What Does RAM Mean?

RAM (Pronounced ram) stands for random access memory, a component that allows your computer to store data short-term for quicker access. Your computer loads the program or document you request from the storage disk to memory, then accesses each piece of information from the memory. Because so many operations are dependent on memory, the amount of RAM you have plays a critical role in the speed of your system’s performance. 

How memory works

Inside your computer, memory works alongside your system’s processor and storage drive (hard drive or solid state drive) to access and use data. For example, if you want to access data from a spreadsheet and perform some basic edits, here’s what’s happens inside your computer.

1.     Programs and files are housed on your storage drive. 

Crucial SSD drive

2.     Your system’s processor transfers program data from the storage drive to the memory for short-term access and use.  

Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer.


3.     The processor then accesses data from the memory, which is like your computer’s bank of available workspace. The amount of memory installed helps determine how fast applications can operate, and helps determine how effectively your computer can multitask. 

Crucial Memory (RAM) for a computer.


Upgrading your system’s memory is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to increase your computer’s overall performance. With our detailed step-by-step instructions, it’s a cinch to install, too – no computer skills necessary! Find out more about installing memory.

Different kinds of memory

To further define random access memory, there are different kinds of RAM that are used for different purposes. DRAM is the most common kind of RAM; it stands for dynamic random access memory. The dynamic part comes from the data being refreshed constantly. There is also SRAM, or static random access memory. Static indicates that the information does not need to be refreshed. SRAM is faster, but also more expensive. Both kinds of RAM are volatile, that is the information they contain is not saved when the power is turned off to the computer.

RAM works inside your computer to provide short-term access to the data you’re using now. You want to have enough memory to perform your usual tasks quickly and easily.

©2017 Micron Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Information, products, and/or specifications are subject to change without notice. Neither Crucial nor Micron Technology, Inc. is responsible for omissions or errors in typography or photography. Micron, the Micron logo, Crucial, and the Crucial logo are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Micron Technology, Inc. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.