How to Install RAM

Опубликовал Admin
12-05-2019, 16:00
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Updated: April 4, 2019 Has your computer started to feel a little sluggish? Maybe it’s not performing like it used to, or can’t keep up with the latest software? Upgrading your RAM (Random Access Memory) is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to quickly improve your computer’s performance. RAM can be upgraded on virtually any computer, and only takes a screwdriver and a few minutes. Read on after the jump to learn how.

Installing Desktop RAM

  1. Find out what type of RAM is required for your desktop computer. RAM comes in a variety of models and speeds. The type of RAM you can get is dependent on your computer’s motherboard. Check your motherboard or computer’s documentation, or check the manufacturer’s website for the RAM specifications that are compatible with your hardware.
    • RAM is available as DDR (double data rate), DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4. Most newer computers use DDR3 or 4. You must get the type that matches what your motherboard supports
    • RAM is identified by two different speed numbers: the PC/PC2/PC3 number and the MHz speed. Make sure that both match your motherboard’s specifications.
      • The PC number (ex. PC3 12800) refers to the maximum bandwidth (ex. 12800 = 12.8 GB maximum bandwidth).
      • The speed of the RAM is signified by the number after the DDR specification (ex. DDR3 1600 = 1600 MHz).
  2. Check how many sockets you have for RAM. Your motherboard has a limit to the number of RAM sticks you can install. Some motherboards support only two, while others support four, six, or even more.
    • Most motherboards have a limit to the amount of memory that they support, regardless of the number of slots.
    • iMacs use notebook memory, so refer to the next section for instructions on how to install it.
  3. Browse the options. You can find RAM from a variety of different manufacturers, and for a wide variety of prices. Manufacturers vary in quality, and a large percentage of RAM ships dead on arrival. Some of the most reliable companies include:
    • Corsair
    • Kingston
    • Crucial
    • G. Skill
    • OCZ
    • Patriot
    • Mushkin
    • A-Data
  4. Make your purchase. Once you’ve decided on a manufacturer, you can pick your RAM. When buying desktop RAM, be sure to buy SDRAM. RAM is best installed in matching pairs, so you may need to buy two or four sticks to get the amount of RAM that you want.
    • For example, to get 8 GB or RAM you might install two 4 GB sticks or four 2 GB sticks. Make sure that what you get can fit in your motherboard. Try to install RAM in pairs such a if you want 4 GB, then install 2 GB and 2GB. Never install them in different pairs such as one is 2 GB and the other one is 1 GB etc., it might decrease your RAM performance.
    • All of the RAM you have installed should have matching speed and bandwidth. If they don’t match, your system will be clocked down to the slowest stick, reducing performance.
    • Double check what your motherboard supports before committing to the purchase.
  5. Shut down the computer. Unplug the computer and any peripherals connected to the computer, such monitors, keyboards, and mice.
  6. Open your computer case. Lay your computer tower on its side, so that you can access the motherboard when the side panel is removed. You may need a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the panel, or you may be able to unscrew it by hand.
  7. Discharge any static. Ensure that you do not have static build-up on your body. Static can damage computer parts, and can be imperceptible to a human. Ground yourself before starting, or use an antistatic wrist strap.
    • You can ground yourself by touching a metal part on your computer case while it is unplugged from the wall. Simply being turned off does not remove any standby voltages, so make sure it's unplugged.
    • Don’t stand on carpet while working on the interior of the computer.
  8. Locate your RAM sockets. Most motherboards have 2 or 4 RAM slots. RAM sockets are typically located near the CPU, though their location may vary depending on the manufacturer or model. Refer to your motherboard’s layout diagram in your documentation if you are having difficulty locating the sockets.
  9. Remove old RAM (if upgrading). If you are replacing old RAM, remove it by releasing the clamps on each side of the socket. The RAM will be released from the socket, and you’ll be able to lift it straight out of the motherboard with little to no effort.
  10. Take your new RAM out of its protective packaging. Carefully remove the Ram from the shielded packaging. Grip it from the sides to avoid touching the contacts on the bottom or the circuitry on the board.
  11. Insert the RAM into the RAM slot. Line up the notch in the stick of RAM to the break in the slot. Set the stick into the slot and then apply equal pressure onto the stick until the clamps on the side click and lock the RAM in. You may have to apply a fair amount of pressure, but never force it in.
    • Make sure matching pairs are inserted into their matching sockets. Most are labeled on the board or by color, though you may need to refer to your motherboard layout diagram. Make sure that they are facing the same way.
    • Repeat the process for each stick of RAM you want to install.
  12. Remove dust using a bottle of compressed air. While you have the computer open, this can be a quick fix for general overheating and performance issues. Compressed air cans are available at any office supply store. Do not blow air too closely at the computer.
  13. Close up the computer. Once you’ve finished inserting your RAM sticks, you can put the panel back on and screw it back in. Avoid running your computer while the panel is off, as this will actually reduce the cooling power of your fans. Plug your peripherals and monitor back in.
  14. Power on the computer. Your computer should start normally. If your computer displays the self-test during the startup, then you can verify that the RAM has been installed correctly. If not, you can verify that the RAM was installed once Windows starts.
  15. Check the RAM in Windows. Press The Windows key + Pause/Break to open the System Properties. You can also click the Start menu, right click on Computer/My Computer and click Properties. Your RAM will be listed in the System section or at the bottom of the window.
    • Operating systems calculate memory differently and some computers dedicate a certain amount of RAM to specific functions (e.g., video), decreasing the amount available. For example, you may have purchased 1 gigabyte of RAM. The operating system may only display 0.99 gigabytes.
  16. Run Memtest. If you still aren’t sure that your memory was installed correctly, or that it may not be functioning properly, you can run the free Memtest program to check the memory sticks. The test may take a while to run, but will discover any errors and display how much is installed.

