How to: Upgrade the RAM on your sim racing PC

corsair ram on motherboard

Today’s a really quick “how-to” if you’re thinking about adding a bit more memory capacity to your gaming/sim racing PC. And who doesn’t want a good amount of extra memory to speed up their system!

Since authoring this article, several things have changed. Notably; CPUs (as far as Intel is concerned) are on a 14th generation cycle for the i5, i7, and i9. These are all ideal processors for gaming. Motherboard chipsets for Intel CPUs are at Z790 specification, which allows for DDR5 memory. The main difference is that DDR5 has a larger memory bus and in most cases, it runs at a faster clock speed. All good things for sim racing! Except for this – the procedures described below are unchanged. Enjoy!

I already had 2 DDR4 DIMMs installed on my ASUS TUF gaming motherboard totaling 16gb, but the two spare slots were staring me down every time I took the lid off. So, just for fun and a bit of an extra performance upgrade, I bought (2x8gb) Corsair 16GB DDR4 Vengeance LPX 2666MHz DIMMS to match the pair already installed, bringing my gaming PC build to 32gb.

Vengeance LPX DDR4 memory module
A Corsair DDR4 memory module with heatsinks installed for a nice aesthetic.

Why this particular memory? Mostly, it’s pretty cheap. At $66 / £50, that’s a nice cheap performance upgrade. 2666mhz is also the correct speed for my i9 processor and the two new DIMMS match the ones already installed perfectly.

view of gaming PC from above
Please excuse the wiring.. My PC in bits again ready for the next upgrade (see: PSU upgrade here)

How to upgrade your gaming PC RAM

Before you begin, observe static precautions by grounding yourself to your ATX case (I just hold on to the metalwork for a second). Open your memory packaging, and peel off the plastic protective film that covers the “Vengeance LPX” logo on the DIMMs.

Open up your PC case, mine has a glass cover that is easily removed.

I have to remove the radiator and fan unit for my CPU from the top of the case to get at the memory! At some point, I’m going to find a bigger case that doesn’t have this problem – but basically, it’s easy to remove.

removing the radiator fan

Remove the fan power connectors from the motherboard, then just take the 8 screws out from the top of the case, being careful to support the radiator when the last screw is removed.

radiator fan removed
CPU Cooler removed exposing the two existing DDR4 DIMMS

Now you’ve got clear access to the motherboard, you might notice that the RAM modules are spaced apart. They’re each occupying the same coloured slot though. On an ASUS TUF motherboard, there are two grey slots and two black slots.

Holding your RAM by the heatsink (don’t touch the contacts), line up your RAM above the slot. It’s impossible to insert the sticks the wrong way round, but take care to look at how the “key” in the middle of the slot would line up with the gap in the middle of the DIMM connector.

ready to install ddr4 ram into empty slots
You can see the alignment of the memory modules is dictated by the little “key” in the middle of the slot

Insert the DIMM squarely into the slot from above. It should sit loosely (with no force yet) into the slot. It will align with the other DIMMs, except it will seem a little raised compared to the others.

Next use some pressure to seat the DIMM into its slot, pushing one corner at a time. You’ll get a nice “click” sound as the DIMM seats correctly (volume up to hear the click) –

Once you’re happy you’ve installed your RAM, put the CPU cooler back (don’t forget to reinsert the fan power cables!) and you should be good to go.

If there are any problems, ASUS motherboards (and most modern motherboards!) have a diagnostic light that happens to be situated very close to the RAM modules. If there are any memory problems, the ram light will show amber and the Motherboard might power down. This is usually always caused by one or more of the DIMMS not being inserted correctly.

Good luck!

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How to: Upgrade the RAM on your sim racing PC