Buying used RAM isn’t easy; you have to consider a lot of factors. This guide will help you find the best-used RAM in few steps.
RAM is an essential component of a computer, and most of the latest games and software demand more RAM. In such cases, there is no other solution than adding a few more RAM sticks in your motherboard so everything can run smoothly and efficiently.
However, with more demand and RAM brand competition, prices are going through the roof. Therefore it’s always a good idea to consider buying used RAM, so you don’t have to spend much on them.
But buying used ram is not an easy task. You have to be careful about few important factors so you can get the best RAM for your PC requirement.
Table Of Content
Is It Safe to Buy Used RAM?
Out of all computer components, RAM is possibly the safest part to purchase in used.
I mean CPUs can be overclocked and burn, GPUs can be used for mining till the point they are almost useless, the motherboard can fail for many reasons, and hard drives are always at risk to break.
There is no reason not to purchase a used RAM. They usually have a lifetime warranty, so they are not prone to fail before many years.
Although sometimes, microchips on them can be affected by over-usage or power issues, which often results in a PC or laptop not showing the display. But, this issue can fix quickly; thereafter, your RAM is likely to run fine for another few years.
Is Buying Used RAM worth it?
If we consider the expensive pricing of new RAM available in the market, yes, it’s worth to buy used RAM sticks.
But before you make a purchase, it’s essential to consider a few aspects, as we mentioned below, to be sure that your purchased product is 100% suitable and working correctly.
5 Tips For Buying Used RAM for PC or Laptop
Make Sure It’s Compatible with Your Motherboard
Not all RAM modules are compatible with every motherboard. For example, if your motherboards support DDR3 RAM module and you purchase DDR4 module RAM, it won’t fit in your motherboard because they are physically, and electrically designed differently.
Therefore, you must figure out what kind of memory module does your mainboard supports and purchase likewise.
Based on the age of your computer and how much you paid for it, the motherboard will support one of the mentioned memory modules.
- SDR (single data rate) mainly existed in systems manufactured before 2002.
- DDR2 (second generation double data rate) technology began to appear in mid-2004.
- DDR3 standard appeared at the end of 2007.
- DDR4 started to emerge in 2014
- DDR5 (Likely to come in 2020)
How to Check which memory Module Does My Motherboard Supports?
Method 1: Check Motherboards manual
User manual of the motherboard always contains all the information about RAM and other components. If you have the manual, go to the internal memory section, and there you will find all the required information.
In case you don’t have a user manual, you can also search on the manufacturers’ website. Some of the terminologies they use to mention such information are SODIMM, Slots, Memory Modules, etc.
Method 2: Download a Software
CPU-Z is excellent software to check all the information about a computer. All you need to do is download it and then install it.
Once you installed it, open the software, and click on the memory tab; there you can find all the information such as speed, frequency, module type, etc.
Make Sure the Seller Is Trusted
Now that you know which kind of memory module does your motherboard supports. The next step is to find a reputable seller.
On eBay and different forums, many used RAMs are available. Before you decide to purchase it or transfer payment, always make sure if the seller is trusted.
Always look at the feedback of previous buyers. On eBay, you can easily find feedback by clicking on the username. But on forums, this is not possible.
In that case, make a separate post ask for feedback about the seller. Be careful about fake reviews and feedback. If you feel anything suspicious, avoid purchasing from that seller.
Test it Before you Purchase
Always test RAM before purchasing it; if you are not physically present at buyers’ house or shop, ask for a video proof in which they go through a complete test.
Here is a video to help you understand how to test RAM with the help of memetest86.
Check RAM Sticks Physical Condition
Although what matters the most while purchasing used RAM sticks is it’s working correctly or not. Still checking the physical appearance of RAM is an excellent way to assess if it has ever been repaired or how old it is.
If RAM stick has ever been repaired, If you take a closer, you’re likely to find repaired chips which are usually replaced with working chips. It doesn’t mean you should not purchase repaired RAM; they will work as good as non-repaired RAM, though fixed RAM typically cost much less compared to non-repair one.
Other than that, good appearance means RAM is maybe not that old, or consumer properly cleaned it, which is a healthy sign, and such RAM sticks are not prone to fail soon.
Avoid Mixing different Frequency and Brands
All memory modules (RAM) run on different frequencies from 800Mhz to 4200Mhz. DDR4 modules start from 2133 Mhz and go to 4200Mhz, definitely higher number the faster it is.
If you combine two modules of different frequencies, both are going to run at the speed of a slower rate. For example – your older RAM on your PC runs on 2200Mhz, and your new RAM that you purchased runs on whopping 4200 Mhz. Now you think your computer is going to run much faster because 4200 Mhz is a good number. Yes, your PC will perform better than before, but not as much as you expect.
RAM works better in pairs when both of them are equally compatible with each other. When you install RAM without pairing, all installed RAM runs at the speed of lowest frequency. If we take the above example, both RAM will run at 2200Mhz.
Different brands run on different frequencies; even if you manage to find the similar frequency in different brands, you’re not likely to utilize it at full potential. You may wonder why, because all brands are electrically designed in its own way, and is best compatible with the same brand module.
The second-hand memory module (RAM) is undoubtedly the safest component to purchase. All you have to do is take care of a few certain factors such as supported memory type and trusted seller. Secondly, It’s always a good practice to install ram in pairs with the same frequency and brands so your computer can utilize it at best. In the end, I wish you the happy purchase and loads of enjoyment with the new component.