What is RAM, what is the function of RAM, what types of RAM are there and how does RAM work… Well, all of the above questions will be explained in the simplest and easiest way in this article.
Definition of RAM is probably already mentioned by many websites. However, you may find it a bit confusing and not fully informed.
So, I made this article by describing the operation of RAM in the simplest way. Help anyone who read through the first time can understand immediately.
I have a summary at the end of the article, so if you “get lost” or can’t keep up, you can look back to read it. Enough introduction, right now, please join me to find out what RAM is.
I. What is RAM?
RAM (Random Access Memory) is a computer hardware device that allows to store and retrieve data in a short time (temporary memory).
Accessing data is done at random (Random) instead of sequentially like on CD, HHD, so it will give a faster speed.
The data stored in RAM will be deleted every time you shut down your computer or perform a cleaning command on your computer’s RAM. The larger the amount of RAM, the more information is processed at the same time, and the faster the computer will run.
#first. Why does the computer need RAM?
Simply put, every device needs memory to function. However, the hard drive (internal, external) communicates with the CPU via the IDE port.
The speed will be slower than the connection of RAM, which is directly attached to the motherboard. In addition, accessing the hard drive will also take longer because it uses a sequential instead of random like RAM.
To better understand sequential and random access, I will have a more detailed explanation. Here, I will simplify it as follows.
With sequence, it is like queuing up. If you are at the bottom of the 10 people. It must be done by each person to turn to the next person.
Then it takes 1 person’s time to multiply by 9 before you reach your destination. Incidentally, the manager will choose any person he wants in a long line. So the time will be much shorter.
#2. Is there any limit to RAM?
Yes – of course! RAM has its own limits, as is with the combined components (Maiboard, 32bit operating system – 64bit). RAM itself also has limits on capacity, access speed, and lifespan.
In addition, each system limits RAM to one type. For example, when you use 32-bit Windows you can only use up to 3.4 GB RAM, no matter how much RAM you have.
This number is also limited by the operating system when the Windows Starter version only allows up to 8 GB of RAM while the Ultimate version will be 192 GB. Not to mention that different motherboards have a different RAM limit.
II. What types of RAM are there, RAM classification?
Although small, but there are many different types of RAM, we can ignore the classification of RAM by capacity. Only focus on the taxonomies that you will need when building your computer.
#first. Sort RAM by shape
Thanks to the layout of the RAM slot and the number of contacts (battery), RAM is classified into 3 main categories as follows.
DIMM and SIMM are two popular types on desktop computers, SO-DIMM is used on laptops because of its compactness.
#2. Classification of RAM by function
2.1. SRAM (Solid RAM)
Has extremely high access speed, saves electricity. However, the current maximum small capacity is only 64 MB and is used as temporary memory for the CPU.
2.2. DRAM (Dynamic RAM)
Has lower access speed when compared to SRAM, large size, more power consuming. Large capacity, now can be up to 1 TB and is the RAM that you are using.
# 3. Sort RAM by version
There are two main types of RAM, if classified by version
- SDRAM commonly used in the past. It’s hard to find these days because of the slow processing speed. Generally outdated.
- DDR SDRAM or referred to as DDR RAM is the most commonly used and produced ram. DDR RAM is an improvement by providing twice the access speed. Each new version of DDR RAM delivers dramatically improved speeds.
You can see the chart below to know more about the difference between SDRAM and DDR RAM.
III. Explain the function of RAM in the simplest sense
Once the computer is booted up, the RAM will be empty. However, in order to boot the operating system, data about it must be copied to RAM. The job now belongs to the BIOS – the first software that boots the computer.
The BIOS will look in the hard drive (HDD, SSD, USB, …) data about the computer’s operating system, then put them in RAM. After the process is completed, the operating system’s boot screen will appear.
At this point, the operating system will replace the BIOS. Depending on the operation that the user enters, these data will be temporarily stored in RAM => then Ram will gradually push the input data to the CPU to process.
For example, you open a Word file and do your edits. The content of the file will be transferred from the hard drive to RAM => and the RAM will be pushed to the CPU to process.
Now you can add, delete, and edit anything. End the process when you press Save file, the same time RAM will push data back to the hard drive for long-term storage.
Yes, and when more data is stored in RAM, its memory runs out. Until a certain limit, some old memory will be deleted to replace new memory.
If you want to access the contents of the old memory again, the RAM will also empty and retrieve data from the hard drive into RAM. The waiting time in this process is called the software reload time.
The larger the amount of RAM, the more data is stored at the same time, which means the shorter the waiting time. Also that means the more RAM the computer will run more multitasking (do many things at the same time).
IV. How to choose the right RAM
To choose a suitable RAM stick, you can base it on the following criteria: Current computer brand, cost, use and configuration.
- Trademark: There are many famous brands of RAM and good quality such as Sandisk, Kingston, Transcend, Samsung, …
- Demand: If you are a basic user then start with 4GB of RAM. The demand is higher when watching movies and playing online games, it will increase to 8GB. For users who handle more graphics, 8 – 16 GB is acceptable if there is a separate video card.
- Price: This criterion really depends on the two factors above, there is a cheap company, there are different expensive brands, so you need to consult carefully before implementing. Maybe from 1 – 20 million, RAM has many prices for you to enjoy.
- Current configuration: Another note is that newly purchased RAM should also match your current computer configuration. If your motherboard does not support it, you should not buy it. Or when buying more RAM to pair with old RAM, it is best to buy the same type of medicine or at least the same bus speed. See this article if you intend to upgrade your computer’s RAM!
- Operating system used: Although small but you should also pay attention, if using 32-bit Windows can not use more than 4GB.
For better understanding, please review the article on how to choose an operating system that matches the computer configuration that the Admin shared earlier. There Admin has explained in detail how to best coordinate hardware and software.
Read more great articles about computer RAM;
- Is the computer not getting enough RAM? Why is that?
- What to keep in mind when buying / installing computer RAM?
- [SHARE] Learn more about RAM on a laptop computer
- What is the RAM usage limit on Windows (XP, 7, 8, 10)?
- [Tuts] What is the difference between DDR, DDR 2, DDR 3, DDR 4 …?
Above is my nearly 2000 word article about RAM. Explain what RAM is, what does RAM do and how to choose the most suitable RAM in a simple way.
It can be seen that RAM is an extremely important component for the computer. I will have a summary in the following so that everyone can grasp all information about RAM in the easiest way to understand.
- RAM is temporary memory, it will store all the information you manipulate on your computer, then gradually pushes to the CPU to process. The access speed of RAM is much higher than the hard drive, even with the SSD hard drive. The data in RAM will be deleted every time you restart your computer.
- There are different types of RAM: DIMM, SO-DIMM, DRAM, SRAM, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, DDR5, 4GB, 8GB, …
- Replacement RAM for the hard drive stores data temporarily for the CPU to process. After finishing processing data from RAM will be saved back to the hard drive for long-term storage.
- Select RAM according to the criteria: price, demand, and desired system configuration.
If you have any questions, please comment below this article. See you in the next computer knowledge sharing articles!
CTV: Tran Thanh Binh – techtipsnreview
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Source: What is RAM? The explanation of RAM function is easiest to understand