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7 Creative Uses for Old RAM Modules

If you want to upgrade your laptop or PC, there are many things you can do with the old RAM. 

Computer upgrade involves inserting some more RAM to boost performance. Therefore, the chances are that you’re left with the old RAM. What do you do with these? Can they be recycled? Or reused, or should you just throw them in the bin?

Try the ideas below and find a new purpose for the old RAM modules. 

Old RAM Chips Replacement

It’s always a smart option to upgrade your computer’s RAM. When you insert more or faster RAM modules, you improve performance significantly. 

Sometimes, having such a massive boost involves replacing one or more old RAM with new ones. Usually, the memory modules come in pairs, both sharing a similar capacity, speed, and manufacturer. 

The system speed can’t be more than the slowest RAM module, meaning there can be a bit of wastage after every upgrade.

  1. Upgrade Old Computers

You can use all the RAM modules from your laptop or PC on an old computer. This should be straightforward, especially if the module is compatible with the target device. 

But how do you know your type of RAM and its compatibility with the target device?

RAM modules come in different types and speeds. So, you should know whether your module is SODIMM, DIMM, or SIMM. You can find tools online to help with knowing which is which. 

Tools such as “Crucial System Advisor” help determine the type of module and the compatible computer. 

  1. Donate to a Makerspace or Local School

Local institutions such as community centers, churches, and schools experience major budget cutbacks. For this reason, they need any hardware available and would appreciate it if you donated your old RAM modules.

Naturally, there is a thorough process involved in any hardware donation. This ensures that the donated item is cleaned and any data deleted before handing it over. However, the process for RAM modules should be straightforward as they lose data once they’re plucked from power.  

Makerspaces too could also be great targets for RAM. Here, the old modules could be used to teach PC basics or other purposes. 

  1. Add to Arduino

Old RAM modules have successfully provided storage for an Arduino using code, breadboard, wires, and solder. 

However, 16MB modules only offer less than 300 KB to the Arduino UNO due to hardware limitations. This may not be fit for a long-term project, but exciting developments could emanate from the area. 

Arduino might require some expertise, but the project is worth following, especially if you team up with others. 

  1. Create a RAM Disk

Building a RAM disk is another way to repurpose one or more old modules. A RAM disk is essentially a device consisting of RAM modules. The process has successfully produced several disks over the years, one example being the Gigabyte i-RAM. All you need to develop the RAM disk is to plug the old RAM modules into the device and switch it on. Due to RAM modules’ high volatility, the RAM disk comes with a battery to maintain data storage when the PC is powered off. 

Check if you can get hold of one and try plugging in the RAM modules. Acquiring one may be expensive since the disks are no longer in production. Their development stalled after the emergence of SSDs, but finding one would provide a great old RAM modules destination. 

  1. Make Keychains

Making your own computer chip keychains is easier than it sounds. Just ensure you have a handheld rotary tool and some keyrings. Some safety goggles and a protective dust mask would also help. 

Since RAM modules are too long for a keychain, you can cut them in the middle. However, you won’t need to cut smaller laptop RAM modules. 

The cutting point depends on your target number of keychains and the holes’ position on the modules. 

Most of the RAM modules from the upgraded PC have tiny holes perfectly sized to hold keyrings. Therefore, you don’t need to drill anything. Simply cut the edges and attach your keys.

Whatever the activity, remember to wear goggles and a protective mask to prevent poisoning from the dust or blindness from shards. 

  1. Freecycle Old RAM Modules

If you have a bunch of old RAM modules in your store, you could simply give them away. Share your intentions to give away the RAM modules on Freecycle or Facebook, detailing the type and compatibility. 

Alternatively, you can drop the RAM modules off at a local church shop or thrift store where they can find good use or sell for a few dollars. 

If no one seems interested in the old RAM modules, you can quickly list them on eBay and expect messages from interested parties.  

  1. Pay for RAM Recycling

Unsafe recycling accumulates hardware in landfills, leading to chemical leaks and other environmental issues. Therefore, you should recycle safely by disposing of the old RAM modules via a reputable organization. Find available companies online charging an affordable fee for safe disposal. 

Don’t fall for the “free” recycling service providers who only strip down the hardware for any valuable part and dispose of the rest in landfills. Sure, the free recyclers may reuse your modules, but there’s no guarantee

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