How to Find What Memory Stick I Need for My Computer

Upgrading your computer RAM memory (Random Access Memory) can increase the performance of your computer. Before upgrading, you need to determine what type of RAM memory your computer can accept. Windows does not have an utility to determine the specificity of the RAM memory so you need to use a third party utility such as CPU-Z. Mac OS X however has all that information available in the System Profiler . Beside the type, you also need to check the speed of your RAM to buy equivalent memory sticks.


  1. Windows

    • 1

      Go to and download the last version of CPU-Z. The download should only take a few minutes on a broadband connection. Double click on the file you just downloaded to install the software.

    • 2

      Launch CPU-Z software from the “Start” menu from the lower left corner of your desktop. Go to the” SPD” tab.

    • 3

      Read the first line on the top. You see the type of RAM in your machine. The “Max Bandwidth” line gives you the speed of the memory.

    Mac OS X

    • 4

      Go to the “Apple” menu on the upper left corner of your desktop. Click on it and select “About This Mac”.

    • 5

      In the new window, click on the “More Info” button to open the System Profiler.

    • 6

      In the new window, go to “Memory” and look at the “Type” line to see the type of memory you have in your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • The type of RAM can be SDR, DDR, DDR2 or DDR3.
  • Performance from high speed memory such as PC3-10666 will not be noticeably slower than PC3-17000.
  • Your motherboard will only accept so much memory per slot. Refer to your manual for that information.
  • Some motherboard can have 2 type of slots. One DDR2 and the other DDR3 for example. You can only use DDR2 or DDR3, but not both.
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