How to install a ram upgrade on your pc

If your PC feels like it’s running slower than it should, you may need more RAM. A RAM upgrade is a great way to make your PC more powerful, especially if you don’t have enough of it. Here we show you how to install RAM and optimize your PC with a special performance booster.

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Get it for Mac, Android

Get it for Android, Mac

Get it for Mac, Android


Why should I upgrade my RAM??

Random Access Memory, or RAM, is equivalent to the brain’s short-term memory on your computer. Your computer uses its RAM to temporarily store any data it needs to access immediately or quickly. This way you don’t have to search through all the data on your hard drive. In other words, computers load data into their RAM for quick access.

For this reason, PC memory upgrade is a way to increase the speed and performance of your computer. The more RAM your computer has, the noticeably faster everything runs. You’ll have faster boot times, more browser tabs without interruption, higher FPS (frames per second) when gaming, more freedom to multitask with different apps, and overall faster performance.

Are you ready to test it? Read on – here’s the full guide to installing PC memory.

Holding a new RAM module by its edges in order to insert it into a PC

What exactly is the impact of a RAM upgrade?

Upgrading RAM will give your computer the resources it needs to temporarily transfer data from your hard drive to your CPU to process it. Even the fastest solid-state drives (SSDs) are sluggish compared to how quickly RAM provides your computer with the data it needs. Without RAM, or without sufficient RAM, working on your computer would become unbearably slow or not work at all.

Generally, users add more RAM to:

Note that all the reasons listed above are directly related to making your PC faster and more powerful. This is the main reason for the RAM upgrade.

Are there any risks?

Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Doing a RAM upgrade yourself is not without danger. The main danger here is that the delicate internal components of your computer can be damaged, although this can also happen every time you open the PC to look at it from the inside, or to clean a bit of the dust off it. Also, you will probably void the manufacturer’s warranty, if you have one.

Read on to learn about the most important factors in advance so you know exactly what to do when you need to upgrade your RAM.

If you would rather not do the RAM upgrade, you can still Get more performance out of your computer with a special PC optimization tool. AVG TuneUp automatically deletes junk data files, disables unnecessary software, and performs a whole host of other performance-enhancing tasks to keep your PC up to speed.

Get it for Android, Mac

Get it for Mac, Android

Get it for Android, Mac

Get it for Mac, Android

Choose your new RAM

There are some key criteria when choosing RAM for your motherboard. Ask yourself the following questions before performing a RAM upgrade on your PC:

This way you will know exactly what type and how much RAM you need to get.

How much RAM do you currently have?

The first step is to check your computer’s current amount of memory. Remember that you don’t want to determine the total memory of your computer, which is your hard drive, but only the available memory of your computer.

Checking the RAM on a PC with Windows 10

If you are using Windows 10, right click at the bottom of your desktop and select Task Manager. You can also open it by Ctrl + Switch + Esc Press. Select the tab Performance and look for your Memory. Your current RAM is displayed in gigabytes (GB).

For a more detailed overview of this process, see our guide to checking RAM on a PC.

How much RAM do you need?

Assuming your current RAM is not enough, how much RAM do you really need? It is just as possible to add too much RAM as too little RAM. You should therefore clarify this question at an early stage.

Consider the following factors when making your decision:

Main Uses: What will you mainly use your computer for? Compute-intensive tasks like high-end games and video editing require a lot more RAM, so for consistent performance, you’ll need at least 16 GB need. For normal web browsing or word processing, should be 8 GB Sufficient.

Budget: RAM is not cheap. Although you can find good deals on RAM online, it’s best to buy from reputable vendors with warranties and solid return policies.

Limitations: Your PC can only handle a certain amount of RAM. If you buy too much, you can’t use it all. Read on to find out more about the RAM limit and how to get it out.

As a rule of thumb consider 4 GB of RAM as a minimum, but rather go for 8 GB if your budget allows it. With 8 GB of RAM, you have a much higher

How much RAM is your PC rated for?

