A little 3 letter acronym that is commonly associated with computers, Random Access Memory (usually referred to as RAM), is a key component for pretty much anything technology-wise. Whether it be your personal computer or your phone, there are all sorts of different types of RAM.
But which is most important and does upgrading make a difference?
Here’s what you need to know.
One of the unknown facts on the different types of RAM is that your PC is using more than one at any given time. Take for instance static random-access memory, SRAM, is found built into almost every single CPU out there. This type of RAM is used for its fast speeds and reliable performance, which is why it is used with the CPU, the computer’s brain.
The main benefits of SRAM include:
- Lower idle power consumption
SRAM does come with disadvantages though. It can be extremely pricey to try and find, as well as getting it to be compatible with any device that it was not specifically designed for. The processor will also throttle the power and thermal up quite a bit, which is why it can relay into higher CPU temperatures. Always ensure you have a good heatsink on your CPU to maintain normal temperatures and avoid thermal damage to the components.
This is the type of RAM that you will find most commonly in any given PC or gaming console or phone, so on and so forth. Dynamic random-access memory is the type of memory that gives the computer a sense of memory. It is constantly reading data and sending it back to the CPU to process information at any given time. If you have ever opened a PC, it is usually the two long sticks located to the right, sometimes left, and sometimes both, of the CPU in a series of 2-8 slots on the motherboard.
The benefits of DRAM include:
- Main Memory
- Easier to switch out
- Less thermal throttle
These little flash data centers are responsible for how many different tasks your computer can be writing and reading at once. If you are a person that loves to open many tabs at once on their internet browser while simultaneously trying to render a video project while also having a photo editing program open, then you’ll need a decent amount of DRAM to hold you over.
Double Data Rate DRAM, commonly called DDR, is the forerunner of the RAM found in computers. We are currently sitting on generation 4 of DDR, called DDR4, which is able to produce speeds of up to 5000MHz, albeit at extremely high costs. Look forward to the release of DDR5 sometime in early 2021 for consumers to buy.
Top 10 Best DDR4 DRAM Kits
- Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro
- Crucial Ballistix
- G.SKILL TridentZ
- TEAMGROUP T-Force Vulcan Z
- HyperX Fury
- XPG Z1
- OLOy DDR4
- Corsair Vengeance LPX
- Viper Steel Series DDR4
- TEAMGROUP T-Force Delta
Error-correcting code memory (ECC memory) is our last variable in the different types of RAM. This type of RAM is focused on catching and correcting the most common types of internal data corruption. While normal DRAM does have a portion of this, it does not contain a single cell dedicated to it as ECC does.
Because of its importance in catching these mistakes, you usually only find these in specific situations. These situations would include any area where you can not risk losing the data. Things like records of any type, bulk storage of videos, and other data that is considered irreplaceable.
If you are involved in any of these fields, consider using ECC:
- Data Hives
- Video archiving
You will need a specific type of motherboard to run this type of RAM. With that extra cell protecting your data, you will be looking to pay more as well and sacrifice some of the styles that will come with DRAM sets.
Choosing the Right DRAM Speed
Most consumer-based DRAM DDR4 Kits will come anywhere between 2400Mhz and 3800MHz. The best way to determine the right amount of speed for your DRAM is to realize how you use your PC first.
If you are someone that just uses their computer for work like the Microsoft Office Suite or watching Youtube videos, then 2600MHz is considered the sweet spot. If you are someone that enjoys gaming and works with a lot of the Adobe Suite and other graphic design applications, the more the merrier. An ideal kit would be 3200MHz or more.
With the war for ultimate computer processing power turning in AMD’s favor, the more workstations are switching over to Team Red. The current line up of AMD Ryzen Processors is extremely beneficial when used with higher speed DRAM’s. The CPU performs faster and at lower thermals when paired with an excellent kit of DRAM DDR4.
But if you are still rocking Intel, Team Blue does not need nearly as high. The extra speeds will not benefit Intel processors thanks to the SRAM that is currently found within their processors. The chipset performs just fine with mediocre DRAM DDR4.
Choosing the Right Capacity
One of the most common questions asked when choosing types of RAM is how large of capacity should your RAM contain. It all depends on what type of computer person you are.
This is considered the average spot for most computers nowadays. This is perfect for someone that only tackles the computer with one task at a time. If you need to just watch some videos, send an email, type up a paper, or play a game now and then, then this is the best option for you.
The sweet spot. 16GB can tackle the majority of workstations for the majority of people. Most individuals will only need this amount. If you are someone that needs to work in graphic design, work the backend of websites, do some photo editing, then this is considered the perfect option for you. At 16GB, your gaming experience will be perfect when it comes to RAM usage.
The overkill. This will ensure that your computer is never bottlenecked (a term that means your computer can no longer perform without an upgrade somewhere) when it comes to RAM. If you are editing videos and have your team communication program running while also keeping many browser tabs open, then you should aim for 32GB. Gaming will not benefit after the 16GB mark.
Choosing Between the Different Types of RAM
When all is said and done, the majority of people will need to use DRAM. DRAM is considered the universal RAM and is used for so many applications. It is relatively cheap and easily upgradeable. Picking up a kit of DRAM can be as easy as ordering of Amazon or heading over to your local electronics shop. If you are in the science field or someone that utilizes a server storage, consider using ECC just to be on the safe side.