RAM (Random Access Memory) is an essential part of the hardware that stores data and instructions while playing games and apps. The CPU (Central Processing Unit) or processor used RAM before and after performing arithmetic and logical operations on the program instructions and data.
RAMs are also known as memory modules, and they are small rectangular PCBs (printed circuit boards) that we install on the RAM slots on our motherboards. In this article, we will discuss why RAM slots have different colors. Not only this, but we will also discuss other things about RAMs and their slots.
Why Do RAM Slots Have Different Colors?
Computer motherboards that support dual-channel RAMs, such as DDR3, DDR4, etc., have RAM slots having different colors. It also means that you should install the pairs of dual-channel memory modules on the same color RAM slots. It is because the same color indicates the same channel for memory modules.
Usually, half of the RAM slots are yellow, while the remaining half are black. All the yellow memory slots have the same channel for the dual-channel RAMs; the same is proper with the black memory slots. That is why when you install the RAMs in the wrong order, your PC starts beeping, and it does not start.
- RAM Channels
RAM or Memory slots are also known as memory sockets because these are the only hardware on the motherboards that install and hold the RAMs tight. It is because the RAM slots allow you to insert the memory modules and have locks to keep the RAMs in place, so they don’t fall on moving a PC.
- Two Channel
Suppose that all the yellow slots indicate channel A while all the black slots indicate channel B. If you want to install a pair of RAMs, you should install them in the yellow slots (channel A), so they can run properly. But it will not work if you insert one memory module in a yellow slot while the other is in a black slot. As a result, your computer will start giving out continuous beeping that will not stop until you shut it down and install the RAMs in the right memory slots. Not only this, you might see a blacked-out computer screen, and the power light may turn red. The operating system will also not boot and execute at all.
- Difference in DDR
In addition, there are other factors about RAM slots that you need to know. The first thing is the type of RAM or memory module. Each motherboard supports a particular type of RAM; installing the wrong RAM will not run your computer. DDR3, DDR4, and DDR5 are different types of RAMs for specific slots.
A computer motherboard compatible with DDR3 RAMs will never operate on a DDR4 or DDR5 memory module. The second important factor is the speed or operating frequency of RAMs. The more speed means, the faster the memory modules are. The available computer RAM speeds are 2133 MHz, 2400 MHz, 2666 MHz, and 3200 MHz.
If you want a new computer system, we recommend buying one that supports at least DDR4 RAMs. If it is not difficult for you, you should get a motherboard that supports DDR5 along with DDR4 memory modules and the latest processor. Such a computer will allow you to upgrade it insanely.
How to Find How Many Memory Slots Are in a Computer?
Different computers have different numbers of memory slots that allow them to install different amounts of memory or RAM. Not only this but there is also a restriction on the types of RAMs that computer motherboards can install. For example, some motherboards are limited to DDR3 RAMs, while others can install DDR4 and DDR5.
Knowing how many total or available slots are in your motherboard is necessary, especially when you want to upgrade your computer by installing more memory modules. In this case, you can know the total RAM you can install and calculate how much more RAM you need to reach a specific limit.
If you are a Windows 10/11 user, knowing how many memory or RAM slots are in your computer is a piece of cake. Right-click on your taskbar and select “Task Manager” from the popped-up menu. A small window will appear with multiple tabs where you need to select the tab named “Performance.”
After this, you will see “Memory” in a list on your left-hand side. Select this to know all the stats about the RAMs installed on your motherboard. In addition to this, these are the very stats that will tell you how many memory slots are in your computer motherboard. Just look at the bottom of the UI called “Slots used.”
Suppose all of the memory slots in your computer system are filled, and you still want to upgrade it by adding more memory modules. In this case, you will have to replace one of the memory modules. For Example, if you want to install 16 GB RAM in your computer, you should replace the one with the least amount, say 4GB.
You can also open that case of your computer and examine if there is space available for more RAMs or not. For this, you need to shut down and unplug your computer first. After this, you must press the power button for 15 to 20 seconds to discharge any residual electricity. Now you can unlock/unscrew and open the case.
To know the detailed stats about each memory module installed in your computer system, you need to download and install a freeware named CPU-Z. It will tell you the amount and types of RAM and their operating frequencies. You will access the stats about other hardware as well.
What Type of Computer Memory to Use in a Memory Upgrade?
The first and foremost thing you need before upgrading your computer memory is to determine its type. Because every motherboard is compatible with specific memory modules, they cannot allow you to install any other type of RAM. To know the type of your computer memory, you need web research.
Type the name of your computer in your web browser and find out the type of memory it supports. For example, HP Z400 supports DDR3 RAMs or memory modules. Hence we cannot install DDR4 or DDR5 RAMs on its motherboard. Most of the latest motherboards at least support DDR4 and DDR5 memory modules on their RAM slots.
You can also find out the type of your memory module using Windows task manager or a tool called CPU-Z. Knowing the type of your computer memory is essential because you cannot install any other type of memory in it. Suppose your computer supports DDR3 RAM. Then you cannot install DDR4 RAM on it.
Your motherboard should not support inserting the DDR3 RAM in a DDR3 RAM socket in the first place. But doing this forcefully will cause you compatibility issue errors. Your computer screen will black out, and it will start giving out beeping sounds infinitely. The power LED in the front will also turn red.
What to Look for in Memory?
Knowing the type of memory for upgrading your RAM is not enough because you also need additional knowledge. The other thing you should consider during this is the speed or operating frequency and company of your memory modules. Try to purchase all RAMs from the same manufacturers having the same speed and type.
When you install the RAMs with the same manufacturer and speed these memory modules increase the performance of your computer system. It is because such RAMs can synchronize with each other as they operate on the same clock. For example, all of your DDR4 RAMs can have a 1333 MHz operating speed.
Here DDR4 is the type, and 133 MHz is the speed or operating frequency of the memory. In comparison, you can select any top RAM manufacturers, such as Samsung, Hynix, Micron, Kingston, Corsair, etc. Your RAM may have two different operating speeds. In this case, you can overclock your memory modules.
When you want to overclock your hardware for extreme or graphics-intensive use such as gaming, animation and rendering, video editing and exporting, etc. You will need RAM with two different operating frequencies or speeds. One frequency will be lower for your RAM to operate normally, while the other will be higher.
The most popular RAM used is DDR4 because many computer motherboards support this memory module. It is because this memory is available at four different speeds 2133 MHz, 2400 MHz, 2666 MHz, and 3200 MHz. It is Ok to install two DDR4 RAMs with different rates but try to match the speed for better performance.
Every computer memory module has a specific number of pins on it. These pins help this RAM to get power and other control instructions through the RAM slots on your computer motherboard. The number of pins depends on the type of memory module. For example, DDR3 RAM has 240 pins, while DDR4 and DDR5 have 288 pins.
More pins mean the memory module has a more significant memory address and data bus. As a result, it can transfer more data, instructions, and addresses back and forth in a small period of time. This phenomenon becomes more interesting when the operating frequency or the speed of computer memory is higher such as 3200 MHz.
Upgrading the RAM in your computer system is easy as long as you know all these factors and consider them properly. You should look for the type, speed, and several pins on your memory modules. It is also essential to purchase all RAMs from the same manufacturer with the same operating frequency.
Hey, I’m Hammad. I write for this website to help you with the IT advice about PC, RAM, CPU, Motherboard, PSU, and other PC components.
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