What Is RAM In A Computer? Components, Types, Explained!

Let’s admit it! The internet is full of complex information about hardware computing devices such as RAM, Hard disks, and processors. The complex information backed with confusing terminologies often leaves one paralyzed and the result of an online inquiry is zero.

what is ram
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Getting to the point, this blog is going to leave your mind errorless by providing you with well-structured information about RAM. The blog contains potential information about the simplistic definition, types, purpose, components, and the average price of a RAM depending upon the features it offers.

What Is RAM?

RAM aka Random Access Memory is one of the vital digital organs of a computer. Implanted on a motherboard, RAM contains a complex circuitry system that acts as a bridge between data lines and storage. Gone through a massive transformation over the years, the kinds of RAMs used these days are composed of Integrated Circuit chips and (MOS) memory cells.

What Is A RAM Used For In A Computer?

I know tons of questions have popped up in your mind about the use of RAMs. And I bet, they are more or less like, What is the purpose of a RAM?  Just stop being anxious and let me solve the mystery for you.  

Random Access Memory temporarily stores the data which allows the computer to perform multiple operations at godspeed. Every computer accesses an application, it stores the data on RAM to ensure the application loads faster on the next access. 

In other words, every time you use a document file, access a website, play a videogame, or use any application, your computer RAM is at work to ensure the system doesn’t hang. Without RAM, your PC would be slower than the slowest turtle to ever live. Yeah, I know that’s pathetically slow.

History Of RAMs

Just like the super-sized computers built in the past, RAMs used to be as big as the size of a big room. Yeah, you read it correctly. Random Access Memory has gone through a long phase of dramatic changes in the last few decades. And that’s specifically in terms of its size and its data-transfer capacity which has been comparatively lower than the RAMs used today.

Vacuum Tube

RAMs’ history starts with the revolutionary invention of the Vacuum Tube in 1949. Invented by the super-genius minds of Freddie Williams and Tom Kilburn, it was named the Williams Tube which was a kind of a Cathode Ray Tube. 

Although some great minds like Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison experimented with the Vaccum Tube, they were met with little success. After the introduction of the Williams Tube, The ENIAC general-purpose computer made its way to the world of computer sciences relying on thousands of Vaccum Tubes.

Magnetic Core Memory

Commercial successor to the Vacuum Tube, Magnetic Core Memory dominated the next two decades of the Post-War era. The actual Magentic Core Memory was the final product of a series of events involving some of the earliest tech-lovers. Namely, Fredrick Viehe was the first to develop the Magnetic Core Memory in 1947 only to allow some more minds to work on its development. This included scientists like Ann Wang. Kenneth Olsen and Jay Forrester.

Also termed Core Memory, it used unnumbered cores to temporarily store the data to keep the computers speedy. Unlike the volatile RAMs of the current generation, Core Memory could restore the data after every shutdown. Despite its non-volatile properties, it was always used as a Random Access Device.


While Core Memory was the first and only reliable option for modern computing devices in the mid-60s, semiconductors were being worked upon for the development of a new type of memory. With its introduction in the mid-60s, semiconductor memory, also called MOS, entered the international market to set some new standards. 

Way more efficient than the Core Memory, MOS proved to be affordable. It needed less power and produced less heat to perform the same amount of tasks as the Core Memory.

Static Random Access Memory (SRAM)

The decade of 1960s retains great value in the history of RAM. It’s because, soon after the invention of MOS in the mid-60s, a new type of memory was brought up in the market. Titled Static Random Access Memory, it was the result of the remarkable efforts made by Robert H. Horman who is considered the Godfather of SRAMs. 

What’s the simplest definition of Static RAM? It’s the type of hardware device that stores the data in bits using multiple transistors and doesn’t require to be refreshed.

Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM)

The history of RAMs is an utter piece of junk without the inclusion of Dynamic Random Acess Memory. Shortened to DRAM, it’s the current generation of RAM operational in almost every other computer responsible for providing you with a lightspeed digital experience. 

The first-ever DRAM came under the corporate flag of Intel which successfully engineered Intel’s 1103 DRAM (IC) in 1970. This huge success allowed Intel to make a big name in the global market while laying the foundation for the DRAM revolution.

The following table provides a timeline of the major RAMs that were developed over the years and which contributed significantly to the RAMs’ history.

1965ToshibaIntroduced their first-ever 1 bit DRAM 
1967IBM Developed 1-bit DRAM as a clear indication to dominate the competitive international market
1970IntelIntel 1103 equipped with 1Kbit capacity introduced by the U.S tech giant
1984HitachiIntroduced one of the first 8Mbit DRAMs 
1995Hitachi 160nm DRAM powered by 1GB capacity invaded the global market
1997HyundaiPresented a powerful DRAM featuring a whopping capacity of 4GB
1999SamsungKorean tech company presented added 1024 Mbit supported DDR to their extended family of RAMs
2001SamsungOne of the earliest DDR2 RAMs introduced
2008Samsung 16384 Mbit powered DDR3 RAM was made public 
2018Samsung128 Gbit DDR4 was introduced by the South Korean company

Types Of RAM

Random Access Memory is divided into two categories based on different working mechanisms. These categories are the following.

SRAMAn SRAM runs using 6 transistors to temporarily store the data and operates faster than most of the other types of RAMs
DRAMSupported by an Integrated Circuit, a DRAM holds the capacity to save each and every bit of the data. Despite its superior data-saving capacity, it comes with a lower price tag

DRAM is further divided into 5 types.

