What is Random Access Memory

Random Access Memory is abbreviated as RAM. RAM is primary storage device that stores the data temporarily until the power is on. Once you will switch off the system, the data stored in RAM will get lost. This feature of RAM makes it a Volatile memory. It is added to the system to enhance the efficiency of the computer. More the RAM is, more will be the speed of the computer as the programs which are currently running in the computer will stay in this memory. So it will be easier for the processor to retrieve that program from RAM than to retrieve it from Hard Drive. It is smaller in size as compared to the hard drive. That is why it is easier for the processor to find a program from RAM as it is small. Hard drive and other secondary storage devices are non volatile in nature as the contents stored in those devices do not get lost when the computer is switched off. They do not require power to retain the data.

These are permanent storage devices. When the computer is switched off then all the content from RAM are transferred to the permanent storage device that is Hard Disk in the system. When you again start up your system and start opening up programs, those programs are again loaded in RAM automatically by the system. Ram can be compared with a person’s short term memory and hard disk to the long term memory. RAM is small both in the terms of its physical size and the amount of data it can hold. It comes in the form of “discrete” that is microchips and also in the form of modules that are plugged into the motherboard.

Random access memory has a feature that it can be accessed directly by the processor and any location can be accessed. That is why it is called random access memory. RAM can be classified in two types and these are SRAM (Static RAM) and DRAM (Dynamic RAM). SRAM is composed of registers and loses its contents when power is switched off but it retains its contents until the power is on while on the other hand, Dynamic RAM is composed of capacitors which are charging and discharging in nature and need to be charged time to time. If they will not get refreshed after putting the data into it, it will lose its content even if the power is on. That is why SRAM is mostly used in the systems instead if DRAM. DRAM is also cheaper as compared to SRAM. RAM’s cost can vary depending on its type, model and its size. More will be the size, more expensive it will be.

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