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emosun

Is modern ram less reliable?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I've been helping people with computer problems on forums for about 15 years now , and maybe some of you who are older might get where I'm coming from.....

But have you noticed that maybe 80% of "computer crashing" problems posted to forums involving more modern machines can be fixed just by removing ram sticks? Whether it be the stick itself that is bad , or the way the board is managing the memory , usually it can be discovered by just removing all but a single stick to narrow it down to being either the sticks or the boards having a hardware fault.

With me being a classic pc enthusiast , and having a lot of diagnostic history to go back on , I feel like ddr1 and ddr2 were WAY less likely to have faults in this fashion. I've actually.... never come across a ddr1 or 2 stick that wasn't working or had errors. And typically pc's of that vintage don't have ram issues the way new machines do in terms of forum posts.

PS: My current desktop has 6 ddr3 ram sticks in triple channel that have been 100% reliable. So I fully understand the "I don't have problems" situation. I'm talking mostly about the problem that are brought to a forum , and the "run one stick" problem seems to be WAY more common in the past few years.

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1 minute ago, emosun said:

I've been helping people with computer problems on forums for about 15 years now , and maybe some of you who are older might get where I'm coming from.....

But have you noticed that maybe 80% of "computer crashing" problems posted to forums involving more modern machines can be fixed just by removing ram sticks? Whether it be the stick itself that is bad , or the way the board is managing the memory , usually it can be discovered by just removing all but a single stick to narrow it down to being either the sticks or the boards having a hardware fault.
 

No, have not noticed that.  80%?  Not even close, IMO.  But I don't have a breakdown of what problems are caused by what, so I can't give a %.  No idea where your % came from either.

 

RAM is stable as it has been, over the 30 years I've been building machines.  Usually anything involving RAM is a seating issue by user, or dirty slots.


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Posted · Original PosterOP

I've also noticed that almost 100% of the time , Memtest doesn't find errors but running a single stick solves their issue. Which leads me to believe memtest is a bad way to diagnose "the entire" ram system

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1 minute ago, emosun said:

But have you noticed that maybe 80% of "computer crashing" problems posted to forums involving more modern machines can be fixed just by removing ram sticks? Whether it be the stick itself that is bad , or the way the board is managing the memory , usually it can be discovered by just removing all but a single stick to narrow it down to being either the sticks or the boards having a hardware fault.

With RAM being such a base-part in the system, it has to rely on at least two other parts to function correctly.

The RAM itself, the board it's used in the and the memory controller (which is on the CPU).

That makes RAM quite a delicate part and with it being required on start-up and all usage, you will pretty quickly find if you have any issues with it.

 

The one thing I have noticed with DDR4 - at least more so than with DDR3 - is that it seems more delicate when talking about memory speeds and mixing memory.

In the past with DDR3, you just shove some sticks in a board and it works. With DDR4 - especially on Ryzen platforms - it sometimes feels hit or miss on if it will work (at its full speed) right away.


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2 minutes ago, emosun said:

I've been helping people with computer problems on forums for about 15 years now , and maybe some of you who are older might get where I'm coming from.....

But have you noticed that maybe 80% of "computer crashing" problems posted to forums involving more modern machines can be fixed just by removing ram sticks? Whether it be the stick itself that is bad , or the way the board is managing the memory , usually it can be discovered by just removing all but a single stick to narrow it down to being either the sticks or the boards having a hardware fault.

With me being a classic pc enthusiast , and having a lot of diagnostic history to go back on , I feel like ddr1 and ddr2 were WAY less likely to have faults in this fashion. I've actually.... never come across a ddr1 or 2 stick that wasn't working or had errors. And typically pc's of that vintage don't have ram issues the way new machines do in terms of forum posts.

PS: My current desktop has 6 ddr3 ram sticks in triple channel that have been 100% reliable. So I fully understand the "I don't have problems" situation. I'm talking mostly about the problem that are brought to a forum , and the "run one stick" problem seems to be WAY more common in the past few years.

I see a *ton* of problems related to XMP, OCing, and then sketchy RAM brands. In general I agree with you, but in the DDR1/2 days, there were only the big name brands (Kingston was my go-to) and they had a solid rep for good quality.

 

These days..well know knows what hides under those fancy heat spreaders? G-Skill I'm looking squarely at you...


So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Dedayog said:

No, have not noticed that.  80%?  Not even close, IMO.  But I don't have a breakdown of what problems are caused by what, so I can't give a %.  No idea where your % came from either.

My % came from me diagnosing ram problems , meaning my experience. Your % may be different for all I know

I just noticed that in my experience running a single stick seems to usually solve ram related crashes 80% of the time for me.

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had more trouble with DDR3 than DDR4 from personal experience

it's down to configuration, and quality, I guess

 

since my DDR3 experience was with laptops, and DDR4 is all desktops.

