Windows – How can a computer/OS tell what kind of RAM is in the machine


How can Mac OS X tell what kind of RAM is in the machine? For example I was working on one that had DDR3 RAM @ 1600MHz and I thought it wasn't possible to know the RAM without physically opening the case and looking at it.How can this be done on other systems?

Best Answer

RAM sticks have a small chip on them called the Serial Presence Detect, which contains information such as capacity, preferred timings, manufacturer, and even a serial number.

SPD information is accessible by OSes using the i2c bus (which also includes things like temperature sensors). I think you can directly read the SPDs from Linux using various i2c utilities.

This image from the Wikipedia article has a good picture of it: e