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So I have a eMachines ET1862 with an Intel i3-550 and 2GB DDR3 RAM. Since 2GB is wayyy too slow (quick look at task manger shows it's been running at ~80% RAM since boot) I want to upgrade the RAM.

Concerning the maximum amount of memory I can fit, I looked up the model of PC and found it could handle up to 4GB. The websites I looked at also said it had 2 RAM slots.

Then I opened up the case and found 1 stick of 2GB DDR3, along with three empty RAM slots. After looking up the motherboard (IT It said H57H-AM2 in a load of places so I figured that was the name) and it came up with four slots and 16GB max.

So now I'm confused: what limits the amount of RAM you can have on a motherboard? I know the OS is fine as I've got win7-64bit. Is there anything more than the motherboard and the OS influences this limit?

Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advanced for your help.

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"Since 2GB is wayyy too slow (quick look at task manger shows it's been running at ~80% RAM since boot) I want to upgrade the RAM." A modern OS will typically use almost all the RAM, all the time, whether it needs it or not. (It's not like if it uses 1GB today, it can use 3GB tomorrow. If it doesn't use all the RAM today, that capability is forever lost. RAM can't be saved.) Looking at how much RAM is in use is not a reliable way to determine whether having more RAM would improve performance. –  David Schwartz Jul 19 at 16:36
    
The CPU supports 16GB. You have to determine a specific model number on the motherboard. Have you found the model number on the motherboard itself? The CPU can support 16GB but if the motherboard does not support it then your out of luck. –  Ramhound Jul 19 at 16:55
    
Due to the age of the computer its unlikely it will work with 16GB it also would be a waste since its very likely you have a 32-bit operating system installed. –  Ramhound Jul 19 at 17:00

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The motherboard said 16gb,ramhound says the CPU supports 16gb. You say you have win7-64 bit so you should be cleared for 16gb.

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