While the hardware specifications and amount of RAM (random access memory) in a computer may influence your desire to purchase it or not, once you've purchased and started using the computer it can be easy to forget the fine details — especially if you peel off the stickers highlighting that information.
If you find yourself needing to troubleshoot a hardware problem, make sure a game or resource-intensive program can run on your system or if you're just curious about what's inside your computer, don't worry: you can find the make and model of your system, as well as how much RAM the machine is using, by following a few easy steps.
What is RAM?
RAM, short for "random access memory," is a key component in any machine that processes data — whether it's a laptop, a desktop computer, a mobile device or a gaming console, RAM is used to process data quickly and effectively, to make the user experience smooth and simple.
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RAM, often found in the form of a chip slotted into the motherboard of a device, acts as short-term computer memory: information needed immediately and in the near future is stored in RAM, which can be discarded and rewritten rapidly. This is in contrast to the long-term computer memory stored on a hard drive.
Unlike the majority of computer components, the precise model of RAM chips in a system matters less than the type of RAM those chips are and how much storage they offer your system. This information – along with other system specifications – are found in different ways depending on what operating system you're using.
Checking System Info on Windows
On a Windows PC, checking the RAM specs of your system is incredibly easy. Regardless of whether your system is running Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 10, system information is listed on the "About System" page in your Settings menu. To access this page quickly, open the File Explorer, then navigate to "This PC" or "My Computer." Right-click the icon and select "Properties" from the drop-down menu — or after opening Windows Settings by selecting "System" and then "About."
The window that appears will list the manufacturer and model of your computer, alongside information like your processor specifications, the amount of RAM available and whether you have a 32- or 64-bit installation of Windows. If you want more detailed information, you can use a program like Speccy, which will scan your hardware and list fine details, alongside data like system temperature and network speeds.
Check Computer RAM and Specs on Mac
Checking the system information on a Mac computer running OS X is incredibly simple: click the Apple icon at the top left of the screen, then select "About this Mac" from the drop-down menu. The window that opens will provide you with the model, model year and technical specifications of your system. By clicking the various tabs in the window, you can easily locate more specific details about your computer, like how much RAM is available and whether you have space for additional chips.
Accessing System Info in Ubuntu Linux
On a system running Ubuntu Linux, determining the details of your system is slightly harder: the "Details" option in the System Settings menu available from the desktop will only provide basic information on the Ubuntu installation and processor. To find the fine details, you'll have to use the Command Terminal. To open the Terminal quickly, press the "Ctrl," "Alt" and "T" keys together.
From the Terminal, you can use the built-in "lshw" utility to display detailed system information. Run the utility as a superuser by entering the string "$ sudo lshw," and then pressing "Enter." You may need to enter your password before being able to run the command. Once entered, the command will run the utility, providing a large amount of information on your system. For a shorter, simplified readout, enter "$ sudo lshw -short" and press "Enter." You will then see an itemized list of system properties.