DDR3 in laptop is very hard to memory train from my experience, so i've had bad memories associated with them.

so far i never had issue with DDR4 except 1 of my lpx stick dying, RMA and no issue since.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, minibois said:

In the past with DDR3, you just shove some sticks in a board and it works. With DDR4 - especially on Ryzen platforms - it sometimes feels hit or miss on if it will work (at its full speed) right away.

I think that's were ddr1 and 2 get so robust , you can REALLY mix and match all sorts of odd speeds

SD ram and EDO are more picky with boards , but ddr 1 and 2 seems to not care at all most of the time 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 minutes ago, Moonzy said:

had more trouble with DDR3 than DDR4 from personal experience

it's down to configuration, and quality, I guess

well yeah again my personal experience is different from my diagnostic experience. meaning my own rams have been fine but this is more related to the larger sample size of issues that i see and have to diagnose on other machines

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2 minutes ago, emosun said:

well yeah again my personal experience is different from my diagnostic experience. meaning my own rams have been fine but this is more related to the larger sample size of issues that i see and have to diagnose on other machines

dont think many people had tech and is active on forums during DDR1 and 2 days, not as much as today.

nowadays you see many DDR4 threads, so you may think so

 

sampling size is skewed.

 

just like how back in 2016 I've seen many intel system issue, nowadays it's all AMD system issue


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I hate Intel's pricing, Ryzen's weird quirks, Nvidia's pricing, and Radeon GPUs in general

 

Spoiler

 

Products I like:

Spoiler

Sony Xperia Z1 / Z2 / 10 ii, Asus Strix 970 / 1070, Samsung SSD, WD HDD, Corsair PSUs (AX, RM, CX(grey)), GeForce GPU, NZXT N450/S340, be quiet! Coolers, G.Skill Trident RAM, Logitech M525, Logitech G440, Razer Deathadder Elite

 

Products I hate:

Spoiler

Xperia Z3, XiaoMi 5c, Radeon GPUs, Razer Audio Products, any bloatwares

 

Companies I absolutely adore: (and hope it stays that way)

Spoiler

be quiet! - sent me AM4 mounting for my DRP3 even though it's way past the timeframe stated, no questions asked

Corsair - very good RMA experience, absolutely recommend

 

Companies I hate:

Spoiler

Nvidia, Intel, Apple, TMT (Thundermatch, a retailer)

 

Personal Blacklisted Companies:

Spoiler

Acer monitors, Gigabyte, Seagate HDD, Kingston SSD, Razer (except their mouse), XiaoMi Phones

 

Remember, just because I had good/bad experiences with these companies/product, doesn't mean you will have similar experiences too. I would still recommend these products if they made sense for your needs, but I'll add a disclaimer of my experience if it's relevant. Feel free to DM me asking why they are where they are.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, emosun said:

I've been helping people with computer problems on forums for about 15 years now , and maybe some of you who are older might get where I'm coming from.....

But have you noticed that maybe 80% of "computer crashing" problems posted to forums involving more modern machines can be fixed just by removing ram sticks? Whether it be the stick itself that is bad , or the way the board is managing the memory , usually it can be discovered by just removing all but a single stick to narrow it down to being either the sticks or the boards having a hardware fault.

With me being a classic pc enthusiast , and having a lot of diagnostic history to go back on , I feel like ddr1 and ddr2 were WAY less likely to have faults in this fashion. I've actually.... never come across a ddr1 or 2 stick that wasn't working or had errors. And typically pc's of that vintage don't have ram issues the way new machines do in terms of forum posts.

PS: My current desktop has 6 ddr3 ram sticks in triple channel that have been 100% reliable. So I fully understand the "I don't have problems" situation. I'm talking mostly about the problem that are brought to a forum , and the "run one stick" problem seems to be WAY more common in the past few years.

Probably Ryzen and it being skittish with RAM. 


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 minutes ago, Moonzy said:

dont think many people had tech and is active on forums during DDR1 and 2 days, not as much as today.

i'd.... very much have to disagree and say that far more people had desktop computers in the ddr1 and 2 days than today. Todays desktop machines are far less common than the absolute massive flood of windows xp pentium 4 and core 2 duo office pc's of the mid 2000s.

it was a truly "inter compatible" time where the MAJORITY of computers on earth were all running windows xp and were all using either ddr1 or 2 on a 478 or 775 platform. So knowing computers was almost easier than ever at the time due to lack of variety.

these days almost any machine from the past 10 years may still be in use so the range is much higher lol.

 

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With RAM sizes increasing constantly, the statistical error chance rises with it.

If you double your RAM there's now twice as many bits to possibly go faulty.

Now, of course the manufacturing technology improves as well and increases the reliability of the produced parts.

However, do you think it realistic to improve reliability at the same rate as size increases ? It isn't.

 

So yes, statistically, RAM is becoming more unreliable with size increases outpacing manufacturing improvements.

