Choosing the right RAM for your PC

installed RAM on PC motherboard

Random Access Memory (RAM) stores memory temporarily for your computer programs to quickly access and use. RAM helps your computer run fast. In Fact apart from the Central Processing Unit, CPU, RAM is the next piece of hardware that helps boost the overall speed of your PC.

Buying good RAM for your PC is as important as the CPU. Even with a good CPU, running your PC on a poor RAM will slow down your PC.

There are many RAMs available, so you must choose the right RAM for your PC. Compatibility is a huge factor, always check that your PC is compatible with the RAM you want to buy before purchasing.


The two major pieces of information you should look out for in a RAM is its speed and storage capacity. The higher the speed and storage capacity of the RAM, the better.

Based on the type of PC you have, want to buy or build, There is usually a maximum limit of the RAM it can take. If you are building a PC, check the information that comes with the motherboard. Compatible RAMs and maximum RAM memory is clearly stated. If you bought a prebuilt PC/ laptop, check its user manual.

Most PCs come with 2 slots for installing RAM. The limiting factor is usually the maximum storage capacity of RAM it can handle. See the figure below. 

RAM memory limits for window based PCs

For instance if a PC can only handle a maximum of 8GB RAM, and it comes with 2 slots (which means you can install 2 RAMs), it’s either you install one 8GB RAM on one of the slots or two 4GB RAMs, one on each of the slots.

It is usually better to install the maximum capacity of RAM that your PC can take on one slot rather than sharing it across 2 slots.Your PC will run much faster using the first option.

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