RAM Memory: What It Is, What It Is For And How To Check How Much Your Computer Or Mobile Has

RAM memory what it is, what it is for and how to check how much your computer or mobile has

One of the specifications that determines the possibilities and the muscle that your new computer, smartphone, tablet or even game console will have is its RAM. This type of memory is therefore one of the fundamental pillars of computing, and if you don’t know exactly what it is and what it is for, we are going to try to explain it to you today.

We are going to try to make it short and understandable, trying not to go into too many technicalities so that if you don’t understand much about computers you won’t get lost. We will start by telling you what RAM is, and then we will go on to tell you the types that there are and what exactly it is for. So you can understand why, in general, the more your team has, the better it is for you. We will finish by explaining how to look at what your team has in the easiest way possible.

What is RAM

RAM is the main memory of a device, the one where the data of the programs you are using at the moment are temporarily stored. Its acronym means Random Access Memory, which translated into Spanish would be Random Access Memory, and it is a type of memory that you can find in any device, from desktop computers to mobile phones.

RAM has two characteristics that differentiate it from other types of storage. On the one hand, it has enormous speed, and on the other hand, the data is only stored temporarily. This means that every time you restart or turn off your computer, it is normal that the data that is stored in RAM is lost.

Taking into account that RAM is used by the computer or mobile device to manage the data of the applications in operation, the amount that you have directly affects the performance of your device. The more RAM you have, the more applications you will be able to manage at the same time, and hence its importance because if there is not enough, the computer can be slow.

What you usually refer to as RAM when you are talking about it as a physical component is some cards that are connected directly to the motherboard of your computer. These cards have different integrated memory modules that are connected, and in devices such as computers, there are slots to have several of these cards.

In this way, if you want your PC to have 32 GB of RAM, you can have two cards, so that if one breaks, you can continue using the other until you have a replacement. This is in desktop computers and laptops because devices such as mobile phones are not usually able to allow their components to be changed.

What types of RAM are there?

There are two types of RAM. DDR (Double Data Rate) type memories are characterized by being able to carry out two operations in each clock cycle, unlike SDR (Single Data Rate) type memories, which only execute one read or write operation. To make it possible, the DDR chips are activated twice in each cycle of the clock signal, either by level (high or low) or by flank (rising or falling).

This way of working is the same in both the DDR3 and DDR4 standards, as well as the DDR5 that will begin to be seen soon or its predecessors. However, the more modern the standard you are using, the higher the speed at which it can operate. This means that it is not the same to have a DDR4 with a data rate of 3.2 GB/s and a maximum transfer rate of 25.6 GB/s than a DDR5 with 6.4 GB/s and 51.2 GB/ s respectively.

Therefore, the new generations of RAM offer us higher performance than the previous ones, as well as greater scalability and energy efficiency. Hence, if you want better performance, it may be interesting to upgrade. However, there is a problem, and that is that the RAM standard that you can use is defined by the motherboard of your device.

For example, if you have an old computer that once came with DDR3 RAM, the slots it has for RAM may be dedicated to this standard. Each one has a different connector, so if you want to be able to use more advanced RAM you will need another motherboard.

What is RAM for?

Your computer or mobile does not execute all the actions using only the hard disk, since if it did it would take too long to execute them. For this reason, a much faster type of memory is used to make these tasks more immediate, and it is in charge of storing the instructions of the CPU or the data that the applications constantly need. These instructions stay there until the computer is turned off or until they are replaced by new ones.

So that you understand, let’s imagine that you are working at your desk. Drawers are your hard drive, where you store everything you can use. But you also need to put the tools and files you’re using on the desktop itself, and that’s what RAM would do in this case. So you don’t have to be opening and closing the drawers, you have everything in front of you.

RAM can be used by applications in different ways. For example, if you use a browser, all the data from the websites you visit is usually in RAM so that when you access it, it is always there and does not have to be loaded again. That is why browsers tend to take up a lot of RAM.

The applications that you have open are stored in RAM so that you can use them quickly without having to continually write to your hard drive. Therefore, the more RAM you have, the more applications you can use at the same time, which affects the multifunction of your device.

How to know how much RAM your computer has

If you have a desktop computer, looking at the RAM is easy. In Windows, you have to enter the settings and click on the System option. Once inside, enter the About section where you will see the RAM of your computer. In macOS, you have to open the Apple menu and click on the About this Mac option. In the Summary tab, you will see the information on the components, including the RAM.

As for your Android mobile, you have to enter the settings and search for the term RAM in the settings search engine so that you get the hardware information where the data is included. On both Android and iOS, you can also turn to benchmark apps like AnTuTu where all the information is given to you.