RAM is definitely something you will want or need to upgrade over time. It is an important factor to consider due to its purpose in modern systems. First of all, RAM isn’t only used for gaming. All software and all applications performed on a computer use RAM. When it comes to gaming, it is more than just important and can make a true difference in playing the latest games.
Laptops usually come with the lower amount of RAM than desktop computers. As such, chances are high that you will need to increase the RAM capacity at some point. Before moving to anything else, we will have to reveal how to perform such a thing. Physically, this is an extremely simple task to complete.
Most laptops have 2 slots for RAM modules, which are thin green and black sticks loaded with chips. They will go in a slot located on the motherboard itself. A RAM module is 2-3 inches in length, meaning that it is almost half the length of a module used for desktop computers. To insert it, you will have to follow these steps.
- Open the cover on the laptop located on the bottom part
- There is usually one screw which has to be removed
- Pull the slot
- Insert a new module
As you can see, the entire process will take just a few minutes. Almost all laptops feature this design, but there are some differences. For example, your laptop may have both slots occupied. In that case, you will have to remove one or both RAM modules and replace them with more powerful ones.
Some laptops have the RAM cover in a different place, so you will have to remove the battery (for example) or something similar. Luckily, all of them are easy to access and you won’t need more than 1 minute.
Once done, there is no need to install any additional software, drivers or anything else. All you have to do is to literally insert the module, turn on your computer and all is done.
Here we must add the fact that different laptops support different RAM modules, of different capacities. While the first matter will be explained below, now is the time to explain the second one, regarding the supported RAM capacity. Low-end laptops may support up to 16GB of RAM. Those which are more expensive may support 32GB of RAM. High-end units will provide support for 64GB. In essence, this depends on the motherboard itself. It is displayed as the main components on system panel and on the box of the laptop. Always check the type and the capabilities of that motherboard. The last thing you want to do is to purchase 64GB module for a laptop that supports up to 32GB. RAM modules are powerful, but expensive as well.
How to check your RAM speed
While on Mac, checking the RAM speed is extremely simple (click on About this Mack), on Windows computers this is a bit more complicated. There are a lot of ways to see the size of RAM, like right click on My Computer and then Properties, but here you won’t find the speed of the RAM. Yes, you can look for system files and etc. but this is a time-consuming process which is annoying at the same time. Here are two ways which are more than just easy.
The CPU-Z is a free software used to display all the information regarding a specific computer. It is easy to use and even beginners won’t have a hard time finding the needed details. You will have to:
- Download and install CPU-Z
- Open it
- Click on Memory tab
Once you click on this tab, you will notice all the information regarding the RAM memory. There is the type, capacity, speed and etc. We are interested in the speed at the moment, so pay attention to this field. It is always shown in MHz.
If you don’t want to use software or you don’t trust it, you will have to manually check the RAM speed. To do so, you will have to:
- Remove all cables from your computer
- Open the case
- Locate RAM slots
- Press pins on both sides
- Remove a module
- Check for labeling which is usually something like ‘’DDR31600.’’
The first part of the labeling indicates the type of RAM memory. There are DDR, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, and GDDR. Of course, there are some other variations as well. This means that you must purchase a RAM module of the same type. They cannot be mixed with each other and they must be properly paired.
The second part of the labeling is used to display the operating speed of the RAM memory. The higher the speed, faster will file be positioned and accessed when stored in the RAM. In other words, you get better performances. For comparison only, think of RAM memory as a storage drive. HDD is slower, so your computer will be slower as well while using it. SSD is faster, so your computer operates much better. The situation is the same with RAM. DDR is much slower than DDR4, so you can make a difference.
Different RAM modules come with different speeds, despite the fact they are members of the same type. As such, we have a variety of differences.
- DDR- 200-400MHz
- DDR2- 400-1066MHz
- DDR3- 800-1600MHz
- DDR4- 800-2133MHz
What this list suggests is that DDR2 can be faster than DDR3 and DDR4 can be slower than DDR3. This also means that you must pay attention to the operating frequency or simply, the speed of the RAM memory module when getting one or when buying a new computer! In general, those, more affordable computers come with RAM which is slower. The highest speeds of the RAM we saw earlier are reserved for premium products. They are usually worshipped by the gamers and used by the same.
Now, when it comes to upgrading RAM on your computer, you will have to match the operating speeds and the type, as we have mentioned already. But, you can also boost the speed of the RAM, by replacing all modules on the motherboard. So, if you have two DDR3 of 1066MHz, you can replace both of them with DDR3 1600MHz. The performances are noticed instantly and they are very appealing.
How important is RAM?
The biggest question of them all is how important is the RAM memory on your computer? The simplest answer you can get is very. RAM memory is actually one of the essential components located in modern computers and one of those that can truly make a difference. Most gamers and computer experts will tell you that motherboard, processor and the RAM are the main factors to consider when looking for a new laptop or a computer.
An interesting question may be, what RAM actually does? Basically, it is a memory or a storage space which is used when the computer runs. A processor will store certain files of the apps and data on RAM and access them when you need them instead of dragging them from the hard drive again and again. All software uses RAM, so not a single program or task would run on computers without RAM.
You already know when the RAM is used. When you start the computer for the first time and open any of the software, it will start slowly and need some time. But, the next time you run the same software, it will be opened much faster. It simply means that the first time the software is run from the storage space, and the second time from the RAM memory.
Nowadays, the software requires plenty of RAM. Even Chrome browser may need 1GB of RAM! Other, more complicated and more demanding software requires, even more, RAM so you can understand why computers with 2GB of RAM don’t work properly.
Of course, we must say that the operating system uses RAM as well. For instance, Windows 10 uses almost 4GB of RAM every time you start a computer. Different operating systems use a different amount of RAMs.
RAM is essential for those who want to use their laptops for ordinary tasks, but it is mandatory for gamers and users who use high-end software, especially the one for 3D rendering and video editing. If you are one of them, keep in mind that even 8GB is not exactly sufficient.
By now you should know that RAM is more than just important and as such, it must be upgraded as soon as possible. Newer software and games will require even more RAM, so your computer will become obsolete and almost useless if you use the same RAM capacity or more than 5 years. If you are a gamer, this is even more important matter. Luckily, upgrading the RAM on a laptop is simple and easy. There is no need to look for professional help or anything similar.