The standard these days is DDR4 RAM, but if you are upgrading an older computer, you may need DDR3, DDR2 or even DDR. If this is the case, you will likely want to consider upgrading the entire computer, as older types of RAM are getting increasingly expensive.
    • You can determine what type your computer uses by referring to the documentation or running a tool like CPU-Z, a freeware utility that analyzes your system.
  4. 4 Determine the clock speed. RAM comes in a variety of different speeds. If there are multiple speeds installed, your entire system will clock down to the lowest speed present. This can actually hurt your performance, even if you are adding RAM.
    • The clock speed of RAM is measured in megahertz (MHz). Motherboards typically support a range of clock speeds.
    • If you use CPU-Z to check your memory clock speed, you will need to multiply the displayed MHz value by two, since CPU-Z doesn’t display the memory multiplier.
    • All installed RAM should be the same speed for the best performance.
  5. 5 Purchase RAM modules in pairs. Nearly all RAM should be installed in pairs. The total value of each module should be within the limits of your motherboard. For example, if you are installing 16 GB of RAM, you’ll need to install either two 8 GB modules or four 4 GB modules. If your motherboard has an 16 GB limit, it likely won’t support a single 16 GB memory module.
    • RAM often comes packaged in pairs to make purchasing easier.
    • Many computers will work with only one RAM module, but this is bad practice and you will have worse performance. You should only do this if necessary.
  6. 6 Understand the difference between desktop and laptop memory. Most desktop computers use DIMM RAM, while most laptops use SO-DIMM, which is smaller. The notable exception is many iMacs, which also use SO-DIMM. Other than form-factor, most of the other specifications discussed in this section apply to both desktop and laptop memory.
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  1. 1 Power down the computer. Unplug the power cable. If you need to move the computer to access it easier, remove all the cables from the back. Place the desktop on its side somewhere that gives you easy access. Lay it down with the ports on the back closest to the table.
  2. 2 Open the case. Some cases have thumbscrews for easy opening, while older cases typically require a Phillips head screwdriver. Slide the panel off or pull it open after removing the screws.
    • Make sure to remove the panel that allows access to the motherboard. You can determine which panel to remove by looking for the I/O ports on the back of the computer. These ports include monitor, Ethernet, speaker, USB, and more. They are connected to the motherboard, so remove the panel on the opposite side.
  3. 3 Ground yourself. Anytime you work inside a computer, you risk emitting an electrostatic discharge that could damage your components. You can reduce this risk by wearing an anti-static wriststrap, or by grounding yourself before working in the computer. Touching a metal water tap will ground you.
  4. 4 Remove existing RAM (if necessary). If you are replacing RAM, pop out the old modules by pressing down on the latches on each end of the module. The RAM module should pop out of the slot, allowing you to lift it directly out.
  5. 5 Check how the RAM slots are laid out. Many motherboards have four slots for RAM, but pairs are typically not installed directly next to each other. For example, the slots may be laid out as A1, B1, A2, B2 and you would install your first pair on A1 and B1. Refer to your motherboard documentation to ensure that you know which slots to use.
    • If you don’t have your documentation handy, you can often tell which slots are pairs by looking at the coloring. They may be labeled on the edge, which each label etched onto the motherboard. These labels may be small, so you may have to look closely.
  6. 6 Install your RAM. Push each module directly into the slot, ensuring that the notches at the bottom line up. Apply even pressure directly to the top of the module until it is inserted and the latches snap into place on each side. Do not force the modules in or you may break them.
    • Nearly all RAM is installed in pairs. Some computers will have difficulty with a single RAM stick, and using only one stick will decrease performance.
  7. 7 Close up the computer. With the RAM installed, close up your computer and screw the case panel back into place. Plug all of the cables back in.
  8. 8 Boot up your operating system. Turn on your computer and allow it to boot into your operating system. You may be prompted to continue due to your new RAM installation.
    • If your computer runs into a serious error at this point, the RAM may be improperly installed, or there may be an errors with one of your new modules. See this guide for instructions on testing your RAM modules.
  9. 9 Verify that the RAM is recognized. Open your computer’s system information to verify that the RAM was properly installed and is being used. Double-check that the amount is being displayed correctly.
    • Windows – Open the System Properties window by pressing ⊞ Win + Pause, Verify your installed RAM in the System section.
    • Mac – Click the Apple menu and select “About This Mac”. Verify your installed RAM in the Memory entry.
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  1. 1 Turn off your laptop. To ensure that you don’t cause any damage, remove the battery as well (if possible). Make sure to unplug the laptop from the power adapter.
  2. 2 Flip the laptop over so you can access the bottom. Most laptops allow you to swap out RAM through a panel on the bottom of the laptop. You will need a small Phillips screwdriver to access this panel. The panel is often marked by a small image of a RAM module.
    • You may have to remove multiple panels in order to access the RAM.
  3. 3 Ground yourself. Anytime you work inside a computer, you risk emitting an electrostatic discharge that could damage your components. You can reduce this risk by wearing an anti-static wriststrap, or by grounding yourself before working in the laptop. Touching a metal water tap will ground you.
  4. 4 Remove existing RAM (if necessary). Most laptops only have one or two slots for memory modules. You may need to remove your existing RAM if you intend to upgrade. You can remove the RAM by detaching the latches on each side, which will pop the RAM up at a 45 degree angle. This allows you to pull the module straight out.
  5. 5 Install your new RAM. Insert at a 45 degree angle and then push down to secure. Make sure that the notches line up. If you try to install the RAM upside down, it will not fit. Do not try to force the RAM into its slot.
    • Not all laptops need pairs of RAM modules. Check your laptop’s documentation for details.
  6. 6 Close the RAM panel. Once you have installed your new RAM, close up and secure the RAM access panel.
  7. 7 Boot up your operating system. Turn on your computer and allow it to boot into your operating system. You may be prompted to continue due to your new RAM installation.
    • If your computer runs into a serious error at this point, the RAM may be improperly installed, or there may be an errors with one of your new modules. See this guide for instructions on testing your RAM modules.
  8. 8 Verify that the RAM is recognized. Open your computer’s system information to verify that the RAM was properly installed and is being used. Double-check that the amount is being displayed correctly.
    • Windows – Open the System Properties window by pressing ⊞ Win + Pause, Verify your installed RAM in the System section.
    • Mac – Click the Apple menu and select “About This Mac”. Verify your installed RAM in the Memory entry.
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Add New Question

  • Question Can I add any number of RAM cards to my computer? Spike Baron Network Engineer & Desktop Support Spike Baron is the Owner of Spike’s Computer Repair based in Los Angeles, California. With over 25 years of working experience in the tech industry, Spike specializes in PC and Mac computer repair, used computer sales, virus removal, data recovery, and hardware and software upgrades. Network Engineer & Desktop Support Expert Answer
  • Question Does doing this risk my computer becoming unusable or other permanent damage? Any work done on a computer has the potential to damage or destroy the device. Installing RAM is one of the simplest upgrades that can be done by a novice. Just make sure the SIMM is pushed all the way into the slot and locks in.
  • Question Is it possible to just add a new RAM to the existing RAM in order to boost the memory of my desktop PC? Yes, but if you do, you will have to use the exact type of memory that came with your computer. You also have to have enough RAM slots.

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