How to find out how much RAM your computer supports
Some users need to know how much RAM the computer supports in order to perform the correct steps to upgrade their device. This is needed when the user wants to add one stick or several sticks of memory to the motherboard in order to increase the amount of RAM.
Random access memory (RAM), along with other important components of a computer configuration (central processing unit, hard drive, video card, and so on), significantly affects the overall performance of a laptop or desktop PC.
Therefore, often an increase in the size of RAM entails an increase in the performance of a laptop or desktop PC. But for the right decision, you need to know in advance how much RAM you need to install.
RAM (Random Access Memory) is a physical module that performs the functions of random access memory, which is installed in the appropriate slot on the computer motherboard. On the motherboard, there are usually several slots dedicated to the use of RAM modules.
You will need to purchase one or more RAM modules in the kit, or as they are also called sticks of RAM, and then install them on a laptop or desktop PC. But in order not to make a mistake when buying, we need to check the type of memory supported (for example, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, DDR5), form factor, frequency, timings, and most importantly, how much memory the motherboard supports.
The question is what is the maximum amount of RAM supported on your device. Is it already maxed out or is there still room for an upgrade. You need to know how much RAM you can put in so that the purchase is not useless.
In this guide, you will find out how much RAM is currently installed on your computer and how much RAM can be installed on your device.
How to find out how much RAM is installed on the computer
First you need to look at how much memory is installed on your computer in order to know in advance how much RAM the motherboard supports, is it possible to increase the amount of RAM.
Follow these steps to find out how much memory your PC has:
- On Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating systems, launch the Settings app.
- Open “System” and then “About” (“About”).
- In the “Device Specifications” section, in the name of the device “RAM”, you will see the current amount of installed RAM.
In this case, the PC has 8 GB of memory.
All OS: Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 can use the System Information app. The utility can be launched from the list of programs, or using the Run dialog box, after entering the command “msinfo32”.
In the System Information application window, among other information, find the item “Installed Random Access Memory (RAM)”, which will indicate the current value.
Useful information can be obtained in the Task Manager of Windows 11 or Windows 10:
- Right click on the start menu.
- In the menu that opens, click on the “Task Manager” item.
- In the Task Manager window, open the Performance tab.
- Click Memory.
- Hover your mouse cursor over “Nest Usage”. Among other characteristics, it shows the total and occupied number of RAM slots on the motherboard. In our case, 2 out of 4 is occupied.
- A pop-up window will display information about the use of sockets: you will find out how many memory sticks are installed.
This computer has two 4 GB RAM modules operating in dual-channel mode. There are 2 free slots on the system board, in which you can additionally install two sticks of RAM.
How to find out how much RAM a PC supports on the command line
Now it’s time to find out how much RAM your laptop or desktop PC supports. How much RAM a motherboard supports depends on the manufacturer and model of the device.
If you want to use more RAM than your computer has, you will need to replace the motherboard.
Windows users can determine the maximum amount of RAM on the command line with the command below. You will see the value in kilobytes, which can be converted to gigabytes for easier understanding.
Go through the steps:
- In the Windows search box, type “CMD”.
- Launch the application on your computer.
- In the command line interpreter window, enter the command, and then press the “Enter” key:
wmic memphysical get MaxCapacity, MemoryDevices
The “MaxCapacity” column shows the maximum amount of RAM in kilobytes, and the “MemoryDevices” column shows the total number of slots on the motherboard that can be used for this amount.
To find out how much maximum RAM you can use on your computer, you will need to divide the resulting value by “1048576”. This action will convert KB to GB.
In my case, the maximum amount of RAM is 32 GB. There are 4 memory slots on the motherboard, which means the maximum amount of RAM per slot is 32/4 = 8 GB.
Obtaining information from the motherboard manufacturer’s website
You can collect information online to check the maximum supported RAM for your laptop or desktop PC. The best option is to use the official website of the device manufacturer. The sites of large trading platforms are also suitable, where there is usually detailed information about the equipment being sold.
You need to find out the motherboard model on your computer. Read about it in another article on the site.
Use the name of the motherboard model or laptop model to find useful information about the characteristics of this device in the search.
In addition to the properties of the motherboard, the maximum size of RAM is affected by the characteristics of the processor and the bit depth of the Windows operating system.
Look at the official website of the manufacturer for the maximum memory size supported by the central processor of your computer.
Keep in mind that 32-bit versions of Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 operating systems have a total memory limit of 4 GB, while the Windows 7 Starter version has a limit of 2 GB. This means that even though the PC will have more RAM physically installed, the system will only see and use up to 4 GB of memory.
In 64-bit versions of Windows, such restrictions have almost no effect on the maximum RAM size. Exceptions apply only to Windows 7 Home Premium – 16 GB and Windows 7 Home Basic – 8 GB.
RAM size is not the only thing to consider when choosing RAM. You will experience diminishing returns in most use cases once you hit 16GB, and to a greater extent 32GB.
The next RAM factor to pay attention to is the frequency (measured in MHz), which also matters up to a certain point.
To improve computer performance, the user can increase the amount of RAM on his device. First you need to determine the current size of RAM, and then the maximum amount of RAM for your computer. If your PC supports more memory than is currently installed, you can install additional RAM modules on your device.