How To Check RAM Speed
There are several reasons to check your RAM speed. For one, knowing the clock speed can tell you whether you can run certain apps or games. RAM speed can also be an indicator of something not working properly with your system. That is, of course, if you know the baseline value.
The higher RAM speeds the more applications and processes you can run at one time. Unlike the memory on your SSD or HDD, RAM is the current memory and not the total amount of information stored on your device. So, if your RAM speeds are low, your programs will run slower or have problems.
Here are just some of the ways to check your device’s RAM information whether you’re using a Windows PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet.
Checking RAM in Windows
Windows makes it easy to check how much RAM is being used and how much is available at any given time. There are three ways to do this:
1. Control Panel
To bring up Control Panel, you can simply type its name into the Windows search bar and then click on the icon showing in the results. From this folder, you should look for System and Security.
Look for the phrase “View amount of RAM and processor speed”. Clicking this option will open a new window that displays how much memory you have, what OS you are using, and how your processor is currently performing.
2. Task Manager
If you bring up the Task Manager window (Ctrl + Alt + Delete), the Processes tab will show you how much memory various apps are using.
3. This PC Properties
Press the Win key + E to bring up a folder. Right click on “This PC” in the left panel and click on Properties. This will also bring up the System Information window mentioned in step 1.
As you can see, Windows is lacking one particular feature. That is, showing you the RAM speed. So how can you get around this limitation? The answer is third-party apps, some of which are free to use.
Although Windows offers a Command Prompt command to get information on the chip speed (wmic memorychip get speed), this might not always work. Using something like CPU-Z will give you the most accurate results.
CPU-Z is an app that’s been around for some time. The app is constantly updated to ensure it works well on both Windows and Android systems. The degree of accuracy is impressive for a piece of freeware that gathers and displays information on many main components of a computer.
After you install the app, simply open it and click on the “Memory” tab. Depending on which version of the app you’re using, the interface might differ slightly. Either way, you should see the following information:
- RAM type (DDR3, DDR4, etc.)
- Size (how many GB of RAM you have)
- DRAM frequency
- Refresh cycle times
- Clock speed and more
If your computer has a newer gaming motherboard, the BIOS most likely has an intuitive interface with multiple readings for important components such as CPU, GPU, fans, RAM, storage devices, etc.
You can always turn on or restart your computer and load up the BIOS by pressing F2 (setup) or F12 (boot menu) depending on what system you have. Once there, simply scroll or navigate to the RAM or Memory section to check clock speeds and other information.
Note that you can also overclock your RAM from BIOS so that it always runs at the highest frequency possible. Gamers and game designers often do this in order to give the CPU and GPU a small boost. Some motherboards come with preset overclock settings. If yours doesn’t, check some online guides on how to calculate the appropriate voltage settings so that you don’t risk burning up your system.
Check RAM Speed on macOS
If you’re using a Mac, the process is slightly different from Windows. You will need to access Mac’s Activity Monitor to get details on your RAM. It’s important to note that Apple doesn’t exactly give us the RAM speed like Windows. Instead, it shows us how much RAM we’re currently using in real-time.
To access the Activity Monitor use the Cmd+Space keyboard shortcut to access Apple’s Spotlight. Then type in ‘Activity Monitor’ and click on the first option that appears. Of course, you can also follow the Finder>Applications>Utilities path to access the Activity Monitor.
View the ‘Memory Pressure’ bar for information about your RAM status. A green bar means your computer’s RAM speeds are efficient. A yellow bar means you’re on the fast track to needing more RAM while a red bar means you need more RAM right now.
What About Smartphones?
Owners of Android-based smartphone won’t be able to see RAM speed or usage. Unlike them, iPhone owners can check the storage and look at a graph of memory usage. Unfortunately, checking the memory speed is not possible since most smartphones tend to run at a constant frequency as opposed to computers which alternate depending on what apps you’re running.
Running a third-party app like CPU-Z all the time may be a good idea whether you have a gaming PC or a workstation. Not only will it show you accurate real-time information on your RAM clock speed but it will also offer a wealth of information about your other essential and non-essential hardware.