Adding laptop memory is one basic way to improve performance over your system’s lifetime. Here’s what you need to do in order to select the right memory, and install it properly.
A note before you begin:
You’ll want to first make sure that your computer can have memory replaced, and how to access it. Some laptops have memory that is soldered onto the motherboard, and cannot be replaced. Your user manual should detail this information. Access is another issue – find out if you’ll have to take your whole system apart, or if just one access panel needs to be removed. If you know what you’re getting into beforehand, you won’t waste time or money buying parts you wont use or can’t install.
1.) Find out what you already have
Find out what kind of memory your laptop already has installed, and how much total memory you currently have. There are a few ways to find out this information, but the method that will provide you with the most information is a system analysis software, such as Speccy.
The information you are looking for is:
- How many total slots for memory you have (most modern laptops will have 2)
- How many of these slots can be upgraded (some models will have one slot soldered to the board and one free, some might have both soldered, meaning you won’t be able to )
- The form factor of your memory (most laptops take SODIMM memory, but you’ll also want to look at what generation you have, such as DDR3 or DDR4. You’ll need to upgrade within those parameters, since different generation products have different designs.
2.) Determine if upgrades are possible
You’ll need to also determine from your research how much room you have to upgrade. There are two basic factors that can limit your maximum memory usage: your version of Windows, and your motherboard’s limits.
Forturnately, the Windows aspect of this is fairly simple. You can check in your system settings what version of Windows you are running. If it’s a 32 bit version of Windows 10, you’re capped at 4GB of RAM. If it’s a 64 bit version, your limiting factor is likely going to be your motherboard, as this version can support quite a bit more, depending on what you are running.
A quick note: if you’re running Windows 7, memory usage varies. The Home Basic edition can handle up to 8 GB, Home Premium can use up to 16 GB, and Professional can handle up to 192 GB.
Go back into your Speccy report, or other system scanner that you used, to determine what motherboard is in your laptop. From there, you should be able to find through a quick google search what your memory limit is for that make and model.
Once you’ve determined what you need, and how to install it, it’s time to upgrade your memory! You can choose from some of the top brands around on NeweggBusiness, and make sure it’s the correct model and generation for your laptop. Once you’ve gotten the memory you need:
- Make sure your laptop is fully powered down, not just in sleep mode.
- Follow the instructions in your laptop’s user manual to access your memory.
- Release the clamps on either side. The memory should pop up at an angle.
- Remove your old memory gently.
- Ensure you line up the pins on your new memory correctly before installing it.
- Push gently into the slot, and then lower it until the clamps engage on the sides.
- Power on your device, and enjoy the performance boost!