What is RAM (Random Access Memory)?
Random access memory (RAM) is a type of data storage used in computers that is generally located on the motherboard. This type of memory is volatile and all information that was stored in RAM is lost when the computer is turned off.
The purpose of RAM is to provide quick read and write access to a storage device. Your computer uses RAM to load data because it’s much quicker than running that same data directly off of a hard drive.
RAM is typically referred to simply as “memory” even though other types of memory may exist inside a computer. RAM, which is the focus of this article, has nothing at all to do with the amount of file storage a hard drive has, even though the two are often incorrectly interchanged with each other in conversation. For example, 4 GB of memory (RAM) isn’t the same thing as 4 GB of hard drive space.
Normally, devices with RAM also have another type of storage memory (flash memory or a hard drive) that stores the information while the power is off. Devices with more RAM can run more complex software and multiple applications at the same time.
Types of RAM
- Static RAM (SRAM): is volatile memory and is often used in cache memory and registers because it is a lot faster and does not require refreshing
- Dynamic RAM (DRAM): is memory that needs refreshing. The refreshing is done by the memory controller which is part of the chipset on the motherboard.
See also: ROM (Read-Only Memory)