What ram is compatible with my motherboard. There are many factors that you need to consider when determining motherboard ram speed compatibility. Some of these are easy to figure out on your own, while others will require additional work to determine your motherboard specifications.
What RAM is Compatible with my Motherboard?
Have you finally realized that you need more RAM? Or did you discover that your current RAMs are faulty after a diagnosis? I’m here to help you navigate the not-so-difficult path of finding the perfect RAM modules for your PC.
Some Factors you Need to Know About RAM Compatibility
Form factor: Desktop motherboards accept dual inline memory module (DIMM) RAM and notebook computers use small outline dual inline memory module (SO-DIMM) RAM. DIMMs are longer than SO-DIMMs and take up more space.
DDR generation: DDR, DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4 are all different types of RAM that are not interchangeable. If you are building a new computer with a new motherboard, you will need DDR4 RAM. If you are using an old motherboard or upgrading a computer, you may need DDR3 RAM.
Storage capacity: This is one of the most important factors when choosing RAM. A larger storage capacity will allow you to multitask between various applications and run more resource-consuming applications and games. Some motherboards impose limits on the RAM capacity they support.
Speed: RAM clock speed is measured in MHz, and RAM with a faster clock speed will speed up many functions on your computer. RAM is usually backward compatible in the sense that it will continue to work on your motherboard if it is faster than it is designed for use.
Internal space: RAM modules with large heatsinks can sometimes interfere with other internal components, especially your CPU cooler. Consider the height of your RAM modules, the size and position of your CPU cooler, and whether or not they will fit together.
All of these factors are equally important, whether you are building a new computer or upgrading an older computer. However, there is a much easier way to determine compatibility if you are upgrading from an older computer.
If your computer is working properly, you have the option of investigating your motherboard, or you can simply run a system scan tool to find out exactly what you need.
Do I need RAM DIMMs or SO-DIMMs for my motherboard?
The general rule of thumb is that desktops have DIMM slots and laptops have SO-DIMM slots. The only exception is that some all-in-ones use RAM SO-DIMMs to save space.
If you are upgrading a laptop, you will need SO-DIMM. Consider running a system check tool to find out exactly which memory modules to buy, or look up your laptop manufacturer’s specifications.
If you are building or upgrading a desktop PC, you will almost always need DIMMs. You can check with your motherboard manufacturer if you are building a new PC or run a system check tool if you are upgrading.
You can also look at the grooves and measure them. The SO-DIMM slots are approximately 2.66 inches long, while the DIMM slots are approximately 5.25 inches long.
What Generation DDR do I Need?
There are three ways to find out which DDR generation your motherboard uses. You can examine the RAM sockets, check with the motherboard manufacturer for motherboard specifications, or you can run a system check tool if the computer is currently running.
You will need DDR4 RAM unless you are using an old motherboard if you are building a new computer. Different generations of DDRs have very similar-looking plugs, but each has a different number of pins in addition to notches.
These small differences prevent you from installing the wrong type of RAM, and you can also use them to find out what type of RAM you need by looking closely.
How to Differentiate Between the types of DDR Memory
1. DDR – These modules have 184 pins and the notch is near the center.
2. DDR2 – These modules have 244 pins and the notch is near the center.
3. DDR3 – These modules have 240 pins and the notch is offset to the side.
4. DDR4 – These modules have 288 pins and the notch is near the center.
How much RAM does my Motherboard Support?
When considering RAM capacity, you need to consider the number of RAM slots your motherboard has and the total amount of RAM your motherboard supports.
You can see how many slots the motherboard has just by looking at it, but you need to get the specifications from the motherboard to find out how much RAM it can support.
You can also determine how much RAM your motherboard supports by running a system check tool if your computer is operational.
The amount of RAM you need is different from the amount your motherboard supports, and you don’t always need to maximize it.
You can always start with two RAM modules and add another two later if you find that your computer is not performing as well as you would like.
Activities like gaming, image editing, and video editing require much more RAM than activities like browsing the internet and streaming videos.
So how you plan to use your computer will be a big factor in the amount of RAM. what do you need? Many users can get by just fine with 8GB of RAM.
You may need 16GB, 32GB, or even more depending on the type of apps and games you want to run and the number of apps you need to have open. Right away.
What Speed of RAM do I Need?
RAM speed is vital to some extent, as it can improve game and application performance, but is often a secondary concern to capacity.
Spending a lot of money for slightly faster RAM will usually have less of an effect on performance than adding more capacity. Your motherboard has a range of RAM speeds that it can work with.
But most RAM is backward compatible. That means if you accidentally buy RAM that is faster than your motherboard can handle, the RAM will simply run at a slower speed.
Adding RAM modules of different speeds can also make them all run at the speed of the slowest module, depending on the order of installation and the architecture of the motherboard.
To find out what speed of RAM you need, you should check with your motherboard manufacturer. Stay within that range and you will be fine.
Faster memory will generally work fine too, although you won’t see any additional benefits from it, so it’s best to spend your money elsewhere.
If your computer is operational, you can also use a system check tool to determine precisely what speeds your motherboard supports.
How do I Make Sure my RAM has Enough free Space?
Finding out if your RAM will have enough free space can be tricky because different RAM modules can be at different heights, especially if they have built-in heat sinks.
To make sure everything will fit together, you need to look at the motherboard or a picture of the motherboard and check the location of the RAM concerning the CPU and nearby expansion ports.
In many cases, you will find that the RAM slots are located right next to the CPU, and at least two of them are likely hanging by your CPU cooler.
