RAM stores data that the computer processor needs within easy reach. Its access time is much quicker than the time it takes to read from a hard drive. However, the contents of RAM are lost as soon as the power is shut off.
Most modern desktops and laptops use DDR SDRAM, which operates at speeds of up to 2400MHz. However, the performance of a system depends on more than just clock speed.
It’s like the top of your desk
Basically, the more RAM you have, the more paper and folders you can spread out on your desktop. And the more RAM you have, the faster and smoother your computer will work.
You can find out how much RAM your system is using by opening the “Processes” tab and clicking the Memory header. From there, you can identify the heavy RAM users and disable or delete them from your computer to free up more space.
RAM is like short-term storage for your computer, while the hard drive or solid-state drive is long-term storage. The processor needs the data in RAM that it’s actively working with right now, and then it copies it back into the hard drive or SSD when it’s finished. Consequently, RAM works up to 30 times faster than reading from the hard drive. That’s why upgrading your RAM or your storage can make your computer feel brand new again. Moreover, it can help improve battery life and make it easier to open applications and photos.
It’s like a filing cabinet
Just like the top of your desk, your computer’s RAM serves as your temporary workspace. It stores the data that your processor needs to run applications and open files. This data is transferred to and from your long-term storage (either the hard drive or solid-state drives). Unlike a filing cabinet, however, RAM is volatile and loses its contents as soon as you turn off the computer. This is why it’s important to save your work regularly.
To locate specific pieces of information in RAM, the memory controller sends columns and rows of binary data across a thin electrical line etched on the chip. These signals can be read with the help of an integrated circuit that converts these bits into a human-readable format. The more memory a computer has, the more programs it can open and run simultaneously without slowing down. If you want to get the most out of your computer, consider installing a program that will eliminate wasteful background processes and free up RAM.
It’s like a storage drive
RAM, or random access memory, is the computer’s short-term memory. It stores the data that your CPU needs to run programs and open files. Upgrading your RAM will make your computer function faster and more smoothly. It will also allow you to use more memory-intensive applications and play demanding video games.
Like a physical file cabinet, the computer’s storage is where your files live. It is where you store your music, pictures and files. It is a permanent record that will not disappear when the power is turned off or a computer restarts.
However, unlike the hard drive, storage requires electricity to keep the information it has recorded. It can be accessed much slower than the information stored in RAM. The computer will use a small part of the hard drive to hold temporary data for some programs when it is running out of space in RAM. This process is called paging. The hard drive swap files will be cleared every time the computer reboots.
It’s like a hard drive
Computers have two types of memory: RAM and the hard drive. The RAM is like a workspace that clears itself when you close a program, while the hard disk, whether it’s traditional or newer solid-state drives (SSD), is more permanent and holds your files and programs.
The CPU can access the information in RAM almost instantly. However, it’s much slower to get things from the hard drive to RAM. This process, called paging or swapping, causes delays and performance drops.
More RAM means more of the system can be used at once, which is a big deal when it comes to PC gaming and other demanding tasks. Many gamers recommend 16+ GB of RAM for best performance. The bigger the RAM, the more programs can be run simultaneously. That’s why it’s important to keep your RAM up-to-date. Unlike the hard drive, which uses mechanical movements for read/write operations, RAM uses electronic circuits. That means it’s faster and quieter.