Your Guide to the Different Types of RAM

You know your computer’s memory is called RAM, but did you know there are different types of RAM? Learn more about them and why you need to know.

The American Community Survey reported that 89% of American households owned a computer. If you own a PC, understanding its hardware and software is essential. More importantly, it would help to know more about computer memory.

The Random Access Memory, commonly known as RAM, is one of the most critical features of a computer. The information stored in RAM is temporary, and it gets lost when you switch off the PC.

If you want to know more about the Random Access Memory, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to know the different types of RAM.

  1. Static RAM 

The popular name for Static RAM is SRAM. It is one of the main types of RAM pioneered in the 1990s. SRAM’s functionality depends on the constant flow of power. As such, you don’t need to refresh SRAM for it to remember the data that requires storage.

SRAM is one of the volatile memories that lose data when the power is off. Therefore, this technology consumes a significant amount of power, making it more costly. SRAM is mostly applicable as the processor’s cache memory.

As compared to dynamic RAM, Static RAM is faster. It also takes more space on the chip, meaning that the memory you get from the chip will be less. SRAM is ideal for the cache.

Devices such as Apple have a different type of RAM altogether. Check out setapp.com/how-to/reset-pram-nvram-and-smc-on-mac to know more about parameter random access memory and non-volatile random access memory. The two RAM elements are responsible for MAC configuration.

  1. Dynamic Access Random Memory

The Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) is one of the RAM types that allow a user to store data in different capacitors within a well-defined, integrated circuit. Most contemporary desktops use Dynamic RAM.

You need to refresh DRAM with regular voltage due to its memory volatility. The transistors in DRAM leak data in small amounts, which can gradually drain the stored information. Ignoring this action will lead to the loss of data.

 The information on a DRAM is stored in a capacitor, a factor that reduces the rate of power consumption. While DRAM is less costly than SRAM, it is slower due to the high access time.

  1. Fast Page Mode Dynamic Random Access Memory

FPM DRAM is a dynamic memory with considerably quick page access. This capability promotes a higher level of performance than the typical dynamic random access memory.

When using this kind of RAM, you don’t need to keep specifying the row. It has a row access strobe that reads the memory cells. This functionality reduces access time while lowering power requirements.

  1. Extended Data Output (EDO RAM)

EDO RAM refers to a type of memory, which processes the next bit even before the first one is complete. EDO RAM starts searching for the second bit as soon as it locates the first bit’s address. EDO RAM contains latch registers that allow data storage during a query.

In EDO memory, the operational speed is significantly high. As such, the data access speeds can be even 70 ns. With the active output buffer, EDO RAM reduces time wastage.

  1. Synchronous DRAM

Synchronous DRAM, often referred to as SDRAM, is one of the types of RAM with the ability to synchronize itself to your computer’s clock. This synchronization prompts the memory to have higher running speeds than most other memory types.

SDRAM further supports a system bus cycling of up to 133 MHz. SDRAM can have two memory addresses running simultaneously. The ability to transfer data across these addresses helps to reduce delays that are common with asynchronous RAM. The latter can’t open another address bank before closing the previous one.

  1. Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random-Access Memory (DDR SDRAM)

Each day, the amount of data created is about 2.5 quintillion bytes. With the amount of data in organizations, having a fast working memory is essential. The DDR SDRAM is one of the options when you need to transfer data within a short while.

DDR SDRAM transfers data in doubles. This memory type transfers data on the rising and falling edge of a clock cycle. A standard RAM transfers data, solely on the rising edge.

This type of RAM allows more data transfer within a clock cycle. Consequently, the performance of a chip doubles. This twofold pumping can make the RAM to transfer data up to a rate of 1600 MB/s.

  1. Graphics Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM (GDDR SDRAM)

GDDR SDRAM is another type of RAM designed to render video graphics. This DRAM works on video cards, together with a graphics processing unit. GDDR SDRAM has low power consumption and high performance.

GDDR SDRAM shares some features with DDR SDRAM; yet, they have stack differences. GDDR SDRAM processes massive data amounts. However, the speeds are not necessarily fast as with the DDR SDRAM.

  1. Rambus Dynamic Random Access Memory 

RDRAM is a memory subsystem that transfers data at a significantly faster rate. It has a random access memory, bus path, and RAM controller connecting the RAM to microprocessors. The RDRAM utilizes the Rambus in-line memory module.

RDRAM uses a Rambus channel, which is a fast data bus that makes its operation different from other types of RAM. RDRAM has memory chips that work towards establishing a data rate of 1,600 MBps.

On the flip side, RDRAM generates more heat than most other chips. The manufacturers have fitted the chips with heat spreaders to dispel the heat.

The Types of RAM Give You Endless Options for a Computer’s Memory 

Understanding the types of RAM available gives you an edge when addressing any concern on a computer’s memory. Replacing or upgrading your RAM is one of the upgrades that can change the functionality of your computer.

With the options listed, you can choose one of the types of RAM that resonate with your memory needs.

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