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1 minute ago, emosun said:

i'd.... very much have to disagree and say that far more people had desktop computers in the ddr1 and 2 days than today.

maybe because i live in a third world country, but you wont find many Pentium 4 systems here

only wealthy families would have them

 

computer starts being a household norm not too long ago, i'd say about 2010-ish, start of DDR3 era


Things I need help with: *new* What can Facebook do to me? Privacy Inquiries

Spoiler

 

 

I hate Intel's pricing, Ryzen's weird quirks, Nvidia's pricing, and Radeon GPUs in general

 

Spoiler

 

Products I like:

Spoiler

Sony Xperia Z1 / Z2 / 10 ii, Asus Strix 970 / 1070, Samsung SSD, WD HDD, Corsair PSUs (AX, RM, CX(grey)), GeForce GPU, NZXT N450/S340, be quiet! Coolers, G.Skill Trident RAM, Logitech M525, Logitech G440, Razer Deathadder Elite

 

Products I hate:

Spoiler

Xperia Z3, XiaoMi 5c, Radeon GPUs, Razer Audio Products, any bloatwares

 

Companies I absolutely adore: (and hope it stays that way)

Spoiler

be quiet! - sent me AM4 mounting for my DRP3 even though it's way past the timeframe stated, no questions asked

Corsair - very good RMA experience, absolutely recommend

 

Companies I hate:

Spoiler

Nvidia, Intel, Apple, TMT (Thundermatch, a retailer)

 

Personal Blacklisted Companies:

Spoiler

Acer monitors, Gigabyte, Seagate HDD, Kingston SSD, Razer (except their mouse), XiaoMi Phones

 

Remember, just because I had good/bad experiences with these companies/product, doesn't mean you will have similar experiences too. I would still recommend these products if they made sense for your needs, but I'll add a disclaimer of my experience if it's relevant. Feel free to DM me asking why they are where they are.

 

 

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IMHO ram is so compatible its unbelievable these days - its when trying to make a thousand different configurations work across thousands of different skews that not everything will be plug and play to the OVERCLOCK settings that RAM has available these days.

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
14 minutes ago, Unimportant said:

So yes, statistically, RAM is becoming more unreliable with size increases outpacing manufacturing improvements.

you could almost combat it if ram didnt have to be perfectly working to be usable. but it's amazing how just one bit can crash a whole machine

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Posted · Original PosterOP
14 minutes ago, Moonzy said:

maybe because i live in a third world country, but you wont find many Pentium 4 systems here

only wealthy families would have them

 

computer starts being a household norm not too long ago, i'd say about 2010-ish, start of DDR3 era

Yeah , computers become popular in the usa in the mid 2000s. It was normal in the year 2000 to not have a computer , but by 2005 MOST houses had one as cheap/free computer from the 90s became more and more common.

 

So locally yeah you've had a very different experience.

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10 minutes ago, Unimportant said:

With RAM sizes increasing constantly, the statistical error chance rises with it.

If you double your RAM there's now twice as many bits to possibly go faulty.

This was my first thought also. Capacities have gone up particularly in the DDR4 era. A typical enthusiast/gamer build may be 16GB or so, but more are going above that.

 

Back in the DDR3 days, I think 8GB was pretty common.

 

10 minutes ago, Unimportant said:

So yes, statistically, RAM is becoming more unreliable with size increases outpacing manufacturing improvements.

This is partially addressed in DDR5, which has a limited form of ECC at chip level, not module level in ECC as we would understand it for ram now. Chips can then be less "perfect" yet still give reliable output.

 

 

I'd also have to wonder if much of the ram problems we see in DDR4 era are from the ease at which we can get out of spec modules. The fastest DDR4 standard defined is 3200C20. Enthusiasts would laugh at that. Even in 2015 when I got my first DDR4 system I started with a 3333C16 kit. Also keep in mind, the official supported speed by the CPUs at the time was 2133. Now it seems people buying a high performance system typically looks towards 3600C16. This is not a defined standard, so I often caution that compatibility may not be 100% as all of the CPU, memory, mobo and bios need to be happy at the same time.

 

I can't recall the latter end of the DDR3 era. Certainly in the earlier stages of Sandy Bridge, I recall having stability problems with 1600 speed, so reverted to CPU supported 1333.


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1 hour ago, Radium_Angel said:

ECC ram for the win!

ECC for all?


The pursuit of knowledge for the sake of knowledge.

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RAM is certainly a major culprit to computer issues... But that has pretty much always been the case.

These days, RAM incompatibility (RAM too fast, too new, too whatever, for the CPU's memory controller) are an issue as well, but certainly not as much as DOA/failed RAM. Because even if "incompatible", they usually can still run at lower speeds without much issues.

But bad RAM? It will run, then crash at seemingly random times, making people who don't know what the issue is to post here, thinking it's their GPU because it happens most often while playing a game (when a lot of info is transferred from the drive to the ram all at once, filling it up much more than simple web browsing).

 

 

ECC really should be standards for all computer and not just servers. It would certainly cut down a hell of a lot of the PC issues we're facing in the troubleshoot section anyway.


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