What Is RAM?

RAM is your computer’s short-term memory. It makes it much easier (and faster) to do things like click a link, save a document, or play a video game.

Like a CPU, RAM has its own clock speed, which determines how quickly it can access data. This is why it’s important to buy a stick of RAM with the same clock speed as your motherboard.

What is RAM?

RAM is short-term memory used to store data that your computer needs immediately. It works faster than data stored in long-term storage like a hard disk or solid-state drive (SSD).

Whenever you click on a link to a new website, your computer loads the new information into its RAM, where it can access it right away. It’s then translated into the web page you see on your screen. If you want to save that document for later, your operating system moves it from RAM into long-term storage on the hard disk or SSD.

Without RAM, your computer would have to rely on its hard disk or SSD for all of its processing power. The longer it has to wait for that information, the slower everything will run. So it’s important to have enough RAM to handle the most demanding programs and games. That’s why most PC gamers choose 16GB or more. The same goes for content editors and other power users who need a fast, reliable computing experience.

How does RAM work?

Unlike storage devices like hard drives and SSDs, which record data for the long term, RAM is temporary and gets wiped when you power off your computer. It offers lightning-fast access to the information that your computer processor needs for apps and programs.

For example, when you click on a link to go to a new website, capacitors and transistors (basically switches) in a RAM chip’s circuit board turn on or off to translate the address into the web page your browser sees. This happens in nanoseconds thanks to the fast path to the CPU that the chips provide.

The latest types of RAM use technology called DDR, which increases data transfer speed by sending it twice in one pulse of the system clock. The faster the computer’s memory is, the more it can do at once. And that makes a big difference in how well it runs games and other demanding applications. That’s why bigger is better when it comes to RAM.

How much RAM do I need?

If you’re running a lot of programs or demanding games, it will take more RAM than you might expect. You can find out exactly how much RAM your computer has by opening the About your PC app (type About your PC into the Windows search box, or right-click the taskbar and select it from the options that appear).

The amount of RAM you need depends on your computing needs. For most users, 8 GB of RAM should be enough. This will give you enough headroom to run multiple light programs and web browser tabs without stuttering, and will enable most modern games to function with minimum input lag.

Higher-end systems and demanding applications require more RAM. For instance, professional creatives who use demanding software like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Pro, will want at least 64 GB of RAM to unlock the full potential of these applications and avoid performance bottlenecks.

What are the best brands of RAM?

There are a lot of brands that produce RAM, but not all of them are equal. Some are better than others in terms of performance, price, and compatibility with different types of motherboards. It is also important to consider aesthetics when deciding which brand to buy.

Some of the best brands of RAM include Corsair, G.Skill, and Crucial. Corsair’s Vengeance series has a variety of colors and lighting options, while G.Skill’s RipJaws S5 is available in bundles up to 96GB and has speeds of up to 6,000MHz for high-end gaming and creative work. These modules are only 33mm tall, which gives you more space inside your computer for liquid cooling and other larger components.

Crucial is another popular RAM brand, and their Ballistix Gaming line has a great price-to-performance ratio. This RAM is designed for gamers, but it also works well in mainstream computers and office systems. Crucial is owned by Micron, so their RAM has rigorous testing and support for XMP.