RAM is a part of your computer that you can have for a long time, just like the CPU your RAM sticks don’t have any moving parts, which means that it will have a really long lifespan because the mechanisms inside of RAM won’t start to degrade over time.
So, how long does RAM last?
RAM can last you about 8 – 12 years before becoming outdated with newer technology. However, RAM physically won’t degrade over time, and will still technically be usable if a program supports its specifications.
What is The Lifespan of RAM?
The reason for a stick of RAM to be deemed unusable and at the end of its lifespan isn’t due to physical damages. This is because there are no moving parts in the RAM meaning the mechanisms that make the RAM sticks won’t degrade over time, like the LIfespan of a GPU.
From my personal use, I have never had to replace a stick of RAM due to it dying on me. The only reason why I tend to upgrade my RAM every now and then is so that I can get a performance boost to my system because a certain game or program I want to use no longer supports the capacity of the RAM I am using now.
Some people upgrade every couple of years, but if you have a good amount of memory inside your RAM such as 16GB or more then you will be fine for the next 10 years.
Even with new games and programs coming out with new PC requirements that require the newest technology inside a PC, you still won’t have to get rid of the RAM you are using now. You can simply add a brand new stick of RAM and it will still be compatible with your old stick of RAM most of the time.
When doing this some things to look out for are the speed of the RAM. If you pair a faster stick of RAM with a slower stick of RAM you will only be able to reach the speeds and performance of the slower stick of RAM.
In my experience, this is not a big deal because RAM speeds don’t influence your performance that much.
If you want your RAM to last you a lifetime without any upgrades or replacements, then you should opt for higher than recommended memory in your RAM. Just a few years ago 4GB of RAM was more than enough to run any program or any game at top-tier performance, but now 4GB of RAM won’t let you do anything on your PC.
If you bought 8GB of RAM 10 years ago you would still be fine today and your RAM will still be usable for a few more years.
If you are looking at buying RAM today I would recommend at least 12GB of RAM as that is usually the new recommended for newer games and programs, with the minimum being 8GB.
However, if you want to future-proof your memory, then buy RAM that has 24GB of memory or more as this is more than enough for you to use right now and will be enough 10 years down the line.
Here is an article I wrote on how to improve your RAM performance.
Can RAM Wear Out?
Physically, and most likely your RAM won’t wear out before it becomes outdated. If the RAM you are using is poorly manufactured then it might die after 6 months. However, if it has been over 6 months then you shouldn’t be surprised if it is still working after more than 10 years of use.
What Is The Minimum Amount of Memory Your RAM Should Have?
When buying or upgrading RAM you should now have at least 12GB of DDR4 memory as it is recommended by most applications to run. If you run anything less you might see some performance issues.
Although, if you really can’t afford to get at least 12GB of RAM you will still be able to run most programs on 8GB, however, you might see some performance issues or will have to focus all your RAM on that single program.
8GB of RAM is still viable, but it is slowly becoming obsolete.
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