Our computers are made up of very different components that all work together to form a cohesive, multipurpose system. But a massively important component in our system is the random access memory, or RAM for short.

RAM is critical to multitasking as it is your computer's memory that stores ongoing tasks for quick access. The more RAM you have, the more tasks you can do at the same time. But not everything depends on the memory size. RAM speed is also an important factor. Today we are going to give you an overview of how to check your Windows computer's RAM speed.

1. Use Windows Task Manager

The first method involves the Windows Task Manager in Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 11. The older Task Manager that is present in Windows 7 and older operating systems does not display this information. So if you have an older version of Windows, please refer to other methods in this tutorial.

The first thing you need to do is access Windows Task Manager. You can access it by Right click on your Windows system tray then click on Task manager Opportunity. Alternatively, just tap Ctrl + Shift + Esc which starts the Task Manager.

Access to Task Manager 1

The first time you open Task Manager, you'll likely want to click See more to extend the greatly simplified version of the Task Manager. Then click on that Performance tabwhere you will see a number of metrics related to your CPU, RAM and GPU usage.

Click on Storage to view information about your RAM. Under the graph itself, you can see some information about your storage, such as: B. Form factor, occupied slots on your motherboard, how much RAM is reserved for the system and, yes, speed.

In our example here, we can see that our RAM is running at 3600 MHz, which is as good as it gets for enthusiast-class DDR4 memory. Most modern computers with DDR4 RAM should run anywhere between 2133 MHz and 3600 MHz, with some enthusiast RAM kits going above 4000 MHz. DDR3 RAM, on the other hand, should go up to 1866MHz.

RAM Speed ​​Task Manager 2

2. Check the RAM speed with CPU-Z

CPU-Z is a utility that allows you to view various data about your computer, including information about your computer's CPU as well as memory. CPU-Z is a good option if you have an older version of Windows or if the information displayed by Task Manager seems unreliable for any reason.

There are many different types of software available to illustrate this. We choose CPU-Z, however, because it's fairly reliable, lightweight, and compatible with a wide variety of computers and versions of Windows.

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How to Free Up RAM and Reduce RAM Usage on Windows

First, go to the CPUID Windows download page. You can download any version you want. However, we recommend using one of the latest versions if you have newer hardware on your system. The latest version of CPU-Z includes support for DDR5 memory and 12th generation Intel Alder Lake CPUs.

From there, install the software (or open it if you downloaded the portable version) and then open it. Then click on that Storage Tab.

Picture gallery (2 pictures)

CPUZ RAM speed first picture

CPU Z RAM speed Second image

Here we can see that Uncore frequency and DRAM frequency are both listed as 1799.6 MHz. You may be wondering, shouldn't it run at 3600 MHz, as the results of the previous method show? This is not a bug: CPU-Z only lists the single data rate frequency of your RAM, while your RAM is supposed to have double the data rate (hence the DDR in DDR4).

The CPU-Z RAM speed fields

To get your actual RAM speed, all you need to do is multiply this "single data rate" frequency by two: 1799.6 x 2 makes 3599.2 MHz, which is much closer to the reported 3600 MHz we saw earlier .

Why is it important to know your RAM speed?

There are several reasons you might want to check your RAM speed. One of them is that after creating a custom PC, you may want to check whether or not your RAM is set up properly.

A common mistake many PC manufacturers make is not to properly set up an XMP profile in the BIOS after their PC is set up. This causes your computer's RAM to run at the standard clock speed of 2133 MHz instead of the advertised speed. This can degrade performance.

Another reason could be to double-check that things are working properly after upgrading RAM. If you're using a laptop, installing an aftermarket kit at 2666 MHz while your computer's memory is running at 2400 MHz will cause your RAM to be clocked down to the slower speed of the two.

Even if you completely replace it, it might still not run at the stated speed because the laptop might not be able to run RAM at speeds greater than 2400 MHz. You need to check this before, during and after an upgrade and correct any errors.

Why is RAM speed important?

Close up of chips in a ram stick

RAM speed, or data rate, defines how fast your memory can transfer data to and from your CPU. On DDR4 or Double Data Rate 4, we usually see RAM running at speeds between 2133 MHz and 3600 MHz.

When buying a new computer or just buying memory, you will often see the memory speeds listed on the datasheet. For example, for 3200 MHz RAM, the RAM speed is listed as "DDR4-3200".

You can also see it as a "PC4" specification, which is the data rate times eight. For example, PC4-25600 memory is rated for 3200 MHz while PC4-28800 memory is rated for 3600 MHz.

The simplest formulation is: "The faster the data rate, the faster the memory". This is not really the be-all and end-all, as several factors can affect the performance of your RAM. The CAS latency can also increase as the data rate increases, which can even have a negative effect on performance.

In most applications, having more RAM is also much better than having faster RAM. However, when you're playing, faster RAM can help you get a little better performance and a few more frames per second. Whether or not it's a worthy upgrade, however, is a different story. Faster RAM can get expensive quickly, especially if you're trying to keep CAS latencies down while you keep increasing the speed.

It's important and a number to keep in mind, but it doesn't tell the whole story, and if you're looking for an upgrade, more RAM will serve you better than faster RAM.

Is your RAM up to date?

People often overlook RAM speed especially since getting more RAM is better than getting faster RAM. However, if you need to double-check that everything is going as expected, you now have the tools to get the job done.

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About the author

Arol Wright
(6 articles published)

Arol is a tech journalist and staff writer at MakeUseOf. He has also worked as a news and feature writer at XDA-Developers and Pixel Spot. Arol is currently studying pharmacy at the Central University of Venezuela and has had a soft spot for everything to do with technology since childhood. When you're not writing, you can find him either deep in his textbooks or playing video games.

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