Freqently Asked Questions

What if I don't know my computer/motherboard brand and model?

Identifying the correct model number of your computer or motherboard is essential to finding the correct upgrades, especially for laptops and servers.  If you are unsure of the make or model of your system you can follow these easy steps to find the specific model number for your computer. Choose your system brand or type below:

With Apple machines, in order to determine the correct upgrade, you need to determine the Model Identifier.



Now you have located your Model Identifier, click here to find the upgrades compatible with your Mac.

If running Windows, then you can usually obtain family and model information from the command prompt.

  1. On Windows XP, go to Start > Run and type cmd to start your command prompt. On Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8 click the start button, then the 'Search' box appears. Type 'cmd' in the box (without the quotes) to start the command prompt. Administrative rights are not required to run this command
  2. In the command prompt type the following and press Enter/Return
  3. wmic csproduct list brief


 

With the example shown above, you would use the Upgrade Finder on our home page, select Manufacturer -> HP/Compaq, Family -> 500 Series Notebook, Model -> 530 and be presented with a list of compatible upgrade options.

If the above method doesn't yield useful results, then you can locate the Model Number on the Service Tag placed on the bottom of your Notebook PC, or on the side or back of the case on desktop pc's. In some HP notebooks, the model number will also be located inside the battery bay. Simply remove the battery to find the Service Tag. The Service Tag will resemble the image below.


  1. Model Number: This is the correct identifier for your model and when used in conjunction with (3), the Product Name, is usually correct, but step 2 below is even more accurate.
  2. Part No: This is the correct identifier for your model, but you'll need to use the HP PartSurfer to decode it to a meaningful description, containing the family (series) and model number. Using the above example, we type rq877as (disregard the #ABA or #ABG) into the HP PartSurfer quicksearch field, which yields HP PAVILION NOTEBOOK PC DV9095XX as the description.
  3. Product Name: The Product Name, which will also typically be on the front of your notebook, often represents the Family Series, but not the model, it is usually a brand name for an entire set of series and models. This information should NOT be used to find the correct parts for your laptop.
  4. Serial Number: This can also be used in the HP PartSurfer and decoded to a meaningful description containing the Family and Model Number.

So, using the example picture above, and if you have followed the steps above as well, you would use the Upgrade Finder on our home page, select Manufacturer -> HP/Compaq, Family -> Pavilion dv9000 Series Notebook, Model -> dv9095ea or dv9095eu and be presented with a list of compatible upgrade options.


If running Windows, then you can usually obtain family and model information from the command prompt.

  1. On Windows XP, go to Start > Run and type cmd to start your command prompt. On Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8 click the start button, then the 'Search' box appears. Type 'cmd' in the box (without the quotes) to start the command prompt. Administrative rights are not required to run this command
  2. In the command prompt type the following and press Enter/Return
  3. wmic csproduct list brief
  4. In the example output below you can see the system is a Dell (manufacturer) Vostro (Family) 1520 (Model).

    <

You can also locate the Dell Series and Model Number on the Service Tag.

Locating the Service Tag on a Dell Desktop Computer

Desktop systems include the Dimension, Inspiron, Optiplex, XPS, Vostro, Alienware, and Precision Workstation models.

In addition to a white label on the back of the system, a separate service tag label can normally be found attached to the top or side of the system, like below in Figure 1.


Figure 1: The Service Tag label on the side of a Dell Desktop computer.
 

If the computer has an access panel in front, the Service Tag label can normally be found behind the panel door, like below in Figure 2.


Figure 2: A Dell desktop computer with an access panel.
 

Locating the Service Tag on a Dell Notebook Computer

Notebook systems include the Latitude, Inspiron, XPS, Precision, Vostro, and Alienware models.

The Service Tag label can be found on the bottom of a Dell notebook computer, like below in Figure 3.


Figure 3: The Service Tag label on the bottom of a Dell portable computer
 

Locating the Service Tag on a Dell Enterprise System

Enterprise systems include the PowerEdge Server, PowerVault, and DellEMC Storage models.

The Service Tag label on a Dell PowerEdge server is found on the back panel, like below in Figure 4.


Figure 4: Service Tag label on a Dell PowerEdge 2800
 

Note the Manufacturer and Product details on the Service Tag. If they are not easily identifiable, then you can use the Express Service Tag to obtain family and model information from the Dell Product Support Site.  You can then use this information to select your manufacturer, family, and model from the RamCity Upgrade Finder on our Home Page.

