RAM my motherboard
How to know how much RAM memory my motherboard supports can save us more than a displeasure when deciding to expand our hardware without buying the full pack, we talk about board, processor (CPU) and RAM memory.
Every motherboard has an installable RAM limit, and also a limit on the frequency at which this RAM is able to work. In this article we will try to find out the maximum figures that our motherboard supports.
And the truth is that knowing how much memory the motherboard supports is fairly straightforward, as long as we know what kind of motherboard we have, which is almost always the most problematic thing to find out. So let’s go slowly and try to make all possible considerations.
Why we want to install more RAM
Do we really need more RAM than we have? This is the first question we must ask ourselves. The RAM memory is one of the main hardware components of our equipment.
Thanks to it, the operating system can load the programs that are being used in it, its processes and the instructions that will be executed by the processor.
The more RAM, the more programs and more workload we can carry out on our PC. Of course we would have to take into account the power of our processor, but well, that’s another matter than this.
In any case, once we exceed the memory used by the system more programs will not get better performance, ie, if we have 8 GB and still have plenty of space, no matter how much GB we install our PC is not going to go faster.
At present, if we have Windows 10 installed in our PC, and in its version of 64 bits (we hope that yes) the recommended thing is always to have more than 4 GB of RAM memory.
Special in this version of 64 bits, it will be better to have at least 8 GB, since the own system to half load usually uses enough space.
What does the maximum memory we can install depend on?
Each motherboard has a limit of RAM that can be installed. And not only in quantity, but also the type of memory, for example, whether it is DDR3, DDR4 or any other DDR.
But also we will have a limit as far as frequency of memory, that is to say, if for example we install a RAM of 4000 MHz and the board supports only 2400 MHz, then our memory is not going to work to the maximum speed.
In this way the factors that influence the amount, type and frequency of memory that we can install will be the following:
- Motherboard manufacturer and model: there are many motherboard manufacturers on the market, and each of them creates a product according to performance and price.
- The processor: RAM memory communicates directly with the processor. It is true that the motherboard chipset will determine which processor to install, but in turn the processor will determine how much RAM to install, since it is the one that addresses the available memory cells. There are two processor manufacturers on the market: Intel and AMD. Each of them has several generations of processors, and different powers. So we’ll also need to know in detail what processors we have to know how much memory we can install on our motherboard.
- The chipset: the chipset limits not the amount of memory, but the speed at which it can work using JEDEC profiles. Although this is best dealt with in a separate article.
In the processor specifications, a RAM speed limit is also imposed. This limit does not imply that we cannot install faster memories, since this “official” limit is not an obstacle to obtain better performance of a system with a RAM memory of for example 4000 MHz, in spite of the fact that the processor only admits 2666 Mhz.
Generic capabilities according to platform and chipset
This information cannot be fulfilled to the letter, because depending on the DIMM slots that each board has, it will admit more or less RAM memory. In any case, we will be able to know the maximum amount of memory in function of the socket that we have installed in our PC.
In all the cases they will be RAM memories DDR4:
- Socket LGA 1151: (6th and 7th generation): 64 GB (4 DIMM slots)
- Socket LGA 1151: (8th and 9th generation): 64 GB (4 DIMM slots)
- Socket LGA 2066: 128 GB (8 DIMM slots)
- 2011 LGA V3 Socket: 128 GB (8 DIMM slots)
- AM4 Socket: 64 GB (8 DIMM slots)
- Socket TR4: 128 GB (4 DIMM slots)
How to know which motherboard I have (quick option)
Well, the first thing we have to do is find out what motherboard we have installed on our computer. If in your case you already know brand and model, then it will not be necessary for you to follow this point.
If that’s not your case, you’ll need to find out which motherboard model you have, so you’ll also know which chipset you have to install and, consequently, which processor it supports and how much memory you’ll be able to install. Got it?
At this point, we will have two options. The first is to dust off the case of our motherboard (if we buy the PC in pieces), there somewhere you can model the motherboard we have.
Hopefully we’ll also have the user’s manual in which the subject of RAM memory will come up. The second option is to install a program that tells us what hardware we have in our PC.
We are going to opt for this second option. Well, the first program we’re going to install is one of the CCleaner family – don’t panic! We’re not doing PC cleaning.