ADRAMAsynchronous DRAM is supported by a specific circuitry system that controls it’s timing using signals
SDRAMSDRAM is known for its superior signal synchronization connecting it to a computer’s clock system
DDR SDRAMIt’s another subtype of a DRAM that features a dual-end data transfer for improved speed performance
RDRAMLike other types of RAMs, RDRAM doesn’t rely on a motherboard but rather on a processor’s memory frequency for enhanced speed
CDRAMCDRAM’s function revolves around the unified memory and a small cache system

Parts Of Computer RAM

As explained above, a Random Access Memory is the central data processing hardware component of a computer. A RAM’s task is to ensure the computer speed remains optimal. While RAM is among the smallest devices a computer has, it has several components that make it a speedy data processing unit. These components are listed below.


This is like the heart of a Random Access Memory featuring a semiconductor circuitry system. Without those small circuits, a RAM wouldn’t be able to establish connections between and among its components. These circuits are like the communication lifeline of the various components which together keep the RAM functioning.


While today’s RAMs contain a clock system, it wasn’t the case with the older types of RAMs in the past. Modern RAMs use the clock system for signal synchronization which was never needed in the older RAMs. A clock system installed on RAM enhances uninterrupted performance and allows reduced manufacturing costs per unit.

Mode Register

The Mode Register part of a RAM is there for the maintenance of the burst length. It is also supposed to perform the very average tasks of a Random Access Memory. The Mode Register scans the column address strobe and makes sure its latency remains operational according to the standard protocol.

Memory Banks

All the memory-storing cellular colonies of a RAM are centered in the Memory Banks. These digital colonies of the memory cells are what RAM needs for data storage. Equipped with multiple Memory Banks, modern RAMs have more space for memory cells than their ancient counterparts.

SPD Chip

The Serial Presence Detect Chip contains all the valuable information about the RAM including its size, type, and speed. Think of it like this. All the RAM-related data provided by your computer system is basically generated by an SPD Chip.

Burst Counter

This part of a Random Access Memory allows high-speed burst access with a number of factors involved. Apart from that, Burst Counter uses various burst lengths for an enhanced burst access.

All RAM Manufacturers

When it comes to the list of RAM manufacturers, there are trillions of them. Take a look at the major RAM manufacturing brands for the best pick.

CorsairCorsair is a California-based computer hardware company. It has introduced tons of fully-featured RAMs for notebooks, PCs, and Laptops.
CrucialCrucial is another major American RAM-producing company. Complemented by the tech experts, its DDR4 and DDR5 RAMs are the best bet for laptops.   
FujitsuThe Japanese multinational company is one of the biggest RAM brands in the Asia Pacific. Its ReRAM Family is absolutely a technological marvel offering the smallest read current. 
G.SKILLThe list of major memory solutions providers includes G.Skill which is credited with the introduction of the super-charged Z Family RAMs to provide a perfect experience. 
INNO3DKnown for delivering high-latency providing RAMs, INNO3D dominates a huge share of the gaming market. 
KingMaxKINGMAX is a Taiwanese memory solution provider better known for its flagship Zeus Dragon DDR4 Gaming RAM which offers 32GB operational capacity. 
KingstonKingston has been a pioneer in the memory solutions industry for years. The Californian computer memory brand is one of the most-trusted ones among gamers. 
LenovoLenovo is a prime example of a super successful brand in the industry of memory solutions. From selling DDR4 RAMs to offering world-class USBs, Lenovo emphasizes on customer satisfaction.
MicronMicron’s memory chips are one of the best in the western hemisphere. If you want performance-driven RAMs, Micron is good to be considered. 
PNYAn American RAM producer, PNY’s Gaming memory devices such as XLR8 Gaming MAKO™ DDR5 5200MHz memory device are just exceptional.
SamsungThe symbol of Asian dominance in the world of technology, Samsung is a household name for digital solutions. Historically, Samsung has manufactured some of the best RAMs.  
SimmtronicsSimmtronics is perhaps the best RAM-producing brand based in India. Simmtronics manufactures game-friendly RAMs offering reliability and affordability together.  
ThermaltakeAs a major RAM developer covering the game industry, Thermaltake releases some of the coolest digital products. Its liquid cooler-powered RAMs are the talk of the town.
TranscendTranscend strives to provide with latest digital solutions. Recently, Transcend released a DDR5 RAM featuring 32-bit transfer channels maximizing the data transfer speed

How Much Is A RAM Stick?

It’s all about the generation and the operational capacity of the Random Access Memory. For instance, a 4GB DDR4 Random Access Memory would come with a tag of anywhere between 20$ to 30$. And the 16GB DDR4 RAM could cost you anywhere between 85$ to 155$. Similarly, for the 16GB DDRR3 Random Access Memory, you would have to pay 70$ to 95$.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wrap Up

The Random Access Memory chapter comes to an end here. Going through the content has definitely given you a bit of a clue about the RAMs and the general information associated with these handy hardware computing devices.  

From changing the way we use computers to maximizing extreme graphics video game experience, RAMs have been doing a lot for humanity. Just imagine, the entire computer experience that you have had in all these years was made possible by the super-fast RAMs processing information at an unimaginable rate. So, the next time you play a video game or watch a 4k video, you would throw a Thanks to your RAMs for an uninterrupted experience.

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Bilal Khan
Bilal Khan

Bilal might look like a Bearded Caucasian right out of a Viking movie but trust me he's a native Pakistani. He has a long list of hobbies among which staying updated on the Latest Technology and Hardware happens to be on the top. If you are looking for detailed hardware explanations through no tricky terminologies, follow him to read Tech Content curated perfectly for the human brain.

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