Installing Notebook RAM

  1. Find out what type of RAM is required for your laptop computer. RAM comes in a variety of models and speeds. The type of RAM you can get is dependent on your computer. Check your laptop’s documentation, or check the manufacturer’s website for the RAM specifications that are compatible with your hardware.
  2. Ground yourself. Before opening any panels on your laptop, make sure you are properly grounded to prevent damaging your components. You can ground yourself by touching a metal part on your computer case while it is unplugged from the wall. Simply being turned off does not remove any standby voltages.
  3. Unplug your notebook (if plugged in). Remove the battery from the back of the laptop and then press the Power button to discharge any remaining power in the capacitors.
  4. Check how many sockets you have. Your notebook’s RAM can be accessed by removing the panel on the bottom of the computer. There are usually a few different panels, so look for the one with the memory icon, or check you manual. You will need a very small Phillips-head screwdriver in order to remove the panel.
    • Most notebooks only have two sockets, while some only have one. Higher-end notebooks may have more slots.
  5. Determine if your RAM needs to be installed in pairs. Most laptop RAM, or SODIMM, does not require matching pairs when being installed. When it is required, it is because the pairs are on the same memory bank, which should be clearly labeled either on the laptop or in your documentation.
  6. Remove old RAM (if upgrading). If you are replacing old RAM, remove it by releasing any clamps on the side of the socket. You can release the clamps by pressing down on them. The RAM will pop up at a little bit of an angle. Lift the SODIMM to a 45° angle and then pull it out of the socket.
  7. Remove your new RAM from the protective packaging. Make sure to only grip the stick from the sides to avoid touching the contacts or the circuitry on the stick itself.
  8. Line up the notch in the SODIMM stick with the break in the slot. The side with the chips does not matter when installing the SODIMM sticks, all that matters is that the notches line up. Slide the SODIMM into the slot at a 45° angle.
    • If you have multiple free slots, install RAM in the lowest number first.
  9. Push down on the SODIMM. Once the stick is installed at a 45° angle, you can press it down into the base of the laptop until the clamps lock into place. The RAM is now installed.
  10. Test the RAM. Flip the laptop around, plug it in and turn it on. Your computer should boot up normally. You may need to enter the BIOS in order for your RAM to be detected, or it may be detected automatically when you enter your operating system.
    • You can run Memtest if you feel like the RAM isn’t performing properly or may be defective.
  11. Close up the laptop. Once you’ve confirmed that your new RAM has been properly installed, you can close up the laptop. Reinstall the panel on the bottom that protects the SODIMM sticks.


  • A good website to use is the Crucial memory website as they have a memory adviser tool which tells you how much and what type of ram your computer takes. You can also buy memory from here
  • If you hear anything other than a single beep lasting one second, check your motherboards' documentation for an explanation of beep codes. Beep codes are a warning system when one or more components fail the POST (Power On Self Test), and is usually due to malfunctioning or incompatible hardware.
  • If you are getting a beep when you turn on the computer, you have either installed an incorrect memory type, or you have installed the memory modules incorrectly. If this is a computer that you purchased at a store, you should contact the store or the manufacturer of the computer to find out what the beep code means.
  • Don't be alarmed if the computer shows you slightly less RAM memory than you purchased. This is a difference in measurement or memory allocation. If the RAM memory size is largely different than what you purchased and installed, then a chip may not be connected properly or may be defective.
  • Memory requirements by operating system:
    • Windows Vista and later: 1 GB for 32-bit and 2 GB; 2 GB recommended for 32-bit and 4 GB for 64-bit
    • Windows XP: 64 MB minimum, 128 MB recommended
    • Mac OS X 10.6 and later: 2 GB required.
    • Ubuntu: 512 MB recommended.


  • Do not insert RAM modules backwards. After the computer is turned on with the RAM modules backwards, the RAM slot and the offending RAM module are damaged. In rare cases, it may damage the motherboard.
  • If you do not feel comfortable opening a computer, take the computer to a professional. Since you purchased the RAM modules yourself, it should not be too expensive to have someone else install it.
  • Make sure to discharge any possible static buildup before touching RAM; it is extremely sensitive to ESD (Electro-Static Discharge). Do this by touching metal before touching your computer.
  • Do not touch the metal parts on the RAM modules. This may cause damage to the RAM modules.
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