RAM, What is it and What Does it Do?

Today I’m going to explain what RAM is and hopefully clear up some misconceptions about it. Maybe you’ve heard of RAM or you are are just hearing about it for the first time.  Well have no fear, I’m going to walk you through the basics of what RAM is.

Your desktop computers, laptops, tablets and phones all require what is known as RAM.  RAM stands for “Random Access Memory”.  Your devices random access memory acts as a temporary storage for recently used applications and other processes.  Because these applications and processes are stored in the RAM, the applications and processes are able to be reached faster by the computer.

RAM is a type of hardware meaning it is a physical component inside the computer.  RAM cannot be downloaded as it is hardware not software.

If you look below you will see an example of RAM, specifically DDR3 SDRAM.

DDR3 SDRAM is commonly found in modern desktop computers or gaming consoles.  The acronym DDR3 stands for “Double Data Rate 3rd generation”.  The acronym SDRAM stands for “Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory”.  This is but one type of RAM; there are multiple other types of RAM for your laptop or your phone.

Different types of RAM have different memory speeds and different amounts of connector pins. In order to add more RAM to a computer you must know how many connector pins are on the RAM stick.  You must also know the memory speed of the RAM because you need to know the maximum speed that it will function at.  The memory speed of RAM is measured in MHz or Megahertz.  There is a lot to know about RAM and how it works. I hope that this has helped you to better understand the functions of RAM and maybe to clarify some misconceptions about it.

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