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How does memory and storage work.

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Topic

Sonic12310PlaysMC 24 months ago

So I know how RAM works including a HardDrive or SSD. But I hear that when something is used like a game it is being used on RAM so that the processor can do things quicker easy to understand. Here is the confusing part, people say it stores the information on the RAM. But if it does that does it slow the computer down? I have no clue, I thought when the processor is saving content or any data it wrights it on the hardrive, but I hear it wrights on the RAM. I do not think that is how it works and I think that it just dumps the memory it has into the hardrive and then takes the data again. Basically refreshing the program or cleaning up. I do not know, can some clear this up for me.

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Radox-0 5 Builds 4 points 24 months ago

Some simple details which no doubt someone will be able to elaborate with a bit more time.

First thing:

  • HDD / SSD - These are Non-volatile forms of storage. What this means is when you turn the power to the PC off, the information is persistent, AKA will stay there.

  • RAM - This is a volatile form of storage which means once power to it is turned off, any data will also be lost.

Now the reason why we use this mix is speed (and cost). RAM is able to provide information to the CPU at massively faster speeds compared to even the fastest SSD's on the market. So for this reason during a work session, what happens when you load a programme, game or application is the information is pulled from the HDD / SSD and during the session will remain on the RAM which is better able to feed the CPU. Then when you save any data, documents, game saves etc, this is saved back on the the Hard Drive / SSD ready for the next use. A good example of this impact is if you manage to max out your System RAM, data will start needing to swap back ad forth from the HDD / SSD and you will notice a fairly significant impact to overall system performance.

Now there are actually layers in between even the System RAM and CPU iteslf in the form of Cache, as even System RAM is not quick enough to feed CPU's with information and these will be small forms of storage located on the CPU itself, Usually you will see it written as CPU cache with multiple Level's L1, L2, L3 etc depending on the chip. This is even faster, but more expensive and its purpose is to anticipate information the CPU will need. A reasonably easy to digest video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHqNMHf2UNI

SilverWolf149 1 point 24 months ago

I have nothing else to say.