What is RAM?

You've been told that your computer's speed might have something to do with RAM, but you don't know what that is? Here we will explain the abbreviation to you.

The abbreviation "RAM" stands for "Random Access Memory" and refers to the computer's memory. Translated, people would say "storage with random access". Therefore, the PC can read and write data anywhere in RAM. 

Today's modern desktop PCs come with at least 8GB of RAM installed as standard. 4 GB of RAM is enough to meet the needs of office PCs. You should have 8 to 16 GB of RAM for complex programs and games.


Why do computers need RAM?

All running processes and programs are cached in memory. Therefore, it is used as short-term memory. At least one memory module is installed on each computer. It usually has 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16 GB of memory. There are also 32 GB and 64 GB RAM storage. But they are still expensive. For example, gaming PCs or computers used for video and music production - which also use MIDI - require a lot of RAM. 

If multiple programs are open on your computer at the same time, it may cause the computer to overload and run slowly. The larger the RAM, the faster and more powerful the computer will be.

In a computer, RAM is basically a large clipboard of the computer. The clipboard is similar to the desk, where you can store, move, edit, and reuse documents or office tools.

  • The operating system and installed programs create temporary data during operation, which are stored in RAM.
  • If necessary, they will also be changed, moved and edited there. 

The question remains, why not use the hard disk space directly? -Because it's too slow. 


How important is RAM exactly?

In short, very important. Because the main memory (RAM) is located next to the processor, it is one of the most important components of a computer/laptop. The larger the memory capacity, the smaller the possibility of a performance bottleneck. Whether the computer can be used smoothly depends largely on the memory.


RAM must be full!

There is a fallacy; RAM needs to be periodically cleared with special tools. -This is wrong! 

  • Because memory is just there to be needed.
  • So if your RAM is basically half or three-quarters of its capacity, that would be cool. 
  • Otherwise, your computer will be extremely slow because you have to outsource the data to the hard drive. 

However, if your memory fills up frequently, you should consider upgrading RAM. In the Windows Task Manager, you can view the amount of memory being used.


How fast is RAM compared to hard drive and SSD?

  • The hard drive generally transfers data at a speed of 20 to 80 MB/s.
  • The SSD transfers data at a speed of 200 to 500 MB/s. 
  • Modern memory transmits data at a speed of 20,000 MB/s and higher. 

Therefore, RAM has the great advantage that it is incredibly fast compared to hard drives or SSD.


A new PC should last for ten years – is 8 or 16 gigabytes of RAM enough?

If we look at the development of the past twenty or thirty years, this is extremely unlikely. Therefore, if you choose a brand new PC that you don't want to upgrade in ten years, you're even more likely to opt for 32 gigabytes of RAM and more, as long as the prices for RAM are low.


Depending on the application scenario, the power reserve in the first few years may still be idle. But it may not be in a few years. However, it should be remembered that future updates may be cheaper than investing a large amount of RAM now, which you currently do not need. So it is better to analyze your usage behaviour. If you don't want to find memory bottlenecks in a few years, the more demanding your application, the more RAM you should choose.


Conclusion

Basically, the more RAM, the better. This means that you can combine powerful graphics cards, powerful CPUs, and more. Run many complex programs in parallel without slowing down your computer. In addition, RAM should always be used by the computer and can be "full".