9 Different Types of RAM Explained

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Different Types of RAM

Laptops and computers have changed greatly over the years, with new technologies making them faster, more powerful, and more useful than ever.

However, one thing that hasn’t changed much is RAM, and RAM still works the same way it did when computers were first introduced. 

Different technological advances have resulted in different types of RAM you can use for different things.

Here are 10 different types of RAM;

1. Single Port Memory Card

Single port memory cards allow maximum transfer speed between two devices, making them ideal for quick access to all your information.

This memory card is especially useful for laptops and other mobile devices, as it allows users to download files faster than multi-port memory cards. 

At The Computer Memory Shop, you can find single-port memory cards with both MicroSD and MiniSD support that are perfect for use with portable electronics.

These popular memory cards are available in various storage capacities, so you can choose one with enough space to meet your needs.

2. FPM

A chip type found in many computers and is one of the different types of RAM, FPM (Fast Page Mode) DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chips have a fast clock speed and moderate price. Because they’re so commonly used, though, they’re becoming less expensive yearly. 

Other than being used in many computers, FPM DRAM is often used for video games and other uses that require relatively little memory but need to run at high speed.

Though not necessarily popular compared to newer technologies, you can still find these chips in most desktops and laptops today.

In addition to their low cost, another reason for their continued use is their reliability—they’re not prone to short circuits like other similar chips.

3. USB Drive

USB drives are different types of RAM used to save small files and programs, such as pictures and videos.

USB drives can be removed from computers and transferred to other devices, making them useful for transferring information between computers.

If you have a lot of information on a USB drive, you can use one program called Handy Backup to create your backup program. 

When you set up Handy Backup, you can schedule automatic backups or create advanced backup tasks to perform different kinds of backups at different times.

Another way to do things is to buy an external hard drive and use it as additional space or a backup program.

External hard drives store large amounts of data and automatically sync with other computers when connected over a network or USB connection.

4. Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

One of the different types of RAM is a mechanical disk; hard disk drives work using an electromagnet to position a small arm.

It’s called a hard drive because it contains a magnetized piece of metal (think floppy discs from yesteryear) that hardly moves inside its shell.

Hard drives are often utilized for mobile devices like laptops and tablets because they can store large amounts of data for minimal cost. 

If you have a smartphone, your device likely has an HDD that stores your music and photos. Read/write speed is measured in milliseconds; many modern hard drives take around 10ms to open files and folders, while older models could take upwards of 100ms.

SRAM

An abbreviation for Static Random Access Memory, SRAM is a form of non-volatile memory used in CPU microchips to store data.

It requires high voltages to maintain its integrity, so it does not work on complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) chips in some integrated circuits.

The downside is that it’s expensive and power-consuming, but it can perform 10 times faster than dynamic random access memory (DRAM).

VRAM

Because your video card needs a certain amount of data to render a scene, it uses a kind of memory called Video Random Access Memory (VRAM) to store that data.

The more VRAM you have, specifically more VRAM per inch, your card will be able to push out higher resolutions at lower graphics settings. 

Most cards now come with 256MB or 512MBs of VRAM, but if you want to play games at 1440p or 4K resolution—that’s 2160p—you’ll want something that packs as much memory as possible. Right now, those are typically cards with 4GB or 6GBs of VRAM.

DRAM

DRAM stands for Dynamic Random Access Memory, the most common memory in computers today.

It can be volatile or non-volatile; when electricity is lost, the data stored within DRAM disappears.

However, DRAM has a much lower cost per bit than SRAM or ferroelectric RAM (FRAM), making it very useful for low-cost applications like PCs and cell phones. 

On the other hand, SDRAM: Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory is more expensive to produce but offers a better transfer rate with faster memory access.

FRAM: Ferroelectric RAM has been around since 1998 but can withstand shocks up to 1000 Gs and offers quick access speeds and long life spans.

