The size of your Random Access Memory matters

Tuesday September 29 2020

A woman uses a smartphone. A RAM enables the smartphone’s storage to be refreshed to cope with the tasks it is trying to perform. PHOTO/FILE

By Rachel Nabisubi

The Random Access Memory (RAM) allows data to be read and written at virtually the same amount of time regardless of the order they are accessed.
When buying a smartphone; you should mind about the size of the RAM as it contributes to the speed of your smartphone. 

A RAM which is also referred to as a memory is a short term digital storage where your smartphone stores information when it is not using it, but might in the near future. 

A dynamic RAM, therefore, enables the smartphone’s storage to be refreshed to cope with the tasks it is trying to perform.  The more the RAM, the more information the system can store and access.

RAM is a lot faster than the internal storage you have on your smartphone. But you don’t have as much of it. 
Mr Nicholas Bulega, a technology enthusiast, says as many people buy mobile phones, computers, laptops; the RAM is constantly increasing. Those that had 500MB of RAM, now have 16 GB of RAM.

“The more RAM is an easy way for a manufacturer to make a device look better. A bigger number means it is better,” Mr Bulega says.

He adds that finding the right RAM poses a unique problem in the smartphone world such as incurring an extra cost to purchase a smart phone with a bigger RAM. 


caption: A woman uses a smartphone. A RAM enables the smartphone’s storage to be refreshed to cope with the tasks it is trying to perform. PHOTO/FILE

“Smartphones now have RAM as big as that of a computer. People are continuously asking themselves how much RAM is optimum and how much RAM should a phone have,” Mr Bulega says.

This means that means more RAM can let more apps run in the background without slowing your phone down. But like most things, it’s not really that simple. The RAM in your phone is in use before Android is even up and running.

“Your phone is like a computer and it uses RAM mostly to hold data that active applications require. The RAM along with the CPU and operating system’s kernel are using RAM. It is very fast when it comes to reading and writing,” Mr Bulega adds. 

According to the Gadgets to use website, when it comes to games and particularly 3-D ones, RAM size does matter. 

“Games consume large portion of RAM as they require a variety of files to be loaded to run. These include graphics files, 3-D models, sound and textures to name a few. High end games normally consume not more than 300-400 MB RAM space but when you have apps running with it in the   background then you might experience a drag which may impact your gaming performance,” the website notes.

He says that neither the fastest hard drive nor the latest Snapdragon processor’s cache is enough to hold what is being immediately.
However, the CPU inside the phone has its own cache to hold data that is used for calculations. But there is not a lot of it.

He notes that currently, the Android flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy Note Ultra, have about 8GB RAM.

“I want to buy a Samsung Note 9 which costs about Shs2m, it has 6GB RAM, Note 20 Ultra has 12 GB RAM and it costs about Shs3m,”

Mr Bulega further adds that although the RAM is good, it is one piece of the smartphone mystery. Consider other factors such as the battery, processor, modem, and software updates from the manufacturer when it comes to longevity and performance.

Ms Viola Nansimbe, a medical finalist at Mbarara University and gadget diehard says a RAM is like processing speed. 

“The bigger the RAM, the more things it can keep and process and vice versa. This means the smaller RAM has to prioritise what to operate fast,”says Nansimbe.

RAM is different from internal storage. RAM is volatile memory while internal storage is like keeping staff that are on your phone.

Mr Timothy Ruhuma, a phone dealer in Kampala, says a big RAM such as 16GB helps you store items when they are not in use. 

“When you answer the call, your phone keeps the game loaded in memory. As soon as the call ends, you can re-open the game which should pop right back up where you left off without necessarily re-loading the entire app or losing the progress of your game. That is what a RAM, bigger RAM does,” Mr Ruhuma says.