RAM is your computer’s physical memory. How mucn RAM do you need? The amount of RAM your need depends on how you use your PC. If you use your PC for email, Facebook & other social media, light gaming, and browsing, you will do all right with 4 GB of RAM. If you’re into heavy gaming (we don’t mean Facebook games or gaming on popular games sites), video editing, 3D graphics, or other RAM-intensive applications, then 4 GB will not be enough. You’re going to need a minimum of 8 GB and possibly more.
We recommend that when you buy a new computer you get the most RAM you can afford. You will find low-end PC’s with 2 to 4 GB of RAM selling for $300 or less. We’ve seen computers with 8 GB of RAM selling for less than $400, and we have seen computers with 12 GB of RAM selling for around $500. In any case, we would never recommend anyone buy a laptop, desktop, or all-in-one with less than 4 GB of RAM.
But most PCs have limits on how much RAM you can install; computer motherboards vary. If you have a low-end computer, you may find that your motherboard won’t support more than 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM. If you have a higher-end PC your motherboard will probably support 12 GB, 16 GB or more. And it’s also important to note here, that if you’re using a 32-bit system, you will not be able to use more than 4 GB of RAM, whereas 64-bit systems can theoretically use virtually unlimited amounts of RAM.
If you like technical stuff here’s some technical stuff for you:
The theoretical memory limits in 16, 32 and 64 bit machines are as follows: 16 bit = 65, 536 bytes (64 Kilobytes) 32 bit = 4, 294, 967, 295 bytes (4 Gigabytes) 64 bit = 18, 446, 744, 073, 709, 551, 616 (16 Exabytes) ( Read more here…)
Of course, there are exceptions, but generally, installing more than 4 GB of RAM on a 32-bit computer is a waste of money since, generally, a 32-bit system can only use a maximum of 4 GB of RAM . If you don’t know if you’re using 32-bit Windows or 64-bit, open a Command Prompt. (On any version of Windows you can do this by holding down the Windows Key, tapping the “R” key and typing CMD in the run box – then press Enter.)
At the Command prompt type SYSTEMINFO and press Enter. It will take a few seconds to scan your PC. When it’s done, look next to “System type” to find out whether you have a 64-bit or 32-bit system:
It will tell you if you have a 64-bit or 32-bit system. If you scroll down the list, you’ll also see how much RAM you have installed in your PC. It will be next to “Total Physical Memory”. As you can see I have 8 GB of RAM (8,075 MB).
Luckily for most of us these days, we’re using 64-bit Windows. So does that mean we can install as much RAM as we want.?No. Unfortunately, you can only install as much RAM as your motherboard supports.
One thing we have learned about RAM over the years, adding more RAM is one of most important things you can do to speed up your computer. It won’t take the place of good computer maintenance or eliminating and/or preventing malware, PUPs, and other nasty things, but generally, adding more RAM to your computer will make it run faster.
But how do you know how much RAM your motherboard supports? And, since there are several types of RAM, how do you find out what kind of RAM is compatible with your PC?
We’re glad you asked. Thanks to the folks at Crucial you can quickly find out how much RAM your motherboard supports, and what kind of RAM your computer can use. While Crucial makes this scanner available in the hope that if you decide to buy RAM, that you’ll buy it from them, there is no obligation, no sales pitches, no annoyances of any kind. You’ll quickly learn what kind of RAM your PC uses and how much your motherboard supports.
If you want to find out how much RAM your motherboard will support and the kind of RAM your PC uses, visit this page and download the Crucial System Scanner. You’ll need to check the box and agree to the terms before you will be able to download and run the scanner.
Once you download and run the scanner, you’ll know exactly what kind(s) of RAM will work in your computer, how much RAM your motherboard supports, and your RAM configuration. You’ll also see prices shown for RAM. These are Crucial’s prices and they are generally the lowest or at least very competitive. Many of you will be surprised to see how inexpensive RAM is – especially consider how much of an impact adding more RAM can have on your system’s performance.
Below you can see the scan results from Crucial for my ASUS laptop.
Above the type of RAM compatible with my laptop and the maximum RAM my laptop’s motherboard supports. Next to each you’ll see the price – the price includes shipping.
Below, a close-up showing the maximum memory (RAM) my laptop’s motherboard supports.
If this sounds like something you’d like to find out, download and run the Crucial scanner.
Just so you know:
We are not in any way associated with Crucial; we don’t make a commission from Crucial. We don’t make a penny from Crucial. But we have both purchased RAM from Crucial several times and have nothing but good things to say about them and the products and services they provide. If you decide to buy RAM from them, they’ll send you easy-to-understand instructions on how to install new RAM in your computer – and it’s not difficult to do.