How to test the stability of your RAM

This is mostly geared for overclockers, but memory defects are surprisingly common.

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RAM overclocking is a hobby of overclockers, but stability testing can be a long and demanding task to make sure that one’s RAM is stable for day to day use. Even non-overclockers should test their RAM to ensure that it is working, as it is one of the more failure-prone parts on a computer.

Anyways, one of the best ways to test stability is an application called Google Stressful Application Test, which Google uses itself for testing the stability of its own data centers. It was created by Google to design a better way to test for stability after they found high rates of failures in DIMMs that other tests overlooked.

Probably the most commonly used application for memory stability testing is called MemTest86+. In practice, I have found that HCI MemTest can find errors that MemTest86+ often skips. HCI is a pretty good application and I have personally paid for the premium version because it impressed me. It excels at putting a high load on the CPU cache and the memory at once. For optimal results, you’ll want 200% coverage, and 1000% coverage for near-total assurance.

Google StressAppTest is a viable alternative and in many cases, has been able to find errors faster. It’s more RAM focused than HCI.

Anyways, it’s pretty simple to install:

  1. First, you’ll want a Linux distro along with root privileges, like Linux Mint (which has StressAppTest in its repos).
  2. If you are using Linux Mint, open up the Software Manager and type in StressAppTest. Then install it. Alternatively, get it here at this link.

To run, just open up a terminal and type:

stressapptest -W -s 3600

Substitute the bold for the amount of seconds you want it to run. Note that this command is case sensitive.

You will see warnings for peak power tests (this is normal and being a stress application test, it must stress the system to its maximum ability).

In conclusion, Google StressAppTest is an outstanding way to test your RAM for stability that can identify errors very quickly. I recommend it as a stability testing tool.

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