What Is RAM and What Does It Do?

What Is RAM
What Is RAM

RAM is a critical component of your computer’s hardware; without it, your computer would not function. Continue reading to learn more about what RAM is and how it is used. Then, using a professional PC tuneup tool, free up RAM and clean up other resources on your computer.

What is RAM?

Random-access memory (RAM) is the computer’s temporary storage component (short-term memory). RAM stores all of the data you’re working with right now, from the website you’re on to the mouse movement from one side of the screen to the other.

This article contains:

  • What is RAM?
  • What does RAM do?
  • Why is RAM important?
  • Different types of RAM
  • How much RAM do I need?

You run a lot of processes on your computer whenever you do anything. Your RAM is what allows you to type a sentence, save a document, or play a video game. And doing those jobs is considerably easier (faster) if the data is kept in your computer’s RAM, where it is quickly accessible, rather than the hard disc (SSD or HDD).

You’ll have a lot better understanding of how RAM works to help your computer optimize your work now that you know what RAM is and what it stands for.

What does RAM do?

RAM is where your computer stores the data that allows it to do things like load apps, browse websites and edit documents. Because your computer’s short-term memory is instantly accessible, RAM allows you to open apps and files rapidly. Keeping the information you use frequently close at hand speeds up your computer’s performance.

RAM is designed to cope with small pieces of data at a time as short-term memory. When you click on a link to visit a new website, for example, a series of capacitors and transistors (essentially switches) on the RAM’s circuit board turn on and off, allowing your computer to translate the link into the web page you see.

If you’re working on a document or spreadsheet and want to save it for later, you’ll shift it from your RAM, where it can be found right away, to your hard drive’s long-term storage. In addition, your computer will have to work harder to retrieve data from your hard disc (longer-term memory).

You can access data in any sequence when working with RAM – it’s random access, not sequential access. RAM is directly connected to the motherboard of your computer, providing the quickest possible speeds. Your computer will function better if you have more RAM.

Why is RAM important?

RAM is capable of processing data at breakneck speeds. Because of its capacity to access data at random, you can get to any location in the RAM just as rapidly as you can to any other location. RAM sits on top of the processor, which is why your processor appears to be able to complete tasks very instantly.

RAM is the memory that allows you to do almost anything on your computer. Sure, you can browse your hard drive’s contents and peek through directories and files, but accessing any of those files requires retrieving a copy and loading it into RAM. Data can only be read and written in nanoseconds there.

When you edit a Microsoft Word document, for example, you might believe you’re working deep within your hard drive’s folders. However, in terms of computing, your hard drive is a long way from your desktop.

The information you need is directly in front of your processor thanks to RAM. Imagine you want to read a passage from your favorite book; you could ask a friend to read it to you over the phone (similar to calling on your hard drive), or you could just pick up the book and read it yourself.

Your computer would slow to a crawl if it had to rely exclusively on its hard drive, and its memory would get overburdened attempting to find all the information it needs to do typical tasks.

Different types of RAM

There are two main types of RAM: SRAM and DRAM.


When you edit a Microsoft Word document, for example, you might believe you’re working deep within your hard drive’s folders. However, in terms of computing, your hard drive is a long way from your desktop.

Data is stored in transistors in (static random access memory), which needs (low) power to keep data fresh. Because it does not need to be refreshed, it is called static. SRAM is utilized in cache memory, which are the little files that your processor (CPU) constantly accesses.


Data is stored in capacitors and power is slowly discharged. (dynamic random access memory) That’s why it’s called dynamic: the steady loss of energy means it needs to be recharged on a regular basis in order to function effectively. Electrical charges dissipate when the power is turned off, and the RAM is cleared of data.

SRAM has the advantage of consuming less power and allowing data to be retrieved more quickly. However, manufacturing costs are higher. DRAM has the advantage of being less expensive and having more memory capacity, but it is also slower when accessing data and consumes more power.

SDRAM, which is a subset of DRAM, is another type of RAM. SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM) is a type of RAM that is linked to the system clock of the computer. Memory is brought up to speed by synchronizing it with the system clock.

A sine wave can be used to represent the pulse of the system clock. The SDRAM transfers data at each peak of the wave. DDR (double data rate) is a new technology that allows data to be delivered anytime the “lower” section of the pulse (the valley of the sine wave) passes. Data is transferred twice throughout each clock cycle with DDR, resulting in twice the speed.

