A well-built memory module will last between 10 to 15 years before showing signs of failing. However, how long RAM will last depends on how heavily your laptop uses system memory and how well it’s maintained. Sticks of RAM aren’t fragile components. They’re built to last for a long time. However, signs of wear and tear can affect your RAM’s performance based on how often you use it and the nature of usage. That’s the down and dirty, anyway. In what follows, we go into more detail to answer your question about how long does RAM last so that you can keep the memory in your machine in peak performance for years to come.
Factors Affecting the Performance of the RAM
Buying a good memory module (in other words, one that’s compatible with your PC) will allow you to run the latest software programs and games with exceptional performance. Nevertheless, there are some factors that can cause your RAM to fail too soon.
- Overloading memory with processes can cause it to fail. If you’re running a heavy game that consumes more than 90% of your RAM while running a software program in the background. You’ll be putting so much pressure on memory that it’ll eventually fail.
- Continuous magnetic interference from another device can also cause memory to fail.
- Overheating of your PC can cause the RAM parts to deteriorate so it eventually fails. (Maintaining the internal fan of your PC guarantees better performance.)
- But the accumulation of dust particles can affect the performance of the fan and the RAM. How? By causing the memory module to overheat, eventually affecting its performance.
- Unexpected power surges can damage RAM. Installing a surge protector is a good solution for protecting your PC.
- Incorrect installation or incompatibility will cause the memory to fail fast.
- A bad-quality RAM module will fail faster than a well-built one. In some cases, a cheaply made memory stick will last between 5 and 7 years before showing signs of failure or malfunctioning.
Some of these reasons, like high temperatures and magnetic interference, are called soft errors. While they will affect the performance of your RAM, they won’t make it completely fail. Ignoring these soft errors, though, eventually leads to hard errors. Hard errors represent the damage or corruption of the actual physical components of the RAM.
Signs You Need to Replace RAM
All the data on RAM gets deleted once you turn off your computer. In some cases, after switching on the PC, you’ll start to experience some errors that tell you that it’s about time to invest in new memory. Here are the tell-tale signs that your RAM needs to be replaced.
- Repeated random freezing of your PC is a sure-fire sign that RAM is about to fail. This happens when running programs consume most or all of the memory, causing the PC to stop. Initially, the PC will resume functioning. But eventually, you’ll have to replace the memory stick.
- Unauthorized rebooting while you’re using the PC is another good sign that memory is about to fail. You could be using a program or typing a document when suddenly, the PC begins to shut down on its own for a reboot. In addition to the inconvenience of losing any unsaved data. Occasional reboots also prove that your RAM is on the verge of dying.
- Higher than usual memory usage is another sign that your laptop’s memory is struggling to perform functions optimally. You can check the memory usage through the Task Manager. You might occasionally experience high memory usage at 70% or 80% if you’re running a demanding program or game. However, if you’re usually experiencing high memory usage, then it’s time to replace your RAM.
- Experiencing lag while running several programs is another sign that you need to replace the RAM. In normal conditions, your computer should respond immediately as soon as you press a key, but if you’re constantly experiencing lags, then there’s something wrong with memory.
- When programs and apps are not responding, this is a serious sign that memory is failing. The program might be open, but when you press a button or a link, it doesn’t respond.
- Seeing the BSoD (Blue Screen of Death) tells you that the RAM is no longer usable. There are several reasons why the BsoD might be triggered, all of which typically conclude that your PC isn’t functioning properly. A malfunctioning RAM is probably the reason why you see it.
How to Make RAM Last Longer
Your RAM supports many essential functions. For this reason, it’s crucial to keep it in the best shape. In addition to regularly removing the dust and ensuring proper cooling. There are a few other precautionary measures you can take to make sure your RAM lasts longer and functions better.
- Keep your software programs updated. Developers are constantly working on the improvement of the software we use to ensure that they use our system’s resources more efficiently. Older versions of your software programs use more memory and can put a lot of stress on your RAM and other computer components.
- Clear your cache regularly. Cache memory (like Cookies) hold information of web pages that you’ve opened before to save time when you want to view them again. While this helps you save time for say projects that require research by not having to reload these pages. It puts a lot of stress on memory over time.
- Disable the browser extensions that you don’t use. Browser extensions help you enjoy a personalized experience while using your laptop. But they put a lot of strain on RAM.
- Check your start-up applications and delete the ones you don’t need. You can detect the usage of your start-up applications by examining the Task Manager and check their impact from high to low. Deleting the high-impact programs you no longer need will decrease pressure on RAM.
- Use Disk Defragmentation to increase the space of your RAM and boost its performance. This will delete the unnecessary spaces on disks to help boost the function of your laptop’s memory.
To Sum Up
RAM is one of the most important components of any computer system. Ignore its health and doing anything on your laptop is nearly impossible. Fortunately, memory modules are a rather durable component that can (in some cases) outlast the computer its in. And there are many preventative measures you can take to ensure it’s longevity. RAM health is an aspect of futureproofing your laptop that we’re always on about in our articles. And one of the reasons we recommend opting for laptops that allow you to at least change hardware like memory and storage. But on average, RAM can last a long time.