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What to look for in a Second Hand RAM

tips for buying pre-owned RAM

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In the past, RAM was one component which was less likely to be bought second hand. One reason is RAM rarely gets damaged compared to other components. Secondly RAM costs less compared to other components in a PC.

But that changed a lot now. There are many high end RAM’s available in market with superior technology, higher clocking speeds, memory capacity and a heat sink to dissipate the power. This can take the price of RAM as much as a high end processor.

Hardcore gamers are usually quickly to change their RAMs to get their hands on the latest models. So if you are lucky, you can get great deals for second hand RAM.

Here is a checklist before buying a second hand RAM

  1. Check RAM type

A common mistake after buying RAM is finding that it is not compatible with your PC. There are different types of RAM such as SDRAM, DDR1, DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4. Most computers released after 2008 supports DDR3. DDR4 is the latest RAM type and is supported in high end PC ‘s as of 2016.

The problem is, if you buy a DDR3 RAM it can’t be fitted on a motherboard which supports DDR4 and the case is same vice versa. You can find the RAM type by following the steps mentioned under How to find RAM type.

  1. Check RAM speed

RAM’s come in different speeds. Faster the RAM, better will be the overall performance of PC. Get a RAM that is faster and that is within your budget.

But if you are trying a buy a RAM to existing RAM, you need to be careful about the RAM speed. RAM’s working at different speeds are capable of working together without any problem. But the problem is your computer can only use the least speed offered by the RAM.

For e.g., you may have a RAM stick working at 1800 MHz and 2400 MHz connected in your computer. The computer will only accept the 1800 MHz from both memory sticks since that is the least speed that can be extracted from both. In this case, the cost for the extra speed is wasted.

So if you are planning to buy the second-hand RAM as an addition to existing RAM, then go for one that works in same speed as existing RAM.

  1. Physically connect the RAM and check if it is working fine

If you have the luxury to buy a second-hand RAM from a shop, ask them to connect it and show the performance. Check for any blank screen or long continuous beeps soon after booting which means a possible faulty RAM, RAM not recognized by device or RAM not connected properly.

How to find RAM type

  1. You can find a sticker on top of RAM stick that describes the model and RAM type.
  2. If the RAM is connected to the computer and you want to check the RAM type without opening CPU, then use the software CPU-Z. Just install and run it. A complete hardware configuration report is generated. Under Memory tab, you will have the information including type of memory, bandwidth and lot of related information will be displayed.
  3. If you know the motherboard model of your computer, check the details. You can see which memory to use under Computer Memory Type.
check memory using cpu-z memory

Hope you agree with my thoughts. If I missed any points, let me know. You may use the comment section for feedback.

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