You can’t just add more RAM to your computer without checking a few things first. Every PC has two limits to its maximum RAM: its motherboard and its operating system (OS). The lower limit sets the maximum RAM for your PC.

Determining the maximum RAM for your motherboard

Your motherboard has a maximum RAM size and a fixed number of RAM slots – the physical areas where the RAM modules are located. Keep these factors in mind when evaluating how to choose RAM for your motherboard.

A PC motherboard showing the four available RAM slots

See the four slots in the upper left corner of this motherboard? This is where you install your RAM. There are four slots available on this particular motherboard, as is common today.

First find out what kind of motherboard you have. To avoid having to take your PC apart to do this, you can use a third-party tool like Speccy from CCleaner that will show you all of your computer’s core information without you having to search for it. Identify the manufacturer and model of your motherboard and look online or in your user manual for the maximum RAM capacity.

Using the Speccy tool by CCleaner to check the motherboard information on a PC

RAM modules are available in different capacities. Even if you have few RAM slots, you can reach your motherboard’s RAM maximum by buying higher capacity RAM modules. For example, if your motherboard has four RAM slots and a maximum of 32 GB of RAM is available, you can install four 8 GB RAM modules.

Make sure the memory you buy is compatible with your motherboard. Modern RAM is known as DDR4, while the previous generation is known as DDR3. A motherboard with DDR4 slots is not suitable for DDR3 RAM modules and vice versa.

Finding the RAM maximum for your operating system

All 32-bit Windows operating systems are limited to 4 GB of RAM. Even if your motherboard has the space you need, your operating system won’t be able to use the memory, and thus it will be wasted.

64-bit operating systems can handle more RAM. However, the limits vary from operating system to operating system. The 64-bit version of Windows 10 Home can access a maximum of 128 GB of RAM, while the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium can use up to 16 GB of RAM. Check online how much RAM your operating system can handle.

What kind of RAM should I get?

When you search for RAM online, the different descriptions will probably confuse you. Here we explain some of the more complex terms so you know exactly what you’re buying.

DDR4-XXXX (for example, DDR4-3200): This is the frequency of your memory. The cheapest and most commonly used RAM currently runs at 2133 to 2666 MHz. Gamers and content creators may want more power – 3200, 3600, 4000 MHz or more.

A higher frequency or "clock rate" means that the RAM can perform more calculations per second – d. h., that it can handle more activity than RAM with a lower clock speed. For example, based on numerous internal tests, we can say that our average gaming performance increased by about 15% with the blazing fast power of 4266 MHz RAM, compared to more leisurely speeds around 2666 MHz.

CLXX/Timings: This is the latency of your memory: the time it takes RAM to output data to its pins (the metal parts that connect to your motherboard). For example, descriptions like CL16-18-18-38 are displayed. This is where RAM needs 16 clock cycles to complete a task. For more information, see this complete technical breakdown of memory times and their implications.

Remember: Less latency is better. You’ll also find that super-high clocked memory – 4600 or even 5000 MHz – has higher latency, which is rather detrimental to performance. The sweet spot for many gamers is between 3600 and 4200 MHz. I personally chose a 4266 MHz system with an acceptable latency of 19.

Dual Channel vs. Quad Channel: When you buy RAM, you usually get two modules in one package as a dual-channel version, which essentially doubles the data transfer rate. On professional workstation PCs, typically with an Intel Core X or AMD Threadripper CPU, you can even get quad-channel.

Once you have determined the type of CPU or motherboard, you will know if you can use the dual or quad RAM configurations. When using a dual channel, there is a slight difference in overall performance. It is therefore always advisable to buy this kit if you can. Quad-channel memory, on the other hand, has limited impact on speed.

How to perform a RAM upgrade on a desktop PC

If you have purchased a suitable amount of RAM, you can perform a desktop memory upgrade. To perform a RAM upgrade on your desktop:

Shut down your computer and wait for it to cool down completely.

