Random Access Memory, aka RAM, also just referred to as Memory, is one of the most important resources you have in a computer system. Over the years, we have had four total iterations of DDR RAM, ranging from DDR to DDR4.
However most modern computers will just carry DDR3 or DDR4 at this point, but there are different speeds within those as well. If you want to check compatibility, upgrade your RAM, or are just curious, there are a few ways of checking which RAM you have, and how much of it.
Here’s how you can check what RAM you have:
Physically check the slot
While it might be an inconvenient way to do it, accessing the inside of your PC and physically checking the memory slots. Not only will this help determine which type of RAM you have, but the exact channels, configuration, and memory timings, all of which age important if you’re thinking of upgrading your RAM while keeping some or all of your existing RAM.
Here’s what the RAM slot on your motherboard will look like:
Be careful with the locks of the RAM slots, or you might end up breaking the sticks or damaging the motherboard.
Check RAM details in Windows
You can natively check the memory capacity and type in Windows. If it’s just the RAM capacity slow after, then you can easily just right click on your My Computer icon, and click on Properties. The basic system specifications are displayed in the properties, including the RAM capacity.
You can further check the device manager, and check in the memory section. However, you’ll have to go through a lot of trouble to get that info. The middle ground is to bring up the task manager by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete and then clicking on the Memory tab. You will see the memory size, speed, and form factor.
Check Exactly What Type of RAM You Have in Command Prompt
Now of course, as it is with most things in Windows, this method has a flaw too. Task Manager can often report memory type wrong, like DDR3 being reported as DDR2 or ‘Other’, in which case you can resort to using the command prompt.
Just open an elevated command prompt (run command prompt as an administrator) and type in the following command:
wmic MemoryChip get BankLabel, Capacity, MemoryType, TypeDetail, Speed, Tag
The MemoryType header, aptly named, will display a value between 0-25. Here’s what the numbers mean:
0 = Unknown 1 = Other 2 = DRAM 3 = Synchronous DRAM 4 = Cache DRAM 5 = EDO 6 = EDRAM 7 = VRAM 8 = SRAM 9 = RAM 10 = ROM 11 = Flash 12 = EEPROM 13 = FEPROM 14 = EPROM 15 = CDRAM 16 = 3DRAM 17 = SDRAM 18 = SGRAM 19 = RDRAM 20 = DDR 21 = DDR2 22 = DDR2 FB-DIMM 24 = DDR3—May not be available; see note above. 25 = FBD2
The MemoryType header will also show a 0 for DDR4, but the Speed header will return one of these numbers: 1600, 1866, 2133, 2400, 2666, 2933, and 3200.
However, 1600, 1866, and 2133 can also be DDR3, but only if MemoryType returns 24 as the value. The other important header is TypeDetail, which will give you more information about your memory, returning one of the following values:
1 = Reserved 2 = Other 4 = Unknown 8 = Fast-paged 16 = Static column 32 = Pseudo-static 64 = RAMBUS 128 = Synchronous 256 = CMOS 512 = EDO 1024 = Window DRAM 2048 = Cache DRAM 4096 = Non-volatile
CPU-Z is a hardware identification tool that is sort of a must-have if you’re looking to check the detailed hardware specifications of your system.
Install CPU-Z from the official website. Run it, and click on the Memory and/or SPD tab to see all details about your RAM, including capacity, type, timing, manufacturer, latency, and pretty much every detail you’re ever gonna need.
There is also other similar software that will give you these details like Freemium, Rainmeter, SpeedFan, CoreTemp, but I’ve found CPU-Z to be the most reliable one.
Ready to Roll?
That’s about it! Share with us your experience fetching your RAM details in the comments, down below!
Palash is a technology and entertainment journalist who loves to geek out over the latest gadgets, TV shows, and movies.