Is There Such A Thing As "Breaking In" RAM?

Discussion in 'Memory' started by cybereality, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    Maybe this is a silly question but is there such a thing as "breaking in" system RAM?

    I have this computer I just built and I was getting random freezing frequently (like once every 1 hour or so). It was happening in different programs, once on the command line compiling something, another time idle with Firefox open (I left for a few minutes and came back and it was frozen locked up).

    So, wondering if the RAM was the issue, I booted into MemTest86+ and ran it for 24 hours. It finished 8 passes with zero errors. After booting the machine back, I've used it to two nights with no more freezing, even when compiling the same program several times and using Firefox a bunch. I made no other changes to the computer at all. I'm still worried something is wrong but I don't know what.

    Is there any possibility that running MemTest86+ "broke in" the RAM and fixed what was wrong? Is that even possible?
     
  2. MacLeod

    MacLeod [H]ardness Supreme

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    I don't believe that would be possible. "Break in" is something usually associated with mechanical parts that need a little use to seat in properly. I know there's something known as "burn in" in some electronic components but as far as I know, that's something that happens pretty quick like in seconds.
     
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  3. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj Why oh why didn't I take the BLUE pill?

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    If you ran 8 passes with zero errors, it's probably not your RAM. It could really be anything from a bad cable to the drive to a bad PSU.
     
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  4. tungt88

    tungt88 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Supposedly for headphones, there is a "burn-in" period; that's a point of much contention in the audiophile world (like you would not believe). I've never heard of it for computer electronics, though.
     
  5. MacLeod

    MacLeod [H]ardness Supreme

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    It is in all forms of audiophile'isms...I guess that's what you'd call it. There is some science to it since speakers are mechanical devices at their heart with motors and a suspension system so it makes some sense but a lot of golden ears claim break in periods of several days and even weeks. Hell a car motor can break in quicker than that.
     
  6. Wyodiver

    Wyodiver [H]ard|Gawd

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    Engines and women, yes. RAM? No.
     
  7. tungt88

    tungt88 [H]ard|Gawd

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    This is a sidetrack, but I really think that what many consider "break-in" on headphones is little more than their minds and ears getting accustomed to the new headphone they are trying out.

    Tyll Hertsens, amongst others, has done some tests on the "break-in" issue, and his conclusion is that "break-in" is really a minor phenomenon, at best. Below is one of the (several) articles he's written about the issue:

    https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/measurement-and-audibility-headphone-break-page-4

    How minor, depends on the individual, as always ;)

    My personal example of "burn-in" would be of the jackhammer going off in the home construction site near my house -- it's really irritating at first; then, after 10 min, I can live with it; and after an hour, I'm surprised to hear it stop.

    ---------------

    But, back to the OP's original question: computers are pretty complex devices. Even after extensive troubleshooting, sometimes it really doesn't work. Other times, it's as annoyingly simple as a cold reboot (w/powering off PSU, holding power button for 30 sec. after turning off computer and unplugging PSU, etc). Sometimes, the wiring plugs weren't plugged in tightly enough.

    This has happened far too many times for me to count -- and I'm not alone; I still remember the thread put up by one of the best computer build advisors here on the [H] on his own new build, complete with photos, and he forgot to plug in an item (he had photos detailing his build, and when he asked the community for troubleshooting, one member pointed it out to him).

    Checking the power settings on Windows wouldn't hurt, though (in some cases, Windows will jump to "power saver" from "high performance" mode, or go into "sleep" mode prematurely -- this seems to be an issue with some CPU overclocks, for whatever reason).
     
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  8. Speedeu4ia

    Speedeu4ia Limp Gawd

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    speakers do have a mechanical suspension that will loosen over use, not sure how much is noticeable though
     
  9. thenjduke

    thenjduke Limp Gawd

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    LOL This was funny.
     
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  10. SixFootDuo

    SixFootDuo [H]ardness Supreme

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    You're memory has already been "broken-in" by the manufacturer and factory of said memory products. It's been thoroughly tested prior to packaging and shipping. The testing takes place with the actual raw memory chips starting with the manufacturer, i.e. - Hynix, Samsung, Micron, Rambus, etc and then again by the vendor. So the memory chips, the PCB and again when the two components are joined together in it's final stage. There are several stages of testing / quality assurance along the way to ensure the end user has working parts.

    I've personally only seen bad memory maybe once and this is with me handling an absolute ton of memory over the years.

    It's so rare, in my opinion that I always fault end users for their memory issues/problems.

    Remember, always touch two different pieces of metal to discharge yourself of static electricity ( Electrostatic discharge/ESD as to avoid damaging memory ) or, any PC component really.

    Also, check your BIOS settings, sometimes memory needs the correct voltages set. This is supposed to be done automagically but I've seen several cases where this isn't the case. Also, sometimes timings have to be manually set to get memory working. 1 silly number can make memory appear dead. Seen it a gazillion times.
     
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  11. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    Thanks. I'm pretty sure the memory is good and was just checking.

    I used to not worry about static electricity, but for my last 4 builds I've been using a ESD wrist strap and touching metal, which I also do whenever servicing the machines.

    In terms of the instability I was having, it appears it was an issue in how Linux handles CPUs, but I think I found a fix. See this thread: https://hardforum.com/threads/new-build-getting-freezing-and-crashes-advice.1952112/
     
  12. thenjduke

    thenjduke Limp Gawd

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    I just order new ram for my Ryzen 1700X Build.
     
  13. somebrains

    somebrains Limp Gawd

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    I burn in tubes for my bass amps, mainly bc I don't like to find that one of them has gone way too cold or hot compared to the other tubes in that bank past the point I can have the retailer swap them.

    Headphones shouldn't "seat in" like you described.
    My brother used to validate hardware at THX, a lot of drivers had a short optimal lifespan but they shouldn't degrade to the point where you notice it.
    I never wanted to buy bass cabs that had been played thru really high output rigs bc voice coil overheating isn't something you can quantify.

    RAM should be good, or dead, kind of a binary thing.

    Funky psu cables, motherboard component issues, flaky OS installs, and whatever bios tweaks they never bother to fully document make some builds teeth grinders.
     
  14. Nakulz

    Nakulz n00bie

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    Was going to suggest other stress test to see if it’s cpu relates
     
  15. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    Refer to post #2. Headphones are a mechanical device. It's not just headphones, but speakers etc. Diaphragms, moving parts, etc need time to fully loosen etc. Some speakers/headphones come fully broken in from the factory by their testing or pre break-in process.
     
  16. James21

    James21 Limp Gawd

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    Memory modules do sometimes fail after they get hot & have been in use for awhile.
    When doing diagnostic test runs on systems with a large amount of memory modules, I'll sometimes get failures a day later around loop 10 or so of the tests.
    Run something like Mpmemory for 20 loops with all options turned on & usually you are pretty safe to go.