RAM – is the component in the computer that stores information the computer needs while it is operating. It is Random Access because the computer can get the data in any order, not necessarily the order in which it is stored. Generally speaking, the more RAM the better. 512 to 1024 megabytes or 1 gigabyte, is common for memory. However, some of the fastest and powerful computers will have two 1024 megabytes sticks and more. The most common type of RAM these days is DDR-SDRAM, which stands for double-data-rate synchronous dynamic random access memory. We already know what the RAM part means. DDR means that the data is accessed twice as fast as ordinary RAM. The latest type of most used RAM is DDR2, but use of DDR3 is on the rise. DDR2 (soon to be DDR3), offers even faster access rates and is quickly becoming the standard for computer memory. Ram upgrades for faster speeds and more capacity is one of the most popular computer performance enhancement. Again , when it comes to upgrading ram in a computer, the ram must be compatible with the motherboard in order to operate correctly.
Hard Disk Drive- All the data contained in RAM is lost when the computer is turned off, which is why it is known as dynamic ram. Since ram loses it’s data when the computer is shut down , there has to be a place to store the data permanently. This is where the hard disk comes in. The hard disk drive or “hard drive” is an encased unit of disks that look like cds, that stores data and provides relatively quick access to large amounts of data as requested by computer programs. The hard disk holds the computerâ€™s operating system. An operating system like Windows XP can use around 200 megabytes of hard drive space and Windows Vista needs around 15 gigabytes of hard drive space. The remaining extra space is used to install computer programs and to store your personal data. 80 gigabyte hard drives are common, but 400 GB units and above are available. The larger hard drives like 200 GB and more are especially needed for backup of pictures, videos and personal files for today’s computer systems. In addition, you can install more than 1 hard drive in a computer case for added disk space, security and convenience.
Now that we have the essentials that make up a computer, besides the keyboard, mouse and monitor, all that is needed are the peripherals like speakers and other devices to fully customize your computer for use.
This is one of a series of computer help information, so check back as we continue to bring more data about computers!