What RAM is compatible with my motherboard ?

You have a motherboard, now you want to know what RAM aka Memory, is compatible with your motherboard. There are different generations of RAM, and different motherboards, support different Mhz RAM. It is best to find the right generation RAM or it wont fit your motherboard. You also want to get the highest speed RAM that your motherboard supports, to get the best performance. Remember that laptop RAM is different from desktop RAM, and if your motherboard support XMP, you should find XMP Capable RAM to fully utilize your RAMs maximum clock speeds.

Definitions

  • RAM – stands for Random Access Memory. It is the physical hardware inside a computer that temporarily stores data, serving as the computer’s “working” memory. All standard RAM is Non-ECC, unbuffered and unregistered.
  • DDR – stands for Double Data Rate. The number at the end is the Generation ie: DDR4 is 4th Generation DDR (the latest as of 2021). It takes several years for a new generation of RAM to be produced such as the future DDR5 and usually gives much faster speeds. Different generation RAM is not backwards compatible.
  • XMP – stands for eXtreme Memory Profiles. Is a technology developed by intel, that permits you to change multiple memory settings, with the simple click of a button, by selecting a different XMP profile
  • SDRAM Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory. It is a type of memory that synchronizes itself with the computer’s system clock
  • Overclock (OC) – to operate computer hardware (RAM, CPU or GPU) at a speed higher than is recommended by the manufacturer
  • DIMM – stands for Dual In-line Memory Module. Comprises a series of dynamic random-access memory integrated circuits. These modules are mounted on a printed circuit board and designed for use
  • SODIMM – stands for Small Outline Dual In-line Memory Module, is a type of computer memory built using integrated circuits. SO-DIMMs are a smaller alternative to a DIMM, being roughly half the size of regular DIMMs.
  • CPU – stands for Central Processing Unit. This is the brains of your computer, it is the electronic circuitry within a computer that executes instructions that make up a computer program.
  • GPU – stands for Graphics Processing Unit. A programmable processor specialized for rendering all images on the computer’s screen

I. How do I tell what RAM is compatible with my motherboard?

You have to find out what Generation and MHz of RAM your motherboard supports. There are few different ways to get this information from your computer, but most involve finding out the motherboard model number. First you can find the model number on the box, or printed on the motherboards itself. Once you Find out your motherboard model number, you can look up the RAM types it supports on the manufacturers website!

1. Model number written on the motherboard

Most modern motherboards will have the motherboard model number written on the motherboard itself. Most will even show what Generation of RAM if uses in writing right beside the RAM slots on the boards itself. Great if you haven’t assembled the computer yet, or if you can’t power on the system.

how to find model motherboard model number on the front
how to find model motherboard model number on the front

2. Motherboard model number written on the box

If you bought a new motherboard, then the model number (and sometimes even the RAM generation) will show directly on the retail box (see image below).

motherboard product label on your product box
motherboard product label on your product box

3. Motherboard Model Number in System Information

Press your windows key and search or find “System Information” window. Somewhere in the middle you’ll see “BaseBoard Product” that is your motherboard model number.

motherboard model number system information windows
motherboard model number system information windows

4. Motherboard Model Number on Benchmarking Software | Speccy

You can install a number of different benchmarking programs on your computer, to find out tons of information, including the motherboard model number. My favorite free program is Speccy, its only a few mbs to download, and its portable so it runs without installing it, It will tell you everything you need to know including your motherboard model number, and what RAM type (generation and speed), that your motherboard supports.

motherboard model number benchmarking software speccy
motherboard model number benchmarking software speccy

II. Look up the motherboard on the manufacturers website

Ok you have the model number, now lets go to the manufacturers website and find out what type of RAM you need.

Once you begin typing your motherboard model number in the search bar on the manufacturers website, it will display products matching that model number, select the model matching your motherboard and it will bring you to the support page for your motherboard.

asus website input motherboard model number
asus website input motherboard model number

2. Find your motherboard RAM Info on the support page for your motherboard

If your RAM information doesn’t display on the main overview “Features” page find the technical specifications link or area and it will be there.

You can see below on the ASUS website the RAM Type DDR4 and the Mhz is 4266Mhz.

If your computer is a desktop, your memory is DIMM size because all desktop computers use DIMM RAM, only if its a laptop, then you look for SODIMM.

Now when you go to find RAM compatible with your motherboard, you have all the information you need. HURRAY!

Asus ROG Z390 website support ram info highligted
Asus ROG Z390 website support ram info highligted

I only recommend one brand of RAM….Corsair! Corsair is a well known, dependable brand, it’s what I use in my system, and Corsair LPS RAM is probably the best value ram out there.

Corsair RAM is good RAM for anything from high end gaming systems (RGB Options), to office workstation computers.

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