What is a ram on a computer? Random-access Memory.

ram works

Hello penguins, Welcome to another article from Linuxcan. This time I’m going to talk about What is a ram on a computer? Specifically, I’m going to spend a few minutes talking about the nature and history of ram. The before detailing those ram technologies and form factors used in modern computer and laptop computers.

what type of memory is ram?

Computer storage can be volatile or nonvolatile. Nonvolatile storage includes hard drives and SSDs is these maintain the contents when power was disconnected. In contrast, modern ram is volatile storage. But loses its data when the power was switched off. Ram is however the fastest kind of storage available.

It is used to hold programs and data when the computer is running. Ram capacity is measured in gigabytes with one gigabyte being just over 1000000000 bytes. Today 4 gigabytes is the minimum recommended. For modern Windows PC with 8 gigabytes or more required. Because of most video editing and other high-end applications like photoshop or blender.

How ram Evolve

The first type of ram to into widespread use was big magnetic core storage which featured Tiny ferrite rings that were threaded on a lattice of wire. Bypassing voltages polarity. wires the rings or core could be magnetized with either clockwise or anti-clockwise calamity so allowing the storage of one bit of data. You can see the magnetic core storage unit. The unit has multiple planes of course start one on top of the other with the uppermost core plane visible through the window on the top.

magnetic core storage
magnetic core storage

Core storage with the most common form of ram from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s and was used in the Apollo spacecraft. The took human beings to the moon. In the early 1970s core store started to be replaced with an integrated circuit or IC ram. Early personal computers were subsequently fitted with many dual inline or dim ram chips. As we can see in image 1.2.

Sip and sim ram
Image 1.2 Sip and Sim ram

Such chips we usually plug directly into sockets on the computer’s motherboard which made from repairs and upgrades well the time-consuming. Even more significantly chip creep could occur with individual ram chips having a tendency to rise out of their sockets due to constant thermal expansion and contraction.

Single inline memory modules dominant ram technology

To overcome these limitations ram chips started to be sold into packages or modules. They turned plugged into a computer’s motherboard to standards initially emerged known as sips and Sims. But you can see a sip or single in-line package had 30 pins. That plugs into a row of tiny round sockets. Well, great in theory sip could be tricky to fit were expensive to produce. It was easy to bend or otherwise damaged at Pins. For this reason, Sims or single inline memory modules became the dominant ram technology like sips. These were initially available with a 30 pin form factor. All the latest Sims had 72 pins, and sadly I don’t have one of those available to show you here. As you can see however Sims have a robust edge connector and security click unlock into the motherboard ram socket.

what is dual-channel ram

Today’s computers are fitted with descendants of Sims known as dims or dual inline memory modules. The key difference between simm and DIMM is that the connections on either side of a sim or duplicated were was on a DIMM. They are distinct and doubling the number of connection points in the same available space. The optimum performance of identical pairs of DIMMs should be installed into matching slots or banks on the computers Motherboard.

This allows the ram to run in the dual-channel mode. That maximizes the speed at which the company accessed up. The motherboard that can accommodate more than two DIMMs. They always have the ram slot color-coded to indicate appropriate insertion has. We’ll see later in the article over the years dims of evolving to accommodate speed improvements. It should also be noted that while all of the DIMMs shown here for use in the desktop PC

Smaller dimms

Smaller DIMMs or small outline dual inline memory modules are used in laptops and other small computers. To complete this I should also note but in the late 1990s and early 90s. There was also another form of ram called the rim or Rambus inline memory module. These were similar to DIMM but no longer in use.

ram specification

Ram can be confusing because the specification of a morden dimm is pretty extensive. I may be expressed in many different ways for example the specification for the ram module we have here could be listed like this.

ram specification
ram specification

Clearly the 4 GB at the front means. That we have a 4 gigabyte component and as I’ve already explained. The DIMM part on the end means. That this is a dual in-line memory module suitable for desktop PC. We can also see the rabbit sitting. There quite happily but with the letters, S. and D. before it found to explain. What this and the terms him means. we need to tell the little deeper into ram technologies.