This program is called Piriform Speccy. We know you’re lazy looking for it, so click here to download and install it. In any case, there are many others available on the Internet, e.g. Aida 64, Everest, HWiNFO, CPU-Z, etc.
On the first installation screen, disable the CCleaner installation option. Once installed, we will open it and it will automatically collect all the information about our equipment. Let’s go to the “Summary” or “Motherboard” section to get to know our motherboard.
We will have extremely important information on this screen. In “manufacturer” and “model” we will have brand and model of the plate, this is what we want. But we will also be able to find out what kind of CPU chipset it has, the “Southbridge model” chipset, BIOS, etc.
We could also go to the “RAM” section to find out how many slots our board has.
The second program we could use is CPU-Z, which is able to give us the name of our board and some more features. It’s another very simple program that gives us a lot of information. We will be able to download it from their official website.
We have available information about the socket, and the amount of slots that our board has, so we could go from searching because with the small list above we would know how much we have available.
In our example we have the following board: Asus B150 Pro Gaming AURA and we already know in advance that its capacity is 64 GB. According to LGA 1151 socket and 4 memory slots.
What processor do I have (because we are completists)?
We already know the name of our motherboard, we could already know how much RAM it admits, but we are going to do things well, and we are going to also know how much our CPU admits. If we don’t plan to buy a new processor, this information could be important.
We use this same Speccy software to find out what our CPU is. Let’s go to the “CPU” section.
We will thus know its full name, number of cores, technology threads and the generation to which it belongs. We’re interested in your name.
We could also have used CPU-Z again which will also give us all this and more information. In fact, he specializes in this kind of information.
In our example we have the following processor: Intel Core i5-6500
How to know how much RAM my motherboard supports
It’s time, we’ve got it all, plate name and processor name. Now the wisest thing will be to make use of our Internet friend. It’s not about us saying how much memory all CPUs and boards support, but about learning how to do it yourself and apply it to any case.
Maximum motherboard memory
Let’s start with our motherboard. Let’s go to the official website of the manufacturer of the plate. Or let’s just put the whole name on San-Google. Searching for manufacturers’ pages can also do this job.
We’ll look at your specs. The list of specifications is practically identical in all manufacturers. We will identify this information in the memory section.
So we see that our motherboard has 4 DIMM slots that supports up to 64 GB of DDR4 RAM at a speed of 2133 MHz and Dual Channel. We already know something new, in this board we will only reach a RAM speed of 2133 MHz.
Let’s look at examples for other major brands:
Maximum processor memory
Now let’s look at the information that the manufacturer gives us about the memory that the processor supports. Then we go to Intel or AMD and look for our CPU.
Here are the specifications of our 6th generation i5-6500. Supports a total of 64 GB of DDR4 2133 MHz RAM and DRR3L (for laptops).
In the case of AMD, you may only find the supported memory frequency and version. Then for maximum capacity, we’ll listen to the motherboard itself.
In any case, we have the necessary information. Now we’ll have to see which one is the one that limits the capacity the most, whether the processor or the board.
If our PC is balanced, it will mean that both board and CPU support exactly the same RAM, as is our case.
So it wouldn’t make sense to install hypothetical 16GB modules in each slot, in fact, nor would it detect it. With speed the same thing happens, this chipset+BIOS does not support more than 2133 MHz frequency, so installing more does not make sense.
What if we have a laptop or a PC already mounted by a brand?
If we are in the case of having a PC mounted by a manufacturer, in which we find a strange motherboard and name and model not known, it is best to directly enter the model of our PC in the search engine of the manufacturer to see their specifications.
In this regard, we may even need the specific model number, as manufacturers often make several specifications for each family or model they put on the market.
The CPU-Z or Speccy method is going to work for us almost every time, though.
Let’s see for example a laptop not too new to see what information we can find. Dell Latitude E5440.
There’s clearly your specifications. This model has two SO-DIMM slots that support DDR3 and DDR3L memories at a speed of 1600 MHz and a maximum of 16 GB. So we can buy two modules of 8 GB maximum.
Conclusion on how to know how much RAM my motherboard supports
We believe that listing generic chipsets and memory boards here makes little sense, and that’s why we’ve provided useful information so that everyone knows their hardware and can get information about it with the best tool: the Internet.