We can read RAM in the specs sheet when we buy a new smartphone or computers. RAM stands for Random Access Memory, a storage that CPU can access data very quickly. I have researched things about it and here is what I found and understand about the RAM’s Purpose.
RAM’s Purpose, like the desk’s purpose
Imagine we are a president of a company. We have received a lot of files from every department and put it in our cabinets, drawers, and shelves. We need to save those files for later to make our work done. Those files have the data we need for our decisions, presentations or reports. If we need to work on something, we will get the files we need from those storages. In order for us to access these files very quickly, we put those files on our desk. And we only put it back in the drawer or in the cabinet when for the meantime, we do not need it anymore.
This scenario is just like what happens on our smartphones and computers. The building we are working in is the outer case of those devices. The floor is the circuit board. The departments are the built-in devices [camera, screen, microphone, keyboard] we have on our computer or smartphone. The cabinets are the hard drives or the internal storage. We, ourselves, are the CPU and the desk we are working at is the RAM.
If we tap our screen for example to open an app, the screen department will send a request to the CPU to open a particular app the user wants to use. The CPU will then go to the drawers, cabinets, and shelves to get all the files that have the data needed for this app to operate. After the CPU get the files needed, the CPU will then put those files to its desk, the RAM’s Purpose. Afterward, the CPU send some pieces of data to the screen department and show it to the user. Finally, the app is now open showing the first or landing or welcome page!
What are those files for?
The files in our desk/RAM are the files needed for currently running apps. The data on those files are needed when the user will click, tap, swipe, pinch, or press a button or the screen. If the user clicks, there’s a certain data that will show or remove something on the screen. For example, an open app will be paused and disappear from the screen if he presses the home button, or the screen will turn off if he presses the power button.
For instance, the user wants to see his schedules for today. He will tap the calendar icon to open it. Right after he tap the icon, the CPU will then get all the files from the internal storage, even the user’s schedules in the past and future years. It is for in case the user wants to check those data since he is already in the app.
With RAM, when the user wants to see a certain thing from the same app, the CPU can immediately process the data and send it to the screen without opening the cabinets and/or the drawers again and again. In result, it will process the data more quickly.
Some of these files are also the files written by the software developers/coders. It contains the program they wrote. It is documents of commands and rules that our devices can understand and should follow.
The bigger, the better
One RAM’s purpose is to make our computer and smartphone run multiple apps at the same time. In our desk, we can put multiple stacks of files in it. CPU can also do the same thing with its RAM. CPU will put everything that is in the process to it.
But, what happens if the RAM gets full? It is just like… What would you do if your desk is full? Well, we will get rid of what we don’t need anymore. We will put it back into any storage we have in our office. That is also what the CPU will do. The CPU will save those data to the internal storage.
Have you seen some YouTuber trying to compare the iPhone X’s 3Gb of RAM to the Galaxy Note 8’s 6Gb? We can see in their video that the iPhone can only retain the last 8-10 previously opened apps while the Galaxy Note 8 can retain up to the last 30 apps — depends on how resource hungry every app is. It is because the Galaxy Note 8’s CPU has a bigger desk called RAM.
With bigger RAM, the battery will also be saved. A bigger RAM will make the CPU work efficiently. The battery holds the energy for the device. If the CPU has a small desk, it will keep working so hard, resulting in the battery to drain fast.
Imagine ourselves keep on standing up to reach the cabinets and drawers, plus processing the request of every department in our company, we will need more energy for that. And the CPU will also need it, too. And the CPU will never stop getting energy from the battery until the battery dies.
To preserve the life of our devices’ battery, keep its CPU from working so hard. We should never clear its desk so the CPU will never reach for those cabinets and drawers every single time. We should never close our recently opened apps or clear our devices task manager. With that, the CPU will never do what it had already done again and again.
I hope I helped you understand what is RAM’s Purpose. I tried so hard to make this article very understandable for the ordinary but curious people. If you are a tech geek, you should read Lifewire’s post about what is RAM. Also, join me on naming this year’s iPhone in my previous post. Until next post, have a great day!
P.S.: Correct me if I’m wrong. I am always open for corrections because I am not perfect. I badly need critics. Hehehe Thanks