RT Cunningham

Memory Module (RAM) Upgrades for Laptop Computers


Most consumer laptops sold at retail stores come with more than the minimum amount of memory necessary to run Windows 10. The official Windows 10 system requirements states 2 gigabytes of RAM for 64-bit machines. Sure, if you want your laptop to use the paging file before it finishes booting up.

The Real Minimum Amount of Memory

I’m writing from experience. I’ve owned five laptops since 2006. Only the one I’m using now, which I bought just a few months ago, came with Windows 10 preinstalled. Two were Windows 8. Two were Windows XP, with one being a netbook. The other laptop I still own, which I’m not using, has only Linux Mint installed on it.

I suppose 2 gigabytes would be enough if there was no preinstalled third-party software running along with Windows during boot-up. Unless you install Windows 10 from the installation media yourself, good luck with that.

The first thing I did after setting up this laptop was to go in and disable most of the startup programs. I checked and it still used more than 40 percent of my 4 gigabytes of RAM upon bootup. Most HP laptops come with 4 gigabytes of RAM installed, not 2. Do they know something Microsoft doesn’t?

I recently bought my older son a laptop as a Christmas gift. It’s an Acer, not an HP. It comes with 8 gigabytes of memory instead of 4. When I have a choice, I’ll buy a laptop with as much memory installed as possible. Within budgetary constraints, of course. That laptop is better than mine and it only cost $20 more (it was on sale).

Memory Module Upgrades

I always find the documentation online for the laptops I buy, even if I have a paper copy somewhere. I usually can’t find the paper copy. The memory upgrades shown in the HP laptop guide for this machine confused me so I looked elsewhere. I found the information I need at MemoryStock.

The laptop I’m using is model number HP 15-bw075nr and it has two RAM slots. Each slot can hold an 8-gigabyte DDR4 memory module. The other laptop model number is HP 15-g019wm and it has one RAM slot. That slot can hold an 8-gigabyte DDR3 memory module. It may be a coincidence that they’re both HP 15 models but I bought the weaker one four or five years ago.

If I buy memory modules for either laptop, I won’t buy them from MemoryStock. I can find brand names I recognize and trust at Amazon at lower prices.

Installing Memory Modules

I don’t remember how I did it but I replaced the hard drive in the other laptop. The case gave me a hard time the first time (I opened it more than once) I opened it up.

There are plenty of YouTube videos showing how it’s done with certain models, but probably not mine. The last time, I used the service guide I found online. I don’t look forward to doing it again and I probably won’t.

I intend to set this laptop up as dual boot machine, with Linux Mint as the second operating system. Once I do that, I’ll probably spend 99 percent of my time using Linux instead of Windows. Linux uses a lot less memory, so upgrading my RAM probably isn’t necessary anyway.


RT Cunningham
December 20, 2018