General Question

bomyne's avatar

How do I determine my ram speeds?

Asked by bomyne (636points) May 27th, 2009

Okay, I am considering buying some more ram for my computer in the next month or two. I know that my computer has two ram slots and two 1GB ram sticks currently (Why did it come with two ram sticks?! Why not a single 2gb? <.<).

What I want to know is… what information do I need to collect and ensure my new ram has? I’ll be replacing both the ram sticks. Is there anything I need to be aware of when doing so?

Thank you!

PS. Windows Vista user

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6 Answers

MrGV's avatar

It should tell you how many MHz the ram has on the package it came with or the sticker that is on the ram stick.

And the reason why it has 2 1gig sticks instead of 1 2gig sticks is because it runs more efficiently when it’s dual’ed.

mopperx2's avatar

You can download an application called cpuz. It will give you info on what kind of ram you have.

eambos's avatar

You’re going to want to check the timings more than the speed. If the timings are different, you’ll get errors and BSODs.

To check the timings, you need to go into the BIOS. In order to do this, you restart your computer and hit whatever key it says at the bottom (it’s “Delete” in my BIOS) then go into


Forgot about CPU-Z (download link). @mopperx2 great suggestion. It will tell you both the speed and the timings of the RAM.

When you do buy the RAM, make sure it’s dual-channel and at least DDR2–800 6400 speed.

bomyne's avatar

Thanks guys

@eambos: Okay, according to that program it’s DDR2, Dual Channels, 400 MHZ but I’m not sure what you mean by timings… I can see one labeled “Cycle Time” that says 18 clocks. Is that what you’re refering to?

eambos's avatar

Are you replacing both sticks, or are there open slots that you can fill? If you are replacing both sticks, disregard what I said and buy any set you like. If you are adding an additional two, “Cycle Times” are what I am talking about. There should be additional times besides the 18 clocks listed.

bomyne's avatar

I’m replacing both sticks. So it doesn’t matter what I buy then? Just buy the fastest I can afford?

Is it obvious I’m out of my league when it comes to hardware? :(

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