How RAM Affects Computer Performance

When you type, save a file or move your mouse from one side of the screen to the other, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes. It’s much easier for the CPU to do its work if it has quick access to data in RAM.

Unlike storage, which holds data even when the device is turned off, RAM needs to be constantly refreshed. It’s why speed matters.


The speed of pc ram is an important factor for computer performance. It affects how fast programs can be retrieved and transferred from memory, and how fast the CPU can run those operations. Higher RAM speeds can boost performance in some tasks, including video editing and gaming.

If you run out of RAM, your applications will slow down. The system will begin shuffling data around, using the slower hard drive to move files back and forth between RAM and the processor. This causes everything to slow down dramatically.

While the majority of PC gamers don’t need a boatload of RAM, it is important to have enough to prevent performance bottlenecks. For most, 16GB will be enough to handle modern games without lag. Also, make sure that the RAM you purchase has a compatible motherboard and that its frequency is matched to your processor’s clock speed. The last point is important, as low latency is the best way to improve performance.


The latency of pc ram is a factor that can affect performance. The lower the latency, the faster the ram is. However, there are other factors that determine actual speed. For example, different memory types have different clock cycle times. This means that even if two memory modules have the same speed, one may be faster than the other.

The first number you’ll notice on a kit of RAM is something called Column Access Strobe (CAS) Latency, usually denoted by CL. This is the delay that occurs when your processor sends a read command to the memory. It’s easiest to think of a spreadsheet and the rows and columns that make it up.

The second number is Row Address to Column Access Delay (tRCD). This is how many clock cycles it takes for the memory to open a row it has to work with in that giant spreadsheet. Finally, the third number is Row Precharge Time (tRP) and it’s how long it takes for the row to be active after it’s been accessed.


The capacity of RAM is measured in gigabytes (GB). As RAM increases, more applications can run simultaneously without slowing down your computer. High-end gaming computers and business-level photo-editing programs typically require more RAM than average PCs to function properly.

When you launch a program on your PC, it’s loaded into RAM until you close or switch to another application. If a program is insufficiently memory-efficient, it will need to swap back and forth between RAM and storage (the slower hard drive or solid state drive where data stays even when your computer isn’t running). This constant shuffling of information slows down performance.

Typical desktops and laptops come with 4GB of RAM, which can handle most basic tasks like browsing the web, working with standard Office apps and managing digital photos. For heavier multitaskers or gamers, 8GB is a more appropriate RAM capacity. Increasing the amount of RAM in your computer can also increase the speed at which it transfers data to other hardware components.


There are many factors that go into upgrading a computer, including RAM and storage. While RAM is used to store temporary data, storage holds files and applications for the long term. Depending on your needs, either or both may be upgraded to improve performance. However, both will reach the law of diminishing returns at a certain point.

RAM is the brain of a laptop or computer, storing the short-term data that the CPU needs to open apps and access files. The data stored in RAM is volatile, meaning it will disappear when you turn off your device. Storage, on the other hand, preserves files for the long term until you delete them.

RAM is available as soldered-on chips or modular DIMMs that slot into a motherboard. The type of RAM you use will depend on your motherboard and processor. You can check your motherboard and CPU’s compatibility by using programs like CPU-Z or Speccy. Both programs will show you basic information about your memory, such as its capacity and frequency.