Pronounced ramm, acronym for random access memory, a type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly; that is, any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes. RAM is the most common type of memory found in computers and other devices, such as printers. There are two basic types of RAM: dynamic RAM (DRAM) static RAM (SRAM) The two types differ in the technology they use to hold data, dynamic RAM being the more common type. Dynamic RAM needs to be refreshed thousands of times per second. Static RAM does not need to be refreshed, which makes it faster; but it is also more expensive than dynamic RAM. Both types of RAM are volatile, meaning that they lose their contents when the power is turned off.
The place in a computer where the operating system, application programs, and data in current use are kept so that they can be quickly reached by the computer's processor.
A temporary storage location for the CPU to use and access data quickly. The memory is short term: When the computer is shut off, the data is lost. "Random access" refers to ability of the information to be accessed without going through other data as would be the case in, for instance, a tape cassette. RAM is not a permanent or semi-permanent storage medium like the hard drive.