When you have a desktop PC or a laptop, one of the biggest concerns is whether or not the RAM it has is enough for your use. If you are thinking of expanding the capacity of your main memory, most likely the first question that arises is to know how much memory your motherboard can support.
Only then will you know if you can install more RAM or not. To know this can be done in several ways, all of them quite simple. In general, many have the idea that a 32-bit microprocessor can theoretically address up to 4 GB of RAM and a 64-bit one up to 16 EB of RAM. But that’s not the case in practice.
The motherboard has a lot to do with this, since not all motherboards have the same number of slots or slots to install RAM, so they will be physically limited depending on the amount of memory that each module has and the number of modules that you can click. Even some AIO equipment, mini PCs, and laptops have it soldered, so you can’t do anything to expand it.
Factors that limit the amount of RAM you can install
Some important factors will determine the amount of RAM you can install, regardless of whether your computer is 32-bit or 64-bit:
- Motherboard: depending on the motherboard model, you may have more or fewer slots or slots to insert RAM modules. Also, if your equipment is an AIO, laptop, or mini PC, you must make sure that the RAM is not soldered. In some cases, they may have soldered memory but still allow you to insert an extra module in the slot, but that is not so frequent. To find out all this, it is best to look up the manufacturer and model of your motherboard and read its manual if you have it (or download it in PDF from the official website). Opening your team to see the number of slots can also be a good idea, although that does not guarantee you know the limit supported, only the number of modules you can use.
- Chipset – Depending on the Intel or AMD processor platform, a certain type of RAM (frequencies and type) can be supported. This may be limiting the motherboard manufacturer to put a certain number of slots or slots. However, it is true that some motherboard models, especially the cheaper ones, maybe use fewer slots than the chipset would support.
To find out how these factors are limiting the type and capacity of your RAM on your computer, you can follow these steps :
- Check which motherboard manufacturer and model you have on your computer. If you have a laptop, AIO or mini PC, or brand desktop PC (HP, Lenovo,…), you can look directly at the manual for your equipment.
- Go to the official website of the manufacturer of your motherboard (or the equipment if it is a brand).
- Look for the model of your motherboard (or of the equipment you have purchased).
- In the download or support area, you will find the PDF manual for your board.
- Download it and read the section for RAM. There you will find the type of RAM accepted, the maximum number of modules, the limit capacity, and even diagrams of how you should install it.
If you have an Intel or AMD microprocessor, you can orient yourself from the maximum amount of RAM that the platform usually supports by these data:
- Intel :
- Socket LGA 1151 (6th – 7th Gen): up to 64 GB in 4 slots.
- Socket LGA 1151 (8th – 9th Gen): up to 64 GB in 4 slots.
- Socket LGA 2066 (7th-10th Gen: Skylake-X, Kaby Lake-X, Cascade Lake-X): up to 128 GB in 8 slots.
- Socket LGA 2011 v3 (Haswell-EP): up to 128 GB in 8 slots.
- AMD :
- Socket AM4 (Ryzen): up to 64 GB in 8 slots.
- TR4 socket (1st and 2nd Gen Threadripper): up to 128 GB in 4 slots.
- TRX40 Socket (Threadripper 3rd Gen): up to 256 GB in 8 slots.
I also advise you to go to the website of the manufacturer of your CPU. Search for your specific model and from there they will also show you the specifications. Among them, you can find very interesting data when replacing or wanting to apply your RAM, such as the supported memory.
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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.