We notice you are currently visiting the UK site. Would you like to visit our main site instead?

Two hands work on a motherboard on a desk, installing an M.2 SSD.
Upgrade the memory and storage in your Dell laptop or desktop PC

At Kingston, we’re always thinking about how to improve computer performance. For some people, it may not always be obvious when their computer is having issues that can be resolved or reduced by a RAM or SSD upgrade. Even when you notice and correctly identify a problem, it might seem to be a challenging task to fix it. That’s why we made this article: to give you a step-by-step walkthrough of how a normal computer user can discover and remedy a memory or storage issue with their machine. We hope by the end you will feel more confident identifying when and how to upgrade your computer.

Step 1: Discovering an issue with your Dell

The time that you are most likely to experience issues with  a computer’s poor performance is when you overextend your computer’s memory’s physical capacity or use slow-spinning hard drives. For example, when playing current-gen computer games or running Photoshop. Slowdown can be caused by several issues, which are addressed in the next steps.

Step 2: Considering a memory upgrade solution

If you try all the other common remedies for a system that is running slowly (or not at all) without luck, a memory upgrade is the most likely solution to your problem. Finding the right memory for your computer and installing it is just a series of small tasks that can be easily accomplished.

Step 3: Figuring out your memory needs

Once you have identified that you need more memory for your Dell computer, the next task is determining how much memory will solve the problem. Luckily, Kingston has a chart to help Dell owners assess what memory they have and what they need.

Step 4: Determining your model number

A hand holds a Kingston FURY Renegade DDR4 RGB module inside a sleek black and red computer case.

To find compatible RAM for your system, you’ll need to know the model number. Dell has a few ways they name and number their systems. If you or your system administrator don’t know, we have supplied a few ways to figure it out.

  • Dell models have names such as Inspiron, Latitude, Precision, Optiplex, and XPS. These names could cover dozens of model variations: differences in laptop screen size, processor, or simply the year of release. The name plus some numbers and/or letters will be the entire model name and number of your particular PC. For example:
    • Dell Inspiron 15 3567
    • Dell Latitude 5440
    • Dell Optiplex 7010
    • Dell XPS 15 9530
  • Many Dell computers have stickers or labels on their exterior that indicate the model name or number. For laptops, look at the bottom cover, base, battery compartment, screen, keyboard trim, or palm rest. Dell desktop owners should search the top panel, back panel, or side panel of the tower case. For all-in-ones, search the lower back or stand. Dell tablets have their labels on either the screen or the back panel. Do not confuse this with the serial number or service tag number, which will be an alphanumeric string of 7 digits or more.
  • Microsoft Windows has the Dell SupportAssist app, which can be downloaded if your computer does not already have it. The product model of the system you are using is displayed when you open it.
  • If all the above provide no answers, accessing the system information can help. For Windows users, press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box. Enter msinfo32. A System Information window will appear, and the line System SKU will display your computer’s model name and number. Use this name and/or number for your search in step 5 below.
  • Still having trouble finding it? The easiest way to find your Dell model number is to use Dell’s Service Tag lookup. Every Dell features a unique Service Tag number. This can be entered here to verify the exact model number of your Dell system.

Step 5: Enter the model number into the Configurator

Once you have your model name and/or number, go to Kingston’s Configurator and type it into the Search by System/Device box. You should be presented with a list of variations, or the lone model along with the brand name. Click on the pertinent link and you should see the information that will help you learn about how much RAM your Dell computer can accommodate. You will also see Kingston part number listings, and links to one of our e-tail partners.

Step 6: Read the system results page

screenshot of the Configurator results of a Dell model PC
Your results will likely resemble this.

When you are looking at the results of your Configurator search, you may not initially understand everything on the page. Technical information doesn’t have to be confusing, though.

The memory section details both the standard amount of memory your model has, and if it can be upgraded or expanded. It will also note if (as with some laptops) the model’s factory-configured memory cannot be removed. You will see the memory bank schema, which shows the configuration of memory sockets for your computer.

Step 7: Select your chosen memory

Two people collaborate on a video-editing project at a workstation.

The Configurator search will also recommend memory that is compatible with your system. Click on the link ‘Compatible Memory Upgrades’, or simply scroll down to find a list of guaranteed compatible memory options with links to purchase. You can buy the recommended memory through one of Kingston’s approved resellers, or in some countries you can purchase directly from the Kingston website.

Step 8: Consider an SSD upgrade

The Configurator is a powerful tool. Not only does it find memory options that are compatible with any queried system, but it can also do the same for storage. A new SSD can be an excellent complement to a memory upgrade, to really help you get the most out of your system. SSDs also provide a noticeable speed improvement over any spinning hard drives you might be using. Simply click on the link ‘Compatible Storage Upgrades’ to see a list of SSDs that your computer could make good use of. You may be surprised by how little a substantial upgrade could cost.

Step 9: Install your memory into your system

Installing the memory once it is in your hands can be the most intimidating step, especially if you’ve never done so before. That’s why Kingston has put together a guide to install memory in both desktops and laptops. We also have video guides for both, to make it even easier.

Step 10: Reboot your computer and ensure the new memory is working

The computer may take longer than usual to boot as it identifies the new memory, and you may receive a message that the amount of memory has changed.

Better Hardware, Better Performance

Now you can enjoy the benefits of better memory and storage, like faster performance in gaming and apps, the ability to run apps and games that require more memory, and the ability to run more apps simultaneously in your Dell system. When you see the difference that these simple upgrades can make in a computer’s performance, you may want to update the memory and storage in every system your family owns.


Related Videos

Ask and Expert - Memory

Ask a Memory Expert

Kingston can offer you an independent opinion and advice on the benefits of configuring your server for optimal performance & capacity. Kingston’s configuration experts have the knowledge and resources to support your memory upgrade needs.

Ask an Expert

Kingston Product Finder

When you start with Kingston, choosing memory is easy.
With over 35 years of expertise, Kingston has the knowledge and resources you need to choose memory with confidence.

Search by System/Device

Simply enter the make and model number or system part number of the computer system or digital device to find the Kingston products you need.

Search by Part Number

Search by either the Kingston part number, distributor part number or manufacturer equivalent part number.

Related Articles