What Kind Of RAM Do I Have? (8 Ways To Tell)

Random Access Memory, also known as RAM, can be one of the most critical components in any computer device.

RAM is a speedy storage medium that computers use to store drivers, applications and other files at a moment’s notice.

Although accessing files from the hard drive can be slow, the CPU is able to access them quickly by loading and temporarily storing them into RAM.

It is important to understand what RAM does. You can also know which type you have in case you need more memory, a replacement stick or simply want to show off to your friends.

No matter what your reason, these are eight great ways to determine which RAM type you have.

Note that these methods are only applicable to Windows PCs. However, you can find a few Linux and macOS tips at the bottom of this article.

What Type of RAM do I have? 8 Ways to Tell

1. Open Task Manager

Task Manager is the best and fastest way to find information about RAM.

Most likely, you’ve used the program to stop programs that are locked up or won’t shut down properly.

You can use Task Manager in order to determine the type of RAM installed on your computer.

You can use Task Manager in many different ways if you have never used it before.

You can also press the Ctrl and Shift keys simultaneously.

Another option is to use the Ctrl or Alt keys.

You’ll see a list of options after pressing these keys.

Click on “Task manager.”

You can also right-click the Start icon on the taskbar, and select “Task manager.”

However, once you have loaded the “More Detail” option, click on it (assuming that you’ve never done so before). Windows will then remember the last setting.

After you have expanded the Task Manager, you will see a tab called Performance.

Click on this tab, then choose “Memory” from the options to the left.

This page will cover almost all you need to know about RAM (also known as memory).

It will show you how much RAM you have, what type it is, and how fast it is.

Microsoft created the performance tab to show how much your computer uses. However, Task Manager is a great option for checking the RAM type you have.

2. Use the Command Line

Command Prompt can be used to get started with your operating system.

Microsoft’s Windows Management Instrumentation command line (WMIC) allows you to access a wealth of information by using the command line.

Start typing at the prompt by clicking on the start button

When the app appears in the search results, click on it.

You can also launch the Command Prompt (also known as CMD), by using the run-line

Hold down the Windows key on the keyboard, usually to the left side of the spacebar. Then press r.

Type “cmd” at the “Open” prompt (without quotation marks) and press enter.

We’ll begin with the basic command at the command line:

wmic MemoryChip

This command will undoubtedly yield more information than what you need, so the columns won’t all fit on one line.

This can make it difficult to read the results.

Limiting the amount of information that a command outputs is the solution.

This is what you can do:

wmic MemoryChip receives MemoryType, Capacity and Speed.

This will allow you to get more digestible results.

This command allows you to see almost everything about RAM installed without opening the case.

You can even view which RAM slots you have populated.

You can also see which stick is installed in which slot by adding the Serial Number parameter.

The “MemoryType” column lists a number which corresponds to the type and size of your computer’s physical memory.

DDR3 is the most popular type, while DDR4 is more common. They are 24, 26 and DDR4.

View the complete list of memory types.

It is important to note that WMIC has been deprecated by Microsoft as of Windows 10 and Windows 11 version 21H2.

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), however, is still in use. However, it appears that Microsoft may be discontinuing command-line functionality.

The WMIC commands work, however, as they are simple to use and extremely informative.

Be aware that they may not function in future Windows versions.

What other options are there?

3. PowerShell, FTW

PowerShell is a great tool for enhancing your productivity.

PowerShell can be used to automate and script tasks on your computer, much like CMD.

PowerShell is great for simple tasks even if you don’t have to do any of the more complicated tasks.

PowerShell is similar to the CMD command prompt. Most CMD commands can be used in PowerShell for backward compatibility.

Microsoft’s improved WMIC-equivalent, Get-CimInstance is now available.

WMI is actually an implementation of the open-standard Common Information Model (CIM). Therefore, when you run Get-CimInstance you are leveraging WMI just like before.

As we mentioned above, WMI won’t be going anywhere. Only the command-line functionality will.

CIM is an industry-standard framework that applies to hardware and software from all manufacturers, vendors, programmers, and other professionals.

You will need to first open CIM in PowerShell in order to see information about RAM installed on your computer.

Click the Start button to start typing “powershell”.

When the application appears in the search results, click on it.

The run line can also be used.

Use the Windows key + to type Powershell, then press the Enter key.

PowerShell is much like CMD.

Copy and paste the following command at the prompt

Format-Table Capacity, Manufacturer, MemoryType, FormFactor, Name, Speed, Devicelocator, Serial Number -AutoSize

To run the command, press “Enter”.

The results will look almost exactly the same as what you get in CMD.

Both methods have access to WMI information.

4. Get CPU-Z

You don’t have to mess with the command-line, but you do not need to install third-party programs.

By the software developers at CPUID, the first is CPU-Z.

There are many great things about CPU-Z.

It’s also free ( like beer).

It is also light, reliable, accurate, and lightweight.

CPU-Z has one task: to report the type of hardware that you have, and specifically your CPU.

Thus the name.

However, CPUZ provides information about your motherboard and BIOS as well as the graphics card.

The software will also report on the type of memory and how much you have installed.

To get started, head over to cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html to download the software.

To download the installation file, look for the purple SETUP ENGLISH button.

After downloading, open the.exe file.

After reading the entire agreement, accept it and follow the instructions to install.

After installation, launch the software by using the desktop shortcut.

Click on the “Memory” tab when the software loads to check the amount of RAM in your system.

CPU-Z is a better alternative to PowerShell or CMD because it displays the type clearly without needing to translate any two-digit codes.

