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RAM, Random Access Memory, what is it?… … …

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Author: Ryan Bennie Lee

RAM is a physical hardware inside a computer. In there it stores temporary data, soft data, as the computer is turned on. When the computer is off the data is lost. The hard data is stored on the Hard Drive of a computer system. RAM stands for “Random Access Memory.”

The temporary data is processed when the computer or the electronic device is turned on. Processing all the visual and short data activities, such as the mouse moving, the visual position on the screen, and other temporarily information like a file or webpage open but not saved. So, when the computer or electronic device turns off the RAM will clear its temporary date. Hence, “Random Access Memory” for the device access the random memory computing while you access the device in current time. Think of it as the device’s short term memory.

Now you are asking yourself why do we not bypass the RAM, and save and process everything as hard data, long term data. ( Again hard data is then saved to the Hard Drive. ) There is an important reason why. It can cause the device to overheat, to get corrupt quicker, and takes longer to access or process the data.

This is why electronic devices cannot bypass the RAM. If we did then it would slow down the device and the device would not respond as fast or able to gather data quickly. The major purpose of the RAM is providing a quick read and a quick access to write to the storage data there. This is why you can think of RAM’s data storage as short memory storage or soft data. The stored data is used for short term in processing information, as data from there is passed onto the Hard Drive. Data in the Hard Drive saves the information for long-term usage, long memory storage or hard data. In which, hard data takes up permanent storage space and processing power to access, and the data can be accessed at a later time.

Thus, when powering off a device the RAM data will be lost, but the Hard Drive will not.

RAM is plugged into the motherboard. Typically, in computers there RAM can easily be found by locating certain slots on the motherboard. Slots are called, memory module slots. To find the slots you must look for small hinges that lock the RAM in place. A RAM will look like a short ruler/stick. On the memory module bottom there one or two notches to guide the RAM into place. Normally, gold-plated, connectors, will help align the RAM.

There are different types of RAM and combinations. Each motherboard has different specs matching different ones. Making only certain RAMs compatible. It is best to check the specs on the motherboard’s manufacturer for that reason. Definitely, before buying or replacing a RAM it is best to go over the products. Because there are different capacities and variations memory modules come in.

That is why certain sizes can only be installed in certain slots. That is also why memory modules ranged from 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB, 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, and 16+ GB sizes and etc.

Data measurements are MB and GB. It is important to know the difference between MB and GB. In short MB is less than GB. Again, the amount of RAM or number of RAM needed will vary depending on the device, such as Gaming Computers need higher measurement than a Notebook.

That because one needs more memory to process what is going on. A gaming computer needs more RAM and better Hard Drive, as lesser devices will not. Again, different specs on any devices will influence the capability.

Rule of thumb check the manufacturer specs, the system requirements, and all components, and compared to the intent you need the device for. Asking yourself a question while examining can help determine what you are looking at, “Are you going to be heavy on 3D graphics or just need to access documents and websites?”

The speed of any device is not limited just by the RAM. There are other components to look at: Processor, Hard Drive, and such. Devices with high-end components but little RAM will affect the overall performance. Yet, it is true more RAM is excellent but will not be significant when the CPU is slow.

Troubleshooting RAM issues is a discussion in itself. Another post for another time. For now you have learned, what RAM is: Random Access Memory, is short term memory that does not save when a device is turned off, but help access the current files quickly to read and write.

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