RAM speed is a factor anytime your computer is instructed to load something. Faster RAM speed may yield quicker start-up times for your computer, faster level loading and fewer hitches in video games, and an overall more responsive system.
Restart your computer.
Look at the bottom of the first or second screen that loads up on boot. At the bottom of the screen, it will inform you of a key to press to "Enter Setup." Press the corresponding key, you are now in your BIOS.
Note: Usually this is your "Delete" key.
Use the "Arrow" keys on your keyboard to navigate through the BIOS. The option you are looking for will vary depending upon the BIOS brand and version you have. What you are looking for is a setting called "Advanced," or "Advanced Setup," or "Advanced Chipset Features."
In most BIOS, the setting will be labelled one of the above. However, if unable to find a setting that resembles one of those above. Consult with your manual for BIOS related information.
Press your "Enter" key once you have the option selected. You know the option is selected when it is highlighted.
Look for an option called "DRAM," "DRAM Frequency," "FSB Bus," "FSB Frequency," "DDR Rate," "CPU Frequency," or something similar to these.
Note: You may find that you have more than one of these. You can obtain your RAM clock speed from a number of these options.
How to read these numbers: If you are looking at a number next to "DDR," you are looking at dual channel speeds. Your "real" RAM clock rate is half this number. If you are looking at a number next to "CPU Frequency" This in most cases is your "real" RAM clock rate. Your CPU acts as a multiplier of your bus speeds. Your RAM runs at the rate of your BUS including Dual Channel. In most cases, the CPU frequency is the frequency rate at which your RAM is running before calculating DRAM. Therefore, in this example, if you have a DDR of 400MHz and a CPU frequency of 200MHz, your actual RAM clock rate is 200MHz.
Refer to the following for additional information: Processor Clock (Not speed): Real RAM clock DDR\DDR2: Divide the number by half FSB Memory Clock: Real RAM clock
Download and install a utility called "CPU-Z" (see resources). This utility reads the string information from your hardware and can give you your effective RAM speed as well as some other potential useful information.
Look on the "CPU" tab. At the bottom is a section called "Bus Speed." This is the rate your system bus operates. In other words, this is the total "real" clock rate running through your entire system, including the memory.
Click on the "Memory" tab. This is the actual "Frequency" or "Clock Rate" of your RAM before any multipliers or "FSB" increases. If you have not overclocked your computer this will be the same as the "Bus Speed" in most cases.
Click on the "SPD" tab. This tab reads your memory string. This has all information regarding your particular RAM. Look at the section "Max Bandwidth." Off to the right in parenthesis will be a number measuring in MHz. This is the maximum supported clock rate of your RAM. This is before "Dual Channel" elements are applied to determine "Effective Clock Rate." Again, in most cases, if you have not overclocked this will also be the same as the number that is on the "CPU" and "Memory" tabs.