Guide to selecting Memory TestersShopping for the right tester is not easy. Here is a 10 point guideline you can use as a reference. Ask yourself and the memory tester company these questions before you buy your tester.
Performance / Speed How fast is the tester? Is it 133mhz , 100mhz , 66mhz, 33mhz or 25 MHz? Normally you can tell how fast the tester through the test time required to test a piece of memory module. Take a 64Mbz PC100 SDRAM as an example, a full comprehensive cell test that include a Marching test pattern (not simply a Basic Test) should take around 12 seconds for a fast tester, whereas it will take more than 2 minutes for a slower tester. The accuracy of the tester significantly depends on the speed of the base tester.
Support Multiple Platforms Can the tester support different DRAM technologies? Most of the tester will not support both EDO DRAM and PC133 SDRAM DIMMS with the same tester unit. You want to make sure that you do not have to end up buying multiple testers or perform costly upgrade to the tester to test different kind of memory.
Accessories / Adapters Ask the range of supporting adapter that are available to test all different types of proprietary memory modules such as 200pin Sun Sparc 10/20/Ultra, PCMCIA Memory module, Graphic SGRAM Module, Apple Modules, Stacked IC etc
Error Display Message How are the error displayed? Did the tester give you enough information to pin point exactly what goes wrong with the modules? Can the tester be interface with the computer to extend programming features of the tester? If so, do it come with the editors to program the contents of the Serial Presence Detect and module mapping for error detection?
Programmable Features Can the tester be flexible enough to edit Serial Present Detect Information (SPD), the module configurations and the test patterns ?
Support / Service / Warranty How good is the service and support provided by the company? Do they have technical support standby to answer your questions at anytime during office hours or do you have to talk to answering services all the time. What warranty does the tester covers? What is the turnaround time policy for repair and service ?
Field Upgradable Is the unit field upgradable ? How easier is it for you to upgrade the tester? How much does upgrade cause ? Almost all small tester will not be upgradable to test the super fast DDR or Rambus memory , thus do not take words of supplier that promise you a tester now that will also deliver DDR or Rambus. Get it in writing.
Company Check out the corporate history in the memory test industry. The longevity of a company reflects the leadership position in its field.
Reference Ask your suppliers and business partners who have been using the product as a very good assessment of how good the product is. This by far should be the best testimony.
Price Lastly, make sure the price is proportionate with the performance it will deliver. The lowest cost tester may not necessary be the one that is best. Is the product going to be obsolete soon? Making the right choice ensure that you do not spend more money later on.