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Your computer’s RAM is short-term RAM used to run applications and open files. The more RAM your computer has, the more you can do at a time. Here’s how to check how much your system has.

We will show you how to test the speed of your RAM. Like almost all technology, with the possible exception of batteries, RAM gets better and faster over time. Newer computers will have faster RAM than older ones.

What is working memory?

RAM stands for «Random Access Memory». This is the physical working memory used by your computer. All your open applications, files and other data are stored here for easy access. RAM is different from your computer’s SSD or hard drive, which are much slower than RAM. When you run a program or open a file, it moves from your system’s storage to RAM.

The more RAM you have, the more you can do at once. If you don’t have enough RAM for open applications, your system will run slower as Windows (or another operating system) is forced to move data in and out of the pagefile to and from the system drive. You may even see an insufficient memory error if there is not enough RAM.

How much RAM you need depends on what you’re doing. You’ll need more RAM to play the latest PC games, run virtual machines, and edit 4K videos.

How to check how much RAM you have on Windows

You can check how much RAM you have in various ways.

On Windows 10, use Task Manager. Right-click on the taskbar and select «Task Manager» or press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open it. Click the «Performance» tab and select «Memory» from the left pane. If you don’t see any tabs, click «More Info» first.

The total amount of installed RAM is displayed here. Task Manager also tells you the standard, speed, form factor, and number of physical memory slots in use on your system. You can install more RAM if you can open your computer (this is not possible on some laptops) and have a few free slots.

The amount and speed of RAM are displayed in the Windows 10 Task Manager

The Task Manager does not provide this useful information in Windows 7. Instead, you can see the total amount of RAM in the Control Panel > System and Security > System page. You can also open it quickly by opening the Start menu, right-clicking Computer, and selecting Properties. Look to the right of Installed Memory under System.

Viewing the amount of computer RAM on Windows 7

To see more specific information about your RAM time in Windows 10 or 7, we recommend CPU-Z. Download and install CPU-Z, run it and go to the Memory tab to view this information.

If you are building your own computer, your RAM may not work at the advertised time until you adjust the time.

cpu-z shows ram time

CONNECTED: How does RAM speed and timing affect my PC’s performance?

This information is usually displayed in the UEFI firmware or BIOS of your system. This is especially useful if you are using a computer without a running operating system. Just download it, use the keyboard shortcut to enter the BIOS or UEFI firmware (it’s different for each PC), and find information about system memory or RAM.

CONNECTED: What does a computer’s BIOS do and when should I use it?

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