How Much Memory Can My Computer Hold?


2 Answers

Samuel Chiltern Profile
Samuel Chiltern answered
How much memory your computer can hold depends primarily upon your hardware. The first two things you'll need to establish is the number of RAM slots you have available, and your system type: Either 32-bit or 64-bit.

System Discovery
The best tool I've ever used for system discovery is CPU-Z. It's small, and free, and provides a lot of information.

This program will allow you to quickly confirm your system type, and to establish how many memory slots you have, and how many are currently being used.

Your particular motherboard will have limitations on the maximum size and types of memory stick it can use - so you will have to find the manual it came with, in order to establish this.

System Type
Knowing this is important, because a 32-bit system will only support a maximum of 4GB of memory (and sadly, it won't even be able to access all of that). If you have such a system, and you've reached this limit, then forget about any further memory upgrades.

Operating System
However, if you do have a 64-bit system, you will still need to check to make sure that you are running a 64-bit Operating System (OS), because again, a 32-bit OS will only be able to address a maximum of 4GB of RAM.

To do this in Windows 7/Vista:
  1. Click 'Start'
  2. Type 'system' in the search box, then open the application
  3. Look for the 'System' tab
  4. The information displayed next to 'System Type' will tell you what you need to know
To complicate matters further, the particular edition of Windows you are running also determines the maximum amount of memory your system can use - take a look at Microsoft's Memory Limits for Windows Releases.
Levi Johnson Profile
Levi Johnson answered
The easiest way to find this out is to find the model of the systemboard you're using, and look it up online. For example, you might have 4 slots for RAM, but it could only support 2GB of RAM.

If you're prepared to spend the money, you would be able to put 4GB or more RAM in there, but it won't be used.

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