What is computer memory (RAM) and what does it do?
Not sure exactly what computer memory is for or how it works? We cover all the bases, from what RAM is to how it works and why it’s worth upgrading.
Why is computer memory (RAM) important?
Computer random access memory (RAM) is one of the most important components in determining the performance of your system.
RAM provides applications with a place to store and access data on a short-term basis.
It stores information actively used by your computer so that it can be accessed quickly.
The more programs your system has, the more you will need. Solid state drives (SSDs) are also important components and will help your system reach its peak performance.
The speed and performance of your system is directly related to the amount of random access memory (RAM) you have installed.
If your system has very little RAM, it may be sluggish and sluggish. But on the other extreme, you can install a lot with little or no additional benefits.
There are ways to find out if your computer needs more memory, and to make sure that you buy memory that is compatible with the other components in your system.
Generally, components are built to the highest standard at the time of manufacture, but with the expectation that technology will continue to change.
To prevent users from inserting incompatible memory, the modules differ materially for each generation of memory technologies.
These physical differences are standard across the memory industry. One reason for memory standardization at the industry level is that computer makers need to know the electrical parameters and physical form of memory that can be installed in their computers.
What is the RAM speed and latency?
RAM performance revolves around the relationship between speed and latency. While the two are closely related, they are not related in the way you might think.
At the most basic level, latency refers to the time delay between the time the command is entered and the time the data is available.
Understanding the speed and response time of the RAM will help you to choose the best suitable RAM to install in your system based on your needs.
What does RAM (memory) do?
RAM allows your computer to perform many of its daily tasks, such as loading applications, surfing the Internet, editing a spreadsheet,
or trying the latest game. Memory also allows you to quickly switch between these tasks, remembering where you are in one task when you switch to another.
As a general rule, the more memory you have, the better.
When you turn on your computer and open a spreadsheet to edit, but first check your email, you’ll have used memory in many different ways.
Memory is used to load and run applications, such as a spreadsheet program, to respond to commands, such as any modifications you made to a spreadsheet,
or to switch between multiple programs, such as when you left your spreadsheet to check email. Memory is always actively used by your computer.
If your system is slow or unresponsive, you may need to upgrade the memory. If you think you might need more memory, it’s easy to upgrade your desktop or laptop RAM yourself.
In a way, memory is like your desk. It allows you to work on a variety of projects, and the larger your desk, the more papers, folders, and tasks you can do at one time.
You can access information quickly and easily without going to the filing cabinet (your storage drive). When you finish a project, or leave for the day, you can put some or all of the projects in the filing cabinet for safekeeping.
A storage drive (hard drive or solid state drive) is the filing cabinet that works with your desk to keep track of your projects.
What uses RAM?
Random access memory (RAM) is used to store information that needs to be used quickly.
This means that opening many programs, running different processes, or accessing multiple files at once is likely to use a lot of RAM.
Especially complex programs such as games or design programs will use most of the RAM.
Do you need to upgrade your RAM?
Whether you’re a gamer, designer, or just looking to speed up your PC, upgrading your RAM is a simple and easy way to boost your system’s performance.
To select the right type of memory for your computer, use Crucial® Advisor™ or a system scanner.
These tools will help you determine which memory modules are compatible with your computer, along with options for speed and budget requirements.