How to Check the Type of RAM in a Laptop

By Shea Laverty

There are several ways to find out what kind of RAM modules your laptop has installed, including software and technical specifications.

Knowing what kind of RAM you have installed in your computer is essential when replacing RAM modules or determining if your computer meets a program's minimum requirements. There are a few ways to find out what kind of RAM you have installed, some offering more information than others. What option is best for you depends on how much information you need and your level of technical proficiency.

Using DXDIAG and System Information

DXDIAG

DXDIAG, with the memory section highlighted.

  1. Press Windows-X on your keyboard to open the power user menu.
  2. Select Run.
  3. Type dxdiag and press Enter.
  4. Click Yes when the prompt appears.
  5. Look for the Memory heading. The number listed is your currently installed RAM memory.

System Information

System information with installed memory highlighted.

  1. Press Windows-X on your keyboard to open the power user menu.
  2. Select System.
  3. Find Installed Memory (RAM) under the System heading. The number listed is your installed RAM.

Windows features two built-in ways to check your RAM: DXDIAG and the system information window. The information these tools offer regarding your RAM is very basic, however, as it only tells you how much RAM memory you have, not what type of RAM modules are installed on your computer. If you only need to know how much RAM you have, however, they are more than up to the task.

Checking the Technical Specifications

Look up your laptop model's support or sales page on the manufacturer's website to see if technical specifications are available online. If not, third-party websites like NotebookCheck and LapSpecs may have them available for viewing. After you find the technical specifications, check for the RAM or Memory heading to see what is listed.

Tip

If you're not sure what your laptop's model name is, check the bottom of the case for a sticker. The sticker should have some bar codes on it, as well as the model name, serial number and manufacturing date.

Warning

Manufacturer specifications aren't useful if your computer is a custom-built order, since you're likely only looking at the base model as opposed to your build.

Using Software Tools

Several programs can assess your computer and give you more detailed information regarding your installed RAM than DXDIAG and the system information window. AIDA64, CPU-Z and HWINFO all offer detailed information regarding not only your installed RAM, but all of your computer's hardware. Look for the RAM or Memory option in each program to see information regarding your installed RAM modules.

Opening the Case

As a last resort, disassemble the laptop's casing to get a look at the RAM card installed in your computer's motherboard. This process requires tech savvy and a very solid understanding of how your computer is put together: Not only do you have to take your computer apart without damaging any of the components, but you have to put it back together correctly.

When you have the case open, disconnect the memory module from the motherboard and take a look at it. It should have a label indicating the type of RAM module, number of gigabytes of RAM on that module and the RAM speed.

Warning

If have no experience with assembling or taking apart computers and aren't familiar with how your computer is put together, don't use this method. Inexperience increases the chance of damaging your laptop's internal components.

Since laptops aren't as simple to open up and inspect as a desktop, this can also be very time-consuming. Only undertake this task if you have the time to do it right.