How to Find Your RAM Speed, Type, and Size on Windows 10 and macOS
More people use computers than ever before, yet the technicalities of hardware specifications remain a confusing “minefield” for many. One of the trickiest areas to make sense of can be your computer’s RAM (Random Access Memory).
Whether upgrading your RAM, building a custom PC, or trying to understand computer hardware, it’s essential to know how computer memory works and how to view it when a computer is running. Here’s a guide to finding your RAM speed, size, type, and more.
Depending on your level of computer knowledge, there are some basics you should know before going into the tutorial. Of course, if you already know what you’re looking for, feel free to skip ahead.
What is RAM?
The Random Access Memory, otherwise known as RAM, is your system’s memory and is responsible for storing the crucial information needed to run an OS and all programs you use on a computer. RAM serves as a short-term memory bank on every tech device (computers, smartphones, tablets, etc.). Whether you use an SSD or HDD, the machine operates faster when accessing and running files on a computer.
Although your device’s CPU holds critical information that gets executed, like information about your operating system, apps, and things of this nature, your computer would run much slower without RAM because there’s a limit to the amount of cache memory in a CPU. The PC has to use the SSD or HDD for temporary cache storage.
Why You Need to Know How Much RAM Your Computer Has
The most common reason for knowing how much RAM your system has is to ensure a game or application runs smoothly. Before purchasing RAM that your system may not support, knowing your system’s capabilities prevents you from suffering sore disappointment and irritation.
You may also need to know the details of your RAM if you’re looking to upgrade your system. Knowing what you have and what’s compatible with the components you intend to install is vital to prevent making a costly error.
How Much RAM Do You Need?
Determining how much RAM you need is very simple. There’s no reason to have less than 8GB of RAM; honestly, that’s low for most applications. 16GB RAM is ideal unless you’re a heavy gamer or use computer-aided design (CAD) or video editing programs. In that case, it’s best to go with at least 32GB of RAM. You can get away with less memory, but performance gets hindered.
Finding Your RAM Speed, Size, and Type in Windows 10
Finding out how much RAM exists in your PC is incredibly simple. Although this information won’t give you much insight into your computer’s performance, it will tell you what your system can handle.
Use Windows Settings to Check Your RAM Specs
- To find how much RAM your system has, press “Win + I” to access your PC’s settings or use the “Start Menu.”
- Then, click on “System.”
- Next, click “About” on the left-hand side and view your RAM on the right.
The “About” screen in Windows 10 is the simplest method to identify your installed RAM, but continue reading if you need more information than the “About” section provides.
View RAM Information via Windows 10 Command Prompt
The best method of finding out the details of your computer’s RAM is using the Windows 10 Command Prompt or PowerShell. Other built-in applications like “System Information” and the “Control Panel” only show partial details like the size, type, or both. Here’s how to view extensive RAM specs on your PC.
- Type “cmd” in Cortana’s search box, then click on “Command Prompt” in the list.
- Type the following code into the command prompt and press enter:
wmic MemoryChip get MemoryType, Name, Capacity, Configuredclockspeed, DeviceLocator, FormFactor, Manufacturer, Serialnumber, Speed
- For more advanced details, you can add other aliases:
ConfiguredVoltage, DataWidth, MaxVoltage, CreationClassName, InterleavePosition
Note that some aliases may not show any information.
- To see all alias options, type the following and look under the “FULL” section:
WMIC MemoryChip List /?
View RAM Information via Windows 10 PowerShell
- Right-click the Windows 10 “Start Menu” and select “PowerShell.” You don’t need to use admin privileges for this task.
- Type the following code into PowerShell:
Get-CimInstance -ClassName Win32_PhysicalMemory | Format-Table Capacity, Manufacturer, MemoryType, FormFactor, Name, Configuredclockspeed, Speed, Devicelocator, Serialnumber -AutoSize
- For a complete list of properties (Speed, Serial Number, FormFactor, etc.), visit the following page about Win32_PhysicalMemory Properties.
View Windows 10 Memory Details via CPU-Z
- Download CPU-Z and run the executable. You’ll most likely need the “CLASSIC VERSIONS” option.
- Navigate to the “Memory” tab to view how many slots your PC has, the installed memory type (DDR, DDR2, DDR3, etc.), and the RAM size (GB). You’ll also see real-time information on the RAM’s running frequency plus a detailed breakdown of latency and clock speeds, should you require it.
Finding Your RAM Speed, Size, and Type in macOS
As with almost everything Apple, finding the necessary details about your memory is simple. You can utilize the process to view general information about your RAM.
- Click the “Apple” logo and select “About This Mac.” Your simplistic RAM information gets displayed in the “Overview” tab.
- Should you require a more in-depth report, a full technical breakdown is available by clicking “System Report,” which separates components into tabs, including memory, processor, hard drive, etc.
- To view the real-time memory usage on your Mac running the latest software, open “Spotlight” by pressing “Cmd + Space Bar,” then type “Activity Monitor.” Click on the associated link to open it, and then select the “Memory” tab.
You can also access real-time memory information by opening “Finder,” clicking on “Applications,” then selecting “Utilities,” followed by “Activity Monitor,” and then choosing the “Memory” tab.
As you’ve now seen, there are several choices you can make when finding out the specifications of your RAM, some a little more cumbersome than others. If you prefer a friendly GUI, then stray away from the command line tools and use something like CPU-Z.
Windows/Mac RAM Specs and Requirements FAQs
How do I check the RAM manufacturer in Windows 10?
You can check your memory’s manufacturer in Windows 10 using the Command Prompt, Powershell, or a third-party tool.
1. Launch the “Command Prompt,” type “wmic memorychip get manufacturer” without quotes, and press “Enter.”
2. Alternatively, launch “Powershell,” type “Get-WmiObject win32_physicalmemory | select manufacturer” without quotes, and then press “Enter.”
3. For third-party tools, search for one or use “CPU-Z” and click the “SPD” tab.
How do I check whether I have DDR3 or DDR4 SDRAM?
The easiest method to identify whether you have DDR3 or DDR4 memory is to use CPU-Z. Click on the “Memory” tab and look for “Type” within the “General” section.