What Is PC RAM?

Unlike storage, memory offers lightning-fast data access. If an application needs more space than RAM can provide, it moves the data to a storage disk. This process, called paging or swapping, takes time and slows performance.

Klevv offers a range of PC ram, including high-speed DDR5 kits that can be configured on Intel motherboards to run at their rated speed using XMP profiles. Their Trident series is a good choice for custom PC builds.

Memory Types

RAM is a form of high speed storage that stores the data that your computer is actively using. It’s similar to your brain’s short term memory, storing the information it needs at a moment’s notice. Unlike external storage devices like hard drives or solid state drives, RAM is volatile and erases when power is shut off.

The most common type of RAM is DRAM (full form: Dynamic Random-Access Memory). Each cell consists of a capacitor and transistor that can store a 1 or a 0. Because it requires constant refreshing, DRAM uses more power than SRAM but offers superior data transfer speeds.

Another variant of DRAM is SDRAM (full form: Synchronous DRAM). It synchronizes the data transfers with the CPU’s clock to increase overall performance and reduce latency. A more recent form of RAM is DDR4 (full form: Double Data Rate SDRAM). It provides improved data processing, lower memory voltages and energy efficiency compared to previous generations.

Memory Capacity

As the name suggests, RAM is system memory, and it augments the cache on your CPU so that the processor can quickly access data. More memory also allows more programs to be open at once.

When the computing tasks running on your computer exceed the available memory, the operating system will move applications into internal storage (on the hard drive) until it has enough RAM to handle them again. This process, known as paging or swapping, is very time-consuming and can cause performance issues.

Generally, it’s best to choose a RAM capacity that matches your usage habits. For example, 4 GB of RAM will provide plenty of room for web browsing and standard Office apps, while 16 GB is ideal for casual gamers and those who like to leave multiple tabs open in their browser. It’s also the minimum recommended amount for those who want to use demanding software like video editing or photo-editing software.

Memory Speeds

RAM speeds are measured in megahertz (MHz). Higher numbers mean faster memory.

The speed of RAM allows your computer processor to swiftly access the program data stored in it, boosting performance. This differs from the way that hard drives work, as they have much lower read and write speeds than RAM.

It is possible to buy RAM with different speeds, and some have the option of overclocking to higher levels. However, overclocking can cause instability and it is best left to advanced users and professionals.

You can check the RAM frequency of your computer with third-party software such as CPU-Z and Speccy. Typically, the RAM tab shows frequency information alongside other important details such as type and part number.

Memory Labels

RAM acts as the middle ground between the small, super-fast cache inside your CPU and the large, super-slow storage in a hard drive or solid-state drive. It stores working parts of your operating system temporarily and data that your applications are using actively.

Capacity: Measured in gigabytes (GB), this indicates how much memory you can have active at one time. More capacity lets you run more applications simultaneously or enjoy better performance when gaming.

Speed: Measured in mega-transfers per second, often misquoted as MHz, this refers to how quickly your memory can send and receive data. Higher speeds yield a faster response to data requests and improved performance.

Timings: CAS latency, number of cycles between the CPU memory controller and the RAM, is another important factor for high-performance PC RAM. However, higher timings usually come with a sacrifice in bandwidth and overall performance.