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    You are at: Home >> what-exactly-ram

    What Exactly is Ram?

    To start, there are three key components that can define the performance of your computer; the processor (CPU), the storage drive (HDD or SSD), and memory (RAM). For any operation to run smoothly, all these elements should have the appropriate specifications. You may have the newest CPU and the fastest SSD, but with low or even slow sized RAM you are going to lose all benefits those new technologies are able to give you. So now you are wondering, what exactly is RAM? 


    How does it have such a dramatic influence on a device’s overall performance? What should you look for when buying a new computer, or even looking for an upgrade? Random Access Memory, known simply as RAM, is the component that holds all the data your computer is using at any given time – the operating system and any applications that you start. Random Access means it can read and write data items in almost the same amount of time irrespective of the physical location of data inside the memory. 

    This makes RAM about a hundred times faster than even the fastest SSD or hard drive, but it limits the amount of data this memory can hold, compared to the main storage device. RAM is also a volatile type of memory, which can only store data if the computer is running. When the device is turned off, this component gets emptied. Think of it as your computer’s short-term memory, whereas the hard drive or the solid-state drive are more like the long-term memory. But how do these two memory types work together? Why do we need both in a computer? Well, as mentioned previously, RAM works alongside the processor and storage drive, where all your programs and files are located. 

    When you want to perform some task, let’s say edit a document – the processor transfers the program data of your file from the storage drive to RAM for short-term access and use. Because RAM is so much faster than an SSD, the results of any actions you perform in each application should appear instantly (of course depending on the program, and RAM specs, but we’ll get to that a bit later).
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