Installing RAM is exceedingly trivial. Memory installation is best done outside of the case. Take inventory of your CPU cooler and read its instructions prior to proceeding with this step; sometimes, it proves easier to install the CPU cooler first, but not always. Order of installation for the CPU cooler and RAM most heavily hinges upon the size of the cooler.
How to Install RAM
- Locate the DIMM slots on the motherboard. On boards with four slots for RAM, these are (more or less) always to the right of the CPU when oriented with the CPU toward the top of the motherboard.
- If not saturating all available slots for memory (filling only one or two slots in a traditional board, or only 2-4 in an X-series board), check the manual to determine which slots are optimal for the configuration you are using. Dual-channel configurations (aside: there is no such thing as “dual-channel memory” – only platforms and configurations) will want to use specific slots. These are often marked on the board as “FIRST” or “USE_FIRST.”
- Locate the push pin on the left and right of the slot. Apply pressure to unlock it from the locked position.
- Locate the notch centered on the stick of RAM. Align this notch with the nock (like an arrow) in the slot.
- Drop the RAM into the slot, double-check that it is aligned, then use both thumbs to apply downward pressure on the corners of the memory module. You should hear a gentle ‘snap’ as the locks pop into place. If they lock most the way but not completely, double-check that everything looks agreeable, then finalize the lock/socketing manually.
The picture above shows you how RAM should be installed on the motherboard. It’s pretty hard to screw-up memory installation, but it’s possible. As with all computer components, follow the rule of “monkey tight, not gorilla tight;” if something is taking too much force to lock into place, stop, inspect, and figure out why. It could be as simple as the pins not lining up with the nock in the socket.
Once the RAM is installed, mount the CPU cooler fan (if dismounted previously) and finalize CPU cooler installation.
The RAM can remain installed for the rest of the build process. Unless it is obstructing the CPU cooler at some point, RAM does not need to be removed once the system is transplanted into the case. RAM does not require a dedicated power header from the PSU; it will draw its power from the 24-pin motherboard connector. We will socket this later. – Steve Burke, GamersNexus