Last Updated on January 31, 2021
RAM (Random Access Memory) is a critical component of a computer and usually is regarded next to the CPU in terms of importance. It’s also the part that’s upgradable to boost the PC’s overall performance.
Given that, you may be curious to find out how long does RAM last and that’s what we will interpret here.
The short answer is that RAM has a longer lifespan as compared to other parts of a computer and can last for 20 years or more or even forever provided the ideal conditions. The reason is that RAM modules don’t have fragile components and are made in a way to resist heat degradation up to a level. However, factors like too much overheating can shorten their lifespan and lead to their failure.
We will also explore different ways of preventing RAM failure and testing the memory.
How Long Does RAM Last?
You know that RAM is a computer’s main memory but how far it can last?
In realistic terms, RAM has a markedly long lifespan as compared to other parts of a computer. Given the ideal conditions, it can last for up to 20 years or more, or even forever.
The primary reason is that RAM modules don’t have fragile components when compared to other PC parts like a motherboard. Furthermore, they are quite resistant to being degraded by heat owing to the ways they are manufactured.
On the contrary, factors such as too much overheating or exterior damage can shorten the lifespan of the RAM sticks. While dead RAM modules are a reality, the good thing is that many RAM sticks come with a lifetime warranty that assures that you can use them as far as possible.
Keep in mind that incidents of RAM failure are rare, so you don’t have to be concerned about it very much.
How to Prevent RAM Failure?
Given the long lifespan of RAM modules, you may ponder why RAM failure can occur and how it can be prevented. Concerning this aspect, here are some of the points you should keep in mind:
1. Choose Branded RAMs
To save money, people still purchase local or unbranded RAM modules. The fact is that that they are generally made from low-quality material and are more prone to failure and can’t last long as usual. Also, the manufacturers of these RAM sticks may not provide a warranty.
That’s why it’s recommended to buy branded RAM sticks from reputable manufacturers even though they may cost more. These sticks are of high-quality and usually come with a lifetime warranty. This leads to a lower risk of failures and the manufacturer can be trusted that the RAM sticks would last for a long time.
2. Protect Your Computer from Power Surges
Power surges can damage RAM modules considerably and shorten their lifespan. Though an initial surge can cause a minor defect and the RAM will not stop working, it can intensify and bring about RAM failure in time.
This can be avoided through a more stable power setup or by installing surge protectors. It would help RAM and other PC components to last longer.
3. Prevent Excessive Heating
Excessive heating can also cause memory sticks to wear out over time, which can reduce their lifespan. Note that components can overheat individually or heat from one part can damage adjacent parts. Dust and grime can also lead to overheating of different components.
This can be avoided by making sure that you keep the conditions normal inside the computer and improve its ventilation. Also, keep the computer clean not only from outside but also from inside. You can seek professional help in this regard if necessary.
4. Avoid Overclocking of RAM
Though many people think that overclocking is only for a CPU or GPU, RAM can also be overclocked for achieving faster speeds. It means making modifications in specific parameters including voltage and timings to get more speed than its originally capable of.
If you have overclocked RAM incorrectly, it may cause damage to the modules in the form of excessive heat. This may also void the product warranty of RAM, thus shortening its lifespan.
Therefore, it’s recommended that you have a better cooling system or proper ventilation for the components including memory. If you are inexperienced in overclocking, it’s sensible not to attempt it primarily.
5. Take Care of Static Electricity
Lastly, we talk about the fact that RAM can be damaged by static electricity. Therefore, it’s important that before handling RAM and other computer parts, touch a grounded metal piece. You can also use an anti-static wrist strap to ground yourself.
It must be done before installing new modules or removing existing ones as you can have a static charge.
Test Your RAM if It’s Working Properly
Now that you know how to prevent RAM failure, you might also be interested in finding whether your memory is working properly in stable condition or not.
This is important because bad memory can cause system crashes or Blue Screen of Deaths (BSODs). There might be damages or errors to the memory that needs to be identified quickly to resolve the problem.
If you are using Windows 10 operating system, you can make use of the built-in Windows Memory Diagnostic tool. It can turn out to be handy for testing the RAM and check whether it’s faulty or not. For a macOS, you can utilize Apple user diagnostics tools to test your computer’s RAM.
Alternatively, there’s also a universal tool named MemTest86 that would give a detailed report of your RAM’s current status.
You can use this information to take further action if errors are detected.
We hope you are now mindful as to how long does RAM last along with many factors that can lead to RAM failure and their prevention.
This information would help you to better take care of your computer in general and memory in particular so that it lasts for a long time.
You can also benefit if you are a PC builder or looking for a memory upgrade for your existing computer.
You can also make the most of your PC by investing well in RAM and provide good working conditions.