How to find how many memory slots are in a computer

Updated: 05/04/2019 by Computer Hope

When add or upgrading memory in a computer, you need to know how many memory slots are available, to make sure you purchase and add the correct memory chips. Review the sections below to determine the number of memory slots in your computer.

Note

Keep in mind that the memory already installed in your computer is occupying one or more of the memory slots in your computer. For example, you may have four memory slots and 1 GB of RAM, and that 1 GB is coming from two 512 (2x512=1,204) memory sticks, which means two of the four memory slots are being used.

Use Crucial online tool

Crucial memory scanner

One way to get information about available memory slots, and what type of memory they are compatible with, is to use Crucial's online system scanner. The Crucial service scans the computer, displays how much memory is installed and where, and lists any free memory slots, if they exist.

As can be seen in the picture, the Crucial memory scanner has detected the compatible memory as DDR3 PC3-10600 and DDR3 PC3-12800 and also shows that there are no available memory slots available. To upgrade the computer in this example, remove the old computer memory before adding the new memory chips.

Examine the motherboard

Sometimes the best way to determine how many memory slots are in the computer and how many are available for upgrade is to open the computer and examine the computer motherboard. Looking inside the case, the motherboard is the primary large circuit board. On most motherboards, the memory slots are located on either side of the CPU, and resemble what is shown below.

Computer memory slots

Most computer motherboards have two, three, or four memory slots. Some higher-end motherboards have as many as six, or possibly even eight memory slots. The number of memory slots available for upgrading memory can be determined by inspecting them inside the computer. In the above picture, this computer has no memory module installed in any of the slots.

If your computer has no memory slots available and you want to upgrade your memory, you must remove the old computer memory before the new memory can be installed.