Disconnect all cables, wires and accessories.

Open the computer case. Specific instructions for your PC can be found in the user manual. You will probably have to unscrew it. So remember which screws go where. There are probably different types and sizes among them.

Opening the casing of a PC to access the motherboard

Touch a non-painted metal surface in your computer to statically discharge your body. This will help protect your computer’s delicate internal components from accidental damage.

Search for the memory. Your user manual will help you with this.

Carefully remove your current RAM modules. If your computer uses clips to hold the RAM modules in place, move them aside. This should also raise the RAM module so you can remove it easily.

Removing a RAM module from a PC motherboard

Carefully insert your new RAM modules by inserting the side with the gold connectors into the RAM slot and snapping the module into place. Properly align the notch in the RAM module so that it slides completely into the slot. Touch your RAM modules only at the corners and edges, not at the tops, and never touch the golden connectors!

A PC motherboard showing several modules of newly installed RAM

Reattach the computer case.

Reconnect all cables and connectors.

How to perform a RAM upgrade on a laptop

Is there a way to expand the RAM of a laptop? As long as you haven’t reached your system’s maximum RAM, yes! The same rules that apply to desktop RAM upgrades also apply to your laptop’s RAM cap.

Also, some laptops may not be suitable for a RAM upgrade at all. Sometimes RAM modules are soldered directly to the motherboard, so you can’t remove them yourself. Check online if your laptop has replaceable RAM.

If your laptop can handle more RAM, add it this way:

Shut down your laptop, close it and let it cool down.

Disconnect all cables, wires, and accessories.

Turn it over and place it concealed on your work surface.

Open the bottom of the case or remove the part that covers your RAM. The details here depend on the type of laptop you have. If you need to unscrew the case, remember which screw goes with which thread, as the screws may be different sizes.

Touch a non-painted metal surface in your laptop to statically discharge your body. This will help protect your laptop’s delicate internal components.

Remove the old RAM modules by carefully pushing aside the clips that hold them in place. Each RAM module should line up at an angle. To pull it out of the RAM slot.

Pick up your new RAM modules by the edges or corners. Do not touch the gold connectors or any other components on the top of the module under any circumstances!

Align the notch of your new RAM module correctly with the RAM slot. Then put it in. Push the module down until it snaps into place.

Push the RAM module down so that it lies flat in your laptop. The clips should snap back into position.

Replace the back of the laptop case, turn the laptop over and reconnect all cables and wires.

Perform a RAM upgrade check

After installing the new RAM, turn on your computer and recheck the RAM to make sure everything is working properly. You can return to Task Manager as described above, or right-click on your desktop on This PC click and Features Select.

Viewing basic computer information on a PC running Windows 10

Look for your computer’s memory information and make sure that the total amount of memory displayed matches the RAM you just installed. Congratulations – you have successfully upgraded your memory!

You can buy more RAM here

You can buy your new RAM either online or directly from a computer retailer – but in either case you should research beforehand. RAM is expensive and you should be sure you are protected by reliable warranties and return policies in case you buy the wrong RAM or something doesn’t work right. Always buy RAM from a reputable vendor.

Using only new RAM is the safest option, but also the more expensive one. You can also buy RAM from someone who refurbishes RAM. This means that the memory has been restored to a like-new condition. Note, however, that while it’s cheaper than new RAM, your warranty protection won’t last as long. You can, of course, buy used RAM, but then it’s often at your own risk and without any post-purchase customer service.

Good PC performance depends on more factors than just RAM

Although many think so, RAM is not always the most important aspect of PC performance. You may have all the RAM in the world – or at least all the RAM in your computer – but if the rest of your PC isn’t optimized for effective performance, you’re still in trouble.

AVG TuneUp removes all useless software and other data junk to increase your PC’s speed and get it back into shape. Before you open up your computer for a RAM upgrade, find out what it can do when it’s at its full potential. And even after installing a new RAM, AVG TuneUp makes sure you maximize the performance of all new memory.

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