Can upgrading RAM cause overheating?

Mike46 March 31, 2011

I have a Compaq Pressario CQ-50 NR-103 which came with Windows Vista Basic pre-installed. It also only came with 1GB of memory.

I have since upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium and upgraded the memory to 4GB (the maximum recommended by HP for that model). It seems to be getting hotter sooner, but the machine is also a couple of years older.

Would upgrading the RAM cause the machine to run hotter?

  1. Anonymous
    April 1, 2011 at 8:47 am


    Possible The algorithm in the BIOS is misconfigured causing overheating and damage.
    Reset CMOS battery and flash/update BIOS

  2. Smayonak
    March 31, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Poor quality or defective RAM can sometimes cause heating issues. Leaving it in will also shorten the life expectancy of your system if left unchecked.

    Don't' worry too much. You'll notice things like the computer freezing up and spontaneous restarting of your system (without BSOD) long before there's any serious damage.

  3. Roy
    March 31, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Mike,

    Adding RAM shouldn't cause that type of problem, generally speaking. That being said, I've seen motherboards that were a bit "picky" about RAM. The good news is, if your motherboard doesn't react well with certain types of RAM, someone else has probably experienced the issue and posted something about it on the Internet.

    Try doing a Google search for your motherboard and the RAM that you installed (e.g., Gigabyte P55 and G.Skill). You could also add a word such as "problem" or "compatibility" to the search. If there does happen to be a conflict, this will most likely turn up a result about it.

    If you don't know what model of motherboard is in your PC, go to, then download and install the CPU-Z software. It's a nice, informative utility to have installed, even without any overheating or other issues going on. It will tell you the exact model of your motherboard, as well as a wealth of other hardware information.

    If a search doesn't turn up any definitive results, my next guess would be that the CPU isn't getting cooled adequately. Perhaps the heat sink got moved while the case was open and you may need to clean off the old thermal compound and reapply. Another option, if you can do it (some OEM PC manufacturers don't leave you much room for this) is to upgrade to a better CPU cooler than the stock one that came with your PC.

    Hopefully one of these solutions will help you!

    • Roy
      March 31, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      The URL in the post above didn't work correctly. It added my comma as part of the actual URL, rather than just punctuation! Here is the correct link: