Technical Glossary: ​​What is Main Memory (Computer)?

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In computing, main memory is a data storage device located in a computer system that is used to temporarily store information. This memory is non-volatile, meaning data is maintained only while the computer is on.

Main memory is an essential component in the computer industry as it is responsible for processing and storing data required for the proper functioning of the devices. In this article we will explore its use and importance over time. Let's talk about how it was created, its different types and the situations in which it is useful.

Main memory is a fundamental element in a computer. It is a type of memory whose main purpose is temporary storage of data. This memory is responsible for processing data, thus allowing the computer to perform tasks and provide instant results.

Some of the main functions provided by main memory are explained below:

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Temporary storage. This memory is used to store data while it is being processed. That is, the data is temporarily stored in main memory until it is processed and transferred to another storage device such as a hard drive or SD card.

  • Fast processing . Main memory allows data to be processed quickly and efficiently, which means there are no delays in the response time of the operating system. This type of memory allows computers to run programs quickly and without errors because all the necessary data is available for processing without delay.
  • Shared Application . Main memory can be shared among multiple programs and even among multiple users, which simplifies system administration because there is no limit to the number of users or programs.
  • File size reduction . Due to its temporary nature, the information stored in main memory is small compared to other common storage devices such as hard drives or SD cards. This feature makes it possible to load large files very quickly without compromising on the overall performance of your computer.

There are several types of main memory, each with its own characteristics and limitations.

  • RAM . RAM (Random Access Memory) is the most common form of main memory. This memory acts as a kind of table in which programs and data required for their execution are temporarily stored. RAM is very fast, allowing computers to process large amounts of information faster than other storage devices.
  • was hidden . A cache is a specific type of very fast RAM designed to store recently used data and programs by the computer's main processor. This memory allows the computer to quickly access data without resorting to external devices, significantly reducing the time required to complete certain tasks.
  • Rome . ROM (Read Only Memory) is a specific type of main memory that contains static information about the basic configuration of the computer. This information cannot be changed directly by the user; However, it can be updated using external software or special hardware (such as BIOS cards).
  • VRAM . VRAM (Video Random Access Memory) is a particularly advanced type of RAM used by modern graphics cards to improve a computer's graphics performance. This RAM acts as a buffer between the graphics card and the monitor, allowing enhanced images to be displayed faster and with higher visual quality without overloading the computer's main processor.
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Primary memory and secondary memory are two types of computer memory important for data storage. Both have their own characteristics and applications and it is important to understand how the system works. In the following we will explain the main differences between primary and secondary memory.

Main Memory:

  • It is a type of volatile memory, which means data is lost when the computer is turned off.
  • It is used to store data that is readily accessible by the processor.
  • Data can be accessed much faster than secondary memory.
  • It is usually more expensive than secondary memory.
  • Its size is small compared to secondary memory.

Secondary Memory:

  • It is a form of non-volatile storage, which means that data is not lost when the computer is turned off.
  • It is used to store static information such as documents, images and videos.
  • It has slower access speed than main memory.
  • It is generally much cheaper compared to main memory.
  • Its size is relatively large, which allows it to store enormous amounts of information without compromising the performance of the operating system or the applications installed on it.
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