Finding Random Access Memory Compatibility

Random Access Memory commonly known as RAM is a location in the computer where the OS or operating system, data in use and applications are kept so they may be accessed by the processor easily.

It is easy to read and write from RAM compared to other storage in a system such as the SSD or HDD. Till the system is on the data in RAM remains is available and once the system is turned off RAM also loses data.

It is important that the RAM is compatible with your motherboard because your computer won’t fit one that does not match your motherboard. Sometimes there will be a beeping sound to indicate that the RAM is not detected. This is why it is important that you perform proper checks before upgrading your RAM.

#About Different RAM Types

A lot of people just think that the RAM is a thing which they just buy like a pendrive and get it fit into the Motherboard, but in real-life there are actually more than 20 different types of RAM are available according to the motherboard’s support and that’s the reason why it’s important to know about your computers RAM Type at first.

Here are Details of Some Popular RAM Types: 

  • DRAM or Dynamic Random Access Memory – It is one of the commonest computer memory and needs dynamic refreshing as it is unable to hold information for too long even if the power supply is continuous. DRAM is helpful in creating RAM space for a large system. Because there are lesser components DRAM offers more memory per chip compared to SRAM. DRAM uses a capacitor and transistor to form a memory cell standing for a single bit of data.
  • SRAM or Static Random Access MemorySRAM is faster than DRAM and also costs more. Because it is fast it doesn’t need refreshing as often as DRAM or any other types of RAM. It is mostly used in processor’s cache memory. SRAM uses flip-flops to hold memory. It uses between 4 and 6 transistors for a single memory cell.
  • FPM DRAM or Fast Page Mode Dynamic Random Access Memory – is one of the best in the section of slow RAMs. Memory buses above 66 MHz should avoid this RAM.
  • SDRAM or Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory – It works in a Single Data Rate so it performs one task in one clock style. The DDR RAM was introduced because of this disadvantage.
  • DDR or Double Data Rate – This RAM consumes lesser energy and works faster than the SDRAM. It is highly capable of transferring data.
  • DDR 2 – This version of RAM was introduced in 2003 and its speed is twice more than DDR. The chips of DDR 2 are different than the earlier version.
  • DDR 3 – A better version of the DDR 2, the DDR 3 was introduced in the market in 2007 and offers double speed than the DDR 2 with further less power consumption than its predecessor. It transfers rate is usually between 800 and 1600 MBps.
  • DDR 4 – The latest one is the DDR4 and is the best among the variations. The DDR4 was introduced in 2007. This RAM is highly efficient and offer better scalability, reliability and performance.

Every RAM technology is better than the previous one and runs on low voltage. If your system has been designed for DDR3 technology then it won’t support DDR4 modules of RAM. This is because the location of the notch is different for each one of them and the different memory technologies are not compatible with each other. This is the reason why a motherboard will usually support just one type of memory technology.

#Finding Computer’s RAM Type Support

Before you can upgrade your system with a new RAM it is best that you find about the RAM type that your computer supports. There are four different ways of doing it.

 Follow These Methods to Determine the RAM Type of Your Computer:

  1. CPU-Z – This is a free to download software that will let give you the details of some important devices on your system which include memory type, timings, size and module specs along with others like processor name and number, process, codename, mainboard and chipset etc.

Once you install it will create a program entry on the desktop and the start menu. You just need to run the executable file and the prompts will guide you through with the installation.

Double click on the shortcut to reveal a prompt box with different tabs under which you will see the different specs and information. Click on the Memory and SPD tab to draw information on your RAM.

Once you read the details of your RAM type you may uninstall the program. Simply go to Settings > Add Remove Programs and Remove CPU-Z. You can also uninstall it from the start menu.

  1. Internet or Suggestion Tools – Internet has all your answers. One of the easiest ways to find the RAM type of your system motherboard is to type in the model number of your system and motherboard on any search engine.

Once you get the results, just open the support page for that specific model on the manufacturer’s website and it will display all the specification. You will find the relevant information about your RAM type here.

You can also use a simple to use a tool known as Crucial. You need to use the drop-down and select the relevant options to get your RAM type. Crucial is a simple tool and has used the details you can pick the compatible upgrade that is fit for your motherboard.

  1. RAM has Details – If you look at the RAM then there is a sticker that has the details of its type too. Most RAMs will have this sticker but if you don’t find it on your RAM or the sticker is missing or not visible properly then use the model number to find out the details from the internet.
  2. Manually – You need to find out the printed voltage on the RAM socket that is supplied by the motherboard to the RAM. This will tell you what RAM your system is using. It is quite easy just follow the steps below.
  • To begin with, you need to unplug the power supply of your computer and make sure you unplug all the peripherals connected to it such as keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
  • Put down your computer so you can access the motherboard and unscrew the panel. Make sure there is no static build-up on your body. Make sure you use an anti-static metal band.
  • Locate the RAM socket on the motherboard and find the voltage that is printed on the RAM socket, and then look for how many notches the RAM Slot has and that will help you to determine which type of RAM that motherboard supports.
RAM Type No. Of Notches Voltage
 RD-RAM  Two  2.5V
 SD-RAM  Two  3.3V
 DDR-RAM  One  2.5V
 DDR2-RAM  One  1.8V
 DDR3-RAM  One  1.5V
 DDR4-RAM  One  1.2/1.3V

  • Read the RAM type that your motherboard supports and close back the panel safely and plug in the power and the other peripherals back in their place.

#Difference of MHz in RAM and How Motherboards Have Compatibility Limitations

MHz or megahertz is used to determine the speed of RAM. The maximum number of clock cycles per second that RAM functions on is MHz so if it a double DDR its communication would be twice in each cycle. The chips are names after their bandwidth and not just their frequency.

So, it is important to know that the motherboard can run at that clock. Every RAM has its own speed, latency, timings, voltage etc. and using two different ones on a single motherboard shouldn’t be attempted. If you try to you may end up with a Blue Screen of Death or any other RAM related issue.

#Finding Maximum RAM’s MHz. Support

If you wish to find the RAM MHz support of your computer or laptop, then you can do it by checking the specs of your system’s motherboard. So, just search the Model no. of your laptop or motherboard on the internet and click on the manufacturer’s website for the actual Maximum RAM’s MHz. limit Support;

And not just RAM MHz. support, you’ll also need to confirm about the highest memory size support too, before upgrading any.

Always remember that RAM MHz is not listed in the system properties and to find the Bandwidth of installed RAM, Windows 10 users need to right click on the taskbar and select Task Manager. Now on the upper menu, click on Performance and then click on Memory. You will find all the details of your RAM including its size and speed.

Another way of checking the RAM speed on Windows 10 is to run the command:

  • Just type ‘Run’ in the search or Cortana in the taskbar to open the Run Command.
  • Now type cmd and press enter.
  • Then type “wmic memorychip get speed”.
  • The speed of your RAM will be flashed on your screen.

“And that’s all for now, thanks for sticking with the article, and you know it will always good to let me know about the tutorial, in the comments down below.” 🙂


  1. stumbled across your page while searching for a solution to my problem, and got to going through a bunch of other stuff.I like the fact that you make this easy to understand and cure most problems.glad I stumbled upon it and will continue to do so in the future and recommend you to friends. thanks.

  2. I found a more easier way than this-
    1)Just call hp customer care.
    2)Give them your pc serial no.(to know this just open cmd in admin and type- wmic bios get serialnumber then press enter)
    3)They will transfer you to the tech department.
    4)Ask the tech department to check the info. give them your serial number.
    5)And finally note the info they give.
    Now search on net by the ram specs eg: ddr3 dimm 1600
    buy it and install it……


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