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Dynamic And Static RAM-A Comparison

Jul 7, 2008
RAM, or Random Access Memory, is the short term memory of a computer. This type of memory is not the hard drive, but rather runs applications pulled from the memory of the hard drive-ROM (Read Only Memory). RAM is what makes it possible to change documents, advance in games, and in short, use your computer's applications.

There are two distinct types of RAM, dynamic and static. Both forms of RAM are volatile, which means that the memory is temporary in nature. If power is lost, anything that held in RAM is lost. This doesn't mean that if the computer application for your word processor was in use at the time of power loss, you've lost the word processor application. Rather, it means that any open documents you were working on are lost.

This is the point that the type of RAM that you were utilizing becomes important. Dynamic Random Access Memory, or DRAM, stores each bit of information in a separate capacitor within the shell of an integrated circuit. Capacitors have a tendency to leak, or lose information over time. Dynamic Random Access Memory does have difficulty with the fading of memory, but it will allow information to be recovered with a refresh if the time between the power loss and the time of recovery from RAM is short enough. It is the ability of DRAM to be refreshed that will often recover a document you may have thought lost during a runtime error, commonly known as a crash.

It doesn't take a runtime error to induce DRAM's attempt at recovering your documents. Any type of power loss can trigger this unique ability of DRAM. The cause can even be an accidental logging off of the computer that interrupted the work on the document and created an instance in which the user was not given the opportunity to save the work. Saving the work transfers the information into ROM, which is a stable form of computer memory.

Many word processors use DRAM options as default mechanisms to cushion the number of lost documents that were common in the days before DRAM's discovery. Some do it automatically and some have to be set to use DRAM instead of SRAM, or Static Random Access Memory.

SRAM, which requires more transistors per bit than DRAM and cannot be refreshed if the power supply is interrupted for any reason. The information that you may have been working on will be lost and not able to be recovered if the application you were using occupied SRAM instead of DRAM. It is for the sheer convenience of being able to cover work done on documents and in games that DRAM is preferred by many computer users.

Most applications have a default form of RAM that they are programmed to use when pulled up by the user for work or play. Often, no choice is given as the decision on which form of RAM to use depends greatly on the capabilities and limitations of the applications for which the RAM is needed at the time.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for computer memory, PC supplies, and computer games. When shopping, we recommend the best online stores for PC supplies, computer accessories, computer memory, DRAM vs. SRAM, and used computer games.
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