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How Long Does RAM Last?

We’ve all seen the meme telling us to download more RAM when our computer is slow. Unfortunately, that’s not something we can do.

Even more unfortunate is the fact that RAM is getting more and more expensive every year. The good news, though, is that RAM is also getting faster and larger.

But when you buy new RAM for your computer, how long can you expect it to last, and how long will it be able to handle brand new, AAA games?

How Long Does RAM Last?

RAM should last decades in most cases, unless it is constantly being used in something like a server. Most RAM will last well over a decade, and most people end up replacing their RAM long before it actually dies or experiences severe issues and needs to be replaced. Faulty RAM will die very quickly.

If brand new RAM doesn’t experience any issues after its first month of use, then it’s probably going to stay intact and working for at least a decade. The only time you should worry about your RAM is if it has data running through it 24/7 like you would see in a server. Even when RAM is being used this way, it will last 5+ years most of the time.

There’s a reason some RAM manufacturers offer lifetime warranty on their products. It’s because they know by the time the RAM fails, it’s time for an upgrade anyways. You could probably pull the RAM out of a computer from 2000 and it’d still work. There are no moving parts in RAM or parts that suffer from being old, which is why they last so long.

How Long Does RAM Last For Gaming?

RAM usually lasts about 5-8 years before it starts seeing performance issues when running brand new games. RAM doesn’t start to fail at this point, instead games start requiring more and more RAM to run. The amount of RAM required in a gaming PC grows every few years, and upgrading becomes necessary.

Gaming does not put much of a strain on your RAM in most cases. You can game hard every single day and you’re not likely to see your RAM die from it or even experience performance issues.

If you’re running a dedicated server or something similar for an online game, and it’s fairly popular, then you’re likely to see some RAM issues. But even then, you will not experience this until 5+ years in.

Beyond performance, however, you’ll probably want to get some new RAM every 5 or so years. This is because technology is always evolving and RAM constantly gets faster, and larger.

Gaming used to require 8 GB RAM to run the best games. Nowadays, you’re probably going to want 16+ GB for most games and 32GB if you want to ensure your PC can handle anything you throw at it.

How Often Should Your Replace RAM?

You should replace your RAM every 5 years, or whenever it becomes the bottleneck of your PC and prevents you from running the games and software that you use. RAM will last the lifetime of your computer, but if you have a small amount (under 8GB), you may need to upgrade it to run everything you want.

The amount of RAM modern software and games use is always increasing. Most of the time, RAM is not the bottleneck for a computer’s performance. But if you only have 4-8 GB of RAM and are noticing some lag, then you may need to increase your RAM.

If you have 16GB+ of RAM, then you should only replace it when you want a serious upgrade, or you notice something really out of the ordinary is happening and you can pin it on the RAM.

How To Make Your RAM Last Longer?

The best way to extend the lifetime of your RAM is to limit its daily use. Using RAM in a server that runs 24/7 and receives a lot of messages, for example, will significantly shorten the RAM’s lifetime. For regular use, however, RAM is built to last and you do not need to take any steps to save it.

Sure, you could shut your computer down when you’re not using it and try to limit the number of applications you have running to limit the weight your RAM pulls. However, to be quite honest, none of that will make a huge difference.

If you’re using your computer normally and just gaming a lot or using it for work / study, then your RAM is probably going to last 10+ years without any issues.

If you really want to be safe and make sure your RAM lasts a long time, then you should monitor its temperatures. “Safe” temperatures will depend on your RAM type and brand, so you should do some research or check the manufacturer’s website. Overall, though, just make sure your case is cool and you have good air circulation.

Does RAM Slow With Age?

RAM does slow with age, but most users will not notice or experience this. RAM usually gets worn down when it is used in a server. This is because it is constantly processing a lot of data, getting hot, and going through many erase cycles. It’s unlikely RAM will slow down if its being used for normal tasks.

There are a few different software out there that can benchmark and test RAM and other computer hardware. These software are a great way to figure out whether your RAM is slowing down your computer or if it’s something else. If your RAM is having issues, it will be immediately noticeable in the testing software and you’ll know to replace it.

Does More RAM Increase The Lifespan Of Your Computer?

More RAM will not increase the lifespan of your computer. A computer’s lifespan is primarily determined by its CPU, PSU and GPU. More RAM can help increase performance in some situations, but most of the time it is not the culprit for a slow or dying PC and is usually the last place to look.

Adding more RAM can help occasionally, but only if your computer has very little RAM to begin with (4 – 8 GB). In this case, adding more RAM could boost performance, but not necessarily increase your computer’s lifespan.

One of the best ways to increase the lifespan of your computer is to keep it as cool as possible. Most of the time when a component in a PC fails, it’s because it was too hot for too long. Keep your PC free of dust and make sure it has plenty of air circulation.

👋 Hey There, I'm Eric!

Since 2018, I've been making streams come true.

I like gaming, streaming and watching other people stream. I created this website to help streamers and viewers of streams answer some of the questions they may have regarding live streaming. I am a Twitch affiliate and currently stream on Twitch 3 days a week. I hope you find my content helpful. Feel free to stop by one of my streams to say hi.