Last Updated on January 17, 2021
If you want to upgrade or replace your RAM you have to know what RAM you have. You have to have a compatible RAM stick for your PC. In this case you may ask how to check what type of RAM do I have.
Basically, this can be done in Windows 10 using Task Manager, Command Prompt, or utilizing a free software called CPU-Z. For a Mac, this can be determined in the About This Mac window and System Information app. You can also check RAM type and speed through the printed labels on the memory sticks.
You may want to upgrade your RAM but for that, you need to determine what’s already in your computer and what your motherboard supports.
How to Check What Type of RAM Do I Have?
We cover here different ways that would enable you to determine what type of RAM do I have from within Windows and macOS operating systems. You can also find it by examining the printed information on the RAM modules.
1. Checking RAM Details using OS Services
Below are the ways to check the RAM details in the Windows 10 operating system.
Checking RAM Details on Windows
a. Using Task Manager
- Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc. This will open the Task Manager.
- Go to the Performance tab and choose the Memory section.
On the top-right, you will find information like the amount of RAM and the type (like DDR3 or DDR4). In the same section you can also find other RAM information like speed in MHz, slots used, and form factor (usually DIMM or SODIMM).
Note that if you have more than one RAM module installed in your computer, Windows will show the speed that’s the lowest of all the modules. Placing your cursor over the slots used would show a pop-up with each module’s speed.
If your task manager does not show you whether you have DDR 3 or DDR 4, you can tell then by speed of the RAM.
A stock DDR 3 memory has a max speed of 2133 MHz. Anything higher than this will almost certainly be DDR 4.
b. Using Command Prompt
There’s also a way to check the RAM details through Command Prompt. Here’s how you can do it:
- In the Windows 10 search bar, type CMD. Open the first result. Note that you don’t need to run it as an administrator.
- In the window that opens enter the following command:
wmic MEMORYCHIP get BankLabel, DeviceLocator, MemoryType, TypeDetail, Capacity, Speed
- Press Enter.
Here information will be presented about each of the memory modules that are installed on your PC. You can see the Capacity column that will show you the capacity of each module in bytes.
The MemoryType column will tell the type of memory that’s installed. Note that the type of memory will be shown as a numerical value. If you have a variant of DDR memory you can identify it by the following values:
Note on some systems, memory type information may not be available through this method.
- 20: DDR
- 21: DDR2
- 22: DDR2 FB-DIMM
- 24: DDR3
- 26: DDR4
Additionally, there are other columns such as Speed that is helpful to determine the speed of each module. If you have a value of 1600 for a module, then it means its speed is 1600 MHz.
Checking RAM Details on Mac
You can follow the steps below to find the RAM details in macOS.
- Open the Apple menu in the screen’s corner. Then select About This Mac.
- In the Overview tab, you will be able to view the RAM capacity, speed in MHz, and type (usually DDR3 or DDR4).
- Click on System Report in the same window to open the System Information app.
- Go to the Hardware’s Memory section.
- Here you can check information about memory slot, RAM size, type, speed in MHz, and Status for each RAM module that’s installed.
2. Using CPU-Z Software
You can also find out the RAM details such as type and speed using a free utility called CPU-Z. Here’s how:
- Download, install, and run CPU-Z from the CPUID website.
- Pay attention to the two tabs in CPU-Z named Memory and SPD.
In the Memory Tab, you can see the RAM type and size in the General box. Then have a look at the DRAM Frequency that you will find in the Timings box. It will usually be half of the value of speed that you can find in the Windows 10 Task Manager.
As DDR is double data rate memory, you can multiply it by 2 to get the RAM speed.
Come to the SPD (Serial Presence Detect) tab. It gives you useful information about the memory module installed in each memory slot. Not only you can find module size here but also the type, speed, and manufacturer.
3. Check RAM Using Printed Labels
You can also have a look inside your computer that will tell you how many RAM modules or sticks you have. Many manufacturers provide a label on the sticks regarding the type, speed, size, and probably some information about the warranty.
Note that some manufacturers only provide you with a part number and you may track down information using it. You may have to open your computer and take apart the RAM modules which can be difficult in the case of a laptop or AIO PC.
Why Check RAM Type and Speed?
There can be several reasons why you need to check RAM details such as type and speed. If you are experiencing sluggish performance while using a computer with a fast SSD drive and a capable processor, it means you need to check your RAM. The purpose is to determine if it’s enough to meet your requirements.
It will also be helpful if you are thinking of a RAM upgrade to find the right memory that will be suitable for your computer system.
It can also be used for troubleshooting purposes if you are having problems with your computer. Even if your system is in the right condition, knowing RAM details can still prove to be very useful.
By now you should have a better insight on how to check what type of RAM do I have for both Windows and Mac computers. You should also have the idea of finding the relevant RAM information on printed labels.
The methods we have covered are easy and even average computer users can check the RAM specifications quite well.
Keep in mind that most modern motherboards support only one type of memory (generally either DDR3 or DDR4) and you must keep this in mind while upgrading RAM.