5 tips on RAM for laptops: What size and frequency do you really need and how do you upgrade older notebooks.
Everything you need to know about laptop memory
Tip 1: dual-channel
Always make sure that two memory modules are installed in your laptop. This ensures that the RAM works in fast dual-channel mode – that is, it can access two memory modules in parallel. However, many entry-level notebooks usually only have one memory module or, in the worst case, only one RAM slot – in this case you cannot use the fast dual-channel mode at all.
DDR4 RAM is getting more and more expensive:
Now strike quickly
Tip 2: amount of memory
For notebooks for office use and simple multimedia tasks such as image editing, a laptop with a total of 8 gigabytes (2 x 4 GB) of RAM is sufficient. We recommend 16 GB for gaming laptops, less is actually no longer useful these days. For gamers, however, more than 16 gb usually doesn’t make sense either. If you mainly do video editing or professional image processing, then 32 GB or, in extreme cases, even more can be helpful.
This is how you max out your RAM
DDR4 memory bar for laptops
© Crucial / Samsung
Tip 3: save speed
The faster the RAM speed, the smoother programs run. Laptops with low-performance CPUs such as Intel’s Celeron or Pentium as well as older AMD CPUs up to the Ryzen 3000 series usually only support memory frequencies up to a maximum of 1866 MHz. Exceptions are the Ryzen 5 3500U and the Ryzen 7 3700U & 3750U, which already run at 2400 MHz. This also applies to most Intel CPUs of the 10th core generation. The Ryzen 4000 series works at 2666 MHz. The Ryzen 5000 series and most notebooks with Intel’s 11th core generation run at 3200 MHz. And notebooks with the Intel Core i7-1165G7 run the highest memory frequencies between 3733 and 4266 MHz.
This is how important the clock is for the gaming PC
Tip 4: storage technology
The current beach of RAM technology is DDR4 with 8-fold prefetch – that is, each read process reads eight data bits per data pin and outputs them in a data burst of length 8. The more compact SO-DIMM standard with 260 signal contacts is used in laptops. With Intel’s 12th core generation, however, DDR5 memory will also come onto the market from November 2021 – which works even faster and more energy-efficiently – so it might be worth waiting for independent tests first.
Find the best memory
Tip 5: upgrade memory
A RAM bar can be quickly plugged in or replaced, provided the memory modules are not firmly soldered to your notebook. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen that often. Whether the memory of a device can be upgraded is usually described in the data sheet or the product description. Otherwise, this is also in every test report.