Memory Guide - The Answers
Written by KingJackal aka
This article is a guide which will hopefully outline the most important
aspects of computer memory. It is by no means the be-all and end-all
of memory. I certainly haven't had the time to mention everything
I know and have researched about memory, let alone everything there
is to know. However, if you understand everything in this article
then there is a good chance you'll be head and shoulders above most
of the population. And you'll definitely be able to make some sound
decisions when it comes time to upgrade your machine's memory.
If any of this whets your appetite to learn more, I have included
some links in a section down at the end of the article.
There are three main types of memory. Namely SD-RAM, RAMBUS and
flash-RAM. Different memory types are not interchangeable.
SD-RAM is what most PC's use. 'DDR' and older 'SDR' are both types
SD-RAM comes in many flavours. The most common being
sold now is 184pin DDR SD-RAM.
A 184pin DDR SD-RAM module.
A 168pin SDR SD-RAM module.
RDRAM is a more expensive, higher bandwidth variety of memory that
you'll only find on higher-end Intel systems. It is commonly called
Rambus, because the technology is very closely guarded by a company
of the same name.
While RDRAM is just memory that can be read from or
written to, it is fundamentally different to SD-RAM. It is designed
to provide higher bandwidth, and hence performance than normal SD-RAM.
DDR SD-RAM seems to have taken a large bite out of it's advantage
Flash-RAM is what you'll find in digital camera's and the like.
Flash RAM has a key property that none of the other
types of RAM mentioned have. Specifically, if you turn off the power
to flash-RAM, the bits stored inside it don't die. This means that
it's fast like other RAM, but can be used to store data much like
a hard-drive. The one drawback being cost. If it wasn't so expensive,
we'd probably all be using flash-RAM hard-drives. This does however
suit it to the world of digital camera's, where you don't need huge
volumes of data storage. Many digital camera memory sticks are just
a few flash-RAM chips in a plastic holder.
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