If you’ve been searching for information on how to check RAM and RAM speed on Windows 10, stay with us. We’ll get into that in this article.
“Check the ram of the device before you buy it” – Sounds familiar? We cannot remember the number of times we have come across this advice.
Whenever you buy a smartphone or a computer, it is always advised to look for bigger amounts of RAM. Many of us wonder why it even matters. For all our readers, who have no clue about this, we have got you covered. Today let’s get into what is RAM and why does it make such a big deal.
If you are already familiar with RAM and its functioning, it is completely fine. You can simply skip this portion and jump to the latter part of the article. In this article, we shall be covering how to check RAM on Windows 10
How to check RAM and RAM speed on Windows 10
What is RAM?
The word “RAM” stands for Random Access Memory. It is a short-term system memory that is present in almost every device we own today; be it computers, laptops, or smartphones.
But what does RAM do? In general, RAM can determine the performance of your device. Wondering how does that happen? Let’s see.
RAM is short-term memory storage. All the tasks you perform on a device are backed by RAM. Anything you open or do, all data and information are stored and accessed from RAM.
This storage and quick access capacity allows you to multi-task. For example, writing a document, browsing the Internet, or listening to music; all at the same time.
All these programs and tasks are managed by RAM, all at once. It allows you to juggle between different tasks effortlessly and seamlessly.
Difference between RAM and hard drive
People mostly confuse RAM with a hard drive or SSD. Yes, both are memory storage devices, but both have a different purpose. As mentioned earlier, RAM is short-term memory storage. It keeps data stored only when you are using it.
This means that as soon as your computer is shut down, RAM loses all its data and information. An SSD or your hard disk drive stores data for long-term usage.
All the operating system files, programs, and applications are stored in your hard drive or SSD. On the other hand, RAM allows you to store and process this data as long as you are using it. Let us understand this better with an example.
How does RAM function?
The CPU on a computer behaves just like a human brain. It has two types of memory i.e., short-term memory (RAM) and long-term memory (hard drive).
Now let us assume you open a program or a file, stored in your hard drive.
All the necessary data to open that program is copied temporarily from your hard drive to the RAM. This happens because RAM is quicker to access than the hard drive or even the SSD. As long as the program is running, RAM is being used.
Now if you shut off the program, all the data stored on RAM is lost.
- All programs and applications are stored on the hard drive;
- When you open a program, your CPU accesses it from the hard drive;
- All the data required to open and run that program is copied from the hard drive to RAM;
- The program accesses this data from RAM as long as you are running it;
- When you close the program, RAM automatically loses all the data.
This is why the performance of a computer is – almost – directly proportional to the RAM capacity and RAM speed. If you have more RAM, you have a bigger capacity to store more data at the same time. This implies a smooth and fast running of programs on your device.
When your system runs out of RAM, it starts using virtual memory, allocating data to the slower hard-drive, slowing down overall performance immensely.
Now you all must be wondering why your laptop or PC hangs when you play games. The RAM capacity or RAM speed does not match the requirement of the program. RAM requirement is always determined by the kind of programs and applications you use.
Heavier programs like video games and CAD applications demand higher capacity RAM and higher memory speed. Planning for a RAM upgrade? Wait. Before you purchase new RAM, pay attention to the following:
- Specs (size, type, speed) of your existing RAM;
- Configuration of your existing operating system and motherboard.
Most computers use Windows 10 these days. Therefore, we are giving you a demonstration on how to check RAM in Windows 10.
How to check RAM on Windows 10
There are several features to look for while buying or checking RAM. These features include:
- The capacity of RAM (how much storage capacity RAM offers i.e., 4 GB, 8 GB, or 16 GB);
- Type of RAM (DDR2, DDR3, DDR4);
- Speed (frequency + CAS latency);
- The number of RAM slots available in the motherboard.
When we generally talk about RAM, we refer to the size capacity of RAM. A general rule of thumb regarding RAM size is that you should buy a device that has at least 8 GB if you’re using Windows 10.
Now let’s learn how to check RAM (RAM size) on Windows 10:
Using Control Panel
- Type “Control panel” in the search bar next to Start Menu;
- A window opens. Click on “System and Security”;
- A new window will be shown. Click on “View amount of RAM and processor speed” under the third option of “System”;
- Under the System segment, you get information about your RAM size and its usable capacity:
Disclaimer: This method only shows you the installed RAM capacity. To know more about the RAM speed and type on your machine, you need to go through other methods.
You can also view this basic information about your computer by:
- Right-clicking “My Computer”;
- Click the last option: “Properties”;
- This method also navigates you to the same window shown in the above image.
By using Command Prompt
- Type “cmd” in the search bar next to the Start Menu;
- The search result shows “Command prompt”. You can also open the command prompt by using the “Windows + R” key combination and then typing “cmd” in the search box;
- Open Command Prompt;
- Now whichever information you want about RAM, type it with the command “wmic get memorychip” using a comma;
- For example, here we are finding memory type, type detail, and RAM speed. So, we use the following command: “Wmic memorychip get memorytype, typedetail, speed”;
- Press “Enter“;
- The requested information is then displayed in a column form as shown in the image below;
- RAM type is represented in codes. You can decode your RAM type with the following guide:
To learn more about these codes, you can check the following link: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/cimwin32prov/win32-physicalmemory
- To get all information about your RAM spec, you can use the command “wmic memorychip list full”. This command displays all information related to your RAM.
