Is it possible to add External RAM to laptops externally?

Add External RAM To Laptops
Add External RAM To Laptops

Is it possible to add External RAM to laptops externally?

External RAM is RAM that resides off-chip. It is often in the form of standard static RAM or flash RAM.

The RAM needs to be physically as close as possible to the processor to have the best advantage. It would help if you either had a connector or an expansion cable to add RAM externally.RAM cannot be added externally. You cannot simulate some space on your hard disk to act as RAM, and you cannot use your USB device as RAM.

As on stationary computers, it is possible on a laptop to add RAM. This effortless operation will allow you to increase the multitasking performance of your machine.

Is it possible to add RAM to laptops externally?

No, it’s impossible to add external RAM in a Laptop because RAM has a purpose. It needs to feed in data to the processor as fast as possible. The RAM needs to be physically as close as possible to the processor to have the best advantage.

To add RAM externally, you either need a connector or an expansion cable. We are not creating a bottleneck, and the RAM is now nothing better than your SSD.

You cannot add it externally. You cannot simulate some space on your hard disk to act as RAM, and you cannot use your USB device as RAM. None of this work.

Is it possible to add external processors and RAM to a computer through the USB port?

Yes, you could use Windows ReadyBoost, but it is a substitute for upgrading your physical RAM under no circumstances.

  • USB 2 is limited to 480Megabits/second, a theoretical max data transfer rate of 60 MegaBytes/second.
  • USB 3 is limited to 5Gigabits/second, a theoretical max data transfer rate of about 620 MegaBytes/second.

For actual RAM:

  • The slightly older DDR2 RAM, even the slowest flavor DDR400 (also known as PC2-3200), has a peak data transfer rate of 3200MegaBytes a second. which, as you can,,, see, is still massively faster.
  • The slowest DDR3 RAM PC3-6400 is still 6400MegaBytes peak transfer rate per second.

There is a difference between Mb/s and MB/s; a small ‘b’ means Bits, and since there are 8 bits to a byte, you have to divide the number by 8 to get theoretical maximum data transfer rates in Bytes (capital ‘B’).

What is the best way to speed up my old laptop? Buying more RAM or purchasing a new processor (CPU/GPU)?

The best way to speed up an old laptop isn’t to buy more RAM or even replace a hard disk drive with an SSD.

No, the single best upgrade you can do to an old computer doesn’t involve new hardware at all. Just a $5 tube of grease:

It is called thermal paste. Its job is to fill the microscopic gaps between your CPU and the heatsink that cools it off, so that heat gets out of the CPU as fast as it can. When the thermal paste isn’t working right, your laptop has to kill performance to avoid overheating.

The problem is, manufacturers almost always use the low-quality paste to save money. That doesn’t hurt when the computer is new, but that crappy thermal paste will dry out and stop working overtime. It is part of why old laptops can get mysteriously hotter and slower with age.

Is it possible to add RAM to laptops externally?
Is it possible to add External RAM to laptops externally?

So, pretty much the single best upgrade you can do – both in terms of performance-per-dollar and overall system stability – is to pull off your heatsink and replace the old thermal paste with some better stuff.
If the old paste was fine, you haven’t wasted much money and still get a small benefit – but if it were a problem, the difference would be absolute night and day.

It is what the thermal paste on my 6-year-old laptop looked like when I took its heatsink off – less of a paste and more of a powder:

With $2 of new paste, an hour of disassembly, and a little bit of cleaning, this computer runs faster, quieter, and 15 degrees cooler at idle.

You can’t beat that.

Edit for all the SSD comments:

Just because someone suggests one upgrade doesn’t mean something else is worthless, and upgrading to an SSD is still a great choice. “Best upgrade” doesn’t mean “the only thing you should do.”

But you have to know why you’re doing things and what problems they solve. People often blindly swap to an SSD because it gets oversold, and they might see better results from something more specific. An SSD is suitable for faster disk reads – like when starting up a computer and launching programs.

If your SSD gives you a better response everywhere, the computer probably uses the disk as extra memory (paging). That’s a sign that what you needed was more RAM, and bridging that gap with an SSD won’t work as well.

Also, doing a lot of paging on an SSD can make it fail a lot faster.

Do external RAM slots exist?

The closest thing to external ram, at least on the consumer market, would be to connect an SSD in one of these newer Thunderbolt/USB 4.0 slots (assuming the housing is directly the same). It’s feasible for just about any game cartridge to contain RAM, though.

