The role of RAM in the PC and how to choose

RAM Allows various processes to access PC data temporarily and quickly. It’s located between the processor and the solid-state drive or hard drive , depending on what kind of internal storage you have for data. The processor will start requesting the data stored on the hard drive. Data related to the operating system, various other drivers, etc. This data is then moved to RAM. This is done because the speed of RAM is considerably faster than any SSD or HDD.

What is the role of RAM in a PC?

RAM or Random Access Memory stores information temporarily so that processing units like CPU and GPU can access the data at high speed. Indeed, in a few nanoseconds, the data can be consulted and calculated. It’s similar to short-term memory for humans, but for PCs. On the other hand, HDDs and SSDs are like long term and more permanent memory. They are also much slower in comparison. Even though it is called Random Access Memory, the term Random which means random is not very precise. On the contrary, the information is stored in a very organized way in the RAM modules. The random factor enters mainly when talking about the time and the order in which the data is accessed, because the latter does not matter. It is very important to choose a good quality and large size RAM. Indeed, as soon as the random access memory is full, the processing units will process the information located on the hard disks. This makes the whole process much slower. RAM is therefore a very important component of the PC.

How much PC RAM to choose?

The size of volatile space in RAM is expressed in gigabytes. The more RAM available, the better the system will run. However, the operating system cannot use more than 3 GB of RAM if it is running on 32 bits. Indeed, there is no specific amount of RAM to obtain. It mainly depends on how you use your PC. Whether it’s running streaming software, gaming on PC, doing office work, or making digital art. Choose the right sizecan be overwhelming, but there are a few general guidelines to consider. If the purpose of using the pc is to do office work, 4 GB is enough. But, if you plan to multi-task, opting for 8GB will provide a much smoother working experience. 16 GB should be enough for gamers without a problem. Games with open worlds are usually very demanding in terms of RAM. You can opt for 32 GB, if the slightest problem during the game is a decisive factor for you. Especially if you want to push graphics card ray-tracing technology to its limits. Such amount of RAM can also be perfect if you want to run virtual machines on your PC.

The different evolutions of PC RAM

It is good to understand that there is not only one type of information memory. There are actually many types. RAM is just one of them. ROM, also called Read-Only Memory, has long been considered the opposite. It is a ROM because it is related to non-volatile actions. Although this term is only invoked to talk about retro gaming , or the old days of computing. It is largely forgotten these days. There are also other variants of RAM such as SRAM and DRAM . It was in 2002 that the development of DDR SDRAM began using Intel’s Northwood architecture. Here are the evolutions that this type of RAM has known since its creation:

  • DDR2-SDRAM;
  • DDR3-SDRAM;
  • DDR4-SDRAM.

DDR2 is the next generation from DDR. It has the same frequency as DDR but its bus frequency is doubled, which theoretically makes it twice as fast. DDR3 which hit the market in 2007, operates at twice the speed at which DDR2 operates. Last but not least is the DDR4 type, this type was released in 2014, and as expected, it is twice the speed of its predecessor.

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