Normally, just checking the technical specs or motherboard documentation would reveal the maximum amount of RAM memory that your PC supports, but this is not always the case, particularly with OEM PCs purchased pre-assembled. Thus, we’re going to demonstrate how to determine the maximum amount of RAM memory that your PC’s motherboard allows without opening it, using only a few easy commands that you can type in Windows, Mac OS, or Linux.
It may appear straightforward, but as we previously stated, determining the maximum RAM memory that may be installed on your PC is not always so simple. Many OEM PCs, pre-built PCs, and laptops employ unique motherboards for which information is tough to come by, and even if you do, you will have spent a significant amount of time.
To save this headache, we’ll show you how to quickly and conveniently determine how much RAM your PC supports by entering a few commands.
Why do I want to know how much RAM I have in my PC?
Opening your computer can be a hassle and a waste of time if you have another way to get this information. Often, we buy a new computer already pre-built and we do not know what is the organization of the memory sockets. This is important when buying new RAM modules.
That is why there are a number of utilities that help us to know what is the memory configuration of our PC in case we want to make an upgrade by adding more DIMM or SO-DIMM modules to our computer or replacing the existing ones in the system.
In any case, we must remember that there are memories such as LPDDR type that are soldered to the board and therefore do not use DIMM sockets. In that case you can also know what RAM your PC has, but you will not be able to upgrade it. It is also useful in the case of second-hand components, to know if the RAM you have bought is working properly and there are no defective portions of it.
If you don’t know how much RAM you have installed, let’s start by showing you how to see it.
How much RAM does your computer have?
In case you want to check it in Windows just follow these steps:
- Access the Task Manager by right-clicking on the start bar, you will get a context menu with the following options
- You can also access it directly by pressing the CTRL, ALT and DEL keys at the same time.
Once there you can see it in the Performance -> Memory tab.
In case you have a Mac, it is as simple as going to the top left icon of the apple, drop down the menu and select the option “About this Mac”. From there you will be able to see the technical specifications of your Mac such as processor and memory.
Hardware information on Linux
In Linux you will need software like hard-info, which will give you all the information you need to know about your hardware. You will find the amount of RAM installed under Devices -> Memory. It will also help you to know how applications use RAM memory and to know if your PC needs an upgrade, as there are programs that use a lot of memory to run.
How to know how much RAM memory your PC supports?
Now that you know how much RAM memory you have installed, let’s see how to see what is the maximum supported by the motherboard of your PC using the most used operating systems. So regardless of whether you are a Windows, Linux or even a Macintosh user, you can check how much RAM your system has.
How much RAM does your PC support in Windows?
It’s as straightforward as following these instructions:
- Open a command prompt (right click on the Start button -> Command Prompt), you can also do it by searching for Command Prompt.
- Once you have opened the command prompt type the following: wmic memphysical get MaxCapacity, MemoryDevices
Remember that each KB of RAM is 1024 bytes, each MB is another 1024 KB, and each GB is the same, but using the MB as a reference.
It should be noted that in the storage, units of 1000 are not counted, but rather 1024 in 1024. Furthermore, the “MemoryDevices” option specifies the maximum number of RAM sockets on the board, so dividing 64 GB by 4 requires us to support modules with capacities of up to 16 GB per RAM module.
How much RAM does your Mac support?
Just like the amount of RAM installed, in Mac OS it is very easy to know the maximum amount of memory supported by the system.
- Simply click on the apple icon at the top left and select “About this Mac”.
- Once inside click on the “More info…” button and go to the “Memory” tab.
- There you will see the maximum supported size, number of sockets and amount installed, as you can see in the image that accompanies the beginning of this section.
How much RAM does your Linux PC support?
To find out how much RAM you can install on a Linux machine, use the dmidecode command, which is not installed by default on most distributions, so you’ll have to do it manually. Depending on the distribution, you will need to use the following command to install it.
- ubuntu/debian: sudo apt install dmidecode.
- arch: sudo pacman -S dmidecode.
- fedora: sudo dnf install dmidecode.
- openSUSE: sudo zypper in dmidecode.
- To install dmidecode, simply execute the following command in a command line: sudo dmidecode -t memory.
So, you can see that it is very easy to know how much RAM memory (in terms of capacity) your computer supports regardless of the operating system you are using, without having to open it to see the motherboard and without having to fight to find technical information about it.