The Importance of RAM

Whether you type a word, save a file or play a game, RAM does the work that makes it happen. It’s also why computer processors seem to do things instantaneously.

Unlike non-volatile system storage data that lasts forever, information stored in RAM is lost when the device shuts down.


A computer’s performance can be affected by the speed of its RAM. The speed of RAM is measured in megatransfers per second and can be determined by a few factors. In most cases, faster RAM is better. But the amount of memory that a computer needs to run smoothly can vary based on what it is used for.

RAM, or random access memory, stores temporary data that can be accessed at any time. This data is often used by programs that need to be accessed quickly. For example, modern video games need to be able to rapidly retrieve art assets. This type of memory is also called non-volatile storage because it retains data even when power is cut.

The speed of RAM depends on its clock rate, latency, and number of channels. The higher these attributes are, the better your PC will perform. While you can manually adjust these settings, it is best to use XMP profiles to get the most out of your RAM.

Memory capacity

The amount of RAM you have affects how fast your computer runs. While memory isn’t the same as storage (RAM can’t overlay old data on new files like a hard disk or SSD can), it does serve as the workspace for processing and interacting with data.

When a program’s workload surpasses the computer’s available memory, it starts to slow down. If this happens, the system must transfer information from RAM to secondary storage to free up space. This process is known as swapping or paging and can significantly reduce performance. This is why many PC owners find that more RAM can dramatically improve their performance. The optimal RAM capacity for most computers is between four and 16 GB, although heavy gamers or professional A/V editors may need more than this. The cost of adding more RAM also increases with the size of the memory chip. This can be a significant factor when purchasing a new PC.


RAM is a type of memory that stores the data your computer needs to run programs. It is a critical component that works hand-in-hand with your CPU to eliminate program stalls and deliver an optimal user experience. Often, you will find RAM sold in rectangular, flat circuit boards with memory chips attached, also known as sticks or modules. Most desktop computers use DDR (Double Data Rate) RAM, which offers the best performance. Mobile platforms such as tablets and laptops typically feature LPDDR (Low-Power Double Data Rate) RAM, which offers comparable performance for a lower cost.

Many people assume that more RAM is better, but this is not always the case. Since RAM is volatile, meaning it only stores information when the computer is powered on, adding more will only offer a limited amount of additional performance. It is important to consider your budget when determining the RAM size you need for your PC. Moreover, more RAM will not be beneficial if your processor is slow.


Unlike other computer parts that are susceptible to wear and tear, RAM is very durable. This is why many manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on their memory products. This type of warranty is particularly appealing to people who build their own PCs because it can save them a lot of money and trouble. However, you should be aware of the limitations of this warranty before purchasing a new RAM for your computer.

Under U.S. law, you can swap out your system’s preinstalled RAM and SSDs for more cost-effective third-party products without voiding the original manufacturer’s warranty. This applies even if you use Crucial-branded RAM and factory recertified SSDs. In contrast, many people are surprised to learn that using XMP or EXPO profiles to overclock a CPU will void their processor warranty. This is because the extra voltage from these profiles can cause instability within the CPU. Luckily, this is usually an easy fix. It is best to avoid these settings unless you’re a custom PC builder who knows what he or she is doing.