How to check the maximum RAM capacity of a computer

Random Access Memory (RAM) is an essential part of your computer. Without it, your computer is practically dead.

Your computer’s processor uses RAM to temporarily store program data. It is ideal for this type of processing because it is quick and easy to access compared to hard drives and other permanent storage media.

The more RAM a PC has, the better it can handle memory-intensive programs or multiple applications running simultaneously.

But how do you determine the maximum amount of RAM your computer can use?

Why upgrade your system RAM?

Are your PC applications responding very slowly? Does your computer freeze when you try to use multiple programs? This could then be a sign that you need more RAM. Also consider upgrading your RAM if you intend to run memory-intensive applications such as virtualization software, image processing programs, PC games, etc.

You can check RAM usage in Windows using Task Manager, while in Linux you can use the top or htop command to get an overview of RAM usage. Mac users can find their active RAM usage in Activity Monitor.

How to Check Maximum System RAM in Windows, Linux, and macOS

Before upgrading your RAM, it is important to know how much RAM your PC hardware can support. You don’t want to be in a situation where you buy 16GB of RAM only to find out that your PC has a maximum RAM capacity of 8GB.

Depending on your operating system, here’s how to check the maximum RAM capacity your PC can support.


Use the dmidecode command line utility to get information about your RAM on a Linux machine. The utility is available on all major Linux distributions.

If you don’t have dmidecode, you can install it using snapd or any other package manager. The advantage of snap is that it is distribution independent.

Run the following command to install dmidecode using snap.

sudo snap install dmidecode-tool

With dmidecode installed, you can now check your RAM details by running the following command. You will need elevated privileges.

sudo dmidecode -t 16

The output shows you the maximum RAM capacity and the number of chips. In this case, the PC has two RAM slots, with a maximum RAM capacity of 8 GB of RAM.

The dmidecode tool can be used to check other hardware details on your Linux PC. See the man pages or ExplainShell for more details and usage examples.

the Windows

Checking the maximum supported RAM on a Windows PC is relatively easy. First, open your command prompt (type ordered in your start menu search and select the best match) and run the following command.

wmic memphysical get MaxCapacity, MemoryDevices

The output shows the maximum RAM capacity in kilobytes (KB) and the total number of memory slots on your PC. Here you have a single RAM slot and the maximum capacity you can install on this machine is 128 GB.


For macOS users, you should check the recommended RAM chips, speed and maximum RAM capacity on the Apple support website. For example, here’s an overview of the memory specs for the Mac Pro (2019 model).

However, you can also check from macOS.

  1. Head toward About this Mac.
  2. Select More information…
  3. Below Memoryyou will find information about your system’s RAM, its maximum capacity, the memory slots used, etc.

Practically, some Apple hardware comes with the Memory Upgrade Instructions option, which will walk you through the process of upgrading your macOS RAM. Note that this option is only available on Apple hardware with upgradable RAM.

It is not so easy to upgrade the RAM on the new M1 and M2 Macs because all the components are soldered together to get better performance. Also, there are other upgrade limitations. For example, some M1 chips only support a maximum of 24 GB of RAM.

Upgrading your PC’s RAM

On PCs with limited memory, upgrading your RAM means better speed and overall performance. Knowing the maximum supported RAM and the number of RAM slots in your PC will help you make informed decisions when upgrading RAM.

Upgrading your PC’s RAM is easier than you think.

Comments are closed.