If you need a more detailed look at your RAM configuration than the basic information a Windows report provides, you can find out all you need to know without cracking open the case. Read on to see how you can check your configuration and installed RAM module stats.

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

The Question

SuperUser reader Vince wants an easy way to check the exact configuration of his computer’s RAM. He writes:

I would like to check my RAM configuration.

I know it is easy to check the total RAM installed on a computer (eg 32 GB), but is there an easy way to check in Windows if the RAM is e.g. 2×16 GB, 4×8 GB, 8×4 GB or 16×2 GB?

This information is particularly handy if you’re shopping for a RAM upgrade as you need to know which slots are filled and in which configuration.

The Answer

Two SuperUser contributors came to Vince’s aid, offering two unique ways of accessing the information he wants. Bob shows us how to use a built-in Windows tool to get a detailed readout:

If you don’t mind using the command line, WMI can do this and is native with Windows XP and newer.

Simply run wmic MEMORYCHIP get BankLabel,DeviceLocator,Capacity,Tag

>wmic MEMORYCHIP get BankLabel,DeviceLocator,Capacity,Tag
BankLabel  Capacity    DeviceLocator            Tag
BANK 0     2147483648  Bottom - Slot 1 (top)    Physical Memory 0
BANK 1     4294967296  Bottom - Slot 2 (under)  Physical Memory 1

(DeviceLocator will likely give you DIMM numbers on a desktop machine – the top/under slots are because I’m on a laptop. Both BankLabel and DeviceLocator formats may vary by machine.)

There is a lot more data available, but it doesn’t display well in the limited columns of a command prompt. You can export it all to a text file for easier viewing (don’t forget to turn off word wrap):

>wmic MEMORYCHIP get >data.txt
>start data.txt

And you can use those extra columns to customise the first command to give you, e.g., the manufacturer name, product number and serial number.

For those of you that prefer a GUI, Hennes offers a solution:

Yes, there a way to do this since CPU-Z can display that information. If if one program can do that then so can others.

Between the two approaches, you definitely have enough information to make an informed purchase.

Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

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Jason Fitzpatrick is the Senior Smart Home Editor at How-To Geek. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at How-To Geek, Review Geek, LifeSavvy, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
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