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How Does a Computer Memory Work

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Wish to buy the fastest & widest memory for your computer? But to serve the purpose, the speed and width of the memory's bus should match to the system. Sounds very techy? Let’s make it simpler. Each of us encounters a number of electronic memory types in daily life. We have been habitual in using these types in our professional as well as personal lives. In fact, elements like flash memory, virtual memory, RAM and ROM have altogether become integral parts of our vocabulary. But very few of us are aware of the process of working of memory. In this computerized world, these memory types are widely used in computers, mobile phones, PDAs, games and even TVs.
This storage phenomenon is directly linked to the processing of your CPU. The computer uses memory right from the moment you turn on your computer till you shut it down. But on a regular basis, when the CPU accesses the hard drive to retrieve data, it starts operating very slowly. This is when additional memory comes into play. The process can be explained as:
  • From the loading of data from ROM to performing power-on self-test (POST) and loading the basic input/output system (BIOS), the CPU plays an important role.
  • Computer RAM speed is controlled by bus width (the number of bits that can be sent to the CPU simultaneously) and bus speed (the number of times a group of bits can be sent each second).
  • The process of data travelling from the computer memory to CPU is known as one bus cycle.
  • The system bus and other components need not have the same speed. Data processed by the CPU is always written or read from memory. This way, the performance of your computer automatically gets affected by travelling of data between the CPU and memory.
  • This way, if your computer has a high ROM, you can get great overall system performance.
  • As the RAM chips continue to store information only as long as computer is in power on mode, the RAM gives computer only a temporary place to process that electronic data.
  • A memory controller establishes the information flow between memory and the CPU.
Actually, a computer RAM doesn't operate at optimum speed. The number of clock cycles needed to read a bit of data keeps changing every time. This way, the working of a computer memory is quite a technical process. But the fact to understand is that additional more RAM or memory can increase the efficiency of your computer positively.

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