Computer memory speeds up the processing of data by the central processing unit, or CPU. Memory is accessed much faster than a physical storage device, such as a hard drive. By placing certain data in memory, the computer can access the data quicker, which allows its overall functioning to be more efficient.
Functions of Computer Memory
Computers store data and sets of instructions in memory for quick access. The operating system’s core files are stored in the memory so the computer is functional for the user. As processes are executed, needed information is stored in the memory so that the CPU can quickly navigate between the data that it needs. This prevents the CPU from needing to access the hard drive for everything.
Multi-tasking uses memory to allow a user to run multiple programs at once. Different programs are stored so they can be switched between seamlessly. This enhances the user’s productivity.
Memory access speeds are thousands of times faster than hard drive access speeds. A hard drive is a mechanical device with moving parts. It can only find and use data at a certain rate. Memory is lightning fast in accessing what it holds. This makes using your computer much more efficient and pleasant.