RAM (memory) - SmashThatComputer 2022

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RAM (memory)

Random Access Memory

One of the best components that you can sell from your older computer is the RAM. There are likely to be many people who want to add memory to their still working older machines and they don't want to pay new prices for it (especially if it is hard to find new). The RAM is only likely to sell for a good price if you TEST it first.
To do this you will need to download a program  called Memtest86. The latest versions run from CD or USB Flash Drive,  but the earlier ones can even be run on a floppy disk. The best way to use it is to create a bootable USB stick (see the Memtest site for instructions) That way you can take it from machine to  machine).

The Memtest site has all the instructions on how to set it up: To check it out CLICK HERE
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Want to know more about RAM? maybe not...but if you do, this guy is the place to start with. Scott Mueller's book "Upgrading And Repairing PC's" is the book that gave me the confidence to work with PC hardware. He used to have an "Ask Scott" forum, where you could ask him technical questions but this seems to have now disappeared. However, THIS LINK will take you to an extract on RAM from the most recent version of the aforementioned book. It's a great summary.
Memtest86  starts running and it's sole task is to put your memory (one stick at a time) through a set  of tests to see if it passes as OK. Some memory appears fine on the  first few passes, but errors can suddenly come up when it gets put under  stress, so it's good to run Memtest for four passes in case this happens. Note that you can only test RAM that fits the slots in your test machine!


Time and technology moves on. Not all older RAM is worth trying to sell. I quit trying to sell DDR2 RAM about 18 months ago, as there was no real demand. However, DDR3 RAM is still selling reasonably well, as there are a lot of people who have older machines that use it. The SIZE of the RAM is also a factor. I now sell only 4Gb (and larger) DDR3 sticks. Most people will only want 2 extra sticks in their machines and they want the best increase in memory size they can get. 1 and 2Gb sticks don't tend to sell well or sell for a lot less. This applies to both Desktop and Laptop RAM.

DDR4 is now becoming more readily available from disassembled computers and sells well (especially when tested and guaranteed to work) online. Single sticks sell well but obviously sizes larger then 4Gb command more.


There is still an active (but diminishing) market for ECC RAM (usually found in servers). It turns out that there are quite a lot of Mac Pro (tower) owners keeping their old 2009 - 2012 machines going and they take DDR3 ECC RAM...the more the better. I sell 8Gb and 16Gb sticks that I get from old servers to these owners. I test them in my 2010 Mac Pro (one stick at a time) and usually sell them in pairs.

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