RAM, or random access memory, is a form of computer data storage that allows one to access data in any order. RAM is unlike other forms of memory devices (such as CDs or DVDs) because it does not store or access data in a predetermined order. Thus, the more RAM in a computer, the greater the computer’s performance and speed.
RAM is often mounted on a circuit board the similar size and shape as a stick of gum, hence dubbing it a “stick” of RAM. When several sticks of RAM are combined, it becomes a “bank” of RAM which is then attached to the computer’s motherboard.
Dummies.com offers this mantra: “RAM is memory and vice versa.”
The Negative, kinda
The downside to RAM is that it is volatile memory. In other words, RAM loses its contents once the computer shuts down or loses power; it requires a power source to retain data. Wisegeek says this: “When a computer shuts down properly, all data located in random access memory is committed to permanent storage on the hard drive or flash drive. At the next boot-up, RAM begins to fill with programs automatically loaded at startup, and with files opened by the user.
Adding extra RAM, or newer technology RAM, can greatly increase your computer’s performance.
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