How To Expand The RAM Of A Computer (PC/Laptop)?

If you are thinking of expanding your RAM memory, whether you have a desktop PC or a laptop, you must learn everything you need to choose the best component for optimal performance. You should also be very clear about the amount of memory you need, based on your needs. You likely think that the solution to your performance problems is the main memory and you are wrong.

Therefore, you must be very clear about everything so as not to make false moves that could lead you to invest money uselessly. In this guide you will be able to learn everything you need to know about this issue, and if you can expand your RAM (not all computers can).

It is important to know all this to determine if you can expand it or not, how much you need, etc. If you have already read these guides and it is clear to you that your problem is with the RAM memory capacity, that your equipment accepts more RAM, and you have identified the compatible type of RAM, then the next step you should take is to determine if your equipment allows a change or expansion of RAM.

Can I change the RAM on my computer?

Change the RAM
Change the RAM

This question is difficult to answer generically due to the great variety of different equipment models that exist in the market. It all depends on the type of equipment you have.

I always encourage reading the manuals before anything else. The reason is that if you don’t have technical knowledge and you try to open the equipment to see if there are free slots, you could end up with some bigger problem. Therefore, the safest thing for your equipment and pocket is always to look at the free manual provided by the manufacturers.

I have a desktop PC

I have a desktop PC
I have a desktop PC

If it is a desktop PC, the answer is yes. You can change the RAM without problems, as long as it is not too old equipment and you cannot find a stock of compatible memories. But in case it is from a few years ago, you can change the memory modules you have for larger ones or simply add an extra module without a problem. It is the advantage of the great modularity of these teams.

Now, the type of memory and the amount, you must find out with the guides that I showed you previously or simply by consulting the manual of your motherboard and checking the section dedicated to the RAM that they usually have. In this section, the types of RAM and accepted capacities appear, as well as the number of slots available.

If you do not have the manual for your motherboard, or if it is branded equipment, you can go to the manufacturer’s official website and download the PDF manual for your specific model from there. It’s that easy.

I have a laptop

Laptop
Laptop

In the case of a laptop, the answer can be yes and also no. On a conventional laptop, you probably have a pretty good chance that switching is possible. Instead, in some ultrabooks, it could be soldered on the board to save space. In these cases, some manufacturers choose to also add an extra slot to expand, and in other cases, it only supports the one that is already soldered.

If you see that your computer uses low-power memory, such as LPDDR3, or LPDDR4, compared to conventional DDR3 or DDR4, then it will be soldered. Those LPxxxx are designed for mobile devices and are soldered, which prevents their expansion or replacement.

Again, as with the desktop PC, to make sure whether or not you can upgrade your RAM, and what type it accepts, it’s best to look at the manual for your laptop model. If you don’t have it, from when you bought it, you can download it from the manufacturer’s official website (Dell, Acer, ASUS, HP, Lenovo…).

I have an A.I.O.

A.I.O.
A.I.O.

In many AIO it happens as in laptops. The all-in-one (all-in-one) usually has motherboards similar to laptops, therefore, in some cases, they allow changing memories and other elements without a problem. You’re more likely to be able to expand the RAM on an AIO than on an ultrabook. However, there are exceptions where they are soldered and no slots are available.

Again I urge you to consult the manual of your specific model to find out how much, what type, and if it is possible or not.

I have a NUC or miniPC

miniPC
miniPC

In these units it is complicated. In most cases, they have very small format boards, where there are usually no RAM slots. Here I would tell you that it is almost certainly not possible to expand or change the memory module, although there are some exceptions. You know, read the manual of your model to know for sure.

The process to change RAM

The process to change RAM
The process to change RAM

Now, you know the type and capacity, and you can expand or change the RAM memory module. And you need to proceed to connect it. To do it correctly and safely, you must follow the following steps :

  1. Turn off the equipment completely, and unplug it. If it’s a laptop, also remove the battery if possible. Wait a few minutes, sometimes the capacitors it has could generate electrical discharges despite being turned off.
  2. Now you must locate the opening screws to open the case and remove them:
    1. If it’s a laptop:
      1. They should be at the bottom.
      2. Modern laptops and ultrabooks have them camouflaged at the top behind a protective frame around the keyboard and where the power button and button board are located. They are inserted under pressure, so you will have to use something thin to pry them up and be able to remove the plastic protector that will give you access to the screws.
    2. If it’s a NUC or miniPC, they’re usually underneath or just have a snap-on case.
    3. If it is a desktop:
      1. PC: they will be in the back area of ​​the tower. Some models may include easy latches that do not require a screwdriver. In either case, release the casing to access the interior.
      2. AIO: they are usually in the back area too, and there could even be one in the area below the screen on some models.
  3. You should now have been able to remove the screws and casing to gain access to the interior. You should already be seeing the motherboard and the slots where the RAM is.
  4. Now you must wear a bracelet to avoid static electricity discharges that can damage certain chips (if not, touch a metallic structure without paint or varnish to discharge your body). It is important to pay attention to this:
    1. If you have to replace a module with another, you must first remove the existing one and then put in the new one. To free up the memory, you will see that next to the slot there are one or two plastic pins next to it and that it keeps the module anchored. If you remove it to the side you will see that the module is released. Then insert the new module and close the pin again to secure it. As simple as that. You won’t be able to turn it inside out since it has a grimace that prevents it. The only thing you have to worry about is inserting it into the bottom of the slot and closing the tab well.
    2. In case of expansion, simply add the new module in a free slot next to the existing module. Remember that if it is a PC it could have DualChannel (it is distinguished because it has 2 banks of slots grouped and differentiated by color) or QuadChannel (in this case there would be 4 banks), in that case, remember to separate the modules in each of the banks and not all in the same bank to be able to take advantage of all the channels. That is, if you have a dual-channel with two banks of 2 slots, i.e. 1-2 and 3-4, assuming there is only one module in 1, you should put the new module in 3 instead of
  5. Once done, replace the case and the screws to close the equipment.
  6. Reconnect the equipment to power and turn it on.
  7. If everything went well, it will boot without any problems and you will be able to check in your operating system that it is now counting the newly added RAM. If not, check again that you have followed the previous steps properly or that you have not forgotten to connect anything, especially on laptops, where you may need to remove some cables to gain access to the motherboard.

Read more about RAM Memory: What Is It And How Many Types Are There?

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Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.

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