RAM compatibility with other systems

Important Things To Consider When Buying a RAM

  • What type of RAM do I need (DDR2, DDR3, or DDR4)?
  • How much RAM do I need?
  • What is the maximum supported RAM frequency by my motherboard?
  • What is the maximum RAM capacity supported by my motherboard?
  • How much clearance is available for heatsinks on the RAM in my Casing?
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    Does RAM Speed Have To Match Motherboard?

    Yes, it does and no it doesn’t have to match the motherboard. But to be on the safer side of things, both the RAM speed and the specific motherboard specs should match for optimum PC performance.

    Cases abound where higher clock speeds other than the clock speed supported by the motherboard have been known to work and no problems were said to be encountered in such instances. If there were any recorded drawbacks to these instances, it is only that the PC was running at the clock speed specified by the motherboard and not at the higher frequency RAM spec.

    Generally speaking, most laptops or desktop computers come with two or more slots for RAM sticks. This is especially true for most recently produced laptops and desktops. To fill up these slots and to overcome the drawback of using smaller RAMs, while aiming to maximize the computing capabilities of your PC, then you must understand RAM to PC compatibility. This is because it is highly advisable to use RAM sticks made by the same manufacturer, of the same size, and having the same frequency ratings supported by your motherboard type

    5 Best RAM You Should Try

    There are tons of different RAMs out there for you to try. Here are 5 best RAM choices to try based on your needs:

    1. Best DDR4 RAM

    G.Skill Trident Z RGB is one of the best RAM out there. This is not just because it’s fast, but because it features 14 to 19 latency which makes it awesome for all kinds of use having an almost perfect speed of up to 4,266.

    2. Best DDR3 RAM

    This RAM product line offers some of the best DDR3 RAM on the market today. Built for speed and performance, it has a latency of 9 to 11 and share speeds of 1866MHz to 2666MHz.

    3. Best LED RAM

    Corsair is a trusted name in the world of computing. Corsair RAM gives off a maximum performance with compatibility to most of the DDR4 RAMs. This RAM series features CL16 latency and whopping speed of 3,466 MHz

    4. Best Laptop RAM

    Designed for SODIMMs, Crucial RAM Ballistix Sport is ideal for use in most laptops. It supports great multitasking capabilities and saves power while at it keeping you covered.

    5. Best Gaming RAM

    Are you looking to build a high-end gaming rig? Then you’d want to use this RAM. This is because the RAM is available for frequencies of up to 5,000MHz and features anti-overheating capabilities.

    The next time you decide to buy a RAM endeavor to check for compatibility and go for the best so as to get optimum performance.

    How Do I Make Sure My RAM Will Have Enough Clearance?

    Figuring out whether or not your RAM will have enough clearance can be tricky because different RAM modules can have different heights, especially if they have built-in heat sinks. To make sure everything will fit, you need to look at the motherboard or a picture of the motherboard and check the location of the RAM concerning the CPU and any nearby expansion ports. In a lot of cases, you’ll find the RAM slots are located right next to the CPU, and at least two of them are likely to be overhung by your CPU cooler.

    If it looks like the RAM slots are close to the CPU on your motherboard, check the height of the RAM modules you want and then check the clearance of the heatsink you wish to use. If the heatsink isn’t high enough off the motherboard to clear the top of the RAM modules, you’ll either have to choose shorter RAM or a different CPU cooler. You may want to select a low-profile cooler or a cooler that has a large notch cut out to accommodate taller RAM modules.

    It's a tricky situation, and it isn’t something a system scan tool will be able to figure out for you. To make sure everything fits, you’ll have to check each component's dimensions and figure out spacing.

    How Much RAM Does My Motherboard Support?

    When considering RAM capacity, you need to consider the number of RAM slots your motherboard has and the total amount of RAM your motherboard supports. You can see how many slots the motherboard has just by looking at it, but you need to get the motherboard's specifications from the manufacturer to find out how much RAM it can support. You can also determine how much RAM your motherboard supports by running a system checker tool if your computer is operational.

    The amount of RAM you need is different from the amount your motherboard supports, and you don’t always need to max it out. You can always start with two RAM modules and add another two later if you find your computer isn’t performing as well as you would like.

    Activities like gaming, image editing, and video editing take a lot more RAM than activities like browsing the internet and streaming video, so how you plan to use your computer will play a significant factor in how much RAM you need. Many users can get by just fine with 8 GB of RAM, but you might need 16 GB, 32 GB, or even more, depending on the sorts of apps and games you want to run and how many applications you’ll need to have open at once.

    Recommended RAM For Laptops

    Kingston Technology has been in the memory game for a long time and they provide the best RAM in the market.

    They have tools that can check your laptop RAM compatibility and also provide recommendations. Find out which one of their RAM fits your laptop on Amazon.

    Crucial Micron Technology has also been in the game for a long time. In fact, they have been at it for more than 20 years. They do not only provide RAM but SSDs as well.

    They have a tool that also checks RAM that is compatible with the laptop and provides recommendations. See which one of their RAM suits your needs.

    Is My RAM Compatible with Any Motherboard

    When it comes to RAM compatibility, it is inevitable to discuss the motherboard. In fact, the RAM compatibility checking depends on what motherboard you have installed. As is well known to us, there are all types of RAM memories such as DDR3, DDR4, and so on. Not all RAM chips can mix and match the memory slot of your motherboard.

    For example, if your motherboard was designed for DDR4 RAM, the memory slots of your motherboard cannot fit other types of RAMs like DDR3. Besides, the motherboard memory slots usually are integrated into the board and cannot be changed.

    So, it important to make a memory compatibility check on your motherboard.  


    All in all, if you plan on upgrading your PC’s memory, it is always wise to opt for a single RAM kit.

    However, it is understandable that this may not always comply with the allotted budget, as well as your current needs.

    If you are planning to build a new PC, make sure to purchase future-proof RAM specifications so that upgrading in the future can be a seamless process.

    If your PC already has a RAM kit that is slower than you’d like, you can always purchase additional RAM, and experiment with adding it to your PC until you can replace the older memory.

    Remember: the more factors in which you can eliminate variation, the better the chances for optimal compatibility will be.

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