There is basic knowledge, like freshman year computing, which we often take for granted but that is always a pleasure to remember.

From how to take a screenshot to where to find stickers thick enough to blind a laptop’s webcam, to recommendations to make your Facebook password crafted enough not to be hacked again. As I say, they may seem like things that sound trivial at first, but quoting my drunken, and probably bald, favorited Greek, Socrates: “There is only one good: knowledge. There is only one evil: ignorance”.

So it won’t hurt to go back to our beginnings and find out, for example, what is RAM memory?.

We have chosen one of our most capable and nice colleagues at Pandora FMS, Rafael Ameijeiras, Project Manager, who will answer the question: what is RAM memory?, as well as some further questions about it.

What is RAM memory?

RAM memory is the main system’s memory. Unlike what its name may indicate, RAM is volatile memory, not permanent storage memory.

RAM memory is much faster than storage memory, but it is also more expensive in terms of price per megabyte, so it is generally smaller.

RAM memory is used as work memory; This means that when we open an application, it is loaded into the RAM memory and the processor operates with this application directly from the RAM, generally the processor does not read anything directly from the hard disk. There are special cases in which the storage disk is used as RAM memory (swap or paging files), but in general when this happens it is because we have run out of available RAM and the performance drop of the system is noticeable.

By the way! First of all, clarify that many, to answer the question “what is RAM memory?”, have tried to appeal to simple analogies like our brain, but just as our mind and brain do not equal software and hardware respectively, RAM is not a transcript of our short-term memory.

Short-term memory works through indications and premises that lead us to long-term memory, while RAM has a fixed and less fluctuating capacity. We prefer to think of RAM as a desk and the hard drive as a drawer. You don’t empty your entire chest of drawers on the desk. If you need something, you take it from the drawer and put it on the desk.

What does the acronym RAM mean?

The word RAM comes from the acronym: Random Access Memory,.

It is called random access because information can be loaded into memory in any position, having the same access time to that information whatever its position may be, without the need to follow an order to access the data, which would be how its counterpart works, through sequential access. This translates into much faster access to data and memory locations.

What is Ram memory for?

Basically for everything. Without RAM the system would not start. The operating system itself uses an amount of memory just to start, and each application we use, such as the office tools, the browser or the file explorers do too.

There are applications that use more memory than others. You may have heard that Google Chrome (and most modern browsers) consume a lot of RAM, and that is correct, browsers have evolved in a way that they are almost some kind of mini operating system themselves, and in an office environment, they are one of the applications that need the most amount of memory.

Why is RAM so important on a computer?

For practical purposes, it could be said that the proper functioning of RAM memory is essential in a computer because it is one of the components that most directly affects its good performance, especially in terms of speed.

As we have already seen, RAM is responsible for “helping” the processor in its operations, so that it “holds”, for memory purposes, all the instructions and data that the processor needs to use when running a program.

So suppose you want to run several programs on your computer, tablet or smartphone at the same time. For example, a text editor, a browser with 3 open tabs and a business program. If the RAM is in good condition and has enough capacity, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Now imagine that you want to keep using more programs at the same time, or that you want to use more modern programs with higher hardware requirements. For example, in addition to what we saw in our previous example, there are 10 more browser tabs and 3 new and highly demanding enterprise software. In this type of situation, and unless you have a large RAM memory capacity, it is likely that it will start to suffer and your computer will suffer from it.

How much RAM does my system need?

If you do not know beforehand, you are surely an office user. In general, most computers on the market currently come with 8 GB RAM memory, which depending on the OS you use is what, in my opinion, is the standard for a smoothly-working office computer.

If you are a Poweruser, content creator, software developer or IT professional, 8GB of RAM will probably fall short very quickly, depending on your workflow and the applications you use. In general, in these cases, you usually choose between 16 and 32 Gb of RAM, and for very complicated tasks that require a lot of computing power, even more than 32 Gb. This speaking of workstations, from a server approach these numbers spike, but that would be a topic for another article.

As a side note, it is important to note that your system will be as fast as your slowest component, so just increasing RAM does not translate into a universal performance improvement. In addition to understanding that the amount of Gb of memory is not directly proportional to performance, you have to take into account other important factors such as its speed or its latency.

How do we know if RAM is not working properly?

Although it should be diagnosed – and repaired, if necessary – by an IT professional (for example, a computer maintenance technician), there are some behaviors on your computer or device that may indicate that you may be having a problem with your RAM memory. Let’s look at some of them.

1. The computer is running slower than usual

It is the most classic symptom, the most frequent and probably one of the most annoying.

People who use computers or mobile devices have been faced with this problem. The slowness that we may blame on problems with RAM memory is not always due to the fact that it is malfunctioning, but is often due to the fact that we are asking too much of it. Software evolves over time, and it’s common for software to demand more and more of our hardware. And if that hardware is not updated, it will have more and more problems running new programs, and will end up doing it ” with its tongue out “, gasping like an old dog that we forced to run at the pace of an Olympic middle-distance runner.

2. The dreaded “blue screen” comes to visit us

It is one of the classics in Windows operating systems. The famous “blue screens” warn us of problems in our computers, which sometimes have to do with RAM memory. In fact, and since it is so important in computers, a large part of the errors will come from problems with RAM memory. Another good reason to pay attention to it….

3. The computer does not reboot or does not load the operating system

When that happens we are already talking about a more drastic problem. If your device does not turn on or does not charge the OS, you will have to solve the situation if you want to use it, so if this happens and you do not have the necessary knowledge to fix it yourself, go ahead and contact a professional.

Is that all?

And up to here everything you should know about RAM. As we have seen, even the simplest concept has layers and layers of depth into it. Now the next time someone talks to you about RAM, you will already have enough knowledge to smoothly follow the conversation while having a coffee at the office. Don’t thank us. We owe it to you, our unconditional followers, all of our articles.

Before saying goodbye, remember that you can find out everything Pandora FMS can offer you by clicking here .

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