How to Change the MHz for Your RAM on BIOS

By Theon Weber

The frequency of a stick of RAM, measured in megahertz (MHz), represents the speed with which information moves between it and other parts of the system. This frequency relates to the maximum frequency supported by a computer's motherboard, but can sometimes be changed using the BIOS firmware.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with unlocked RAM frequency setting (see Warnings).

Access BIOS

Step 1

Restart your computer.

Step 2

Watch for a message along the lines of "Entering Setup." This message will appear shortly after your computer turns on and varies in its particulars from system to system. It will mention a keystroke or series of keystrokes that will access the BIOS.

Step 3

If an image---a company logo, for example---appears instead of useful text, press the ESC key to remove it.

Step 4

Press the BIOS access keys.

Change RAM Frequency

Step 1

Search your BIOS for a RAM frequency setting. Again, the precise location varies depending on your system, but it's often in an "Advanced Chipset" section, on a page that mentions RAM or DRAM configuration.

Step 2

Modify the RAM frequency, which is the value expressed in MHz.

Step 3

Exit the BIOS with the "Save Settings and Exit" option and let your computer restart.

Tips & Warnings

  • RAM will accept lower frequency settings than its default, and such frequencies must sometimes be set to ensure compatibility with a given motherboard. Some RAM can also be overclocked, or setting it to a higher frequency than its motherboard supports. Do this with care.
  • As mentioned above, many prefabricated computers, such as those sold by Dell or HP, have locked the RAM frequency at the factory and removed the setting from BIOS. Motherboards with cleared BIOS or those sold separately for use in building your own computer will have this setting available.