Different types of
Computer Memory
(RAM)

 

What is RAM?

 
  • RAM stands for Random Access Memory
  • It's a form of computer data storage
  • It acts as a sort of buffer between your hard drive and your CPU - resulting in:
    - Speeding up your computer, because hard drives can deal with extremely large blocks of data but they can't switch around different sectors e.g. reading and writing
    - If your CPU had to process data directly on the hard drive, there would be a massive bottleneck, the RAM helps solves this problem.
 

What types of RAM are there?

There are two main forms of modern RAM:

  • Static RAM (SRAM)

    - Is more expensive to product than DRAM
    - It's generally faster than DRAM
    - It requires less power than DRAM



  • Dynamic RAM (DRAM)

    - Most computers use this as their main form of RAM
    - It tends to be cheaper than SRAM but it is slower
    - Requires quite a bit of power to run

 

SRAM vs DRAM

  SRAM DRAM
Speed Access time of around 10 nanoseconds Access time of around 60 nanoseconds
Capacity SRAM needs 6 transistors
There is less memory per chip
Needs a transistor and a capacitor for every bit of data
Can have up to 6 times more capacity than SRAM
Power Comsumption Uses very little power except when used in more resource demanding applications Must be refreshed regularly and therefore uses more power
Price Generally more expensive to produce and is generally used for cache memory Cheaper alternative and is mainly used in main memory
 

How much RAM do I need?

Let's take a look at what different levels of RAM can offer:

  • Offers a balance of cost and performance
  • Enough for everyday computing - such as browsing the web, word processing and for some games

  • More suitable for resource demanding tools - including photoshop
  • Offers better performance for playing games

  • Offers an optimum experience when playing more resource demanding games
  • Great performance for resource demanding applications - including 3D modelling and photoshop

  • Excellent experience when playing the very latest resource demanding games - especially when coupled with a fast processor and dedicated graphics card
  • Perfect for resource demanding applications - including 3D modelling and photoshop
 

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