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What is a RAM in computing?

Every computer has some hardware and software which cause it to tick. The RAM, or random access memory, is an essential part of any computing system. But what is RAM and how does it work?

Volatile memory, the RAM is one of the most frequently used types of volatile memories in computing. Compared to traditional hard drives or solid-state drives, in which information is stored permanently, RAM clears out when the data has been discarded. In other words, the computer can quickly fetch and accept data by demand so as to enhance its performance.

The term random access memory refers to the way data is stored by a computer. Unlike other storage devices, such as recorders or cartridge readers, all RAM memory locations can be reached in any order; data need not be read sequentially. This allows the computer to quickly sort and rearrange data.

One of the most important factors affecting a computer’s performance, RAM is usually measured in gigabytes (GB). A computer with the most RAM will be able to run more programs concurrently, and switch between them faster. But that would be a waste of too much RAM, as no computer that is not memory-intensive will run faster.

Different types of RAM are being sold on the market. DDR,DDR2 etc. These categories offer different speeds and performance levels, which affect a computer’s total efficiency as well as its power consumption. To ensure maximum performance and to avoid compatibility problems, one must select the appropriate type of RAM for motherboard demands as well as processor models. In addition, the RAM must be properly placed without any dust or dirt on it for fear of ruination. The right type of RAM allows one to use the computer without waiting, switching between tasks on a whim or reading applications that take up large amounts in memory.

RAM, in short is an unavoidable element of all modern computer systems. Whether you’re building a PC for gaming or business, how RAM works and what effect it has on performance is something all builders should understand. So when next you power on your computer take a minute to think about the super-complexity of its architecture, and perhaps RAM’s place in it.