What is the difference between RAM and VRAM?

When building a PC, it is very important to know what memory to use. So what’s the difference between RAM and VRAM?

Read also: The difference between RAM and ROM that you should know

If you’re building a computer, you might come across two terms that sound similar: RAM and VRAM. However, what do these terms mean and what is the difference between the two? Let’s break down the difference between RAM and VRAM.

What is Random Access Memory?

What is RAM

RAM or Random Access Memory is a memory that stores data, just like a flash drive or hard drive. However, it is different from the two that are only useful for storing files in the form of movies, photos, music, and other types of files. RAM stores data of currently running applications. Therefore, each application requires RAM when running. The amount of RAM used also varies depending on the application itself.

By analogy, RAM is like a repository. This warehouse can be filled with cardboard boxes. The significance of the card here is the data. These boxes are owned by the applications you are running. For example, if Google Chrome is running, then Chrome will need storage space to put the boxes. How big and how many boxes differ depending on the application. One application may have a single cassette, but the size is very large, while another application has many cassettes but the size is small.

The warehouse must also have capacity. That means it can be full. Closing an application that is already running is the same as moving a cardboard box from the repository, which means that the application data in RAM will be deleted. So that the free space is available again and can be used by other applications that you want to run later.

When the device is turned off, the data in RAM will be completely emptied because no application is running. This is why RAM is usually called volatile memory that is, memory that requires energy to hold stored data.

What is VRAM (Video Random Access Memory)?

What is VRAM

Video Random Access Memory or commonly abbreviated as VRAM is one of the components installed on a video card that functions as a RAM, but VRAM is used to store data from the GPU (Graphical Processing Unit). The data may be in the form of textures, framebuffers, or other assets required by the video card to play back an image so that it can appear on the monitor screen.

VRAM serves as memory to store all the graphics data needed by the GPU to play an image. This is because the GPU is relatively faster to extract data from VRAM than to extract data from hard disk or even system RAM.

Read also: The difference between GPU and VGA

When the image is displayed on the monitor screen, the image, which is still in digital data form, is first processed on the GPU and then written to the VRAM, then converted to an analog signal by RAM or random access digital memory. analog converter (RAMDAC), until it can finally appear on your computer screen.

All of these processes take place so fast that we can’t see the blinking during the frame replacement process. This is because VRAM has dual port technology that allows the processor to write images while the video card reads them to appear on the computer screen.

The difference between RAM and VRAM

The difference between RAM and VRAM is their use. RAM is the memory that the processor uses to store data that is currently being calculated. While VRAM is video RAM in which the GPU stores data that is used for computing.

When the computer has problems storing processes in its memory, it is a problem with RAM. While when the computer does not have space to manage the display settings, it is a VRAM issue. In addition, RAM can be replaced and upgraded, while VRAM cannot.

Read also: 5 ways to know damaged RAM on laptops and computers


So that’s the difference between RAM and VRAM. In short, RAM is the memory used to store temporary system files, while VRAM is the memory used only to store graphics data.

The more VRAM a graphics card has, the faster it can process more data. Similar to RAM, the more RAM it has, it will load and store more data and can run more programs simultaneously.

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