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What is RAM (Random Access Memory)?

Random Access Memory is memory that computers use to run or open programs. It is not memory used for saving information on the computer, that is the hard disk drive (HDD), where long term storage occurs.


RAM (Random Access Memory)

Examples of items on the HDD include the operating system (Windows XP, Mac OS, etc.), operational software (Excel, Word, etc.), and games. When a computer is turned on or booted up, RAM pulls information from the HDD and is then the "operational memory."

Performance of a computer is often a direct relationship to the amount of RAM that is on the machine. Older computers may be operating on as little as 32MB or 64MB of RAM, whereas newer machines today often come with no less than 256MB.

If you are experiencing slow operation and feel it may be because you don't have enough RAM, please verify how much you have by:
  1. To find out how much memory is installed on your PC (if you are running Windows 95, 98, 2000, or NT), right-click My Computer and select Properties from the menu.
  2. Make sure the General tab is selected and look for the RAM value at the bottom of the Computer section.
  3. To find out how much memory is installed on your Macintosh computer, select About This Computer from the Apple menu in the Finder. This will show you how much total memory your Mac has, in addition to how much is currently being used by the system.
  4. If you are considering upgrading your current RAM, many places carry modules to fit various computers. Also, you may be able to contact the original equipment manufacturer to make this purchase. AT&T does not sell RAM.