Meaning: RAM stands for Random Access Memory or random access memory in Spanish.
Definition: RAM memory is a type of memory that allows storing and/or extracting information (Read/Write), accessing it randomly; that is, it can access any point or address of the same and at any time (not sequential). RAM is considered “random access” memory because any memory cell can be accessed directly if you know the row and column that intersect a cell.
RAM is the place where the operating system temporarily places the applications and data used to be quickly accessed by the computer’s processor. RAM is faster to read and write than other types of storage. However, the data in RAM exists only while the computer is running, when you turn off the computer, the data is lost. When you turn on the computer, the operating system and other files are loaded into RAM, usually from the hard drive.
RAM memory can be compared to a person’s short-term memory and the hard drive to a long-term memory. Short-term memory is like handiwork, but it can only hold information that is being used. If short-term memory becomes full, your brain is sometimes able to update it on events stored in long-term memory. A team also works this way. If RAM becomes full, the processor continuously accesses the disk to overlay old data in RAM with new ones, which slows down the computer’s performance. Unlike a hard drive that can become so full of information that it won’t accept any more, RAM never runs out of memory. It keeps running, but much more slowly than you might want it to.
RAM memory size
RAM is small both in physical size (microchips) and in its storage capacity. A typical computer may come with 256 million bytes of RAM and a hard drive holds 40 billion bytes. RAM memory comes in the form of microchips or in the form of modules that plug into slots on a motherboard. Most personal computers are designed to be able to add additional RAM modules up to a certain limit. Having more RAM in the computer reduces the times that the computer’s processor has to read the data from where it is stored.
Types of RAM
There are two basic types of RAM:
- Dynamic RAM (DRAM)
- Static RAM (SRAM)
Dynamic RAM (DRAM)
Personal computers (PCs) use dynamic RAM. All DIMM, SIMM, or RIMM dynamic RAM chips refresh every few milliseconds by rewriting data to the module.
Static RAM (SRAM)
It is often used in cache memory and is much faster and does not require refreshing like dynamic RAM. SRAM retains information and is capable of running at higher speeds than DRAM. Most volatile memory is dynamic RAM, since it uses a single transistor and storage capacitor for each bit.
Difference Between DRAM and SRAM
The two types of RAM differ in the technology used to store information, with dynamic RAM being the most common. Dynamic RAM needs to be updated thousands of times per second, while static RAM does not need to be updated, SRAM is faster, but also more expensive. Both types of RAM memory are volatile, that is, they lose their contents when the computer is turned off. DRAM memories are cheaper than SRAM, it is common to see PC manufacturers use DRAM.