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Computer Memory

Computer memory is a key system component when building your own computer or when you build a gaming computer. What is RAM? How will a computer memory upgrade improve performance? These are some of the questions that are asked regularly by people who are starting to build their systems or are trying to learn more about the system they have.

The more you understand about the components of a computer system, the better you will be able to build, and/or troubleshoot, your system (and ultimately the more performance you will be able to get out of it).

Memory is a key part of the operating efficiency of your unit.

Your system's memory allows your computer to operate at its fastest speeds.

RAM is an acronym and commonly used term for Random Access Memory.

However, there are many types of memory that your computer uses.

The computer uses this memory in a specific order from fastest to slowest.

We'll take a look at each of these types to find out how they work and what they do.

Memory Types

  1. Cache
  2. RAM
  3. Virtual Memory
  4. Storage Devices


CPU Cache

If you have been looking at CPU's lately, or even computer systems, you may have seen the terms Cache, Level 2 cache, or L2 cache being used when describing the CPU. There are actually many forms of caching including hardware caching, software caching and more.

Caching is a way of temporarily storing data for quick access. We'll take a look here at what caching does and how it works so that you can understand its importance in determining the speed of your processor.

Computer Cache Details


Computer RAM

computer ram

RAM is short for Random Access Memory. Random, because the memory can be accessed in any order, meaning that anytime the RAM is accessed, it doesn't matter where the information is, it will come back in the same amount of time.

This is the opposite of other computer memory types such as static memory, that need to be accessed in a specific order.

This article looks at the different types of RAM and how to determine how much and what kind you will need to meet your computer memory needs.

Computer RAM Details


Virtual Memory

virtual memory

As the amount of computer RAM continues to increase on the average computer, virtual memory gets used less and less. However, for the foreseeable future, it will continue to be used. Virtual memory is what is created and used when you run out of RAM. Virtual memory is created and stored on your hard drive.

Most computers today have around 1GB of RAM, which may seem like a lot, but it can fill up quickly when you have multiple applications open. So, rather than your computer telling you to close an application when it runs out of RAM, it will simply start using virtual memory. This article looks at how virtual memory works, and how to optimize it on your computer.

Virtual Memory Detail


Flash Memory

flash memory

Flash memory comes in a variety of different types. Flash memory is used for easy, fast information storage in all types of devices.

  • Cameras
  • Video Game Consoles
  • USB Flash Memory
  • Compact Flash Memory Card

Flash memory is more like a hard drive than it is like RAM. It allows permanent storage of data in a solid state device. Solid state meaning that there are no moving parts, it's all electronic. We'll look here at how flash memory works, and what it's all used for.

Flash Memory Details


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Computer Software

computer software questions

Software for your system is more than the standard office type of product (such as a word processor, a spreadsheet program and more).

You also need to consider the software that operates your system and that helps it to operate efficiently (and to troubleshoot it when it doesn't run).

Make sure that you develop a working knowledge of what's available in these areas: operating systems to run your computer; monitoring software to protect your computer; utilities for managing and reporting on the functioning of components, such as the CPU and HD; benchmarking which will compare speed, BIOS and hardware details to other systems; and applications (such as a word processor) to run on your computer.

Thanks for
Clear Guide

"Putting the parts together was relatively straightforward. The only snag we hit (my son & I) was getting the CPU fan aligned properly. We had 3 pins in, then noticed when we turned the board over that one wasn't through.

After struggling (carefully!) for 10 minutes, we loosened the other pins, aligned all the pins and we were away again.

The hardest part, I thought, was the wiring. And here your guide really shined.

Most of the other guides ignore it, or just say 'connect all the wires properly'. So thanks for the details (because the devil really is in those wiring details)."

Don, the Netherlands



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