When it comes to computer memory, customers are often inundated with several options, such as RAM, ROM, PROM, and others. This often sparks confusion as to which is the best for their personal application. One such source of confusion is the difference between RAM and VRAM, which are often erroneously used interchangeably. Some customers may wonder which of the two is optimal, but they are necessarily different and should be approached with nuance. In this blog, we will discuss the differences between these two modalities, while also discussing implementation for end users.
RAM is a necessary form of memory storage found on every computing device. An acronym for random-access memory, RAM is a functional memory store that helps the computer perform tasks quickly. RAM is much faster than a computer hard drive, so when the user begins using a program, data is loaded from the hard drive to the RAM, allowing for rapid integration. However, this storage form is temporary, and after the active portion of the task is completed, information must be restored to the device's hard drive for long-term access. Since RAM is erased when the computer is off, a sudden loss of power may cause certain files to be lost.
Video Random Access Memory, or VRAM, helps the CPU and display optimally render images. While most image rendering may be completed without the aid of VRAM, visually-intensive programs such as those found in gaming, modeling, and microscopy, rely upon this buffering component heavily. VRAM is homologous to RAM, but its associated device is the GPU instead of the CPU. Storing pixels and graphics data in bitmaps for rapid use, VRAM is necessary to rapidly produce robust images. While other computer components may be readily upgraded with ease, VRAM cannot be individually removed; therefore, the user must replace the GPU as a whole to increase its performance.
Of the several differences between RAM and VRAM, the biggest comes from the type of information that they store. While RAM is general and may be used to facilitate the processing of any type of computer program, VRAM is specialized to aid in function with the GPU. Another distinction is the ability for each memory type to be upgraded. While RAM may be directly upgraded to a maximum amount, VRAM cannot. Additionally, VRAM exists in close physical proximity to its processor to better aid in its function, whereas RAM may be more widespread and less localized.
As you can tell, it is hard to compare these two memory modalities because they are very different in their function. While VRAM may seem like an enticing product to upgrade along with a GPU, the day-to-day tasks performed on a computer are still more affected by the amount of RAM present. If you are working with graphically-dense applications, such as those previously listed, it is crucial to check the minimum VRAM recommendations to ensure optimal performance. If you are in the market for RAM, GPU upgrades, or any other computing elements, there is no better alternative to ASAP IT Technology.
As a leading distributor of IT Hardware, we carry millions of ready-to-purchase items for a multitude of architectures and applications. Whether you are searching for a new, obsolete, or hard-to-find product, our team members can help you find it and provide you with a quick competitive quote. To begin, simply fill out an Instant RFQ form as found on any product page and hit submit. After receiving your request, our account managers will immediately begin working on crafting a customized solution, and will return it within 15 minutes or less. After experiencing the ASAP difference, you will never look back.


June 15, 2022

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