Memory Unit

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Primary storage, or memory, means the space on your hard drive that is briefly used for working space. This usually occurs in a chip. Memory consists of four types of memory chips RAM, ROM, CMOS and flash. RAM stand for random access memory and ROM stand for read only memory. These are also called primary memory of a computer.

RAM[edit | edit source]

A 1GB DDR RAM memory module

RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is a type of chip used in primary storage memory. It is also temporary storage, holding software instructions and short-term working memory for the processor. RAM can be increased in most computers by using the expandable memory slots. Ram video

Primary storage[edit | edit source]

Primary storage (RAM)is called 'primary' because it is the main memory that is accessible to the CPU. It is used to store data that is currently being used.


Random access memory[edit | edit source]

Random access memory or RAM is a form of data storage used in computers. Taken in the form of integrated circuits which represents primary or temporary storage, it allows data which is stored to be accessed in any order, which is why it's called random. Making it random instead of sequential greatly increases the speed the computer can operate since time is not wasted going to the place where needed data is stored (as in tape backups). Random_access_memory

Volatile[edit | edit source]

Volatile is a descriptive word for RAM which is short term memory; when the computer loses power the temporary storage will be lost . In order to prevent data from being lost, it must be saved to a hard disk or permanent storage area called ROM (Read Only Memory)[247].

Fast[edit | edit source]

RAM (in most cases)work faster than a hard drive, and some, faster than flash memory (which isn't volatile). This greater speed is why it's still used in computers today. Computers will run faster and more efficiently with more RAM. The suggested amount of RAM for current operating systems such as Windows Vista/XP and OSX 10.5 to run smoothly with the weight of shared graphics memory and programs is 1024 megabytes (1GB). Currently, RAM comes in 4 types: DDR1, DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4 available since 2014. DDR1 and 2 are currently most used. DDR3 operates at a higher frequency and has 3 data transfer channels thus increasing bandwidth. Newly developed SSD hard disks currently are capable of meeting and exceeding the transfer rate of DDR and DDR2.

A 32bit operating system is only capable of utilizing 4gb of RAM. However a 64bit operating system is capable of supporting much more memory.As compared to ROM, RAM is costlier.

ROM[edit | edit source]

ROM (Read Only Memory) refers to a read only memory chip that cannot be written on or erased by the computer user without special equipment. While using ROM contents are not lost when power to the computer is no longer available.

Since it does not need power, and cannot be rewritten the only things put on ROM are starting (booting) instructions.

CMOS[edit | edit source]

CMOS stands for Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor. This is a technology used in chips and analog circuits. Cmos

It doesn't lose it's contents when turned off even if the content was not saved. Also keeps the time and date current even when the computer is turned off.