The amount of RAM significantly affects the performance of the computer. Therefore, having decided to update the configuration of their system, most users begin by installing additional memory.
But, before embarking on such a procedure, you need to find out how much RAM the motherboard supports. Otherwise, there is a risk of buying a set of memory modules that will not work.
So, in order to find out how much RAM the motherboard supports, you first need to find out the exact name of the model of the board itself. To do this, it is best to use the free CPU-Z utility. Download CPU-Z from the official website of the developer and install on your computer.
After starting the CPU-Z program, go to the “Mainboard” tab. All basic information about your motherboard will be available here. At the very top of the window, the manufacturer’s name and model name will be indicated.
After you find out the name of the manufacturer and the model of the motherboard, you need to find the page of this motherboard on the official website of its manufacturer. To do this, simply enter the name of the motherboard in the search engine.
And go to the official website of the motherboard manufacturer.
Next, you need to open a detailed list of motherboard specifications.
In this list you can find information about the maximum amount of RAM, the type of memory supported, the number of slots for memory, as well as other characteristics of your motherboard.
Other RAM limits
If you want to install a large amount of RAM, you need to consider that its maximum amount is limited not only by the motherboard, but also by the processor. Open the processor specifications on the official website of the manufacturer and see how much memory your processor can work with. For example, for the Intel Core i5-2310 processor, the maximum amount of RAM is 32 GB.
In addition, the maximum amount of RAM is limited by the operating system. For example, the following restrictions work for Windows:
Find out the maximum amount of RAM using AIDA64
This utility is a powerful tool that can tell you a lot of interesting and useful information about your computer.
You can download the program from the official site, the trial period is 30 days, but this is more than enough for us. Choose a version Extreme and click Download.
And then click again.
We extract the program somewhere and install it, then run it.
As you can see, the program started successfully. Go to the tab "Motherboard".
What do we see? And we see the properties of the north bridge, where information is stored in memory, as we see, the maximum amount of RAM we have is 16 GB.
Below you can see the amount of memory already installed.
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How to find out which RAM the motherboard supports
There are several ways to determine the type of RAM that this or that MP works with:
- read the instructions to the MP,
- Visually inspect the system board.
- use a system diagnostics program,
The first method is the simplest. In the specification for each MP there is a detailed description of the type and volume of RAM used. If there is no instruction, and on the Internet you can find information about the motherboard on the manufacturer’s website and check the type of memory supported by the motherboard.
Very often, directly on the surface of the MP next to the connectors for RAM, it is indicated which slats are used. Even if this is not written, you can use an ordinary ruler to measure the distance from the left edge of the connector to the key-notch. This length is 5.4 cm for DDR3 and 7.2 cm for DDR4.
On a working PC, it is recommended to use any system diagnostics program that will show not only the type of RAM, but also the number of slats, speed, and the manufacturer. The following products can be used as such programs:
How to find out the maximum amount of RAM in the motherboard
The maximum addressable RAM space supported by the MP is either specified in the specification or can be determined visually by the number of connectors installed on it.
Theoretically, the volume of one DD4 module is 128 GB, the DDR3 module is 16 GB. Accordingly, an MP with 4 DDR3 slots can access 64 GB of RAM, and an 8-slot DDR4 card can access 1 TB.
However, one should not hope too much that this volume will be fully utilized. The CPU design imposes significant restrictions on it, since in modern processors the device for direct access to RAM is located inside its chip.
That is, it is impossible to talk about the maximum amount of RAM for the MP, it can only be determined for the bundle of MP + CPU. For example, the third and fourth generation i5 processors support no more than 32 GB of RAM.
What frequency of RAM does the motherboard support
The speed of the system as a whole is determined not only by the speed of the CPU or the amount of RAM per MP. The synchronous operation of devices is very important when all operations are done in strict accordance with their correct sequence. At the same time, it is not desirable for any of the elements of the system to have lower speed than others.
For this purpose, the concept of system frequency is introduced - an indicator of the PC's work, which determines how quickly the exchange of information within the system will occur. Roughly speaking, all system components must work synchronously with this speed. Usually, it is set by the processor and each processor has a strictly defined value.
Important! The natural frequency of the processor is not the same as the system frequency. Usually, MPs support several of its values.
Therefore, to optimize the PC, it’s not enough just to find or see the maximum amount of RAM on the motherboard, you need to choose exactly those memory bars that support the desired frequency.
Each RAM bar in its name has an index indicating its speed and, accordingly, the effective transfer rate. For example, PC4-19200 means that the maximum possible data transfer rate is 19,200 Mbps. Another name for such a module is DDR4-2400, where 2400 is the so-called effective speed expressed in millions of gears per second. For the specified module, the bus frequency should be 1200 MHz, which for RAM chips corresponds to 300 MHz of its own.
Usually, speaking of the type of RAM, or its speed, of these four digits indicate either a data transfer rate of 19,200 Mbps or an effective speed of 2400. Currently, there are seven performance standards: from DDR4-1600 (or PC4-12800) to DDR4-3200 (or PC4-25600). As you can easily see the speed of the latter is twice as high as the speed of the former.
Therefore, choosing RAM chips, you should make sure whether its frequency will correspond to the series that is capable of "issuing" MP.
Usually, the specifications on the boards write exactly the effective speed to simplify the choice of RAM chips. For example, it may look like this: “Support for DDR4-1600 / 2400/3200”, in some rare cases, they may specify a different parameter.
You can find out this information only from the instruction manual for the MP or on the manufacturer’s support site, since there is no visual difference between RAM modules of different speeds and connectors for them.