What is memory (DRAM)?

Memory(DRAM) is a component in your computer that allows for short-term data access. Since your system's moment-to-moment operations are almost always performed using short-term data access – loading applications, browsing the Web or editing a spreadsheet – the speed and amount of memory you have plays a critical role in your system's performance.

How memory works

Inside your system, memory works alongside your system's processor and storage drive (hard drive or SSD) to access and use data. For example, say you want to access data from a spreadsheet and perform some basic edits.

Here's what's going on inside your system.

  1. Programs and files are housed on your storage drive.
  2. Your system's processor transfers program data from the storage drive to the memory for short-term access and use.
  3. The processor then accesses data from the memory, which is like your computer's bank of available workspace.

The speed and amount of memory you've got installed helps determine how fast applications are able to operate, and helps determine how effectively your computer can multitask. Upgrading your system's memory is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to increase your system's overall performance. With our detailed step-by-step instructions, it's a cinch to install, too – no computer skills necessary!

How to find compatible memory

In just a few clicks, our innovative Crucial System Scanner or Crucial Memory Advisor™ tool will identify compatible upgrades for your system and we'll give you our expert recommendation that's based on 30-plus years of experience in the memory industry. If you order on Crucial.com, we guarantee compatibility—or your money back.

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