4 Myths And Misconceptions About RAM That Are Still Trusted
4 Myths And Misconceptions About RAM That Are Still Trusted
Surely many of us are familiar with RAM (Random Access Memory), which is one of the basic components of a computer or smartphone. But there are lots of misunderstandings that often occur, such as whether we can mix RAM sizes or brands. As we know RAM's job is to remember calculations for a limited time, so our processor doesn't need to repeat those calculations every time. But there is a misunderstanding about using different sizes of RAM at the same time, does RAM have to match? For that, let's discuss 4 myths and misconceptions about RAM.
1. “We Cannot Mix RAM Sizes”
We Cannot Mix RAM Size
In general, most laptops or computers are equipped with two slots for RAM sticks, and sometimes more. And there's a prevailing misconception that we can't use different RAM sizes at the same time, or mix RAM brands. It is a RAM myth that is not true. Can we mix RAM sizes? Yes But it may not be the best for performance.
It is recommended to use RAM by the same manufacturer, of the same size, and of the same frequency. But there is a simple reason behind why mixing RAM sizes is usually not the best way. RAM has several components that all come together to make it work properly. For two different sizes of RAM sticks to work optimally together, they need to use the same voltage and their controllers, each need to play nicely with the other. That's why it's better to use the same model in all slots.
However, this doesn't mean we can't use different sizes of RAM at the same time. For example, if our first RAM was 4GB, we can still add a new 8GB of RAM. Once we enable dual channel mode or so called flex mode, it will work as two 4GB sticks running side by side in optimal performance. Then the remaining 4GB will run in single channel mode. Overall, it's not as fast as using two sticks of the same size, but it's still quicker than what we had before.
Same as frequency or speed. The RAM sticks will work together at a lower stick frequency, by default. So do RAM sticks have to match? No, but it's much better if we do.
2. “We Don't Need More RAM”
We Don't Need More RAM
This amount of RAM is sufficient to run the software, we don't need any more. That's all the general advice we'll find. Yes, it may be enough to run applications, but that doesn't mean our PC can't be faster. More RAM does help, even if we use different sizes of RAM at the same time.
Most of the developers write their programs in a way, the application requests a certain percentage of the available RAM. So if we have more RAM installed, the same requested percentage will mean more size for the program. But that doesn't mean that because we only use 60 percent (or a small percentage) of our total RAM capacity, it doesn't mean we don't need more RAM. Our regular tasks might only request 60 percent of RAM, saving the rest for other tasks we might use later.
As a general rule for computers, for casual users, 4GB is the minimum and 8GB is the recommended size for best performance. Gamers, PC enthusiasts and professionals working with graphics, video or sound should have 16GB. On Android phones, Android Authority runs tests to estimate the ideal RAM requirement. They advise of 2.5GB for casual users, 3GB for social users, and 5GB for gamers.
3. “RAM Size Matters”
RAM Size Matters
We may know how much RAM our mobile or PC has. And when someone says they have more RAM in their PC, we automatically assume their system is running faster. But that's not necessarily true. RAM capacity or size does not really matter. Among the determining factors for RAM performance are speed and frequency. Like CPU, RAM has clock speed. The higher the clock speed, the more functions it can perform in one second. We will often find RAM with a frequency of 2400 MHz or 3000 MHz.
However, be wary of RAM mismatches here. If the RAM is running at 2000 MHz but your motherboard only supports 1333 MHz, you won't get that speed increase. So buy RAM based on the capacity of our motherboard.
In general, the average computer user won't notice much difference between 8GB and 16GB of RAM. However, changing it to a faster RAM of the same 8GB can lead to a significant improvement. Depending on how we use the machine, we have to find out which is more important to us, faster RAM or more RAM?
4. “We Must Free Up RAM to Increase Speed”
We Must Free Up RAM To Increase Speed
This is the most frustrating RAM myth about how memory works. That's one of the misconceptions that came out of the inclusion of "RAM booster" or "memory optimizer" software. If our RAM is full, that's a good thing! Don't clear RAM, it doesn't increase speed. RAM's job is not to sit empty. In fact, our operating systems and our software must use every available bit of RAM. Freeing RAM with one of those booster programs does nothing. If anything, it might slow down our system, because "freeing" means removing certain calculations from RAM memory.
RAM or memory is not the same as hard drive or storage! RAM automatically adjusts itself. If we have 4GB of RAM, it is constantly writing, deleting and rewriting data in that 4GB. And all of that is data we don't want to store. “Storage” is what our hard drives do, and it doesn't automatically adjust. In short, having free space on our hard drives is a good thing, but having free space on RAM is a bad thing. It is recommended not to use memory cleaning applications, they do more harm than good.
RAM Works Differently on Mac and iPhone
Apple has a different approach to RAM than PCs and Android phones. The basic architecture of the iPhone is much different from that of Android. That's why we won't find Apple talking about how much RAM iPhones have, while they're still as fast as the best Android phones. On a Mac, we can't easily replace or upgrade the RAM like with a PC. We need to know if our Mac can accept the upgrade and choose the right components.
So now we know the 4 RAM Myths that are still believed by many people, it is wrong even though it is in the part to mix and match RAM types it is not a problem, but later we will also face some limitations.
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