What Is Random Access Memory (RAM)?

Random Access Memory or RAM is another computer hardware part which stores data temporarily and loses everything when the power goes off. The more RAM a computer possess the faster it processes the information increasing the overall performance of the system. RAM is produced by some of the well-known names like Kingston, PNY, Crucial Technology, and Corsair.

What Is Random Access Memory (RAM)?

What Is Random Access Memory (RAM)?

There are different types of RAM as well as different names like primary memory, main memory, internal memory, and primary storage plus memory stick.

Your Computer Needs RAM to Use Data Quickly

It’s not the physical memory storage device but it does help reading and writing data from main storage devices like hard drives. The computer uses RAM to access data quickly compared to hard drives. Consider RAM like an office desk which gives you quick access to your tools and documents.

Otherwise, you would be storing your things elsewhere which in turns requires time to access them when you are constantly dealing with them.

Therefore, the data you are actively using on your smartphones, laptops or desktop computers is stored as a temporary memory on RAM. That’s why RAM allows quick access and faster read/write times instead of hard drive. Hard drives are much slower than hard drives and have physical limitations like rotation speed.

RAM Works With Your Hard Drive

RAM or memory like other storage devices inside the computer. RAM never deals with file storage or all that kind of stuff. For instance, 1GB of RAM simply doesn’t mean it’s going to store 1GB of data like hard drive takes space.

Unlike the hard disk, that requires power to access data and never loses it, RAM loses the data when the computer is turned off. RAM will erase everything you have running and when you turn on the machine you won’t find the programs and files opened you left.

If there’s some reason to keep the files opened you can use the hibernation mode of the computer in which the copies of the RAM contents are stored in hard drive and when you shut down the computer RAM can access those copies back and load them all. Every motherboard can support specific memory types with specific combinations. Therefore, you need to check your motherboard before making a purchase.

The RAM in Your Computer Resembles a Ruler or “Stick”

The RAM is a thin and long desktop memory module similar to a short ruler. The bottom of the RAM contains several notches to guide for proper installation and have several gold-plated connectors.

Memory is installed in memory module slots located on the motherboard and they are pretty easy to find. You can have a look at motherboard to find small hinges at the corner of slots which typically locks the RAM in their place and are located in the middle of the motherboard.

Depending upon the slots you need to get the modules and it’s suggested to check your motherboard before purchasing the RAM. Otherwise, a system information tool can help you to find your motherboard type.

There are several capacities the RAM is available like 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB, 2GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, and 16+ GB. There are even Terabytes of memory available but they are limited to enterprise levels. The types of RAM includes DIMM, RIMM, SIMM, SO-RIMM, SO-DIMM.

RAM Requirements

Depending upon your requirements you can decide how much RAM memory you need as you do for your PC or hard drive.

For instance, for gaming a lot of RAM is required for smooth gameplay and going with 2GB or 4GB RAM will slow down the overall performance of the system.

Similarly, if you want light browsing, video streaming, heaving gaming, memory-intensive applications you need to choose memory according to that.

Similarly, for video editing applications, 3D graphics, you can simply get the idea of RAM from the application you are using.

Majority of laptops or desktops have 2 to 4GB modules installed already. If you want to do internet browsing, video streaming or normal application use then there’s no need to extend the RAM memory.

Troubleshooting RAM issues

If you are facing any problem with your RAM then you need to reset the memory modules. If the side locks are not properly pressed a small bump can knock it out if its place and can cause memory problems.

If the problem persists after reseating then use some free memory test programs because you can use them outside of the Operating system and are compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.

If you still face the problem then better replace the memory in your computer regardless of the size of the problem.

RAM advancements

RAM is a volatile memory that stores data for a short time. RAM does exist in a non-volatile form which is a read-only memory (ROM). Flash drives and SSDs are similar to ROM which can retain data even when there’s no power.

The two basic types of RAM are SRAM and DRAM and both are these are volatile. STAM or Static RAM is much faster but expensive as well, DRAM is inexpensive and commonly used in today’s devices. SRAM is seen as small doses in various internal computer parts, like CPU and hard drive cache memory.

If you want to use RAM as hard disk you can use SoftPerfect RAM Disk to convert RAM into a hard drive to save data when there’s no power and also do read/write with it which makes it quicker and faster.

Some operating systems have virtual memory options to use a RAM disk. This allows them to use hard disk space as RAM to increase the RAM memory for large applications and avoiding any kind of negative impact on the performance of the system.

How Do I Replace the Memory (RAM) in My Computer?
An Explanation of Read and Write Speeds