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Random Access Memory (RAM)

It used to be very simple when buying RAM. Not so anymore. Besides the plethora of new names and capabilities, only properly equipped motherboards can use the various types. To dispel confusion and myths, here is a breakdown of the most common types of RAM you will run across, as well as some other interesting information about it.

RAM stands for Random Access Memory, that means that it should be able to find any data stored in it directly (without having to skip over lots of other data). An example of non-random access would be an audio tape. If you wanted to hear song number four, you would have to fast forward over songs one, two and three. Contrast this with a random access device like a CD. If you want to hear song four, you go directly to the beginning of song four. Here's an interesting notion, if you think about it, even vinyl records (albums) were random access.

There are two main types of RAM, they are DRAM and SRAM. You'll find detailed information concerning both types in the following pages.

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