“26” is replaced by . , for example, will be replaced with “DDR4”.

However, you’ll find that CPU-Z provides a lot less information about RAM than either the CLI commands.

The manufacturer, the form factor and even the number of slots are missing.

Despite its limitations and the price, CPU-Z is a great product.

5. Try Out Speccy

Speccy is another third-party utility, which was brought to you by Piriform Software Ltd.

Avast acquired the company in 2017. CCleaner is its flagship software. It helps users clear up space on their hard drives by removing redundant files.

Speccy was launched in 2009 to provide a similar reporting tool to CPU-Z but with a greater range of data about your computer’s internals.

Speccy’s interface is similar to CCleaner.

Although the software is free, Piriform offers a Professional option that promises automatic updates and premium support.

To get the software, go to ccleaner.com/speccy/download and click on the “Download” button.

Start the.exe file, and then click “Install”.

To launch the software, click “Run Speccy”.

The Summary page will show you your type, speed and amount of RAM. However, clicking on the page in the left column will open a page with additional information.

This section will provide information about the system memory, including its type (DD3 vs DD4), frequency and timings.

Click on the SPD twirl for each slot to get more information, including the serial numbers and manufacturer of RAM sticks.

Serial Presence Detect stands for Serial Presence Detect and is a chip that contains data about RAM.

You won’t find the form factor information, which is the size of the RAM stick in physical dimensions (SoDIMM).

Speccy, a small utility that gives you a lot of information about your computer, is a good choice.

6. Check the BIOS

Another way to get information about your system’s memory is to access the setup program embedded in your computer’s firmware.

The firmware, also known as the BIOS (Basic input and Output System), or its replacement, the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), acts as a middleman between your computer’s operating system and hardware.

The BIOS assists in bootstrapping by indicating what hardware is available and how it can be addressed.

The firmware provides a lot of information about the hardware of the computer.

Although the methods for accessing the BIOS can vary depending on the manufacturer or system model, they all follow the same general pattern.

You must first reboot your computer.

If you enable fast startup, you may need to shut down the entire computer and then turn it back on.

You’ll see the manufacturer splash screen before the operating system loads when the computer turns on again.

To enter the BIOS setup programme, press a key on your keyboard when you see the screen.

Which key?

It depends.

Usually, the key is printed on the splash screen. However, you need to grab it quickly.

Reboot Windows if Windows is loading slowly.

The key to Dell computers, among others, is F2.

HP’s hotkey is F10.

Try F12, Del if yours is not one of these.

Once you are inside the BIOS/UEFI setup programme, you should be capable of using the menus to locate information about your RAM type.

You might look for “System Information” then “Memory”.

Some older setup programs don’t have mouse support. You will need to navigate menus with tabs and the Arrow keys.

For more information, consult the documentation of your computer if you are stuck.

7. Your Case is Open

If you have quick access to your RAM slots on your device, opening the case can sometimes be the fastest way to find out what type of memory is inside.

Desktop PCs are easy to use and can be accessed quickly without the need for tools. However, things can get complicated when you try to access all-in-one or mini tower territory.

However, Dell, HP and Lenovo tend to design their machines so that you can easily access the RAM slots. But you never know when you will need to replace your memory.

It’s possible that portable devices can be more trouble than it’s worth.

Manufacturers offer different levels of RAM access, just like desktop PCs. However, even the most basic models, you will almost always require a Phillips-head screwdriver.

It is important to note that not all portables have removable RAM sticks.

Engineers designed certain models so that the RAM chips could be soldered directly to the motherboard in order to keep computers as light and thin as possible.

These scenarios will benefit you more from a software or firmware solution.

You should have access to your RAM. A sticker label will show you all the information.

There are many variables and methods to open your case. If you have any questions, consult the documentation on your computer.

You should also use a wrist band or another method to ensure that you are always grounded.

An electrostatic discharge can permanently damage your computer with just one zap.

By simply examining the inside of your computer, you can identify the form factor of your memory by looking at the type and size of the RAM.

8. Take a look at your receipt

If you don’t have the information or it fails to matter, look at your order confirmation or receipt.

If you ordered the computer online, or printed out, the specs will likely be included in your order.

On the paperwork, look for “Memory” or “RAM”.

If you haven’t received your order confirmation or receipt, you should check it.

Information about RAM can also be found on packaging or boxes for computers/RAM sticks.

For more information, make sure you examine every side of the package.

Are you unable to find anything? You might find some documentation or spec sheets inside the box that you can use with your computer.

How do I check if I have DDR3 or DDR4 SDRAM?

You should be able to differentiate DDR3 from DDR4 by using any of these methods.

You will need to translate the “MemoryType number into a common name in order to use the command-line options.

Remember that DDR3 is 24 while DDR4 26.

What about macOS and Linux?

The solution for Mac users is quite simple.

Click on the Apple menu at the top of your screen, then click “About This Mac”.

Look for “Memory” in the overview window. Here you will find basic information about your RAM.

Click on “System report to see more details. Look for “Memory” on the left-hand side.

Open a terminal on a Linux box and type the following command.

sudo dmidecode -type 17

When running a pseudo command, be prepared to enter your administrator credentials.

You will see, among other things, the type, size and speed of your RAM in the results.

Conclusion

Because RAM is an essential component of every computer, manufacturers and developers make it easy to determine exactly how much memory your PC has.

There are many methods that work faster and better than others. Find the one that suits you best and you will never wonder what RAM you have again.

 

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