How to Find Your RAM Speed, Type, and Size on Windows 10 and macOS
More people use computers than ever before, and 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 you’re upgrading your RAM, building a custom PC, or simply trying to understand computer hardware more, it’s important to know how computer memory works and how to view it when a computer is running. Here’s a guide on how to find out your RAM speed, size, type, and more.
Depending on your level of computer knowledge, there are some basics we’d like to cover before going into our tutorial. Of course, if you already know what you’re looking for and why; 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 of the programs that you use on a computer. Put in layman’s terms, it acts as a short-term memory bank on every tech device we have these days (computers, smartphones, tablets, etc.), and, regardless of whether you use an SSD or HDD operates faster when accessing and running files on a computer.
Although your devices’ CPU holds critical information that’s being executed, such as information about your operating system, apps, and things of this nature, if not for the RAM, your computer would run much slower because there’s a limit to the amount of cache memory in a CPU.
Why You Need to Know How Much RAM Your Computer Has
The most common reason you’ll want to know how much RAM your system has is to make sure that a game or application will run smoothly. Knowing your system’s capabilities before making a purchase that your system may not support is going to prevent 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 very expensive error.
How Much RAM Do You Need?
Determining how much RAM you actually need is very simple. There’s no reason to have less than 4GB of RAM and honestly, that’s really low for most applications. 8GB of RAM is ideal unless you’re a serious gamer or you use CAD programs or video editing programs. In that case, it’s best to go with at least 16GB of RAM.
Finding Your RAM Speed, Size, and Type in Windows 10
Finding out how much RAM is currently installed on your PC is incredibly simple. Although, this won’t give you much insight into your computer’s performance, it will tell you what your system should be capable of.
- To find how much RAM is installed simply use the Win+I keyboard shortcut to access your PC’s Settings.
- Then, click on System.
- Next, click About on the left-hand side and view your RAM on the right.
This is the simplest method, but if you need more information, continue reading.
View RAM Information via Windows 10 Command Prompt
By far, 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 information like the size, type, or both. Here’s how to view extensive RAM details on your PC.
- Type “cmd” in Cortana’s search box and 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, installed memory type (DDR, DDR2, DDR3, etc.), and 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 everything Apple, the process for finding necessary details about your hardware is super-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 be after 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, and other components.
3. To view the real-time memory usage on your Mac running the latest software, use Spotlight to search for “Activity Monitor,” then click on the associated link to open it, and then select the Memory tab.
4. You can also access real-time memory information by opening Finder, clicking Applications, then selecting the Utilities Folder, followed by Activity Monitor and choosing the Memory tab.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Check the RAM Manufacturer in Windows 10?
You can check your memory’s manufacturer in Windows 10 using Command Prompt, Powershell, or a third-party tool.
1. In Command Prompt, type “wmic memorychip get manufacturer” without quotes and hit Enter.
2. In Powershell, type “Get-WmiObject win32_physicalmemory | select manufacturer” without quotes and then hit Enter.
3. As 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.
Finding Your RAM Specs
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 nice GUI, then stray away from the command line tools.
Were you able to find your RAM details? Are you trying to replace or upgrade your PC’s memory? Let us know below.