There are several ways to check the make and model of your RAM sticks for both plugged-in and unplugged RAM sticks.
If your RAM stick is unplugged and outside the PC, you can check its make and model through a simple physical inspection. On the other hand, if your RAM stick is plugged in and running, you can check the make and model using Command Prompt and popular third-party system inspection software like HWinfo.
In the following article, I will explain in detail how to check the RAM model, and the brand also covers several other important aspects of the RAM you can check in case you plan to upgrade.
Without further ado, let us get to work.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
How to Check RAM Model and Brand?
Let us look at how to check the RAM model and brand of a plugged-in and an unplugged stick separately.
Checking the RAM Model and Brand of an Unplugged Stick
To check the model and brand of an unplugged stick, check what the label says.
All RAM sticks have a label sticker mentioning the brand, model, and part number.
In addition, the RAM stick may also mention other aspects and specs, such as the voltage it uses, its serial number, etc.
For instance, on the RAM stick above, you can see that the brand or manufacturer for this RAM stick is Kingston.
You can also see several other numbers; some relate to the part number, and others relate to its serial. However, what you are interested in is Kingston’s model number.
Knowing the manufacturer’s RAM model initial letters lets you know which number pertains to the model number.
For instance, Kingston’s RAM sticks have a model number starting with the letters “KHX,” i.e., the model number for this stick is KHX1600C9D3K2/4GX.
Different brands have their RAM model numbers starting with different letters/numbers. Here is a short list:
|Brand||Initial Letters for Model Number|
|Kingston||KHX – ,Hyper X i.e., KHX1600C9D3K2 KF – Fury|
|Corsair||CM – CMD – For Dominator – CMK – Vengeance LPX – CMR – Vengeance RGB – CMT – Dominator Platinum|
|Crucial||BL – BLE – Elite – BLS – Sport – BLT – Tactical|
|Mushkin||M – MBA – Blackline – MES – Essentials – MPL – Proline|
|Patriot||P – PSD – Signature Line – PV – Viper 4 – PX – Xtreme|
Decoding the Specs from the Model Name
Every letter and number in the model name has a meaning attached.
You can decode the specs from the name if you understand what they entail. For instance, the model name for my RAM stick KHX1600C9D3K2 holds the following meaning:
- KHX – Kingston Hyper X
- 1600 – Frequency in MHz
- C9 – CAS Latency of 9
- D3 – DDR 3
- K2 – Kit of 2 (The product came with a kit of 2 sticks)
- /4 – 4 GB Kit (Each stick worth 2 GB)
What every letter and number in the model name of the stick entails is NOT uniform across the brands.
However, you can find a fantastic resource here: Meaning of RAM Product Item Numbers/Codes, where a helpful user named Raison John has done a splendid job detailing what the numbers mean from different manufacturers.
Checking the RAM Model and Brand of a Plugged in Stick
If your RAM stick is plugged in, you can check its make and model through a command prompt or using popular FREE third-party software/utilities.
Checking the RAM Model and Brand Using Command Prompt
This is perhaps the most straightforward method to check the RAM model and brand if plugged in.
Step 1: Open Command Prompt
In the Windows Search bar, type “Command Prompt” and open the “Command Prompt” application.
Step 2: Search for RAM Details Using Specific Strings
With the Command prompt open, type the following:
wmic MemoryChip get DeviceLocator, Manufacturer, PartNumber
The resulting prompt should detail both the manufacturer and the Part Number of all the RAM sticks installed in your PC:
You can see above that Samsung manufactures the RAM sticks on my Laptop, and their Model Number is M471A1K43CB1. For instance, I can look this up online to buy another identical RAM stick.
Note that there is a vast list of different strings, other than Manufacturer and PartNumber, that you can use in Command Prompt to get information regarding your RAM stick.
Here is a short list:
- Memory Type
Windows has a comprehensive article on the complete list of strings: Win32_PhysicalMemory class.
Also Read: Will DDR5 RAM Work on DDR4 Motherboard?
Checking the RAM Model and Brand Using Free Third Party Software
Using third-party software is the second method to check the RAM model and brand if it’s plugged in.
The two that I would recommend are the following:
Using HWinfo to Find Out RAM Make and Model:
With the free software downloaded, run it (Run the version based on your system’s architecture, i.e., 32-bit or 64-bit). This should open several utility Windows.
The one we are interested in is shown below.
Here, select the “Memory” tab from the Left-Hand menu. The resulting drop-down list should show you all the RAM sticks currently installed in your system
Select one RAM and read its details on the right, particularly the fields labeled as:
- Module Manufacturer: Samsung, in this instance
- Module Part Number: M471A1K43CB1-CRC in this instance
Besides the brand and manufacturer, HWinfo can give you further details regarding each RAM stick you have installed.
Using CPU-Z to Find Out RAM Make and Model:
Another straightforward and light utility to figure out the make and model of your RAM stick is CPU-Z.
With the utility downloaded, RUN it. When the utility starts, select the “SPD” tab in the above menu and look for the fields labeled as:
- DRAM Manuf
- Part Number
If multiple sticks are installed, you can select a different RAM stick from the Memory Slot Selection drop-down menu.
Also Read: Can You Use Laptop RAM in Desktop?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Can You Mix Different Brands of RAM?
Yes, you can mix different RAM stick brands so long as they are of the same type, i.e., DDR1, DDR2, DDR3, or DDR4.
2. What Else to Check If You are Planning on Buying a New RAM Stick
If you are planning on buying another RAM stick for your PC, it is essential to check the following:
RAM Type: The RAM must belong to the same DDR version. The DDR versions are NOT cross-compatible.
Frequency: Ideally, the frequency of the RAM sticks must be the same. You can add a lower or a higher frequency RAM stick compared to the already installed one, but the two will operate at the frequency of the slower RAM stick.
CAS Latency: ideally, this parameter must also match the installed one. Otherwise, the two RAM sticks will work at the slowest latency of the two.
3. What are some common RAM brands and models?
There are many RAM brands and models available in the market. Some of the most popular brands include Kingston, Corsair, Crucial, G.Skill, and ADATA. These brands offer a range of RAM models that vary in capacity, speed, and other specifications.
4. How can I find out if my RAM is compatible with my motherboard?
To find out if your RAM is compatible with your motherboard, you can check the motherboard’s documentation or specifications. The documentation should list the type and speed of RAM that is supported by the motherboard.
You can then check your RAM’s specifications to ensure that it matches the motherboard’s requirements.
5. How do I know if I need to upgrade my RAM?
If you are experiencing slow performance or frequent crashes when running multiple applications, you may need to upgrade your RAM. Other signs that you may need to upgrade your RAM include slow boot times, long loading times for applications, and a high percentage of memory usage when running applications.