How to Upgrade Your Laptop RAM: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Upgrade Your Laptop RAM: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Upgrade Your Laptop RAM: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you are building a new PC or upgrading an old one, finding the right memory is a crucial task, as it directly influences the laptop’s performance. Here’s a brief guide about the types of RAM and how to upgrade laptop memory.

What Is Laptop Memory?

Laptop Memory usually uses Small outline dual in-line memory module (SO-DIMM) RAM that uses integrated circuits. SO-DIMMs are smaller than the regular DIMMs. The laptop memory usually works with Mini-iTX Motherboards due to limited expansion space. Further, SODIMMs are small yet portable memory modules that are ideal for laptops since there is limited capacity. SoDIMM Memory are around half the size of regular DIMMs which also makes them easily replaceable or upgradable. Moreover, laptop memory consists of 204 pins followed by around two slots for expansion. Following are a few of the most common types of SO-DIMMs for laptops:

upgrade laptop memory

  • SDR DRAM: has 100 pins with two notches
  • SDR SDRAM: has 144 pins with a single notch
  • DDR/DDR2 SDRAM: has 200 pins with a single notch
  • DDR3 SDRAM: has 204 pins with a single notch
  • DDR4 SDRAM: has 260 pins with a single notch
  • UniDIMM: has 260 pins with a single notch

Types of Laptop Memory

There are different types of Laptop RAM Memory available in the market such as SDRAM, RDRAM and DDR SDRAM. However, it is necessary to ensure that the memory is compatible with the laptop by either matching the memory type with the clock rating. Also, the latest processors require faster memory with greater bandwidth that can cater to the increasing demand for data-intensive workloads.

DRAM: DRAM is the main memory of the computer with each cell that is made up of a capacitor and transistor within an integrated circuit, and the data bit is stored in a capacitor. Since, transistors leak a small amount whereas, the capacitor slowly discharges which results in storing the information in the drain which is why DRAM is refreshed every few milliseconds to retain data. Further, DRAM is subdivided into the following types;

  • Synchronous DRAM (SDRAM)
  • Rambus DRAM (RDRAM)
  • Double Data Rate SDRAM (DDR SDRAM)

SDRAM: It usually consists of four to six transistors that keep the data in the memory as long as the system is powered on and unlike DRAM, SRAM does not need to be refreshed which also makes SRAM faster yet more expensive.

How Much Laptop RAM Do You Need?

The usage of RAM is dependent on what kind of tasks the user needs to perform. For browsing the internet, sending emails, watching videos, or listening to music, usually, 8GB of memory is recommended, whereas for word processing, gaming, spreadsheets, or performing multiple tasks simultaneously, around 16GB of RAM is sufficient. Further, for high-performance gaming, high-definition videos, 3D modeling, and intensive multitasking, the user may require around 32GB of RAM. However, if you are a professional and are required to process programs like high-end editing applications, 4K or 8K photo or video editing software, and loading modern gaming that requires top-notch graphics, then you may need to install 64GB of RAM.

Also, for designing and editing software, you may need to update your system to the following capacities;

Software Minimum Requirements We recommend
Adobe InDesign 2GB 16GB
Adobe Illustrator 1GB 16GB
Adobe Photoshop 2GB 32GB
Adobe Premiere© Pro 8GB 32GB
Adobe After Effects 4GB 64GB

Although the system is capable of operating at the minimum requirement, the overall performance including response time and multitasking capabilities will be affected, which is why it is necessary to ensure that the system is upgraded to more than the bare minimum requirements. For instance; this table explains the minimum requirements for the operating system and the storage capacity that is recommended for the system to perform efficiently.

Operating System Minimum Requirements We recommend
Microsoft Windows10 64-bit 2GB 8GB
Microsoft Windows 10 32-bit 1GB 4GB
Microsoft Windows 8 64-bit 2GB 8GB
Microsoft Windows 8 32-bit 1GB 4GB
Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit 2GB 8GB
Microsoft Windows 7 32-bit 1GB 4GB
Mac OS X Sierra 4GB 8GB
Mac OS X El Capitan 2GB 8GB
Mac OS X Yosemite 2GB 8GB
Mac OS X El Mavericks 2GB 8GB
Mac OS X High Sierra 2GB 8GB

Things To Consider When Upgrade Laptop Memory

RAM is used to store data temporarily from the operating system. These modules are the main memory of the computer and directly influence the performance of the system. However, there are certain factors that need to be considered before buying RAM for the laptop.

  • Frequency

The frequency for all RAMs varies as per their module, such as DDR3 SDRAM has a frequency of 1600MHz. If you pick the faster memory, then you might be forced to manage it while working, or it may not work at all. And if you pick slower memory then you will have to face delays in processing data.

  • Voltage

It is necessary to ensure that the motherboard is capable enough to supply the voltage as required by the RAM. Also, it is necessary to avoid using more than 1.65V on the RAM used in Core i7 processors or it may result in damaging the processor.

  • Timing

Timing or Latency refers to the delay between the commands executed by the computer memory. Hence, the lower the timing is the lower the latency will be which as a result will increase the bandwidth of the memory.

  • Capacity

The capacity of RAM is chosen usually as per the requirement and usage of the user. If a user needs to perform basic tasks such as web browsing or word processing, 16GB capacity would suffice, but if the user needs to perform high-end tasks then the system may require a higher capacity.

Get the Best Deals on Laptop Memory

To enhance the performance and efficiency of the laptop, it is necessary to find the right Laptop Memory that is compatible with the motherboard. At, you can find the best deals on laptop memory in top brands including Kingston, Micron, Samsung, Crucial, Dell and more. In case of any queries regarding laptop memory upgrades, you can always reach out to our memory experts through live chat or call at (800) 821-3354.

Also Read:

Top 5 DDR4 Laptop Memory Upgrades from Top Brands

Crucial DDR4 RAM for Laptop Memory Upgrade

Best 16GB DDR5 SoDIMM Memory for Laptop Upgrade

SoDIMMs: How to Buy SoDIMM RAM For Laptop Computers?

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