If you build PCs or overclock your machine regularly then only stress testing the GPU and CPU alone will not make your PC stable. You must also stress test the RAM against massive workloads to check its stability. Further, you can also overclock the RAM to a higher frequency and examine how it behaves at increased voltage and temperature. So in this article, I bring you the 6 best tools to stress test RAM which will help you find hardware faults and a stable overclocking profile. Apart from that, I have also mentioned a benchmarking tool in case you want to check where your RAM performance stands among similar computers. That being said, let’s go ahead and check the best programs for testing RAM.
Software to Stress Test RAM
I have included 6 tools for thoroughly testing the RAM against inefficient read and write speed, hardware glitches, paging errors, caching and more. Also, I have mentioned both free and paid programs so you can choose one based on your requirements. Now without further delay, let’s jump right in.
MemTest86 is one of the oldest and most popular tools to stress test RAM. It has a unique approach to analyze RAM and check for all kinds of errors. Unlike other standard applications, it’s a bootable program and that’s what makes it interesting. Just like you install Windows OS, you will have to boot this program from a USB thumb drive. After that, it will execute a series of comprehensive algorithms and test patterns to examine RAM’s stability and faults. MemTest86 uses a high-performance memory profile, popularly known as XMP to stress test the RAM. Apart from that, it uses a hammer test, sequential memory blocking, moving inversions and many more complex methods to put a heavy load on the RAM.
Having said that, the best part about MemTest86 is that it supports all kinds of RAM from DDR4 to DDR2. It’s also compatible with both PC and Mac having UEFI or Legacy BIOS. Do not worry, you don’t have to disable secure boot to run this software as Microsoft has signed its certificate. All in all, MemTest86 is a gold standard when it comes to testing RAM and you simply can’t go wrong with it. The only downside is that the UI looks ancient, but that is about it.
Check Out MemTest86 (Free, One-time purchase of $44 for the Pro Edition)
2. Karhu’s RAM Test
If you don’t like MemTest86’s UI or its bootable approach then Karhu’s RAM Test application is the best bet for you. It has got a standard GUI interface with a simple design and many advanced features. You can use this program to examine the RAM for hardware faults or check how your RAM behaves after overclocking it. It deploys several advanced algorithms to stress test the RAM by generating random numbers on the RAM. Some of the functions are RtlGenRandom and XORWOW which disables the CPU Cache and enables sequential writing on the memory block. Simply put, Karhu’s RAM Test has proven to be a reliable stress test tool for many system builders and overclockers over the years. And I am sure, it will not disappoint you. But keep in mind, the application is not free, however, the features it provides are well worth the price.
Check Out Karhu’s RAM Test (One-time purchase of $10.99)
MemTest86 is great, but it has an outdated UI and Karhu’s RAM Test is a paid-only software. In that case, MemTest64 is a perfect tool that lets you stress test RAM without spending a dime or navigating through the bootable mess. Simply put, MemTest64 is a modern and lightweight program that comes with a GUI interface and is amply capable to test the RAM against various errors. It uses a number of intensive test-patterns on the RAM and pushes all the running applications to pagefile to free up memory. While the stress tests are not as complex as MemTest86 or Karhu’s tool, it can definitely detect faulty hardware or bad sectors of memory. Also, MemTest64 can sync DRAM speed and your overclocking frequency so that you get the maximum performance out of the RAM. In tandem, MemTest64 is a capable software and you can surely give it a try.
Check Out MemTest64 (Free)
While we have discussed Prime95 in our list of CPU stress testing tools, it also allows you to assess RAM against errors and instability. Prime95 has many modes, but choose the Blend test for fully testing the RAM. If you have some level of expertise on this subject then you can choose custom and set the parameters by yourself. However, my recommendation would be to uncheck the “in-place” box, set the range from 448K to 4096K and allocate at least 70% of RAM. This will surely torture test your RAM to the brink and find errors, if any, during the process. Make sure to run the test for at least 2 hours to properly gauge the RAM performance. To conclude, Prime95 is a really capable software and you can reliably use it to examine your RAM.
Check Out Prime95 (Free)
5. AIDA64 Extreme
If you don’t have much knowledge about hardware components and stress testing then AIDA64 Extreme is the best software to stress test RAM. It’s a simple application that lets you test your RAM against intensive tasks which include quick read, write and flushing operations. It also uses multi-threaded memory and cache paging to examine RAM bandwidth and latency issues. Apart from that, AIDA64 Extreme deploys multiple processing tasks including physics and mathematical calculations using just the RAM. On top of it, the application also offers you a benchmark score so you can compare your RAM capability to other PCs as well. All in all, AIDA64 Extreme is a great application for general users and you should definitely give it a try.
Check Out AIDA64 Extreme (30-days free trial, $39.95 for 3 PCs)
6. RAM Stress Test for Linux
If you are a Linux user, you can use the Stressful Application Test to examine your RAM and other memory devices. The application has been developed by Google and they have released this tool under the Apache 2.0 license. This software allows you to increase randomized traffic on memory and I/O components and as a result, generates a high load on RAM. The software can easily be installed through the terminal by executing the following command: sudo apt-get install stressapptest. You can also define your own parameters like this: ./stressapptest -s 20 -M 256 -m 8 -W where 256MB of RAM is being tested for 20 seconds and with 8 “warm copy” threads. If you want to learn more about stress testing RAM on Linux and its other distros then head over to this guide.
Check Your RAM for Hardware Faults Using These Stress Testing Programs
So that was our list of 6 best tools to stress test RAM. Many a time, our PC shows a BSOD screen or crashes all of a sudden. These kinds of issues are mostly related to bad sectors on RAM or I/O inefficiency. So testing the RAM before fixing the software would be a better way to deal with the problem. Besides that, you can also use the stress testing tools to check the stability of your overclocking profiles. Anyway, that is all from us. If you found the article informative and the tools helped you fix your RAM then do comment down below and let us know.