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can old ram be new again

by dannyboy1324 / August 31, 2006 12:13 AM PDT

I am buynig a new computer. I want to load it up with RAM, but before I buy a ton of new cards, I was wondering if I could reuse my old RAM cards. Do they wear down with time like a hard drive? Or can I just pop them out of my old computer and into my new one without worrying about performace drag?

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The neat part about RAM is that it doesn't age much.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 31, 2006 12:22 AM PDT

Unlike FLASH memory which can wear out, the common RAM in PCs does not. HOWEVER there have been changes almost yearly in what RAM a new machine may use. I'll only note the short list of some names such as DRAM, FPM (all are varients of DRAM), EDO, BEDO, SDRAM, DDRAM, RAMBUS and others.

So the challange is not if the RAM is worn out but is it compatible with the new machine.

The answer is usually no.


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Always check the specs...
by Willy / August 31, 2006 4:20 AM PDT

You MUST verify what type of ram you need. It maybe possible to continue using your old ram, but if the new system doesn't support it, you have to buy new of the type you need. Ram by itself really is good until it simply goes bad for whatever reason, but for all intends and purposes, ram is always good to go. Further, you can have the same type, but be of a slower speed, so the system will go as fast as the slowest installed. It defeats the purpose of zippy ram if it has to work in conjunction with slower ram a seriously consideration if you want the best of your system. At least you can work with it until faster ram is brought. So, verify your new system specs and compare against old system.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Long lasting -- carefull to mixing
by SSadartis / August 31, 2006 8:02 PM PDT

Since RAM chips are ''volatile memory'' -- meanning they do not retain information unless they are powered-- they tend to last way longer than ''non-volatile memory'' -- such as hard drives, and eprom chips; such as usb keys and bios chips.
Although you can reuse old ram if your new computer supports it, you need to remember that older ram may be slower. As a result your newer faster ram will operate at slower speeds. For example you can use PC2100 (which runs at 266 Mhz) and PC4000 (which runs at 500 Mhz) but the PC4000 module will be forced to run at almost half its speed, 266 Mhz. It's like driving a Ferrari on a 30mph zone (assuming we are law bidding Happy ).

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by stargurl78 / August 31, 2006 10:12 PM PDT

There used to be recyled RAM where old chips were re-mounted on boards but would imagine the prices are too low now to justify it.

As others have said, get RAM that matches your computer. If mixed speed-wise, preformance will suffer. Personally I don;t like "step down" and other RAM mixed either. It may be better now.

RAM isn't indestructable but if made right should last. I've seen heat related issues, possibly related to those who turn their machines On/Off all the time. Some had cracked or scorched labels; one had a chip that almost turned to dust. If you haven't used a certain computer in a while you might remove the RAM (and video card etc.) and clean the contacts with an eraser or ?.

Off the topic, had a fellow bring a computer in where he had cut a notch in a RAM module with a hacksaw so it would fit the slot. Stupid computer wouldn't work. Hmmm

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by sandyspad / September 2, 2006 2:38 PM PDT

Look at your old computer's ram and then look at the ram in your new computer. 9 times out of 10 the old ram will not be compatible with your new ram. Also, two different types of ram will cause serious issues with your new system. The best decision to make is to find out the type of ram located in the new computer and upgrade with the same type of ram. Be safe and not sorry.
I hope this helps you out....


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by btour / September 3, 2006 12:23 PM PDT

RAM memories are made of solid-state material, which does not deteriorate (unlike magnetic strips in hard drives).

Compatibility is key. Think about the two S's: speed, socket.

Take care.

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