Computer memory is available in different formats and form factors. Memory slots and cards are used for high-performance servers, while others are used in embedded systems. They tend to have differences in performance and how they work to hold memory.

Some tend to be more volatile than others. Understanding the different kinds of memory available before purchasing or upgrading your computer is essential.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about RAM and DRAM their differences and how they can affect your computer usage.

RAM vs. DRAM: Full Comparison

Random-access memory, or RAM, is the temporary storage area that holds information while the processor works on other tasks. It is used to store information waiting to be processed by the computer processor. It is a volatile form of memory which means that, in case of the computer shutting down or a power outage, the information stored on it will be lost.

RAM enables the computer to run faster since it does not have to fetch information from the hard drive, which tends to have more latency and greater round-trip time.

DRAM is a form of RAM and it is dynamic in nature. It stands for Dynamic RAM and requires regular refreshing in order to hold memory. It is made up of a transistor and a capacitor, the former being known to leak electricity.

As such, a refreshing change is needed within the DRAM in order to retain the information that is stored on it. In terms of performance, DRAM is fast and gives you reliable performance for different application scenarios, such as servers and high-performance computer clusters.

RAM vs. DRAM: A Side-by-Side Comparison

RAMDRAM
StabilityVolatileVolatile
Refresh NeedsDoes not require refreshingRequires refreshing at the same clock rate as the CPU
SpeedFasterRelatively Slower
CapacityHigh capacityVaried capacity
Power Usage RequirementsUses less powerUses more power

What’s the Difference?

In this section, we explain the key differences between RAM and DRAM in-depth.

RAM

RAM is the memory that is used to hold the information that the processor needs to process next. If information is fetched from the hard drive every time it needs to be processed, computers would be very slow.

RAM is much faster than the hard drive and, as such, it is capable of better and more reliable performance. Whenever the processor is working on some information, the information that is expected to be processed next will be held in RAM, where it will be readily available when the computer resources have been freed up after the information has been processed.

There are different kinds of RAM that work on the same principles but have different underlying mechanisms, capacity, and power requirements. As it is volatile, the information that is stored is not permanent, which presents some advantages to the computer and enables the information processing pipeline to work effectively.

The different kinds of RAM available are used to perform different tasks, which usually depend on the kind of information that needs to be processed. For instance, the type of RAM that you would use on a database server would be different from the type of RAM that is used on a computer that computes protein structures. The computing scenarios are all different, and for this reason, the memory that is used is also different.

DRAM

DRAM is a dynamic kind of RAM. It has been designed using capacitors and transistors with a refresh rate where a charge goes through the circuitry several times each second in order to retain the memory that is in the storage.

Due to the number of times that this memory has to be refreshed each second, DRAM uses up more power, so it has greater power requirements. As such, you have to think about this when you are looking for memory for your computer. The power consumption might have an impact on your overall performance and your bills at the end of the month.

DRAM is also denser than other kinds of memory from the requirements of the memory and the greater circuitry that is on the memory boards. However, DRAM is known to be a more persistent form of memory and can be quite effective when working with computing-intensive applications.

For instance, processing huge amounts of images and video footage can be more effective with DRAM in computers. It is more reliable in performance and can work for much longer as compared to the other kinds of computer memory. As such, it is a more dependable type of memory that can easily cater to your computing requirements and ensure that you are able to work on and complete all your projects with ease.

Computer memory RAM DRAM SRAM
Your computer’s memory is integral to your computer’s ease of use when running applications.

RAM vs. DRAM: 4 Must-Know Facts

  • RAM is available as static RAM (SRAM) and dynamic RAM (DRAM).
  • RAM slots determine the kind of RAM that can be installed in them. You have to check for the RAM that your motherboard supports before making an upgrade or installing new RAM on your computer.
  • RAM is a type of internal memory and is installed directly on the motherboard to make it closer to the processor.
  • Most modern computers and motherboards use DIMM RAM slots.

Final Thoughts

Memory is vast and complex for computer systems. RAM is an internal memory that enables your processor to work more effectively. With RAM, there are two kinds, DRAM and SRAM. 

When comparing RAM and DRAM for your own computer needs, be sure to examine your typical computer usage, such as the applications you most often run. This will enable you to make an informed decision when buying a new computer or upgrading your current one to accommodate your specific use case.

RAM vs. DRAM: What are the Differences? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Does increasing RAM improve the performance of a computer?

In most cases, yes. Increasing RAM makes your computer faster and capable of processing more information. However, this is directly connected to the speed of your processor and the number of bits that your computer can process. For instance, 32-bit computers would not perform better with RAM greater than a certain level.

Why is RAM considered to be volatile memory?

RAM stores information for a short period of time. It only stores the information that is about to be processed next. As such, it is a temporary form of memory that does not last as long as other external memory types like SSD.

Is DRAM better than RAM?

Ultimately, it depends on your computer needs. DRAM is more dynamic (hence the name) than RAM, and it works very well with computing-intensive applications. It can also work faster and more reliably than RAM. However, it uses more power than RAM. So, it depends on the type of applications you run on your computer, how often you do so, and your personal preferences.

Is DRAM good for gaming?

DRAM may improve your FPS rate, leading to faster load times and more seamless gameplay.

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