What should you keep in mind when buying RAM?
How much RAM does my laptop support?
A laptop can handle a maximum amount of RAM. It's no use to put 16 GB of RAM into a laptop that only supports 4 GB of RAM. You can often find how much RAM a laptop supports in the specifications on our product page, as you can see in the image. Of course, you can also request the information on the maximum RAM from the manufacturer.
How many slots is the RAM divided between?
The RAM in a laptop is often divided, or can be divided, over multiple slots. A slot is where you put the RAM, and each slot has a maximum amount of RAM. It's important to know that amount when replacing the RAM. You can find this information on the product page or ask the manufacturer.
It's always better to divide your RAM between multiple slots. 2x4 GB RAM is better than 1x8 GB RAM. Why? The processor will access two slots at the same time, so there will be less stress per slot. Are you dividing the RAM between 2 slots? Use 2 identical RAM modules, with the same brand and the same clock speed. That's why we sell kits with 2 identical modules.
What connectors does the motherboard have?
A laptop's RAM is always SO-DIMM. You also have to know whether your motherboard supports DDR3, DDR3L, or DDR4 RAM modules. The difference between DDR3(L) and DDR4 is in a notch at the bottom of the RAM module.
In DDR3(L) modules, this notch is left of center. In DDR4 modules, this notch is right of center.
If you have a motherboard that supports DDR3(L) RAM, you can't place a DDR4 module in it.
What voltage does the motherboard have?
Your motherboard can use 3 voltages to power the RAM.
- 1.2 Volts for DDR4
- 1.35 Volts for DDR3L
- 1.5 Volts for DDR3
If your motherboard supports 1.5 Volts, it supports all RAM types. If your motherboard supports 1.2 Volts, you can't place a DDR3 module in it.
Which clock speeds are supported?
Your laptop's motherboard supports a number of clock speeds, such as 1,333 MHz or 2,133 MHz. The RAM also has a clock speed, which has to match the speed supported by the motherboard.