RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is a type of memory that computers use to store data temporarily. It can be read from and written to. RAM allows the computer to access programs and files without using a storage device such as a hard drive or optical disk. Data in RAM will remain there even if you turn off your computer, but it will be lost when you turn off your computer. If your machine is very low on RAM, it will start to use the virtual memory of the hard drive as a second option.
This is because RAM can only store data while the machine is turned on. If your RAM would fail then it will also cause permanent damage to your system in some cases.
RAM refers to the small amount of memory that your computer uses to store data, ultimately allowing you to open files and programs much faster than your hard drive can. You might hear RAM disks or virtual memory used in reference to this temporary storage space. The more RAM you have, the more efficiently your operating system will run — but not always. It’s important to know that you can’t install more RAM than your computer supports, though.
The amount of memory you need depends on what tasks you’re using your computer for. The two most common uses are gaming and multi-tasking. It’s difficult to find recommendations online since they vary based on what you’re doing. If you’re not sure, the best option is to check with your computer manufacturer for help in figuring out how much RAM you need.
There are three types of RAM – SRAM, DRAM and VRAM. There are some technical differences between them but they are broadly divided into two categories-static and dynamic.
Static RAM (SRAM) is relatively expensive, but very fast so it is mainly used in microprocessors’ cache memory. It doesn’t need a constant supply of power to maintain the stored information, so SRAM is often used where speed or accuracy are critical factors in a computer’s operations.
Dynamic RAM (DRAM) is the most common type of memory used in a personal computer. It needs to be constantly refreshed or it will lose its contents, but it consumes less power and is significantly cheaper than SRAM.
Error-correcting code RAM (ECC RAM) can detect and correct errors that may occur during data storage due to alpha particles, which are a product of radioactive decay, and cosmic rays.
VRAM (Video RAM) is essentially faster DRAM. It’s designed specifically for capturing video images from a graphics card and displaying them on a monitor. This type of memory has the ability to retain an image for a short period of time without additional power or refresh cycles, which makes it ideal for displaying images on a screen.
Types Of RAM In DDR Term
There are several types of RAM currently in use: DDR, DDR2, DDR3 and GDDR5. Other types such as RDRAM and XDR DRAM were also used at one point but they have since been discontinued. For the purposes of this guide we will focus on the most common types of RAM:
DDR (Double Data Rate) RAM is now considered to be obsolete and was used in legacy motherboards. It uses lower clock speeds than newer technologies but provides faster data transfer rates, which can lead to better performance when transferring data between system components such as the CPU and motherboard.
DDR2 RAM is essentially obsolete and was replaced by DDR3 RAM. It has been discontinued by most major memory manufacturers and modern motherboards don’t support it.
DDR3 RAM is the current generation of desktop computer memory, which doubles (hence its name) the internal clock rate while cutting power consumption in half. It’s compatible with both legacy and newer motherboards and it runs on a lower voltage than DDR2 RAM.
DDR4 is the newest generation of Double Data Rate computer memory. It has been available since 2012 and it offers improved performance, smaller power consumption and greater memory capacity at a higher cost compared to previous versions of DDR RAM.
GDDR5 is a type of graphics card memory designed specifically for video games. It is similar to DDR3 in many ways but offers a dramatic increase in processing speeds and memory bandwidths, which makes it ideal for large amounts of data that need to be quickly transferred between the CPU and graphics card. GDDR5 usually runs on a lower voltage than standard DRAM to save energy.
RAM capacity is measured in gigabytes (GB) and its size is determined by several factors, mainly the motherboard’s specifications and which version of DDR RAM is being used. Older computers may have a maximum capacity of around 512MB but newer systems can hold several times that amount.
It should be noted that the term ‘gigabyte’ was adopted by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in 1998. At this point, the traditional definition of a GB was 1,000,000,000 bytes or 10^9 bytes. In deference to that standard memory, manufacturers began calling 1GB = 2^30 bytes which is one billion bytes instead of two billion bytes as it should be.
Of course, there’s no difference between 1GB and 2GB from the user’s perspective – they both provide a total of 1024MB. With that in mind, it can be said that comparing two modern computer systems with different amounts of RAM has become somewhat problematic since the new definition is technically twice as big. In order to avoid confusion, all GBs are now converted to 1GB = 10^9 bytes which is equal to 1,073,741,824 bytes.
RAM speed (aka frequency) is measured in MegaHertz (MHz) and it’s determined by the length of time it takes for each memory chip to complete one clock cycle. For example, a memory chip that operates at 100MHz completes 100,000,000 cycles every second. This measurement is relevant because the CPU doesn’t really work directly with individual bytes of data (it deals in bits and larger chunks such as words and doublewords) – it moves information between components according to signals transmitted by the RAM controller which relies on fast memory speeds. This means that the CPU’s data throughput rate is directly proportional to memory clock speed; doubling it theoretically doubles the CPU’s performance, although this will vary depending on other factors.
A regular DDR3 RAM module can operate at frequencies between 800MHz and 3200MHz (3.2GHz). The actual speed of any given chip or module can be calculated by multiplying its clock speed with the ‘width’ of its data bus (it’s important to note that the “rate” is independent of clock speed). For example, a stick of DDR3-1066 RAM has an effective memory bandwidth of 10.6GB/s since it runs on a 256-bit bus and it has a clock speed of 800MHz.
Typically memory modules are grouped together to form RAM banks which have an impact on total bandwidth. For example, 8GB of DDR3-1333 has a peak bandwidth of 12.8GB/s, but two sticks operating at this frequency will yield double that amount because they can be accessed by the CPU simultaneously.