What is RAM & Its Functions in a Computer

Your computer’s system memory includes physical memory, called Random Access Memory (RAM) and Virtual memory. System memory works as a temporary storage, unlike hard drive where you store data permanently. RAM temporarily stores data while program or file is in use and once you turn off the system it closes all functions and programs running on it.

When you start a program on your system, it’s processor gives a command to retrieve the program from the hard drive. Once your system retrieves files, the system requires a workplace to display you this data and to manipulate it. Here RAM works as a digital countertop to perform this task. Your system places programs in RAM temporarily to function. To understand more about RAM and its functions let’s have a look at this article.

What is RAM?

Random-access Memory or RAM is a kind of computer data storage that stores frequently used program instruction to increase the general speed of a computer. A RAM device allows data items to be written or read in same time irrespective of the physical location of the data inside the memory. It makes it possible to access data in random order from its physical location which makes it fast enough to find any specific data information instantly. Contrary to that, other non-random access storage types like hard disks, CD-RWs etc. usually read and write data in predetermined order due to their mechanical limitations like media rotation speeds and arm movement. It may increase read and write function time significantly according to the physical location of the information or data on the recording medium.

RAM is used as a main memory of the computer. It is considered to be the volatile memory as the information stored in the RAM may lose when there is no power. RAM is used by the CPU (Central processing unit) of the system when the computer is running to store information and to access it quickly. It doesn’t store any information permanently. In today’s technology, RAM devices use integrated circuits to store the information. It makes it relatively expensive form of storage but it allows quick access to data.

Why memory is called random-access?

Unlike non-random-access storage types where it read and write data in predetermined order, RAM can read or write information from the memory in a random manner. In other words, it has a random access to any location(cell) on your memory if you know the “address” of that location. This helps you speed up data retrieval as the CPU can access any location without starting each time at the first location and go through the whole data until it finds the correct one. This method is called “Serial Access”.

What is the main function of a RAM in a computer?

The main function of Random-access memory or RAM is to act as a temporary storage of data and program instructions that can be accessed quickly by the CPU when required. Let’s discuss primary functions of RAM in a computer.

Reading files: This is one amongst the primary works RAM performs. Hard drives on your system store a vast number of files and cause delay functioning. It becomes hassle job to retrieve any file from the hard drive as files stored on hard drive remains scattered and to different locations. To access these files, drives require to move its mechanical read/write arm back and forth and need to wait until the spinning platters spin into the correct position. Despite the fact, drives spin at higher speed (thousands of rotations per minute) this process causes a serious delay when reading files. To deal with this situation and to lessen the slowdown, your system store files in RAM once the files are first to read from the drive. Apart of it, RAM doesn’t have moving parts and runs at faster speed thus it loads information quickly during subsequent uses.

To recover some precious disk space and to reduce a load on RAM while searching files on your system, you can use PC cleaner tools to remove all unnecessary files. It will help you clean and organize your data in the much better way.

Temporary storage: This is another function of the RAM which allows temporary storage of the data on RAM while program or files are in use. In addition to storing files read from your system hard drive, RAM also stores information or data that programs are using actively. This data includes that data which need not be stored permanently as it remains temporary on RAM. When your system keeps temporary data on RAM to run it temporarily it allows the system to work fast and efficient. It improves speed and responsiveness of the system.

Apart from these functions, more RAM space can help you improve your system speed and performance significantly. You can increase RAM space as per your system configuration for better results.

Summary: Random Access Memory (RAM) plays an important role to improve your system speed and performance. Let’s discuss about RAM and its functions on your system.

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