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Random-access memory (usually known by its acronym, RAM) is a type of data store used in computers that allows the stored data to be accessed in any order — that is, at random, not just in sequence.

In contrast, other types of memory devices (such as magnetic tapes, disks, and drums) can access data on the storage medium only in a predetermined order due to constraints in their mechanical design.

Generally, RAM in a computer is considered main memory or primary storage: the working area used for loading, displaying and manipulating applications and data.

This type of RAM is usually in the form of integrated circuits (ICs). These are commonly called memory sticks or RAM sticks because they are manufactured as small circuit boards with plastic packaging and are about the size of a few sticks of gum.

Most personal computers have slots for adding and replacing memory sticks.

Most RAM can be both written to and read from, so "RAM" is often used interchangeably with "read-write memory." In this sense, RAM is the "opposite" of ROM, but in a more true sense, of sequential access memory.

The Wikipedia entry for RAM can be found here (opens in new tab)

In the video below, MvTCracker and shows you how to install memory into your computer with some nifty advices as well.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.