DDR (Double Data Rate)

The common type of RAM used in computers. The prefix DDR refers to its ability to send and receive data at twice its normal speed.

DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4 are examples. DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory): It stores data randomly, making it quicker to access. 

However, it can only be written a finite number of times before becoming damaged and requiring replacement.

There are several kinds; SRAM (Static Random Access Memory): This type is made up mostly of transistors rather than capacitors like DRAM is.

SRAM retains data even if power is lost, so programs or documents can remain open until they’re manually closed.

5. CMOS RAM 

CMOS stands for complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor. It’s a non-volatile memory that stores iron about your computer’s hardware, such as which peripherals are plugged in and their settings. CMOS is what helps you configure your BIOS and set up a boot order. 

Since no power is required, CMOS memory can keep its contents intact when your computer is powered off—it doesn’t need a battery backup to retain its data as some non-volatile memory do.

It also means that you can’t write to or modify it while your computer is on or while it’s running Windows.

6. PCMCIA Memory Card

This type of memory card is used to expand the memory in your laptop. The PCMCIA acronym stands for Personal Computer Memory Card International Association.

The first standard was released in 1990, and type I (3.3mm thickness) and Type II (5mm thickness).

Credit Card Memory

People are sometimes surprised to learn that their credit card is about to expire, but few realize that a piece of metal in their wallet could be an excellent form of memory.

It is smart to keep digital photos safe when you’re not near your computer. To do so, take pictures with your smartphone and back them up to an SD card. 

Then, insert your SD card into one end of your credit card and place it in your wallet (it will stay put).

The next time you need to access those images, it’s as simple as swiping through them on a piece of plastic instead of digging through various files on your computer or phone. Before dinner tonight, why not whip out some photos from last week’s vacation?

7. Digital Versatile Disc (DVD)

The DVD format has been around since 1995 and started with a single-sided, single-layer disc.

Today, there are two formats available – DVD-5, a single-sided/single-layer disc that can hold up to 4.7GBs of data, and DVD-9, which holds 8.5GBs on a single side (also known as a double layer). 

You can play DVDs in most home players with optical drives; some portable devices can also play them with an adapter or built-in drive.

Computers and consoles use DVDs for games and movies, but they are commonly referred to as CDs because they look similar to a CD when blanked out.

8. RDRAM (Rambus DRAM)

This random access memory (RAM) is among the different types of RAM that typically require a costly, proprietary Rambus Channel and existing memory.

After 2 years, manufacturing and development costs dropped substantially for both Intel and AMD CPUs; however, Intel spent $300 million on RDRAM production just before discontinuing its use in PCs. 

The result was that Intel suffered massive losses from its failed attempts to introduce RDRAM.

By 2001, when Intel had ceased production on its 128 MB RDRAM chips, it had already paid Micron $500 million—and lost another $700 million trying to sell them.

9. EDO RAM

EDO or extended data out RAM is one of the different types of RAM used in older desktop computers from 1994-1997.

This kind of memory does not offer as much speed as other kinds and is generally not recommended for today’s PCs. 

The main advantage to EDO RAM was that it could receive instructions in one clock cycle instead of three, which made it a slight upgrade from its predecessor, FPM DRAM.

However, with newer technologies hitting the market (like SDRAM), EDO RAM quickly fell out of popularity, and most users are better off using more modern varieties. EDO stands for Extended Data Out.

Conclusion

A little bit about memory. A powerful computer is useless if it doesn’t have enough memory to run all programs and store everything you need.

Computers with little or no memory can crash when you open too many things simultaneously, and that’s why having more than one type of memory is important. 

When it comes down to it, out f the different types of RAM, there are two main kinds of memories you should be concerned with: random access memory (RAM) and hard drive space (HDD).

HDD does not quickly make your computer work better; it stores all your files so they can be accessed easily even when a program is closed. HDD is like an external hard drive for your desktop or laptop computer.

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