How to Test RAM Speed

by Cooper Temple

Random-access memory (RAM) is the primary memory available to programs running on a computer. While a computer needs to read less from its hard drive based on the amount of RAM available, the information stored in RAM memory is temporary and clears out when the computer is shut down. If you begin having performance problems with your computer, RAM might be the cause. Test your machine's RAM speed using a few simple steps.

Download the Windows Memory Diagnostic from the Microsoft site (link below). There is no charge for the download, and the tool will run a comprehensive list of system tests in addition to the RAM test.

Print a copy of the diagnostic tool user guide, which is also available on the linked download page, as you will not be able to refer to the online copy while the tool is running.

Launch the executable file (mtinst.exe) following the download, and choose "Create Startup Disk" to create a floppy or optical disc of the diagnostic tool.

Shut down your computer, and reboot it with the floppy or optical disc on which you installed Windows Memory Diagnostic in the appropriate drive.

Agree to the Microsoft end-user license, and the first test pass will begin. You can view the test progress, which is designed to take less than a half-hour, on the user interface.

Review the test results, which will appear on the interface. Exit the diagnostic tool once the first test has completed, as it will continue to run over and over again.

Make certain to remove the startup disk you created, and then restart your computer.

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About the Author

Cooper Temple has over 15 years of experience writing procedural and training material for a Fortune 500 company. His articles specialize in productivity programs and other business-related software.