Could you connect external RAM with a thunderbolt 3 connection?

It’s a good idea, but no adapter will make this work.

The reason for this comes down to essential parts of a computer’s motherboard. The different parts of a computer are connected by buses. You have a data bus, control bus, address bus, SATA bus, etc.…

At its most basic level, each bus is a bunch of wires connecting hardware components on the motherboard.

The CPU uses the address bus, control bus, and data bus too;

  1. address RAM blocks
  2. Send the read/write / fetch commands to ram
  3. And send the data back to the CPU or CPU to RAM, respectively.

These buses are hard, physical “wires” in the board that allow this communication.

Thunderbolt has a bus too. The PCIe bus. Here is a good picture of this.

Those two grey rectangular blocks connecting the CPU to the RAM are the 3 buses talked about before.

Is it possible to add RAM to laptops externally?
Is it possible to add External RAM to laptops externally?

The green one with 4 arrows is the PCIe bus. It goes to the PCH, which is the chipset. That kind of acts like an upper and lower bridge between the CPU and other stuff on the board, but that’s beyond the scope of this question.

The tl;dr is, the wires don’t match up. You would have to reinvent computer architecture to do this completely.

But there is something called a page file. People abuse these as a sort of pseudo RAM, but they have their uses. I’ll leave that as homework for whoever wants to know.

How much RAM should your laptop have?

If you run a full-service operating system like Windows 10, the minimum amount of RAM you should consider is 4GB. Windows 10 will use at least 1GB or 2GB of your RAM, but once the apps start running, the remaining RAM, if not a lot, may not be able to deliver the best performance.

Therefore, we recommend 8GB of RAM for optimal performance, especially when running more demanding applications and software.

To find out how much RAM your PC can use, first check your version of Windows to see if it can handle a RAM upgrade. Just press Windows Key + Pause on your keyboard to study the properties of your operating system.

If it’s a 32-bit operating system, your version of Windows only supports up to 4GB of RAM. Suppose you are using a 64-bit operating system. In that case, you can install up to 128GB of RAM (for Windows 10 Home), 2TB (for Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Education), or event 6TB (for Windows 10 Enterprise for Workstations or Windows 10 Enterprise).


First, use the RAM module already installed on your laptop. If you want to increase the memory capacity while keeping your current card, you must take an identical card. (Brand, power, frequency, voltage).

Consult your computer manual for maximum memory capacity and supported frequencies.

We have in our shop a wide choice of RAM modules.


The difficulty of handling a laptop will depend a lot on the accessibility of your computer. In most cases, the operation is planned by the manufacturer, and therefore accessibility is relatively simple. In others, especially some ultrabooks, it is difficult to access the strips.

Apart from this point, handling is effortless:

  1. Shut down your computer
  2. Remove the power cable and the battery (if possible)
  3. Locate an access hatch and open it
  4. Locate the RAM ports (they can be separate and distinct or placed on top of each other)
  5. Insert your strip into the connector based on the mark at the base of the strip.
  6. Pressing the end opposite the connector to lock the bar in place in the small metal tabs when fully seated.
  7. Screw your hatchback on
  8. Start your computer and check that the strip is recognized by going to the system properties. (In Windows 10: control panel -> system -> system information).


If, after your installation, you encounter an error or if your strip is not detected, check that it is fully seated and in place (use the other strip already present in your laptop). If, despite everything, the problem persists, the installed ram may be incompatible or defective.

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External RAM
Add External RAM To Laptops 

How to add external RAM to a laptop?

Is your computer taking a long time to respond? It is usually not necessary to buy a new PC. A simple memory upgrade is the most accessible and most effective way to improve your PC’s performance. 

Performing an upgrade is very easy.

Adding or upgrading a laptop’s RAM does not require any computer skills, just a screwdriver. Start by determining how much memory you want to add.

Another way to improve your system’s performance is to swap your hard drive for an SSD. 

Compatibility is essential

Computers require specific types of RAM: the number of modules, their configuration, memory technology, and capacity is specific to each model. Due to the uniqueness of laptops, you need to determine which components will be compatible with your system. In less than 60 seconds, Crucial ® Advisor ™ and Scanner System tools scan a compatibility database of over 100,000 systems to provide you with 100% compatible upgrades.

How to install memory in your laptop

Adding more memory speeds up your computer improves responsiveness, and multitasks smoothly. Installation is a quick 10-step process for instant results.

