What Does Computer Memory Do?

The memory of your computer is a powerful part of the system. It transfers and stores data of our computer. It determines the speed of the system. Now let me tell you what a computer memory does and it’s actual work.

The Theory

It is common to misunderstand the difference between a hard disk and the RAM. To understand it better, just think your hard disk as your book shelf and you RAM as your study table. Just like your book shelf, a hard disk can keep a lot of books or as in information in this case.

But the problem is it takes a lot of times to find a specific book. Where your study table can have books that you constantly need and that is what makes it fast to find one when needed. RAM does the same by keeping files that you constantly need to load.

It is way better than to load it from hard disk every time as that wastes time. It does not make sense to go to a drive every time you need to run a specific file just like it does not make sense to keep a book in shelf that you need in every few minutes. So, if your ram or computer memory saves files that you need constantly while working then it save a lot of time.

Cells of Memory

The memory chips of your computer have millions of small capacitors and transistors. They work together to store 1 bit of data in a cell of memory. A capacitor is a holding cell that holds your data as numeric values 0 and 1. The transistors help the memory units to read and modify the numeric values and that is how it works.

RAM Grids

A memory chip contains billions of very small transistors and capacitors. They are built in a memory chip and they are organized in rows and columns and it look likes designed like a chessboard which is very small. The most famous computer memory is RAM. The full form is Random Access Memory as it can save data temporarily in any place on that grid.

As it does not follow any sequence and can store anywhere on the grid or can retrieve from anywhere on the grid, it performs much faster. It does not need to search the entire file system to find a data and then store it in the same place again. This flexibility makes it faster. To understand it more clearly, imagine you are watching a movie on your computer. If you need to get up for any reason then how would it feel to start watching from the start rather than watching from where you paused? That is exactly how RAM works. This is what makes a RAM important when your computer needs to store any memory temporarily.

Dynamic RAM vs Static RAM

There are two types of RAM that a computer uses. One is Dynamic Random Access Memory and the other one is Static Random Access Memory. A Dynamic Random Access Memory does not store your data when you turn off your computer like a hard disk. Every time the power is removed from the memory, all data from Dynamic Random Access Memory will be lost.

The Static Random Access Memory on the other hand can maintain all data as long as the computer is on and you don’t need to refresh it which makes it more stable. These RAMs cost more and they are bigger in size. This RAM is used for the catch memory.

Computer Memory

When we use a computer for a specific reason, like running a program, the computer performs back to back options that should be completed for the program to run. At first, the brain of the computer, Central Processing Unit, communicates with the hard disk to find and load all the files that are needed to run your program and then loads them into the system memory. You may think why it was not loaded directly from the hard disk rather than loading them in the system memory.

The reason is very simple. The system memory is way faster than the hard disk. The system memory temporarily holds the data and all the needed actions as long as you are using the program. When all the needed files are loaded in the system memory, the Central Processing Unit can work way faster by calling them from it.

Other Memory Components

Your entire system is build with many hardware components and the chipset on your motherboard controls all the communications between the hardware components. All the data that transfers between the hard disk and the memory are actually maintained by the chipset.

When an action request comes from hardware, the chipset monitors it and then directs it to the right place. This have memory controller unit which controls the data communication between the Central Processing Unit and the memory.

The Front Side Bus is a data path of our computer. It is like a road that passes the data from Central Processing Unit to the memory. The Front Side Bus is a group of wires that connects the memory and the Central Processing Unit. The data you send goes through the wires in form of signals. The Central Processing Unit does all the calculations needed to run a computer and the memory serves the needed data for that. This is why high memory can help the Central Processing Unit to process faster with the data.

Cache Memory

The Central Processing Unit uses another memory for faster processing which is called the cache memory. The cache memory is a small amount of memory stored in the Central Processing Unit and contains the data which the user needs the most. The Static Random Access Memory generates the cache and as it does not need to refresh itself so it works very fast. The cache memory is very exclusive so is only used to store data that the Central Processing Unit instantly needs. That makes the entire process very fast for the system.