The key to identifying IBM / Lenovo systems is to locate the 7-character Product Number - e.g. 2668-KHU or the 10-character serial number. You can then type this number into the Machine Information field on the Lenovo Support Website to obtain full model details. (See details below for where to enter the information, and how to find it for specific IBM/Lenovo machines)



The quick path field on the Lenovo Support Website
 

Specific instructions for locating the product or serial number are listed below:

ThinkPad and Value Line Notebooks

The product number is located on the bottom of the case, underneath.


 

ThinkCentre, NetVista, Value Line, and other desktops

The product number is located on the front right panel or on the back of the system:



 

Value Line and IdeaPad notebooks

The serial number is printed on the label on the back of the system:



 

Value Line and IdeaCentre Desktops

The serial number is printed on both of the service tag and rear chassis label:



 

Once you have a valid serial number or product number, you can then type this into the Machine Information field on the Lenovo Support Website to obtain full model details.

Once you have the full Family and Model name, you can this use this information to select your manufacturer, family, and model from the RamCity Upgrade Finder on our Home Page.

If running Windows, then you can usually obtain valid Sony model information from the command prompt.

  1. On Windows XP, go to Start > Run and type cmd to start your command prompt. On Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8 click the start button, then the 'Search' box appears. Type 'cmd' in the box (without the quotes) to start the command prompt. Administrative rights are not required to run this command.
  2. In the command prompt type the following and press Enter/Return
  3. wmic csproduct list brief

If the above command doesn't yield any useful results, then the best method for locating your model number depends on when the product was released.

For Sony laptop computers released 2010 or later

The model number is listed on a sticker on the bottom of the laptop. In this case, it is called Product name, as shown here:


 

For Sony laptop computers released 2009:

For configured-to-order or built-to-order laptops, the full model number is located on a sticker on the bottom of the computer:



 

For pre-configured retail laptops, the full model number is not located on the case of the computer. Please use one of the methods below to retrieve the model number:

Method 1

  1. Click the Start button and then click All Programs.
  2. In the All Programs menu, click the VAIO Care folder.
  3. Click VAIO Care.
  4. The model number is displayed in the bottom of the VAIO Care window. (e.g., VGN-FW550F)


 

Method 2

  1. Click the Start button, then click (My) Computer.
  2. Click Local Disc C:. Next click Windows.
  3. Click the file named Model or Model.txt.
  4. The file will show the model number. (e.g., VGN-FW550F)

Note: If this file is blank, look for a second file with the same name and open that file



 

For Sony laptops released between Autumn 2000 and Spring 2009

The model number is located on a small label located on the frame around the computer screen. (e.g., VGN-FW550F)



 

Note:Do not use the "Model" listed on the grey label on the back of the computer as this will not provide the correct information.

For Sony laptop computers released before Summer 2000:

The computer information and compliance label, located on the bottom of the laptop case, indicates the actual model number. (e.g., PCG-N505VX)

Once you have the full Model name, you can this use this information to select your manufacturer, family, and model from the RamCity Upgrade Finder on our Home Page, or use the search box at the top left of every page on our website.

Toshiba systems usually have a 12-character model number, such as PSC1GA-01E01M, and sometimes a shorter model number, such as C660. If running Windows, then you can usually obtain valid Toshiba model number information from the command prompt.

  1. On Windows XP, go to Start > Run and type cmd to start your command prompt. On Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8 click the start button, then the 'Search' box appears. Type 'cmd' in the box (without the quotes) to start the command prompt. Administrative rights are not required to run this command
  2. In the command prompt type the following and press Enter/Return
  3. wmic csproduct list brief


 

With the example shown above, the output doesn't include the family or series (It is actually a Toshiba Satellite C660), but you can enter the 12-character model number PSC1GA-01E01M into the search box at the top left of any page on our website which is very likely to provide the correct model with a list of compatible upgrade options.



 

If the above method doesn't yield useful results, then you can locate the Model Number on the Service Tag placed on the bottom of your Notebook PC. The Service Tag will resemble the image below.



 

Using the example picture above, you would use the Upgrade Finder on our home page, select Manufacturer -> Toshiba, Family -> Satellite L45 Series, Model -> L45-S7409 (PSL48U-01S004), and be presented with a list of compatible upgrade options.


 To identify more details of your system, you can run a program on the machine you wish to identify called CPU-Z.
 

