RAM is a label for Random Access Memory and provides computers with the virtual space they need to manage information and resolve problems while on the go.
You can think of it as a reusable writing paper on which you would write notes, numbers, or drawings with a pencil.
If you run out of space on paper, you get more by erasing what you no longer need; RAM behaves the same way when it needs more space to process temporary information (i.e., run software/programs).
Larger pieces of paper allow you to extract more (and more) ideas at once before deleting them; more RAM inside a computer shares a similar effect.
RAM comes in various forms (i.e., how it physically connects or connects to computer systems), capacities (measured in MB or GB), speeds (measured in MHz or GHz), and architectures.
It is essential to take these and other aspects into account when upgrading a system with RAM, as computer systems (for example, hardware, motherboards) must meet strict compatibility guidelines.
- Older generation computers are unlikely to support the latest types of RAM technology.
- Laptop memory does not fit on desktop computers (and vice versa)
- RAM is not always backward compatible
- The system generally cannot combine and match different types/generations of RAM together.
- Almost all devices that can calculate requires RAM for its smooth operation. Look for your favorite device (for example, smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops, graphing calculators, HDTVs, portable gaming systems, etc.) and look for information on RAM.
Although all of the RAM serves the same purpose, here are several different types of RAM that are commonly used today:
- SRAM – Static random access memory uses several transistors, usually four to six, for each memory cell, but there is no capacitor in each cell. It is primarily used for caching.
- DRAM – Dynamic random access memory has memory cells with paired transistors and capacitors that require constant updating.
- DRAM FPM – Dynamic random access memory in quick page mode was the original form of DRAM. It waits during the localization process for one bit of data per column and row, then reads the bit before moving on to the next bit. The maximum transmission speed in the L2 cache is approximately 176 MB / s.
- EDO DRAM – The dynamic random access memory for extended data output does not wait for all the processing of the first bit before going to the next bit. Once the address of the first set of the bit is found, EDO DRAM starts to search for the next bit. It is roughly five percent faster than FPM. The maximum transfer rate in the L2 cache is around 264 Mbps.
- SDRAM – Synchronous dynamic random access memory uses the concept of burst mode to improve performance significantly. It does this by staying in the row containing the required bit and moving quickly through the columns, reading each part as you go. The idea is that usually, the CPU must run in an arrangement. SDRAM is close to five percent faster than EDO RAM and is the most common form on desktop computers. The maximum transfer rate in the L2 cache is around 528 Mbps.
- DDR SDRAM – Dynamic RAM with synchronous data rate is similar to SDRAM, except that it has a higher bandwidth, which means more top speed. The maximum transmission speed in the L2 cache is approximately 1064 Mbps (for DDR SDRAM 133 MHz).
- RDRAM – Rambus dynamic random access memory has radically departed from the previous DRAM architecture. Designed by Rambus, RDRAM uses a Rambus inline memory module (RIMM) with a size and pin similar to a standard DIMM. RDRAM is so different from using a special high-speed data bus called the Rambus channel. RDRAM memory chips operate in parallel to achieve a data rate of 800 MHz or 1600 Mbps. Because they produce at such intense speeds, they cause much more heat than other types of chips. In order to release excess heat, Rambus chips are equipped with a heat diffuser, which looks like a long thin slice. Just as there are smaller versions of DIMMs, there are also SO-RIMMs, designed for laptops.
- Credit Card Memory – Credit Card Memory is its own standalone DRAM memory module that plugs into a particular slot for use in laptops.
- PCMCIA Memory Card: Another standalone DRAM module for portable computers. These cards are not proprietary and should work with a portable computer whose system bus corresponds to the memory card’s configuration.
- CMOS RAM – CMOS RAM is an expression for the tiny amount of memory that your computer and specific other devices remember on things like hard drive settings. This memory uses a small battery to supply the energy necessary to maintain the content.
- VRAM – VideoRAM, also known as multiport dynamic random access memory (MPDRAM), is a type of RAM used specifically for video adapters or 3D accelerators. The “multiport” part stems from the fact that VRAM generally has two separate access ports instead of one, allowing the CPU and GPU to access RAM simultaneously. VRAM is found on the graphics card and is available in various formats, many of which are proprietary. The amount of VRAM is a decisive factor in the resolution and color depth of the screen. VRAM is also used to store specific descriptive data, such as 3D geometry data and maps. True multiport VRAM is generally expensive, which is why many graphics cards today use SGRAM (Synchronous Graphics RAM). The performance is almost the same, but SGRAM is cheaper.