Q:

What is the role of RAM in a computer?

A:

Quick Answer

RAM, or random access memory, is the storage space for data used by the operating system and other programs while the computer is in use. RAM is volatile, meaning that it exists only while the computer is powered on and changes along with the system's immediate requirements.

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Full Answer

RAM is accessed quickly by the computer's systems and software and stores data and applications along with programs. The graphic user interface, or GUI, is also stored in RAM. Once the computer is turned off, RAM is cleared and only starts up again when the system is rebooted.

As computing technology has evolved, RAM has been a key component in the evolution. As operating systems such as Windows or Macintosh OS become increasingly complex, they require more and more space for data storage - or RAM. Computer processors become faster and faster to respond to other technological innovations. The faster the processor, the more demands it makes on RAM.

RAM is part of the computer's CPU. Graphic cards may also have their own RAM. The other main type of computer memory is ROM, or read-only memory. ROM does not change and is located in the motherboard; it may also be found in graphic cards or other peripherals. ROM typically contains basic operating instructions for the computer and/or peripherals.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the difference between RAM, ROM, CMOS, cache and virtual memory?

    A:

    RAM is used for a variety of tasks and is highly versatile, as opposed to ROM and CMOS, which contain crucial — and permanent, in the case of ROM — data related to systems operation, while virtual memory and cache are used to simulate or manipulate RAM during tasks. Virtual memory and cache are designed to enable memory resources for increasingly fast processors.

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  • Q:

    What is RAM memory used for?

    A:

    Random access memory is used to store temporary but necessary information on a computer for quick access by open programs or applications. The data stored in RAM can be accessed randomly, meaning a computer does not need to search through large blocks of data to find what it needs. This targeted access makes it possible to run complex programs quickly and efficiently.

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  • Q:

    How do you upgrade RAM?

    A:

    To upgrade your RAM, open the CPU, remove the existing RAM and replace it with the newer version. Turn off the computer and unplug the power cables before this process. If you are using a laptop, turn it off and remove the battery.

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  • Q:

    What does a RAM do?

    A:

    RAM is the term used to describe the memory system of computers. The amount of RAM, or random access memory, that computers contain varies widely among operating systems. All computers come with a standard amount of integrated memory, and their storage capacities can be increased with the installation of certain devices, called RAM disks or RAM drives.

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