The memory cells that store each bit of information in a ram chip can be either static or dynamic.

What is a ram on a computer? Static Ram vs Dynamic Ram

In static ram or Sram, each memory cell consists of 4 more transistors. That maintain data first longest power was applied. In contrast in dynamic ram or Dram, each memory cell is built from a single transistor and a capacitor. It requires periodic power to be fresh. Because SRAM does not have to be constantly refreshed. It is faster however Sram is more expensive to manufacture. Than Dram because of more components required to make each memory cell. Because of this SRAM is used to provide microprocessors and hard drives with some very fast internal storage called cache.

However, most of the computer ram uses Dram technology. To provide the highest capacity at the lowest cost. Specifically today personal computers are fitted with SDram memory modules.

Sdram is the development of dram. Which stands for synchronous dynamic ram. This means is SDRAM operates in synchronization with the computer’s clock cycle. Which reduces wait times for the processor. Perhaps improves performance. Back in 2000 and development of an SD ram called DDR SDRAM was introduced.

What is DDR ram

DDR stands for the double data rate means that ram operates twice as quickly. As two data transfers take place per clock cycle. while then just one. Since it was introduced DDR SDRAM has been improved several times with subsequent generations. DDR 2 DDR 3 and DDR 4 at the time of making this article. A new standard for DDR5 arrives. DDR 5 SDRAM is likely to enter the market in 2020 as Wikipedia page says. Later generations of DDR SDRAM offer increasingly high performance and have different physical form factors

What is a ram on a computer? Random-access Memory.

specifically at the top here we have a first-generation full-size DDR SDRAM with 184 pins. and below that a DDR2 module with 240 pins. Next, there was a DDR 3 SDRAM which also has 240 pins but which has a notch in a different location. To prevent it from being inserted into a DDR 2 socket. Finally, we have a DDR 4 SDRAM with 288 pins and again a different notch configuration.

The DDR 3 and DDR 4 modules here well supplied with an aluminium heat

Note the DDR 3 and DDR 4 modules here well supplied with an aluminum heat spreader to help cool that chips. But that is not always the case. Ram modules in each DDR generation are available in different ranges of speeds. For example, we’re looking at a table showing common speeds for different DDR 3 SDRAM modules.

You can see from speaking be expressed in several different ways with a data rate cited. By the transfers per second and an associate to peak transfer rate listed in megabytes per second. As we can see the mega transfers per second figure 1.4 may also be combined with the module DDR type. While the peak transfer rate is often included within the module table this is prefixed with PC and the DDR generation.

DDR3 Ram Speed Table 1.4
DDR3 Ram Speed Table 1.4

Note but it’s not uncommon for the SDRAM data rate to be cited in megahertz. Even though mega transfers per second is more technically correct. Each generation of DDR SDRAM was developed with high performance in the previous one and to illustrate. This is a type of common DDR 4 modules which you could be faster than the DDR 3 modules we’ve just seen.

DDR4 Ram Speed Table

When looking at such data note with the peak transfer rate figure in megabytes per second is almost 8 times higher than the data transfer rate expressed in mega transfers per second note also that there were no definitive terms in use for the heading shown in these tables with variations on the wording used by different manufacturers and standards bodies.


What do you need to know when selecting ram for a PC build or upgrade well without delving into even more technicalities? The key things to note the following. First, the desktop PC’s required dims and laptops require so-DIMM. Secondly, you need to fit the correct DDR generation for your motherboard. There is no backward or forwards compatibility. So for example you must fit DDR 3 ram into a DDR 3 motherboard DDR 4 ram into a DDR 4 motherboards and so on. Certainly, you should fit ram with the speed which is supported by your motherboard. Motherboards except several different modules speed to make sure. That the ram you get the suitable for your motherboard. Finally what the option is available to obtain dual-channel performance by fitting identical pairs of ram modules according to the color-coding of your ram stops and instructions in your motherboard’s manual.

So that’s pretty much going to be for this article guys thank you so much for reading. I have a link Down Some great ram choices. you can check out. if you have any questions or suggestions let me know in the comments section.

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