How to tell what kind of RAM you have


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For a very long time, the most common path to improving your PC’s performance has been through upgrading the RAM. RAM stands for “random access memory” and it’s effectively the component of your PC that is keeping track of what your computer is currently working on. When RAM is limited, your PC has to keep that current information stored somewhere else, which can dramatically slow down your workflow and load times. This is particularly notable in computationally heavy projects, such as video encoding and high-quality art creation.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade or you’re looking to harvest the RAM from one PC to use in another, it helps to know what kind of RAM your system is using. There are a handful of ways to figure that out!

In Windows 10

You can find basic information about your RAM through your system’s About page and through the Performance tab on your Task Manager.

about Kevin Casper/IDG

Here are two simple methods to access the About page:

  • Press the key combination Win + Pause/Break
  • Type “About your PC” in the Windows Start menu search
taskmanager Kevin Casper/IDG

To access the Task Manager, here are three simple options:

  • Press the key combination Ctrl + Shift + Escape
  • Press the key combination Ctrl + Alt + Delete and select “Task Manager”
  • Type “Task Manager” in the Windows Start menu search

These two methods will provide you with the most simplistic view of your PC’s RAM information, primarily showing how much RAM you currently have, along with some RAM speed information. If this isn’t enough information for what you’re looking to do, then you may want to check out the Windows Management Instrumentation command-line utility, or wmic.

wmic Kevin Casper/IDG

In order to use wmic, you need to open a Command Prompt window, which is quickly done by typing “cmd” into the Windows Start menu search. Once there, you can use a “wmic MemoryChip get” command to typically pull up the information you’re looking for.

You can find a comprehensive set of properties to include on your “wmic MemoryChip get” command here, but the following should cover the practical bases for most RAM identification needs:

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