- We are decoding necessary RAM specs displayed by command prompt so you may understand it easily:
How to check RAM by using Task Manager
- Right-click on Start/Windows;
- Click “Task Manager”;
- A window opens. Click on “More details” appearing on the bottom left corner of the window;
- A new window pops up. From the taskbar, click “Performance”;
- Click “Memory” on the left pane of the window;
- This window displays all information of RAM i.e., size, type, frequency, slots used on motherboard, and present memory usage;
- If you hover your cursor to slots used, a pop-up box will be shown. It tells you the capacity, frequency, and slot on the motherboard for each RAM module.
How to check RAM speed on Windows 10
So far we know all the available methods to check the frequency of RAM. It is written in MHz and indicates the clock speed, but there are more variables to determine the actual RAM speed.
The RAM performance is measured by frequency and CAS latency combined.
What is the RAM frequency?
Every read and write command are done on a single cycle. The RAM frequency indicates how many cycles it can perform per second.
For example, 3200 MHz indicates 3.2 billion cycles of reading and writing per second.
Checking RAM frequency using Windows PowerShell
Windows PowerShell is a Windows 10 built-in application. The PowerShell has many features at its disposal, and RAM information is one among those. Let us see how we can use it for this purpose:
- Go to the search bar next to Start/Windows;
- Type “windows powershell”;
- Open Windows PowerShell;
- Now, as if you’re on the Command Prompt, use the following command:
“get-ciminstance win32_physicalmemory| Format-Table Manufacturer, Banklabel, Configuredclockspeed, Devicelocator, Capacity, Serialnumber -autosize”
- Just like the Command Prompt, PowerShell also displays RAM specs in column form.
Now we know these methods to check RAM frequency. But what about CAS latency? Before checking methods to check CAS latency, let’s get to know what it is.
What is RAM CAS latency?
CAS stands for Column Access Strobe latency. It is also referred to as CL. CAS latency indicates the time gap between receiving and processing a command by RAM.
It is mostly represented as 15-17-17-30. This implies the number of clock cycles RAM takes to process a command. Now that we understand what is CL, let us check methods to find it:
Check CL by using CPU-Z
CPU-Z is a third-party application. Not just RAM speed, you can derive all the required necessary RAM information from this app. Let us show you how:
- Download CPU-Z application from the following link: https://www.cpuid.com
- Install the application by following the given instructions;
- After successful installation, open CPU-Z;
- Go to the “Memory tab” from the application window;
- You can see all the information about your RAM including speed, type, and size.
Check CL by using PiriForm Speccy
Piriform Speccy is another reliable third-party application.
- Download Piriform Speccy from the following link: https://www.ccleaner.com/speccy
- Install the application by following the instructions;
- After successful installation, open the app;
- Go to the “RAM section” from the left pane of the main window.
The coolest feature about these two applications is that you can download them even on Windows 7 and get all the required information easily.
It is imperative to consider both the factors of Frequency and CL for calculating RAM speed.
CAS latency, as mentioned earlier, determines the time gap between receiving and processing commands.
If your RAM has less CAS latency, it means it can process these commands faster. Consequently, your programs and applications run faster and smoother.
The opposite formula goes for the RAM frequency. A higher frequency indicates a higher transfer of cycles per second. Thus, a higher frequency rate also implies a faster performance of RAM.
Therefore, to calculate RAM speed, do consider frequency and CAS latency. The higher the frequency and lower the latency, the faster the RAM performance.
How much RAM does Windows 10 use?
The question on two factors:
- Configuration of your operating system;
- Usage of programs and applications.
4 GB of RAM
If you’re running a 64-bit Windows 10, you can even get away with 2GB RAM. According to Windows 10 specifications, the 32-bit version works with 1 GB RAM and the 64-bit with 2 GB, as minimum requirements. However, these thresholds only account for the installation and basic functioning of the operating system.
The RAM also supports regular tasks we perform like gaming, editing, browsing, etc. Therefore, we must look beyond the operating systems and consider our usage too.
Therefore, we recommend our readers to have 4GB as a minimum RAM threshold. 4GB is easily supported by both 32 and 64-bit OS. However, there is a glitch here. The 32-bit OS is only capable to manage a maximum amount of 4GB of RAM.
8 GB of RAM
The ideal RAM capacity is considered to be 8 GB. With 8 GB of RAM, you can use the full potential of your OS, and the processor to its maximum. You can perform video editing and even a little gaming with this amount of RAM.
16 GB or Plus RAM
If you are an avid gamer then go for 16GB as you’ll have a lot of . These are also ideal for photo editing and other rendering programs. Bear in mind that 16 GB or plus RAM capacities are only compatible with 64-bit operating systems.
After reading all this information, if you are planning to upgrade your RAM memory, go for it. Do lookout for a faster RAM speed combined with a low CAS figure. And don’t forget to buy one that is compatible with your motherboard.
After knowing the true potential of RAM, we can easily say that with the right RAM capacity, your system can go from drab to fab.