What Is RAM?
Browse articles:
Auto Beauty Business Culture Dieting DIY Events Fashion Finance Food Freelancing Gardening Health Hobbies Home Internet Jobs Law Local Media Men's Health Mobile Nutrition Parenting Pets Pregnancy Products Psychology Real Estate Relationships Science Seniors Sports Technology Travel Wellness Women's Health
Browse companies:
Automotive Crafts & Gifts Department Stores Electronics Fashion Food & Drink Health & Beauty Home & Garden Online Services Sports & Outdoors Subscription Boxes Toys, Kids & Baby Travel & Events

What Is RAM?

What is RAM (Random Access Memory)? What are the different types of RAM? How can I spot RAM slots in the motherboard? What do I need to look for before I buy my RAM? What is the capacity of a RAM module and what is the RAM capacity of a computer? Differences between SRAM and DRAM.

RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is the working memory of a computer. The more RAM a computer has, the more work can be done in the same time. Of course, that has a big effect on the overall computer performance.

Ram is also reffered as memory, even though it is not the only memory inside a computer. Each motherboard and each operating software can support only a certain amount of RAM. So if you want to increase your RAM, you need to check these aspects before you buy your new memory.

A standard module of RAM is long and thin, like a small ruler. The bottom part consists of one or more notches. These help you in the installation of the RAM. They are lined with numerous (usually gold) connectors. RAM is installed in the memory slots located on the motherboard. You can spot these slots by looking for hinges that will lock the memory in the correct place. You need to check you motherboard before buying your RAM, as certain sizes of modules need to be installed in the correct slots of the motherboard.

Those modules have various storage capacities. Current RAM is measured in MegaBytes (MB) and GigaBytes (GB). A typical computer may have from 256 MB to 4 or 8 GB of RAM installed and modern memory modules can be found in 128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB, 2 GB or 4 GB.

There are different types of RAM with different features. Memory types are:

  • 30-pin SIMM
  • 72-pin SIMM
  • 168-pin DIMM
  • 184-pin DIMM

where SIMM stands for Single In-line Memory Module and DIMM stands for Dual In-line Memory Module. The difference is the packaging of memory chips in the module. Within each type there are different capacities, speeds and architecture, which means that even though they may fit in the same motherboard slot, some might not work correctly if the motherboard can't handle them.

RAM is also categorised in Dynamic (DRAM) and Static (SRAM). DRAM is the most common type of RAM. This type is called dynamic because storage cells must be refreshed every few milliseconds. On the other hand, static RAM retains its contents by having a constant source of power applied at all times.

SRAM is faster and less energy-consuming than DRAM, however it is more expensive. DRAM can however store more content than SRAM, which means that DRAM has a bigger density than SRAM.

Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
in Hardware Engineering & Design on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Hardware Engineering & Design?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (2)

You enlightened me on this matter.

Random Access Memory or RAM is one of the most important parts of the computer hardware. It is the computer hardware part that defines the response speed of the entire computer system. Thank you for sharing this wonderful and excellently writte content, keep it up! (LIKED and SHARED)