How to Test RAM on Your Computer

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Testing of RAM (Random Access Memory) allows you to know the exact space available in your computer and the need for memory upgrades. It is necessary to test it on a regular basis if you install new applications frequently. Here is how to test RAM in your computer.

Windows OS

Step 1

Start your computer. Wait for Windows to load.

Step 2

Right Click on 'My Computer' and select 'Properties.' Doing so will open up 'Systems Properties.'

Step 3

Click on the 'General' tab. Here you can view the physical memory installed on your computer. The amount indicated is the total RAM installed on your computer. RAM is measured in MB and GB and is in the multiples of 2, such as 32 MB, 64 MB or 128 MB in older versions of PCs. Newer PCs are usually equipped with 256 MB, 512 MB or 2 GB and so on of RAM.

Step 4

Check the usage. To know the amount of RAM in use, open the taskbar or press Ctrl + Alt + Del to open a pop up window. Click on 'Task Manager.' Click on the 'Performance' tab. You can test the memory currently used by each program running on your PC.

Step 5

Download the free memory testing software memtest 86+ from Microsoft (see link below). It runs on most of the configurations. You need to download the diagnostic and read the details.

Step 6

Test the RAM with this software in the first phase that will take less than 30 minutes.

Step 7

Reboot your computer with the disk or CD-ROM on which you installed Windows Memory Diagnostic. You will view the interface and the first test pass will be conducted. This will be followed by a second test until you exit. It will identify if there is a hardware problem of RAM or the motherboard.

Macintosh OS X

Step 1

Start your computer and wait for Mac OS X to load.

Step 2

Choose 'About this Mac' from the menu located on top left corner of the screen.

Step 3

Open 'Activity Monitor' from the Utilities folder.

Step 4

Click on the System Memory button located at the bottom of the window. You will know the amount of RAM installed and the current usage.

Step 5

Note that RAM testing in Mac is not very common as the system is comparatively safe.

Step 6

Use the software memtest 86+. Download the free memory testing software memtest 86+ from Microsoft (see link below). It runs on most of the configurations. You need to download the diagnostic and read the details.

Step 7

Testing the RAM with this software in the first phase that will take less than 30 minutes.

Step 8

Reboot your computer with the disk or CD-ROM on which you installed Windows Memory Diagnostic. You will view the interface and the first test pass will be conducted. This will be followed by a second test until you exit. It will identify if there is hardware problem of RAM or the motherboard.

Step 9

Use the 'Rember' test if you are using a lot of graphics. This is more of an auto-run test after you launch it. In a few minutes you can view the results in the Rember Log screen.

Tips & Warnings

  • Upgrade the RAM on your computer periodically as you make an increasing use of different applications.