We all know that RAM memory is one of the fundamental characteristics in computing, which determines the operation of our device. It is always better, it seems, that our computer, mobile phone, printer or console has more capacity in this specification. But why? We explain it to you and give you a series of recommendations depending on the use you want to give your device.
Like almost all computer terms, RAM is an acronym in English. Specifically, they are the initials of Random Access Memory or, what is the same, Random Access Memory . This type of memory is responsible for storing data and instructions temporarily, while the computer is on.
What is RAM used for?
RAM is a necessary companion to optimize the speed of the device. Our mobile, tablet or computer would take much longer to execute the actions that we order if it did not have it, since the hard drive would be the only one in charge of doing it.
Of course, all hardware influences the performance of our device, not just RAM. Other components, such as the processor, which is the heart of the devices , have a determining influence on their operation and speed.
But let’s focus on RAM. Specifically, it deals with storing those instructions that the CPU or Central Processing Unit must execute. Its use is essential to be able to run various programs or applications at the same time and fluently and for essential aspects in daily work with the device, such as the use of the mouse or the graphical environment.
But the interest of all these technical explanations can be summed up in one question. How important is it to have more RAM memory for the optimal functioning of our device? We answer it very clearly: it is very important.
The speed of browsing on your mobile or computer is directly related to the amount of RAM you have and the fluidity of the use of applications as well. Surely it has ever happened to you that a program or application is blocked because you have several open. One of the possible causes is that you need more RAM.
Two types of RAM memories
Let’s physically meet our beloved RAM. There isn’t one. The difference in sizes between the devices and their use determines that there are two types:
- SIMM RAM Memory : These are called Dual Inline Memory Modules . It is the most conventional memory, the one included in traditional desktop computers, and they have holes at the ends for the connector.
- SODIMM RAM memory : so-called Dual Inline Memory Modules . They are mostly found on laptops, but also on printers or netbooks. It is smaller in size to fit the smaller dimensions of these devices.
How much RAM do I need for the most common tasks
We come to the crucial point, to pragmatism, to know what kind of memory we need. We already know that having little RAM memory can negatively determine the performance of our devices. But each of us has some needs, so we briefly explain how much memory you need for the most common computer uses .
- 2 GB of RAM : The operation of your device will be quite basic . The increased needs of new programs and applications makes it recommended that you choose a higher RAM. Now, if what you want is simply to surf the Internet, you don’t need to enter several pages at the same time, and, above all, you use your computer mainly to write in some word processor , it will probably be enough for you.
- 4 GB of RAM : with this capacity we can navigate through several tabs at the same time without fear of being blocked, work with documents of moderate complexity and make use of multimedia content.
- 8 GB of RAM : in this case we can make much more intense use of our computer. We will be able to play games, although probably not the most demanding, work with all kinds of documents and run multitasking content.
- 16 GB of RAM – If you’re an architect, graphic designer, or regularly work with photos and videos, you need 16 GB. Also the most demanding development and graphics games recommend this memory. Let’s take a current example: the brand new Age of Empires III needs these 16 GB.
How to know how much RAM memory our computer has
It is likely that you do not know or do not remember how much RAM your phone or computer has. It is very easy to get that information .
If it is a computer, all you have to do is go into the Settings of your device, in the About section . There you will find the information you are looking for.
If what you want is to know the RAM of your mobile, in Settings you will notice that there is a bar that serves as a search engine. Put the word RAM there and it will take you to the section that tells you the data you need.
How does RAM affect
If you have limited RAM , it is likely that at some point you have noticed that certain applications slow down, that they work like jerks. However, the programs or apps you use may not require more RAM than you have. Why does this happen?
In principle, what happens is that the RAM has been filled and the device has to carry out an emptying and subsequent filling process that entangles the use of our equipment.
To avoid these annoying situations, our recommendation is that you buy devices with a RAM memory greater than what you initially need in the programs you use the most. That is the best guarantee to avoid interruptions that go against the development of your work.
In addition, it must be taken into account that in these situations, it is the processor that must take on the responsibility of starting these work cycles that, with a greater RAM memory, would not correspond to it.
Chrome, a voracious consumer of RAM
The consumption of RAM memory by browsers is one of the main problems that we encounter when we have a limited amount. But one of them takes the cake: Chrome, which consumes up to 1.4 TB of RAM by opening 6,000 tabs .
It is evident that hardly any of us are going to open 6,000 windows in Chrome. But what was meant by this experiment carried out by a Twitter user is that the consumption of RAM when opening Internet pages is very important. Therefore, if you work with demanding programs and your navigation through different Internet pages is constant, we recommend that you bet on a large amount of RAM .
Knowing that this consumption represents a significant limitation in the navigation of many users, in one of its latest updates Chrome has made a commitment to reduce RAM consumption in Windows 10 .
Symptoms that our RAM fails
Like any hardware product, it is likely that the RAM will begin to fail , which will significantly affect the operation of our equipment. And since the best way to prevent disaster is to know the symptoms, here we point out the main signs that our RAM memory is not in good health.
- When we launch games or applications, blue screens appear on our computer.
- When we try to access some files on the hard drive, the system tells us that they are corrupted and does not allow us to access them.
- When turning on the computer, it makes some strange noises , a kind of beeps.
- We often have to restart the computer because it slows down noticeably when it has been on for a while.
One of the main causes of RAM failure is that it is dirty . Dust and humidity greatly affect its operation, which is why they are usually the main reasons for such failures.
If you have some knowledge of computer hardware, there is a chance you can clean the component yourself. To do this, you must turn off your computer, open the computer, remove the RAM, clean it thoroughly and carefully replace it.
To do the cleaning, it is best to do it with a specific electronic contact cleaner . To do this, it is best to spread this product on a microfiber cloth that does not leave traces on the memory.
It is very important that you spend time cleaning. This must be very detailed and careful to achieve the expected result and prevent us from damaging any delicate component. When finished, blow carefully to remove any dust particles that may have lodged in the RAM memory during the intervention.
Once you have done this process, restart your computer and check if the errors that it suffered before have been solved. If not, it is most likely a microcomputer failure and you should take the equipment to the technical service.
As you can see, RAM has a significant influence on your device. Optimizes the speed and ability to multitask and use different applications at the same time. The recommendations are, therefore, very different if you need your computer or mobile simply to work on Word or if what you want is to enjoy the most powerful games on the market.