Whether you’re a dealer selling thousands of modules a week, or an ITAD technician tearing down PCs, or if you’re responsible for thousands of servers in a data center, you need some way to test computer memory.

A number of free software tools are available on the market that allow you to test memory directly on a motherboard by booting up the software via flash drive. These products work well, but they are not an acceptable solution for organizations that need to regularly test large volumes of memory.

Here’s why. Testing via the motherboard frequently takes hours per module and the motherboard socket is not made for constant insertion/removal. Once the socket is damaged, the motherboard cannot be used! Various solutions have been used to increase the lifespan of the motherboard socket, including the use of extenders, but that still doesn’t solve the time problem.


A typical rack of motherboards used to test memory modules.

Fortunately, dedicated memory testers are available for quickly testing large volumes of memory. Such dedicated testers range in price from a few thousand dollars to over $1 million. On the simplest level, these testers use complex algorithms to check for problems such as cell interference and shorts in the wiring. They also perform these tests at different voltage levels and frequencies. For exhaustive testing, more expensive testers are used that rely on extraordinarily complex test algorithms that are frequently customized and even include temperature stress chambers.

The good news: Small, relatively inexpensive standalone testers are sufficient for most users and will catch the vast majority of faults. Their low cost means that most organizations can acquire a number of testers and spread them throughout their facilities.

What to Look For

Upgradeability: Since a memory tester can be relatively large investment, it is important to make sure the unit is expandable and easily upgraded, with “swappable” adapters to extend the life of the tester beyond just the current memory types.

 

Test sockets: Good memory test equipment uses test sockets manufactured specifically for repeated insertion-removal cycles. These sockets should be rated for thousands of cycles. Also, check to see if the socket is soldered to the tester or test head. If it is soldered in, the socket could be very expensive to replace once it wears out.

Ease of Use: Can an inexperienced tech use the tester right out of the box? Or is there a lengthy learning curve? Download the manual first and read the “quick start” section. Better yet, check YouTube for videos showing the tester actually being used. Techs should be able to perform a test on a module within just a few minutes, with minimal setup.

Display: A great deal of information will be displayed during the test, including the module’s size, speed and structure. You will also want to see results of the various test phases. Be sure the display is bright, crisp and large enough for you to see all of the information clearly. The tester should also give you good audio signals and other cues during the test cycle.

PC Interface: Does it include a software tool to connect the tester to a PC? This is useful if you want to print test logs.

SPD Management: For advanced users, does it include an SPD wizard that lets you view, manage and edit SPD files?

Support for Older Technology: Is the tester backwards-compatible with older memory formats such as DDR2 or DDR? You may eventually run across a batch of old memory that you need to test.

Finally, ask around. Check with your clients and business partners. Ask about the product’s reputation. If they work in the computer field, chances are they own a memory tester.

OEMPCWORLD’s solution


OEMPCWORLD is acquiring used RAMCHECK LX memory test systems for DDR4 and DDR3. Thousands of these testers were produced over many years by a company called Innoventions. The company shut its doors in early 2020 but there is still a good lifespan left in many of the systems out there. As we acquire these used memory testers we are offering them to you at a significant discount of the price of a new unit.

Since these are refurbished test systems there may be some minor scratches on the cases, but they are fully tested and updated with the last factory firmware update. They even include a 90-day warranty. Call us for availability at 866-839-5875 x119, or email slaroche@oempcworld.com. Or click here to see the RAMCHECK LX products we offer.