What Is Computer RAM?

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How Computer and Laptop RAM Works
RAM stands for random-access memory, but what does that mean? Your computer RAM is essentially short term memory where data is stored as the processor needs it. This isn’t to be confused with long-term data that’s stored on your hard drive, which stays there even when your computer is turned off. Anytime you play a game from your computer’s hard drive or stream a movie from the Internet, all of the data that your computer’s processor needs to play the game or watch the movie is stored in RAM. This is so that your processor can get to it quickly. Once you’re done playing your game or watching your movie and you close it down, the processor doesn’t need that data anymore, so it replaces it with the next task you give it. RAM can slow down your computer if there isn’t enough of it for the processor to perform the tasks you ask it to. If your processor wants to load more data than your computer RAM can handle, it has to keep going back to the hard drive or the Internet to obtain the information again. This is just like someone trying to pick up more tennis balls than they can carry; in the end, they spend more time picking up tennis balls than playing the game!

How Your Computer Processor Works
The processor makes up a computer’s ability to think, much like the conscious parts of your brain. The faster you can answer math problems, read and understand the words in a book, get the meaning of a joke, or accurately tell your body what to do while playing a sport, the more powerful your brain is. Computer processors are the same way. The more powerful they are, the faster they can perform tasks with the data (games, movies, applications, etc.) that’s available on your hard drive and online. Your computer’s processor works with RAM to function as a team. RAM is like your short-term memory. If you were to bump your head and lose your short-term memory (your RAM), you wouldn’t be able to remember anything that happened more than a few seconds ago. However, you’d still be able to think perfectly well. But think about it—without any memory, you (and your processor) would have severe difficulties.

More Performance for Less Cost
What you’ll find on the market these days by way of all-in-one PCslaptops, and 2 in 1 devices can handily deliver a far superior performance experience for a lot less money than you might have thought possible. If you’ve been on the fence about buying a new computer, take a look at some of the super-performing computers available today. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

Features and Benefits

A Visual Feast

Intel® HD Graphics and Intel® Iris® Plus graphics let you watch your favorite videos in high resolution, edit the smallest details of your photos, and enjoy vibrant gaming experiences. Plus, 4K Ultra HD (UHD) with Intel® Iris® Plus graphics offers up an immersive viewing experience like never before.

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Energy That Lasts

Long-lasting battery life gives you impressive performance. With up to 10 hours on a single charge,1 your laptop can keep up with you wherever you go.

Robust Data Security

Intel is enabling a new level of security for businesses and consumers with Intel® Authenticate Solution. By using hardware-enhanced enterprise-grade factors of authentication, consumers can be free of the annoyance of using passwords for logging into their PC and for secure online transactions and payments, and gain more peace of mind and strong protection for personal information.

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Related Technologies

Explore other amazing technologies.

Intel® Core™ Processors

Packed with advanced features to boost productivity and performance, Intel® Core™ processors enable incredible new experiences with your 2 in 1 device.

Explore 8th Generation Intel® Core™ processors

4K Ultra HD (UHD)

Experience sharper, crisper, clearer images, and video with 4K Ultra HD (UHD) technology. Combined with the power of an Intel® Core™ processor, you can watch your favorite content in a truly immersive way.

Read more about 4K UHD

Virtual Reality

Amazing virtual reality experiences take amazing compute power—Intel is pushing the boundaries of compute innovation to accelerate truly immersive viewing and interaction.

See Intel’s vision for VR

Intel® Graphics Technology

Watch captivating 4K video, expertly edit photos and videos, and immerse yourself in vivid gameplay with Intel® HD Graphics, Iris® graphics, Iris® Pro graphics, and Iris® Plus graphics.

Experience 4K quality

Windows* 10

With hassle-free login through facial recognition, easy voice activation, and new Windows* Ink you can now work, play, and sketch out an idea in a way that feels as intuitive as pen and paper.

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Thunderbolt™ 3 Technology

A single compact port can now do it all. Thunderbolt™ 3 technology offers a new level of connection, delivering the speed of Thunderbolt™ technology in USB-C form. Pair it with a 7th generation Intel® Core™ processor, and your PC will be at its most versatile.

Learn about Thunderbolt™ 3 technology

Product and Performance Information


As measured by Windows* 10 1080p 24fps local video playback test: USB devices disconnected, local Wi-Fi access connected, screen brightness 200 nits. Launch Tears of Steel (1080p H264 10MBps 24fps) video using the Windows Movie & TV app. Measure and calculate average power for the duration of the video.

Estimated on Intel® Core™ i7-7500U processor, PL1=15W TDP, 2C4T, Turbo up to 3.5GHz, Memory: 2x4GB DDR4-2133, Storage: Intel® SSD, Display resolution: 25x14, Intel® HD Graphics 620, OS: Windows* 10 TH2. Battery size 42 WHr.