Instructables

What does "4 GB of memory" mean? Is it the same as RAM?

I've been looking into buying a new computer, and I'm trying to compare it to the one I have now.  Currently, my laptop tells me that it has 1 GB of RAM (I looked it up in the systems tab thing).  On the website of laptop I'm looking into, it says that it has 4 GB of memory.  No where does it mention RAM (unless I missed it, which is a possibility).  

I guess in short, my question is, is RAM and memory the same thing?

Thanks and here is the website of the Laptop I was looking at

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Alienware+-+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174;+Core%26%23153;2+Duo+Processor+/+11.6%22+Display+/+4GB+Memory+/+250GB+Hard+Drive+-+Cosmic+Black/9732759.p?id=1218162977578&skuId=9732759

7ofclubs3 years ago
There are two basic types of computer memory, RAM and ROM. ROM stands for Read Only Memory and is hard coded onto the chip, you can't change the programing on it at all, its permanent. ROM contains the computers operating system or OS. The OS tells your computer how to write things on the screen, or listen to your keyboard. RAM means Random Access Memory. RAM can be changed. When you load a program from your hard drive into your computer, like Microsoft Word, or your Internet browser, you are putting the program into RAM. When you turn off your computer the RAM is erased, the ROM is not.
When someone tells you that a computer has 4GB of memory they are referring to RAM. Some computer programs, especially Windows, uses RAM to swap frequently loaded programs back and forth, it makes the computer seem to run faster. The amount of RAM you need depends on what you do with your computer. If you run heavy graphics based programs get lots of RAM, as much as you can get. If you only use your computer for word processing or to surf the Internet you will not need as much RAM.
As for what does GB refer to? Easy. GB = gigabytes, MB is megabytes and KB is kilobytes.
A byte is just a piece of information, without getting technical think of a byte as one letter or number. Now normally a kilobyte would be 1,000 bytes, BUT, do to the way computers are organized a kilobyte is 1,024 bytes. A megabyte is 1,024 kilobytes, and a gigabyte is 1,024 megabytes.
If you think of information a kilobyte is 1,024 letters or numbers, a megabyte is 1,048,576 letters or numbers, and a gigabyte is 1,073,741,824 letters or numbers.
Hope that helps. -=7ofclubs=-
sjo232 (author)  7ofclubs3 years ago
ok great! Thanks a lot for your help, you really know your stuff haha
orksecurity3 years ago
RAM stands for Random Access Memory. While RAM is used for other purposes (caches, for example), when folks are talking about gigabytes (GB) they're generally talking about main memory.

So: Yes.
Dr. Pepper3 years ago
Yes.
yokozuna3 years ago
yep, RAM and memory in this case would mean the same thing.