  1. Download CPU-Z from our website.
  2. Unzip the file to any location.
  3. Locate the unzipped folder and double-click the application file cpuz_x32.exe or cpuz_x64.exe if running a 64-bit system
  4. Wait for the program window to load (takes up to 30 seconds)
  5. If you have a custom built computer, or simply aren't sure, then start at Identifying your motherboard to quickly identify your computer motherboard brand and model. If you have a specific brand of computer, such as Dell, HP, Acer, Toshiba, SONY, ASUS, etc  then skip to Identifying a branded computer further down.

Identifying your motherboard (for non-branded or custom-built computers)

  1. After the program loads, click the Mainboard tab.  Below is an example from  a machine with a Gigabyte brand motherboard:

  2. Note the Manufacturer and Model Number.  You can use this information to select your brand and model from the RamCity Upgrade Finder on our Home Page.

Identifying a Branded Computer (i.e. Dell, HP, Acer, SONY, ASUS, Toshiba, etc)

  1. After the program loads, click the About tab on the top right hand corner.
  2. Under Tools, click the Save Report (.HTML) button.
  3. Choose any location to save the cpuz.htm file, then click Save.
  4. Open the newly created cpuz.htm file and it will load in your browser.
  5. Scroll down to the the DMI section.  This will likely contain the specific brand and model of your desktop or laptop. Below is an example from a Dell (Manufacturer) Vostro (Family) 1520 (Model) laptop.

  6. Note the Manufacturer and Product details.  You can then use this information to select your manufacturer, family, and model from the RamCity Upgrade Finder on our Home Page.
  • Use the information learned above and fill out our contact form.
  • You can also call us on the phone or talk to us on Live Chat.  Details are at the top of every page on our website.
  • Or, you can Email us the cpuz.htm file if you need further assistance.
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Will adding more memory make my computer go faster?

Adding more memory to your computer is often the most cost-effective and convenient way to give your computer a significant performance boost. Many computers are sold with a minimum amount of RAM installed, and installing extra RAM can help your computer boot faster, load applications faster and enable you to have more open at the same time, and work with images and videos significantly faster.

For Windows XP, we recommend a minimum of 1GB of RAM be installed, and 2GB if you always have a lot of applications open. For Windows Vista / Windows 7, our minimum recommendation is 2GB, and 4GB if you are a power user. For Windows 8 or Windows 10, our minimum recommendation is 4GB , and 8GB if you are a power user or gamer. If you play modern 3D computer games, we recommend installing the maximum amount of RAM that you can afford.

 

Your site doesn't list my model of computer, can I still upgrade it?

Try looking through the complete listing first. You might have missed it.

If it's not listed, we can probably still upgrade it, but please complete the contact us so we can assist you further.

 

Will installing an after-market memory upgrade affect my original manufacturer warranty?

One of the most common concerns people have when adding third party (or 'aftermarket') memory is whether it will void their system warranty.

You can rest assured that adding third party memory to your system does NOT void your warranty. You should take precautions when opening the case of your computer though, so we recommend to always refer to your owners manual or follow one of our online installation guides when installing a memory upgrade.

The Magnum-Moss Warranty Act (a U.S. Federal Law, although similar laws exist in Australia) specifically prevents computer system manufacturers and their representatives from telling a customer that if they use third party memory their system warranty will be voided. Through this ploy, the sales representative attempts to coerce customers into purchasing memory modules from the system manufacturer, usually at much higher prices than third party upgrades.  A system manufacturer may resort to this type of warranty threat to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt in the minds of consumers, rather than to compete on the basis of quality and price ("FUD marketing").

Crucial (Micron) and Samsung are two of the top 3 DRAM manufacturers in the world, and support all major OEM's including Apple, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, SGI, Sun, and Toshiba. In fact, many of the branded memory modules available from these OEM's are actually manufactured by Micron, Samsung or Hynix, with a custom label! 

 

What do the different Flash Memory, DDR, DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4 speeds mean?

DDR is running at 100Mhz, 133Mhz, 166Mhz, 200Mhz, 233Mhz, or 266Mhz. What makes this separate from the older types of SDRAM (PC100, PC133) is that DDR can transfer memory on both the rise and the fall of a clock cycle. So, essentially, you are getting 200Mhz, 266Mhz, 333Mhz, 400Mhz, 466Mhz, or 533Mhz respectively.

DDR2 is running at 266Mhz, 337Mhz, 375Mhz, 400Mhz, and 450Mhz. So, essentially, you are getting 533Mhz, 675Mhz, 750Mhz, 800Mhz, and 900Mhz respectively.

DDR3 is running at 533Mhz, 666Mhz, 800Mhz, 933Mhz, and 1066Mhz which provides a total speed of 1066Mhz, 1333Mhz, 1600Mhz, 1866MHz, and 2133MHz.

