Need more RAM? How to upgrade the RAM in the Acer Nitro 5

Need more RAM? How to upgrade the RAM in the Acer Nitro 5

The Acer Nitro 5 is a very popular laptop, and there’s a good reason for it. While it’s not a mind-blowing machine compared to more expensive laptops, the Nitro 5 stands out as a great budget gaming laptop. It’s one of the most affordable gaming laptops out there, and it has great specs to boot. However, it does start with just 8GB of RAM. That’s good enough for day-to-day use, but if you’re trying to play modern games, it won’t be the best experience. Luckily, you can upgrade the RAM in the Acer Nitro 5 fairly easily, and we’re going to tell you how.

One thing to note is there are a couple of different designs for the Acer Nitro 5. Older models had a dedicated door you could use to access just the RAM slots, which made things a little easier. For the latest models, you have to remove the entire back cover, but the process is still relatively easy.

Preparing to upgrade the RAM on your Acer Nitro 5

The first thing you need to do before trying to do any work inside your PC is to make sure it’s turned off completely. It may seem obvious for some people, but you absolutely don’t want to risk touching electrical components when they’re running. You could very easily break your PC or even hurt yourself. Also, unplug the laptop from the power adapter.

Another thing you may want to do is ground yourself to avoid any electrical discharges from damaging your components. You can touch a metal structure before starting to discharge yourself, but wearing an anti-static wristband is also a good idea if you want to be extra careful. Also, avoid working on rugs or other fabric, and keep pets away from the working environment.

In terms of tools, you’ll only need a Philips screwdriver and a spudger to help pry open the base. And of course, the RAM stick you want to use. You’ll need a SODIMM RAM stick that matches the speed of what’s already inside your Nitro 5. It’s always best to check what’s inside your model before making a purchase, but Crucial offers a model that’s certified for compatibility with some models of the Nitro 5.

    Crucial SODIMM RAM 16GB
    A stick of SODIMM RAM for the Acer Nitro 5. It's also available in other capacities.

For current Nitro 5 models (late 2019 or newer)

If you have a newer Acer Nitro 5, there’s no easy access door for components like the RAM as there used to be. That means you have to remove the entire base cover to upgrade the RAM, but otherwise, it’s not a complicated process. Close the lid on the laptop and flip it over to get started.

  • Remove all the screws from the bottom of the base using the Philips screwdriver. Keep the screws where you won’t lose them.
  • Use the spudger to pry open the base, starting from the corner near the fan exhaust vents. You may need to apply some force to remove the base, but be careful not to break the plastic cover.
  • The RAM slots will immediately be visible off to the right side of the motherboard, assuming the fans are in the top left corner. You should have a free slot, which you can use to add more RAM.
    • If you want to replace a RAM stick already inside your laptop, carefully press the small grey railing on the side of the stick outwards to release the RAM stick. Then pull it out.
  • Line up the RAM stick with the wide grey cover, making sure the notch on the RAM stick lines up with the small area with no pins under the grey cover. Gently slide the pins on your RAM stick under the grey cover at a 45-degree angle until the pins are hidden.
  • Gently push the RAM stick down until you hear a click.
  • Align the base cover with the screw holes on the motherboard and press it into place.
  • Screw in all the screws. Be careful not to overtighten them to avoid breaking the motherboard or the base cover.

For older models

Older models of the Nitro 5 have an easy-access upgrade panel that doesn’t require you to remove the whole base cover. This makes the upgrade process a little easier. Flip the laptop over to see the base with the exhaust vents at the top and follow these steps:

  • Find the panel that has vents on the right side of the base and remove the lone screw sealing it shut.
  • Use your finger or a prying tool to lift the panel from the corner where the screw was.
  • You’ll see a memory stick already inserted, and an empty slot above it.
  • Take your RAM stick and line up the pins on it with the pins under the grey cover. There’s a notch on the RAM stick that should line up with a ridge under the grey cover. Carefully slide the pins into the slot until they’re hidden.
  • Gently push down until you hear a click locking the stick in place.
  • Place the cover back over the RAM sticks lining up the screw hole with the one on the laptop. Screw the lid back on, but be careful not to overtighten. Excessive pressure may cause the motherboard to break more easily.

That’s about all you need to do to upgrade the RAM on the Acer Nitro 5. It’s a pretty painless process, as long as you’re careful and you get the right RAM. If you want to be absolutely sure you’re getting the right RAM, open up the laptop to see what’s already inside before buying anything. And of course, always make sure you’re grounded to avoid any electricity discharges.

If you’re looking to buy a gaming laptop that’s easily upgradeable, the Acer Nitro 5 is a solid choice, since the RAM slots are pretty easy to get to. You can buy the latest model from the link below. There are also other options from Acer if you’re looking for more premium offerings.

    Acer Nitro 5 AN517-41-R7EY
    The Acer Nitro 5 is an affordable gaming laptop with enough performance to play most modern games with some lowered settings. Plus, the easily accessible RAM makes it easier to upgrade later on. The latest models also have powerful AMD Ryzen processors that make it great for productivity work.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Writer at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.