When looking for a PC, one of the most important things to consider is the RAM. It would help if you got big enough RAM to allow you to run apps and videos comfortably on your PC or laptop.
RAMs vary in size since people have different needs for their systems. You might get a PC with RAM, but the original is not enough to work as you need it to.
In this situation, you will need more RAM, and luckily, most PC and laptops are expandable. Let us look at RAMs in detail to see how much you need and how to know its compatible;
How To Know if RAM Will Fit Motherboard
You will need to look at your motherboard’s specifications to know for certain if the RAM will fit. Generally, laptops have smaller RAMs while PC’s have bigger RAM. You have to get the same number of pins on the RAM as your motherboard for the RAM to fit and this is the best way to know since the spacing between the pins is the same, only the number changes.
Details On Getting RAM That Will Fit In Your Motherboard
The RAM compatibility always relates to your motherboard. Before you look for RAM, you need to figure out what motherboard your system has. Knowing your motherboard specifications is the best way of getting RAM that fits into it.
The first thing you need is your motherboard’s generation. The generation on RAM and motherboards is typically DDR with a number, i.e., DDR3. Your motherboard will specify the RAM it can use, most likely DDR4 or DDR3.
You need to ensure the RAM generation is the same as your motherboard since motherboards aren’t backward compatible.
This means that you have to use DDR3 RAM on a DDR3 motherboard; any other RAM won’t work.
Apart from this, you also need to look at the physical attributes of the stick at hand. RAM sticks vary in size and number of pins.
Know what your PC needs and get the correct measurement since the RAM has to go into the slot before compatibility.
Generally speaking, DDR4 RAMs have 288 pins for PCs and 260 pins for laptops. DDR3 RAMs are smaller, with 240 pins for PCs and 240 pins for laptops. If you put these details into account, your PC should work with the RAM you get.
You can use a tool like CPU-Z to help you know your motherboard’s model. It will give you the generation, model number, and everything you need to get the right RAM for your PC.
Details On RAM Compatibility
RAM is a crucial aspect of any high-performance PC or laptop since it ensures that the CPU gets the data it needs at the right time.
If you miss out on the compatibility of the RAM sticks, your PC will not turn on until you unplug it, so let us help you avoid this:
- RAM your motherboard can support
After you know the generation of RAM your rig needs, you need to check the maximum memory it supports so you don’t get too much RAM.
Each motherboard has a maximum amount of RAM it can support, and anything above that is a waste and can at times mess up your PC’s performance.
Some motherboards can only support 32GB, while others go as high as 256 GB. It will be there if you get more RAM, but it won’t make any difference in your PC’s performance past the motherboard’s limit.
You also need to check how many RAM slots are on your motherboard. Normal-sized systems usually have four, but the number can be two on compact boards or eight or more on premium, higher performance boards.
Buy as many slots as your board can support to avoid wasting money since RAM sticks can get expensive.
- RAM to RAM compatibility
If you want to upgrade a system with more than one stick, you must ensure you don’t mismatch RAM. You should try to make all your sticks identical to give them the best chance of working well together.
Look at the RAM’s specifications in the computer and see if you can get more of the same module.
If this is not an option, make sure that the RAM frequency you want to add is the same as that of the original module.
The frequency will not be a big problem if you use a RAM stick on a motherboard since it is backward compatible.
This means that you can use a stick with a RAM stick of 3000 Hz on a 2660 Hz motherboard, and it will work to the motherboard’s full potential.
RAM Upgrade Guide
There are a lot of questions on upgrading RAM; which type do you need? Can you mix brands? How should you upgrade your system? Let us answer all of these questions and make you a professional at upgrading your PC.
- Mixing and matching between speeds
This is something that most people are concerned about, and they want to know if you can use RAMs of different speeds. This is a complicated topic, and it can be yes or no, depending on your system.
In theory, it can work, but you will get compatibility issues, and system crashes. The problems will worsen as you get into bigger capacities like 16GB sticks. Get all your memories to the same frequency since a slower stick will slow down the whole system.
Say you have a 3000 GHz stick and a 2000 GHz stick; the CPU will want to use both RAMs; thus, it will run at a speed that they can both handle. In this case, it will use 200 GHz, and you will be wasting the 300 GHz stick.
- What about Brands?
On a certain level, memory is memory; if you have two kits with the same specifications, they will have the same performance regardless of their brands.
Pick a brand based on the warranty they offer, design, product reliability, prices, and your past experiences.
One thing you need to watch out for is the sub-timings. Different brands will handle automatic sub-timing settings differently.
This means you might have compatibility issues when the stick brands are different, even if the sticks have similar specifications.
For the best experience, use the same brand with the same model; the bottom line is, make sure the sticks are identical or as close to identical as you can get.
- Stick sizes and number
If you want 8 GB of RAM, traditionally, people recommend two 4GB sticks instead of one 8GB stick.
Using two sticks will help you take advantage of dual-channel speeds, which will effectively double your bandwidth.
A dual-channel connection will significantly boost your performance with an integrated graphics system. There won’t be a noticeable difference with a dual-channel kit for those with a dedicated graphics card.
If you are already buying a high-capacity stick, you can get two of them to get the correct memory for your system.
If you buy a stick intending to upgrade it later, buy a single high capacity stick rather than two low capacity ones.
This means you will use less space to install the sticks. Thus you get more space to add RAM in the future should you need more memory.
How Much RAM Do You Need?
You must have RAM in your PC, and there are a lot of factors that determine how much RAM you need.
More budget laptops have 4GB RAM and high-end options with 32GB RAM. But is it worth paying more for that?
It is worth getting at least 8GB unless you are on a tight budget, even if you don’t plan to do anything more than primary productivity with your computer.
Many apps are becoming heavier, and even Google can eat into your memory and take gigabytes if you open many tabs.
What if you are gaming? The answer becomes more complicated since most games recommend 16GB of memory.
The fact is, most of these requirements are not valid, and some of these games will run perfectly on 8GB RAM.
However, as games get more complex, this may not be the case as most games will use more than 8GB of RAM.
Having a small memory will hinder you from doing anything else while playing a game, such as streaming.
The best size to use for a gamer or streamer is 16GB since it will allow you to do both simultaneously unless you are playing less demanding titles.
Of course, most motherboards have RAM slots for expansion, so you can always install more sticks should the need arise.
If it doesn’t max out, there isn’t a reason to upgrade because your PC won’t use the extra memory.
You can know that a RAM stick will fit into your motherboard by looking at its physical attributes and operational features. A compatible RAM stick should be of the same generation as the motherboard, and it should be the correct size.
Choosing the right RAM for your system might be a complex process if you dint know the ropes. Make sure you know your motherboard’s specifications to get the correct RAM. The better choice would be to take out the original and find a replica to replace or add to it.