What is the difference between SSD, Flash Memory, DRAM, RAM etc.?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by saintforlife, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. saintforlife macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    I know that the Macbook Air has an SSD. But can someone tell me in lay man's terms what the difference between SSD, Flash Memory, DRAM, RAM etc. is? I am confused by all these terms.

    How is the 4GB of RAM used in my Air different from the 128GB SSD? Help a tech noob out. TIA!
  2. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    SSD is a type of hard drive. So the 128GB you see is the amount of space you can store music, video, and apps. Kind of like how an iPhone comes in 16GB, 32GB, etc. Flash memory is basically the technology used in the SSD.

    RAM on the other hand is completely different from storage. It is used for your computer's resources. So if your hard drive is your stomach where you are storing food, the RAM is your arms picking up the various foods and putting them into your mouth. The bigger your arms (more RAM), the more you can do.
  3. scarred macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2011
    The SSD is used to store stuff, like your apps, music, pictures, etc. Putting something on your SSD will ensure it sticks around even when you power off the machine.

    RAM is used to run stuff. If you want to listen to a song that you had previously stored on your SSD, it has to be loaded into RAM before it can be processed and sent out to your speakers.

    That's basically it. You want more RAM if you are doing lots of things at the same time (or processing very large chunks of data). You want more SSD space if you are going to store lots of data.
  4. saintforlife thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    Thanks for the replies. Is there are difference between RAM and DRAM? I keep reading online that that DRAM manufacturing companies are not doing well over the past few years because demand for computers has decreased because many people are opting to get tablet. Apparently tablets use less DRAM than regular computers?
  5. tanhm macrumors regular


    Jun 7, 2011
    why don't u google it, very simple :)

  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Ram is the generic term for memory, i.e., Random Access Memory. DRAM is a specific type of RAM - Dynamic Random Access Memory. Back in the day early in the computer industry there was also SRAM or Static Random Access Memory.

    These days for main memory, everything is DRAM in various incarnations.

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