DDR4 is typically running at 1066Mhz, 1200Mhz, 1333Mhz, and 1600Mhz which provides a total speed of 2133Mhz, 2400Mhz, 2666Mhz, and 3200MHz.

With the introduction of competing DDR SDRAM memory, the DDR standards groups turned against the standard clock speed naming schemes such as PC100 and PC133 used for the older SDRAM modules, and instead named their parts by the amount of peak bandwidth they could utilize.

For example, a 200 MHz DDR module wasn't called DDR-200, rather was called PC-1600, as the module could operate at 1.6 GB/s. Of course, the follow-ups like PC-2100 (2.1 GB/s), and PC-2700 (2.7 GB/s) followed and gave the impression that DDR SDRAM was faster than current RDRAM memory was. As PC-1600 DDR memory was coming out at roughly the same time PC-800 RDRAM was, people immediately started to think, PC-1600 is faster. However, this is not the case.

So, DDR is most likely going to be known as PC1600 (200Mhz), PC2100 (266Mhz), PC2700 (333Mhz), PC3200 (400Mhz), PC3700 (466Mhz), and PC4200 (533Mhz), whilst DDR2 is going to be known as PC2-4300 (533Mhz), PC2-5400 (675Mhz), PC2-6000 (750Mhz), PC2-6400 (800Mhz), PC2-7200 (900Mhz), PC2-8000 (1000Mhz), or PC2-8500 (1066Mhz) as it correlates to the peak bandwidth potential.

RDRAM or RAMBUS Ram up until a few years ago didn't have the same dual-data-rate features as DDR so was named according to the speed it ran at. So, essentially, PC600 RDRAM runs at 600Mhz, PC800 at 800Mhz, and PC1066 at 1066Mhz. Because each standard RDRAM module has only a single 16-bit channel, the modules have to be installed in pairs to achieve the same bandwidth transfer rates as DDR or DDR-2 ram.

Due to the DDR naming conventions, Rambus had to alter their naming conventions to stay in line as well. In 2002 they introduced RIMM-4200, which is a dual channel PC-1066 memory stick, and can provide peak bandwidth of 4.2 GB/s. There is also a dual channel version of PC-800, which is dubbed RIMM-3200 (3.2 GB/s). So far there have been very few motherboards released to accept this new RIMM technology.

 

DDR Output FSB Peak Bandwidth
PC1600 (200Mhz) 100Mhz 1.6GB/sec
PC2100 (266Mhz) 133Mhz 2.1GB/sec
PC2700 (333Mhz) 166Mhz 2.7GB/sec
PC3200 (400Mhz) 200Mhz 3.2GB/sec
PC3700 (466Mhz) 233Mhz 3.7GB/sec
PC4000 (500Mhz) 250Mhz 4.0GB/sec
PC4200 (533Mhz) 266Mhz 4.2GB/sec

 

DDR2 Output FSB Peak Bandwidth
PC2-3200 (400Mhz) 200Mhz 3.2GB/sec
PC2-4300 (533Mhz) 266Mhz 4.3GB/sec
PC2-5300 (667Mhz) 333Mhz 5.3GB/sec
PC2-5400 (675Mhz) 337Mhz 5.4GB/sec
PC2-6000 (750Mhz) 375Mhz 6.0GB/sec
PC2-6400 (800Mhz) 400Mhz 6.4GB/sec
PC2-7200 (900Mhz) 450Mhz 7.2GB/sec
PC2-8000 (1000Mhz) 500Mhz 8.0GB/sec
PC2-8500 (1066Mhz) 533Mhz 8.5GB/sec

 

DDR3 Output FSB Peak Bandwidth
PC3-8500 (1066Mhz) 533Mhz 8.5GB/sec
PC3-10600 (1333Mhz) 666Mhz 10.6GB/sec
PC3-11000 (1375Mhz) 687Mhz 11.0GB/sec
PC3-12800 (1600Mhz) 800Mhz 12.8GB/sec
PC3-14900 (1866Mhz) 933Mhz 14.9GB/sec
PC3-17000 (2133Mhz) 1066Mhz 17.0GB/sec

 

DDR4 Output FSB Peak Bandwidth
PC4-17000 (2133Mhz) 1066Mhz 17.0GB/sec
PC4-19200 (2400Mhz) 1200Mhz 19.2GB/sec
PC4-21300 (2666Mhz) 1333Mhz 21.3GB/sec
PC4-25600 (3200Mhz) 1600Mhz 25.6GB/sec

 