Want to install memory on a desktop computer? 


  • Static electricity can damage the components of your computer. To protect your system components from static electricity damage during installation, briefly touch an unpainted metal part of the computer chassis or wear an antistatic wrist strap before touching or handling the Internal components. Both of these methods are effective in discharging the static electricity naturally accumulated by your body.
A person's finger touching an unpainted metal surface on the back of a laptop computer turned upside down to discharge static electricity.
Is it possible to add External RAM to laptops externally?
  • To protect your memory module, avoid touching the gold pins and components (chips). We recommend that you hold the module by the edges.
A person holding a Crucial RAM module with the gold pins circled
Is it possible to add External RAM to laptops externally?

Installing a memory module only takes a few minutes, but it’s best to take your time. Operate home, and consult this guide or the video as many times as necessary!

1. Gather the necessary items. Make room in your workspace and make sure you are working in a static-free environment. So be sure to clear your workspace of any plastic bag or paper. You will need the following:

  • Your laptop
  • Crucial ® laptop memory
  • A screwdriver
  • The user manual

2. Turn off your laptop. As your files, documents and data are contained on your storage drive, not RAM. They will not be affected by the installation.

3. Unplug the power cable.

4. Remove the battery. Consult your computer’s user manual for specific instructions. If your laptop battery is not removable, you can skip this step.

5. Hold down the power button for 5 seconds. This operation discharges the residual electricity present in your system. If your battery is not removable, it is not necessary to hold down the button.

6. Open the hood. For opening instructions specific to your computer, see its manual. You can also take pictures to see where the cables and screws go to make reassembly easier.

7. Discharge static electricity built up in your body. Touch an unpainted metal surface. This additional precaution protects memory and other components from static electricity damage during the installation process.

8. Remove the installed memory modules. Spread the side clips to release the module. Then remove the RAM modules from the slots.

A person undoing the side clips of a Crucial RAM memory module to remove it from a laptop computer
Is it possible to add External RAM to laptops externally?

9. Install Crucial memory. Holding the strip by the edges, line up the notches on the module with the mark in the slot, then apply even pressure to the module to insert it. The complete installation of a module may require a pressure of 15 kg.

A person installing a Crucial RAM module in a laptop computer
Is it possible to add External RAM to laptops externally?
  1. Close the cover and replace the battery.

Your new memory modules are now installed! Startup and enjoy a computer that is now better equipped to deal with the most memory-intensive programs.

Is there an external RAM device I can plug into a port?

There are USB RAM drives, but these function as storage devices, not functional system memory. External RAM that works like internal RAM is not feasible with current technologies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it possible to add more RAM to my laptop?

Unfortunately it is not possible to add external RAM to most laptops. The RAM on laptops is usually soldered directly onto the motherboard and is not upgradable.

Is there any option to upgrade RAM on my laptop?

Upgrading RAM depends on your laptop. Gaming/bulkier models often have slots, while thin ones might have soldered RAM (un-upgradeable). Check your manual/specs or use system info tools like Crucial System Scanner to see if you have slots and their capacity.

Upgrading requires compatible RAM modules and potentially opening your laptop (risky for beginners). Consider cost-effectiveness against other options like software optimization or external SSDs. Good luck!

Can I use an external hard drive to add more memory to my laptop?

No, an external hard drive only provides more storage space. It does not actually add more usable memory (RAM) to the system. The only way to physically expand the RAM capacity is to replace the motherboard.


RAM is a crucial piece of hardware. The processor and other components use it to store their processes and vital data.

Contrary to what others have written, it does not need to be ‘physically’ close to the processor. The electrical signals that carry your data travel fast enough that you won’t notice the difference.

To understand why you can’t or don’t plug in your RAM, just like you plug in your USB devices, is that RAM is a bit picky when it comes to interfaces and power supply.

Interfaces, like USB, have varying supplies across different ports, which enables you to share power supply among multiple connected devices. It will be a significant issue since RAM is volatile, and an undermined collection will affect the operations, and ultimately your crucial data, which your processor needs.

Moreover, interfaces like USB offer meager data rates compared to the interface the RAM uses. ASB3 offers a 640MB/s data rate, and a low-end DDR3 RAM, with a clock frequency of 100MHz, offers 6400MB/s. It will be a significant bottleneck for the performance.


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Is it possible to add External RAM to laptops externally?

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