There's one component that's crucial in all devices, and that's Random-Access Memory, commonly abbreviated to RAM. But what is RAM? Although it sounds similar, RAM has nothing to do with how much space is on your computer. The memory in RAM is temporary; it stores things that your device needs for now and the near future. Essentially, without RAM, all of our devices would be much, much slower. That's why it's important to make sure you have enough RAM when you're doing computer-intensive things such as gaming and using editing software (Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, Pro Tools, etc.).
Your computer's storage space (typically a hard-disk drive or solid-state drive) is for long term storage and is much slower to access than RAM. Because RAM is hard wired directly to your system, it runs at the same speed from everywhere without latency. Also unlike your storage space, RAM loses its data with every power cycle because once your computer is shut off, none of that temporary data is needed anymore.
Here's how to check how much RAM your computer has:
On a Windows computer, open the Start menu (hit the Windows key) and type in "RAM". Click the "View RAM Info" result and the amount of RAM installed on your computer will appear under the "Installed Memory (RAM)" heading.
To see how much RAM your computer is using at any given time, then in the Start menu, search for the Task Manager. This tells you what processes or programs your computer is currently running and how much RAM each one is using. Under Performance, you'll see an overview, and next to the Available heading, you'll see how much RAM is presently available.
On Apple computers, the process is just as simple. Go to the Apple Menu in the top left corner and click on About This Mac. Navigate to the Memory tab, and you'll be able to see how much RAM is installed. To see how much RAM is being used currently, find the Activity Monitor, which you can search for (CMD - Space Bar) or find under Applications, then Utilities.
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