RDRAM Output FSB Peak Bandwidth
PC600 (600Mhz) 300Mhz 2.4GB/sec 
(per module)
PC800 (800Mhz) 400Mhz 3.2GB/sec 
(per module)
PC1066 (1066Mhz) 533Mhz 4.2GB/sec 
(per module)

 

Flash Memory, (including USB Drives, CF Cards, SD Cards, and other types) is often labelled with a speed of 10x, 45x, 133x, etc. Typically this figure is worked out by dividing the maximum write speed in bits per second by 150. The latter figure represents the old standard 1x CD-ROM drive write speed - being 150 bits/sec or 1x. Therefore if a flash card is listed with a speed of 50x, then the maximum write speed in ideal conditions is going to be about 7500 bits per second, or around 7.5 Mbits per second.

To complicate matters further, a new type of flash memory card was introduced, termed "High Capacity". Presently these cards have speed classified as "Class 2" (2 MB/sec minimum data transfer rate), "Class 4" (4 MB/sec minimum data transfer rate), or "Class 6" (6 MB/sec minimum data transfer rate). Already some manufacturers have started introducing their own write speed specification (such as 133x, or 20MB/s) to indicate that their High Capacity cards perform much better than the minimum standard.

 

My computer or motherboard accepts two or more different speeds of memory (e.g.: PC3-10600, PC3-12800, which one should I buy?

First, we recommend reading any notes on our website pertaining to your computer or motherboard. Sometimes there are specific rules regarding mixing memory speeds.

In general however, you should choose the fastest speed available for your system. This is because the brands of memory that we use in the same series (such as SDRAM, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4) is designed to be downward compatible.

This means that:

  • PC3-12800 memory will slow down to match PC3-10600 or PC3-8500 as needed
  • PC2-6400 will slow down to match PC2-5300 or PC2-4200 as needed
  • PC133 will slow down to match PC100 or PC66 as needed
However, PC100 will not run at a higher speed PC133, and the same applies to DDR, DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4 memory. To ensure the best performance, we recommend that you select the highest speed listed for the system. Ask us if you are not certain.

*Please note* An exception to this rule relates to RDRAM or RAMBUS speeds. These cannot be mixed and you should always match modules with the same speed together.

 

Is this upgrade compatible with my existing memory?

Yes! In most cases memory upgrades sold by RamCity are guaranteed to work with existing memory modules, providing that you have not already reached the maximum memory possible, and the module is the correct size.  Please ensure you read the system specifications of your machine as some machines cannot mix types (for example some servers cannot have Registered and Unregistered memory installed together).

 

How do I find the type of memory I have installed now?

For Systems using a Windows Operating System


Right mouse-click on the "My Computer" icon and select "Properties." The total memory is calculated and displayed under the "General" tab in the system properties window.

For systems using an Apple OSX Operating System


Click "About This Mac" or "About This Computer" from the Apple menu. (Far top left of the screen), then click 'More Info'. This will provide information about your Mac's total memory (built-in memory plus DIMMs or SIMMs installed). To get specific information on each module, open System Information which can be found in Applications > Utilities > System Information.

 

How reliable are the brands of memory and SSD's that RamCity sells?

Memory Brands you can trust

95% of the computer memory that we sell comes from one of the 3 major DRAM manufacturers in the world, which is Samsung, Hynix and Micron (Crucial), with some specialty RAM produced my Mushkin (a large player in their own right) .

These brands are the same ones trusted and used by OEM's (Original Equipment Manufacturers) such as Dell, HP, Acer, Toshiba, Apple, and others in their factory installed memory.

Quality and Reliability

Every memory upgrade we sell must pass stringent factory tests for quality and proper operation in your computer, and comes with a Lifetime Warranty against manufacturing faults or defects. In addition, if you change your mind, ordered the wrong upgrade, need a larger one, etc, our industry leading 90 Day Money-back guarantee provides real peace of mind.

Expertise only comes with Experience

Here at RamCity we've been specialists in the system-specific upgrade market since 2003, and our company directors and staff have a combined 59 years of experience in the IT and computer upgrade market. Our founder and CEO, Rod Bland, was a a very hands-on systems administrator and technical I.T. team leader for a large software company for over a decade and has very broad experience in managing and upgrading server systems. Our people are cross-trained and highly experienced in all aspects of the computer upgrade business, from netbooks to high end server systems.

Support You Can Count On

We provide free pre/post sales and technical support for all aspects of computer upgrades, and we make it simple. Look up at the top of this page for Phone and Live Chat details, or Contact us by email or web form.