When it comes to RAM, a lot of people think more is better. While that is true for many reasons, there are other factors at play that determine the overall performance impact your RAM has on your PC. These include RAM type, speed, size etc.
In addition to that, if you ever need to upgrade RAM on your PC and want to add more RAM modules, you will need to make sure that you get the correct RAM Type since RAM type is not backwards or forward compatible.
Basically, in order to check RAM Type, you can use built-in services like the Task Manager, Command Prompt as well as third party software like CPU-Z or HWinfo64.
In this guide, I will thus focus solely on the RAM type and how to check RAM Type in Windows 10 in detail.
You can use the information here, however, to check the RAM type on other operating systems as well.
Let’s dive right in!
What RAM Types Are Generally Used?
Most modern computers use DDR3, DDR4 or the latest DDR5 RAM. However, there are a lot of other types of RAM, too, archaic as they may be. These include DDR, DDR2, SDRAM, EDO RAM etc.
Your PC most likely has either a DDR3 or DDR4 RAM. You may also have DDR5 if your PC is relatively new. DDR5 is the latest Type of RAM you can find on PCs.
Again, it should be noted that RAM Types are NOT backwards or forward compatible. Meaning you cannot use a DDR4 stick on a PC designed for DDR5 or vice versa.
Also Read: Will DDR5 RAM Work on DDR4 Motherboard?
How To Check RAM Type in Windows 10
There’s a few ways you can check the type of RAM in your PC.
- You can either use Window’s built-in Command Prompt.
- Task Manager (only for DDR3 and below)
- Third party tool CPU-Z
- Third party tool HWInfo64.
- Furthermore, you can also inspect the RAM sticks physically to see the type.
Let’s look at how to use each method.
1. Checking RAM Type Using Command Prompt
This is perhaps the easiest method you can employ to check what RAM Type you have in Windows 10.
However, this method DOES NOT always work. I will explain below.
To open up the command prompt
- Open the start menu and type “Command Prompt” in the search bar.
- Right-click the first result that says “Command Prompt” with a black icon
- Select “Run as Administrator.” Make sure you launch the program as an administrator.
- A black Terminal window will open up. Type in the following command:
wmic memorychip get devicelocator, memorytype
This will display a number under the heading “MemoryType.”
The number you see here is a code that specifies the memory type you have.
Check the number from the list below to check the type of RAM you’re using in your PC.
The MemoryType Code I received above was 24 which corresponds to DDR3 RAM.
|MemoryType Code||RAM Type|
As alluded to earlier, this method does not always work.
Sometimes the number you get back is simply ‘0’. Meaning your system was unable to read the MemoryType.
In this case, you will have no choice but to employ other methods as highlighted below.
2. Checking RAM Type Using Task Manager (Only for DDR3 and Below)
The second way to check RAM type in a Windows 10 is PC is by using the Task Manager.
This is also a fairly simple and straightforward method, however, it works only if you have a DDR3 or older gen RAM.
It does not work for DDR4 or DDR5 RAM modules.
To open the Task Manager, press Control + Alt + Delete and click on Task Manager.
Alternatively, you can press Control + Shift + Escape to open the Task Manager directly.
Once the Task Manager window is open, click on the tab named “Performance.” From the column displayed, click on “Memory.”
The general details such as RAM size, speed, form factor etc. will show up.
On the top right corner of the window, you’ll be able to see the type of RAM you’re using IF YOU HAVE A DDR3 or older RAM module.
I have a DDR4 RAM module and hence I cannot see its type written on the top right corner.
3. Checking RAM Type Through CPU-Z
CPU-Z is a free third party software you can install to check a lot of hardware information on your PC, including the RAM type.
Click here to download the program. CPU-Z is a very lightweight program that installs quickly.
Once the installation is complete, open up CPU-Z.
Click on the fourth tab labeled “Memory.” The field named Type will list the type of memory used in your computer.
The best part about this method is that you will rarely find any issues (as you would with the previous two methods).
Hence, this is the most definitive way to check the RAM Type and highly recommended.
4. Checking RAM Type Through HWiNFO64
HWinfo64 is another program you can install to check the type of RAM installed in your computer. Click here to download the software.
Once you’ve installed the software, open it up and look for the window named “Motherboard.”
Under that, you’ll see a filed labelled as TYPE. This will specify the type of RAM installed on your PC.
5. Checking RAM Type Through Physical Inspection
Different RAM sticks have notches at different positions and have a different pin count as well.
This is done so you cannot insert the wrong RAM type in the wrong slot.
Removing the RAM from your motherboard is a very simple process. First, look at the tiny clip at the end of the RAM slot on your motherboard.
If your RAM slots are color-coded, the clip should be too. Simply push the clip downward and outward towards the motherboard to unclip it.
Be very gentle when you do this, and it should push the RAM module up while the clip opens up.
The image below shows the notch position on different generations of RAM.
You can also count the number of pins in order to figure out which type of RAM you have.
Desktop Based (DIMM)
- DDR5 has 288 Pins
- DDR4 has 288 Pins
- DDR 3 has 240 Pins
Laptop Based (SO-DIMMS)
- DDR4 has 260 pins
- DDR3 has 204 pins
Summing It Up
There are various ways on how to check RAM Type in Windows 10. If you don’t want to open up your computer to check the type of RAM, there are multiple software that help you do so.
Know that when upgrading your RAM, knowing what Type it is is a crucial aspect to determine.
So, which type of RAM are you using in your build? Let us know!