Last time I talked about the CPU (Central Processing Unit) and how it controls the speed and complexity of what you can do on your computer. This time I want to tell you about RAM (Random Access Memory) and why you need it.
RAM is the short memory your computer needs to open applications and to move quickly and smoothly between them as you work. When you start your computer you’ve already engaged your RAM to hang on to some tasks. Now you open your email and then create a new word document to write a business letter. If you’re like me, you’ll have as many as a dozen or more different applications on the go at the same time. You can see yours at the bottom of your screen with a blue line under the ones you’re using. The RAM will store those tasks and hold them until you either discard (close) them or save them permanently to your hard drive.
Think of RAM as a Barman (barperson). A basic computer will have 4Gb of RAM but you can increase this up to 8Gb, 16 Gb or even 32 Gb at the extreme end. Think of each 4Gb as one barperson. The more you have, the more drinks can be served at a time. With one barperson and you may have to wait to be served – 4 barpersons (16Gb) and your drink is served straight away. That’s the beauty of RAM.
Now you want to save your work to your computer by creating a new document (Save As) or updating one that already exists (Save). This will transfer your work from the RAM to the hard drive where it’s kept in a permanent record. I’ll talk about this next time.
If you have any questions, about computers and technology, feel free to contact one of the team. I’m happy to chat to you.