During these two data-delivery times, the second generation, DDR2, enables even more data to be delivered. This bandwidth grows with each subsequent generation of DDR. DDR4 is currently supported by the majority of computers. Because of the decreased voltage requirements, each succeeding generation of DDR consumes less power.

What kind of RAM is in my computer?

Because DDR4 RAM is what most computers have these days, you’re probably utilizing it. The tiny little capacitors in that stick of RAM are constantly being filled and recharged with electricity in order to remember every single bit of data.


SRAM requires constant power, but the capacitors inside do not need to be recharged on a regular basis in order for the data to be accessible.


DRAM is a more practical sort of RAM, however, it requires power refreshment to function because it drains energy.


Video RAM is a location where all of your current data is stored while you work with it. VRAM is similar to RAM, except that it is located on your graphics card and is used to store image data. VRAM is ideal for content editors and anyone wishing to speed up their gaming PC by allowing more and better visuals to be loaded.

How much RAM do I need?

The amount of computer RAM you require is determined by the tasks you perform. It’s not only about the processing capability of your machine. Your RAM requirements are determined by how you use your computer. Most computers with 8 GB of RAM will function admirably when browsing the web and editing basic documents such as Word and Excel files.

Unless your machine is quite old, you may easily check the RAM memory on your desktop or laptop computer, which should be between 4 and 8 GB.

Content editors

VRAM is a type of volatile random access memory (video random access memory)
If you use Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, or other media-processing applications, 32 GB will make your editing experience much smoother. Multimedia files might be large, so having more RAM can help you work faster.

As a content writer, you’ll probably have a lot of programs open at once, and the more RAM you have, the more programs you can run at the same time without slowing down.


At least 16 GB of RAM is required for gamers. Grand Theft Auto V is a big game, but it’s also optimized, and you won’t be running any memory-hogging programs while you’re playing it.

When working with multiple large data files at the same time, you’ll require more than 16 GB of RAM. However, because gaming PCs are so flexible, you can always upgrade the RAM if needed.

Should I get more RAM?

More RAM does not automatically mean better performance. RAM is tightly attached to the motherboard of your computer and is already operating at maximum speed. When the number of jobs your computer is handling exceeds the capacity of your RAM, performance issues develop. When this happens, your hard drive is forced to take up the slack, causing your computer to slow down.

If you’ve ever had too many tabs open in Chrome or unintentionally streamed TV episodes while gaming, you’ll understand what it’s like to have your hard drive take over your RAM’s duties.

When to update your RAM

You might have an older Macbook that merely requires a memory upgrade to function properly. You’ll need to inspect the processor and hard disc, but if they’re not obsolete or worn out, a new RAM stick might suffice.

Extra RAM slots are available on PC motherboards, making it simple to power up a sluggish machine. There are many additional options for upgrading RAM on your computer.

Android phones

Android smartphones require more RAM than other smartphones but don’t overspend. With 4 GB, Androids perform admirably.

What’s the difference between RAM, ROM, and general storage?

While RAM (random access memory) is a computer’s short-term memory, ROM (read-only memory) is the special set of instructions required to turn it on. Information is stored in bulk in your computer’s general storage.

You might get RAM and ROM mixed up because their acronyms are so similar. However, these are two distinct types of memory.

ROM data is stored on the motherboard and instructs a computer on how to operate. When you turn on your computer, it’s the first thing it looks for. Because nothing else is available without it, ROM data is the most important data on your computer.

The term “read-only” refers to the fact that ROM can’t be modified. RAM data, on the other hand, is always changing.

How does RAM differ from stored data?

When the power is turned off, non-volatile system storage data will not be lost. This refers to data stored on hard drives and solid-state drives (HDDs and SSDs), as well as folders containing all of your documents. When you save a file, you’re actually sending a copy of it from RAM to your hard drive.

Volatile memory, such as RAM, is always connected to power so that the electrical charge in each memory cell can be recharged as needed. It’s like a leaky bucket, and the leakiness is what allows RAM to work so quickly. Because electricity is always pouring in, RAM doesn’t need to be the most durable, allowing data to be accessed more quickly.

RAM’s faster access is ideal for working with large amounts of data. The amount of RAM storage impacts how many programs and data may be opened at once. We need our computers to respond quickly since we spend so much time multitasking, and not, for example, max out to 100 percent disc use in Windows 10. That is why having enough RAM is critical.

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