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Microphone Month 5


Okay, back to the basics today. RAM – An acronym for Random Access Memory. A generic for chips that are used in computing devices to store sets of instructions, which can be computer programs and data or, in the case of some musical equipment, audio data. When you run an application like Microsoft Word, the program is called up from its permanent storage area (like the hard drive, floppy disk, or Cd_ROM) and moved into the RAM, where the CPU has much faster access to it. Data can be manipulated and calculations performed very quickly and then saved back to the storage medium. Sometimes RAM is just used as a buffer between subsystems or as a cache. There are many different types of RAM (DRAM, SRAM, EDO RAM, etc.) and each has its unique properties and price/performance characteristics. RAM is usually purchased by consumers as a small circuit board (often inaccurately called RAM chips) that are made of actual RAM chips and other components. These boards can be installed in computers and other devices to expand their available memory. Because of the widespread use of RAM in all sorts of devices the prices have dropped significantly in the past decade while the quantity of manufacturers and distributors has risen. RAM circuit boards can vary widely in quality and cost. There are many subtle and not so subtle factors that go into making very high quality RAM boards so it is a good idea to be careful when purchasing RAM.

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