Introduction to Computer Memory

There are two very important things to consider when purchasing a PC or a personal computer. One is the processor or the CPU and the other is memory. Everything about the PC will depend on the performance of these two. For example, whether you use your computer to play games, listen to music, chat with friends, do your homework, access the Internet, it will all ultimately depend on the specifications of your CPU and your memory.

This article will try to give you an introduction to computer memory.

There are primarily two types of computer memory. One is internal memory and the other is auxiliary memory. Internal memory is the memory used by the computer’s processor to run its applications, programs and operating system. This internal memory is often referred to as RAM, which stands for Random Access Memory.

The other form of memory is the auxiliary memory which is where the computer will store information that is user generated. Examples of auxiliary memory are your hard disk, your CD-ROM’s and your DVD’s.

One can say that RAM or Random Access Memory is the most important form of memory to consider when buying a computer. Other memory forms can be replaced or upgraded quite easily. For example, you can easily buy a new hard drive with more memory although it might not really be easily possible to upgrade your RAM to a higher configuration.

Thus, you should make sure that your RAM will be more than enough to handle the programs and operating systems available in the market today while also anticipating capabilities for future programs that will demand more memory. About 10 years ago, it was pretty normal for one to buy a high end configuration computer with just 256 MB of RAM. 256 MB of RAM in a computer today will however result in dead slow performance. This is because operating systems, applications and programs have become much more complex over 10 years. More complexity will mean that they need more processing power and RAM to run efficiently and quickly.

These days, most computers are sold with 2GB RAM as minimum with some high end computers offering even up to 8 GB of RAM. For one who is looking to buy a new computer, it is recommended that they go with at least 2 GB of RAM. The amount of memory needed will also depend on the applications that will be run. If one is going to use their computer for very high end games or sophisticated programs or heavy multi tasking, 4 – 8 GB of RAM is recommended.