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Understanding PC Computer RAM/Random Access Memory

Jun 4, 2008
When you are buying a new PC computer, you may have noticed that one of the features/specifications include something called RAM. For someone who is not familiar with the internal workings of PC computers, PC computer RAM is a mystery. Actually, RAM is an acronym for 'random access memory' and is essential for the operation of your PC computer.

PC computer RAM, also known as volatile memory, is used by your PC computer in order to store information that will be processed by the CPU, or central processing unit. The random access memory in your PC computer stores information in memory cells arranged in a grid. This grid can be compared to a spreadsheet in which all the data is stored. Your PC computer's processor accesses the data at random as needed to carry out the processes required by software being run on your system.

Occasionally, people confuse their hard drive with RAM. The hard drive is simply a storage system for the data on your PC computer - the software you run as well as the documents and files you store. The information on your hard drive cannot be accessed at random. When information from the hard drive needs to be accessed, entire blocks of data are transferred to the RAM. Once the information is in the PC computer's RAM, it is randomly accessed used by the processor as needed.

Whenever you shut your PC computer down, all of the information that is in the random access memory is deleted. So the RAM of your PC computer is only like a temporary storage system that works in conjunction with your PC computer's processor to perform functions requested by software on your PC computer. The more RAM a program requires for operation, the slower your PC computer operates when running that program.

However, you can ensure that your PC computer RAM is working at its full potential by taking care to perform a few maintenance tasks. One of these tasks is to regularly empty the recycle bin. You should also uninstall or delete any programs and files that you do not need.

It is also helpful to defragment your PC computer every so often. This is a simple procedure that can be run easily. Just go to the 'Start' menu, click 'All Programs', choose 'Accessories', then 'System Tools', and the 'Disk Defragmenter'. And you are all set - allow the program to run until completion.

If you are on the Internet frequently, be sure to clear your browser's history regularly and also the temporary Internet files. These tasks can normally be performed from within whatever browser you are using by selecting 'Tools' and then appropriate subsequent options.

If you run a lot of programs that are resource hogs (require a lot of RAM), then you should also consider adding more random access memory to your PC computer. You should notice that the programs run more quickly and smoothly once extra RAM has been added.

RAM is an essential component for making sure that your PC computer operates at its peak. Not having enough RAM will cause your PC computer to behave erratically. Understanding how your PC computer RAM affects the operation of your PC computer is helpful in making sure that your PC computer has all the resources it needs for proper functioning.
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