Computer memory is a physical device capable of storing information temporarily or permanently. For example, Random Access Memory( RAM ), is a volatile memory that stores information on an integrated circuit used by the operating system, software, and hardware.
Volatile vs. non-volatile RAM
Memory can be either volatile and non-volatile memory. Volatile memory is a memory that loses its contents when the computer or hardware device loses power. Computer RAM is an example of a volatile memory and is why if your computer freezes or reboots when working on a program, you lose anything that hasn’t been saved. Non-volatile memory, sometimes abbreviated as NVRAM, is a memory that keeps its contents even if the power is lost. EPROM is an example of a non-volatile memory.
What happens to memory when the computer is turned off ?
As mentioned above because memory is a volatile memory when the computer loses power anything stored in RAM is lost. For instance, as you are working on creating a document it is stored in RAM if it is not saved to a non-volatile memory( e.g. the hard drive) it would be lost if the computer lost power.
Memory is not disk storage
It is very common for new computer users to be confused by what portions in the computer is memory. Although both the hard drive and RAM are a memory, it is more appropriate to refer to RAM as “memory” or” primary memory” and a hard drive as “storage” or” secondary storage .”
When someone asks how much memory is in your computer, it is often between 1GB and 16 GB of Random Access Memory and several hundred gigabytes of even a terabyte of hard disk drive storage. In other words, you always have more hard drive space than memory.
How much memory is enough? An average computer user is probably okay with the basic 1GB of RAM. But as fast as technology changes, so will your need for additional memory. Just remember: more is better. 4GB is what most average users need. But if you’re looking to construct your processor really work for you — like for high-end applications, intense gaming and multimedia work 8 or 16 GB upgrade RAM will be more your thing. You’ll notice a significant performance gain all around.
Like to have your charts and e-mail, too? Do you open several programs at the same day and switching between them often — and does your current PC moan and groan when you do? Then a memory upgrade is essential for smooth, effortless multitasking. It gives your computer an extra boost so it doesn’t have to use the hard drive to manage data.
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