How to Upgrade Your Computer's RAM

By Techwalla Computers Editor

To increase the random-access memory (RAM) of your computer, you must know the type of RAM it uses, how the RAM is presently configured and how many open RAM slots are available.

Things You'll Need

  • Computers Memory

Step 1

Check the owner's manual or motherboard manual to determine if RAM is parity or non-parity. The website of the company you purchased the computer from usually will tell you what kind of memory your computer needs as well.

Step 2

Find out the speed of RAM (for example, 60 nanoseconds).

Step 3

Determine whether the computer uses single in-line memory modules (SIMMs) or dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs).

Step 4

Find out whether the computer uses regular, FPM, EDO, or Synch DRAM.

Step 5

Determine the number of pins on the motherboard: 30, 72 or 168.

Step 6

Remove the cover from the machine to find the number of open RAM slots. Look for between two and eight same-sized parallel sockets on the main circuit board. Usually at least two of those sockets will contain RAM - ruler-shaped circuit boards with chips on one or both sides.

Step 7

Purchase additional RAM that matches existing memory specifications.

Step 8

See the Related eHow "How to Install RAM" to learn how to put in RAM yourself; you can also get it installed (recommended if you don't feel comfortable opening up your computer case).

Tips & Warnings

  • You usually have to install SIMMs in pairs.
  • If you don't know how much RAM you have installed currently, check your My Computer properties in Windows or choose About This Macintosh from the Apple menu.