If it looks like the RAM slots are close to the CPU on your motherboard, check the height of the RAM modules you want, and then check the free space of the heatsink you want to use.
If the heatsink is not high enough outside of the motherboard to clean the top of the RAM modules, you will have to choose a shorter RAM or a different CPU cooler.
You may want to select a low-profile cooler or a cooler that has a large notch cut out to accommodate taller RAM modules.
It is a complicated situation and it is not something that a system analysis tool can solve for you. To make sure everything fits, you will need to check the dimensions of each component and calculate the spacing.
What Can I do if I need more RAM for my old PC?
Adding RAM to a PC is easily one of the best ways to increase the performance of your system. RAM can increase speed, productivity, and enhance your PC, new or old.
However, memory compatibility issues due to two or more different RAM drives can cause various issues like BSOD, instability, etc.
Therefore, in most use cases, I suggest you buy a new dual-channel DDRx kit, which has 2 units of RAM that are guaranteed to be identical.
Older RAM drives can be discarded, as even two slow drives will degrade the performance of the newer, faster RAM drives, assuming you have 4 RAM slots to use both kits at the same time.
(Kit means 2 bars of identical RAM modules) You can also go the hard way and find a module (or dos) that matches the times, capacity, and clock speed of your current RAM devices closely enough.
Mismatch of different times and specs will result in slower RAM performance degradation in the first place and can cause jitter issues.
The other downside to upgrading an older PC’s RAM is cost. If you want to upgrade to 8GB more RAM, you’ll pay around $ 179 for DDR2.
I would only pay around $ 27 for DDR3. If you were upgrading to DDR4, it would cost around $ 60. As you can see, there is a huge price difference between older RAM and DDR3 and DDR4.
If your system is otherwise performing well and you don’t want to invest in all the new components, get cheaper DDR3 or DDR4, it could be a less expensive option overall.
So even though a RAM upgrade seems small, the costs of the previous generation are usually very inflated due to a shortage of supply.
Once a product reaches the end of life, the only products in circulation are the remaining supply or reconditioned parts from the used PC market.
Keep this in mind if your PC only supports 2 generations of DDR memory older than current technology on the market.
I would not recommend a RAM upgrade from a DDR1 or DDR2 memory even for small prices, as there is no guarantee that a new module will work.
Finally, Choosing my ideal RAM
With so many RAM manufacturers, you may be wondering which one you should buy. The general rule of thumb is to always choose a known and trusted vendor for any PC component. Many memory providers offer excellent quality products.
A lot has to do with personal preference, availability, cosmetic value, price, and warranty offers. Some very prominent RAM vendors are Crucial, Corsair, G.Skill, Kingston, Transcend, ADATA, Apacer, etc.
It is very important to do your homework, use all the information in this guide to make the right decision about a quality product. that will give you the speed and performance you need.
People also Asked these Questions
What is the Fastest RAM I can Buy?
Once it was, RAM had little effect on your system’s performance as long as you had enough of it. If you do have not enough memory, then your Pc is too slow, choosing the correct type of RAM for your system is important.
The best RAM for you doesn’t have to be the fastest RAM or even the best RAM you can buy, but it should be fast enough and big enough for your needs to make sure you’re getting the most out of your system.
Most people will be able to get away with almost any DDR4 memory kit of at least 8GB capacity and between 3,000MHz and 4,000MHz clock speed for anything you need, including gaming and light multimedia work.
If you anticipate heavier computing tasks coming into your workflow, like photo and video editing, you’ll probably want to increase to at least 16GB.
However, modern RAM isn’t just about performance. There are also great-looking memory kits with unique heat spreaders and RGB lighting.
If you want a certain type of RAM to match your PC’s new color scheme, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here is the best RAM you can buy.
1. Best RAM Overall: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 3600
2. Faster RAM: G.Skil Trident Z Royal 4400
3. Best budget RAM: OLOy 3000 16GB
4. Best RGB RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum
5. Best Large RAM Kit: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 128GB
Why is DDR so Expensive right now?
The demand for DDR4 has exploded as cellular technologies are adapting the new DDR4 in their new phones. Smartphones have become more popular and they won’t be going away any time soon.
More RAM will certainly make any PC or laptop faster and is the easiest and least expensive upgrade you can make. Increasing your RAM will speed up multitasking and will also decrease startup time.
Is DDR3 or DDR4 Better for Gaming?
DDR4 is by far the best for a high-end gaming rig. However, if you are an average gamer, it would not be worth investing in the more expensive RAM.
Recent benchmarks show that the differences in performance of the two do not match cost due to supply and demand for DDR4 RAM. From this article, you can run higher frequency DDR3 with minimally lower performance than DDR4.
Is 32GB of RAM Excessive for Gaming?
A machine with 32GB of RAM for the sole purpose of gaming is not necessary. A gaming rig will use GDDR RAM from the GPU. As long as you run 16GB of RAM and have a solid CPU and GPU, you’ll be fine.
That being said, it is not an exaggeration; If you are a dedicated gamer and you hate lag, stuttering, or any other potential performance issues, do your best and get 32GB, especially if you’re streaming, running multiple monitors, etc.
Can you use 2 RAM Sticks from Different Vendors?
It is possible to use two different DDR modules. You need to make sure they are of the same generation as DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, etc.
However, if the frequencies don’t match, even if one of them is higher, all the RAM modules will be downsized and combined with the lower-performing RAM.
If you have a DDR3 module that operates at 3200MHz and another that operates at 2100MHz, both RAMs will use the lower speed of 2100MHz.