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Mi Max 2

[Discussion] [How it Works #9] What is a RAM in smartphone!

2019-06-10 00:50:30
840 28

Dear Mi Fans!

This is a new series about all parts your smartphones and how it work on device!
Almost all modern smartphones are equipped with RAM. But not all know how it work! Today you'll know more about this smartphone detail.  We will not talk about how they are produced! Let's talk about the main concepts and technical characteristics.

What is RAM, why is it needed and what does it affect?

Smartphone RAM is a parameter that determines the level of gadget performance and its ability to multitask. The more RAM installed in the device, the easier it is to work with several demanding applications at the same time.

Modern operating systems actively use RAM to store and process important and frequently used data in it. If electronic memory did not use RAM, then all operations would have been much slower, and reading from a permanent source of memory (ROM) would have required much more time. And more or less multi-threaded processing would be almost impossible.
Using RAM allows applications to run and run faster. Data can be easily processed and wait for their turn due to addressability (all machine words have their own addresses).

Why do we need RAM?

RAM or random access memory
- is the link between the processor and the operating system, because it stores temporary information necessary for running applications to run.

This means that, if necessary, the memory can directly refer to one, necessary block, without affecting the rest. The speed of random access does not change from the location of the necessary information, which is a huge plus.
RAM, favorably with volatile memory, almost zero effect of the number of read operations write to the service life and durability. With respect to all the subtleties in the production, RAM rarely fails. In most cases, damaged memory begins to make mistakes that lead to the collapse of the system or the unstable operation of many components of the device, or its complete failure.

The need to constantly add new models of RAM is dictated not only by marketing. The number of programs and processes with which users work every day is growing every day. Smartphone for quick launch and stable operation of programs and games need a lot of RAM.
Branded shell manufacturers, for example, Flyme or MIUI, usually require more resources than pure Android - this is explained by the built-in applications, additional features and visual improvements of the interface. For this reason, manufacturers are forced every year to install more RAM.

What does RAM contain?

We all know that the more RAM, the more applications can work simultaneously. However, this is not all that precious gigabytes are spent on.
Android runs on the Linux kernel. The kernel is stored in a special type of compressed file and retrieved directly into RAM when the device is turned on. The kernel, drivers, and kernel modules that control device components are stored in this reserved area of ​​memory.
RAM disk for virtual files. Some folders and files in the system directory are actually virtual. They are created at every boot and contain information such as battery level and processor frequency. For their storage is allocated a little more RAM. Data, IMEI and modem settings are saved in NVRAM (non-volatile memory that is not erased when the phone is turned off). At the same time, with each download, they are transferred to RAM for modem operation. The graphics card also needs memory to work. It is called VRAM. Our smartphones use integrated graphics processors that do not have their own memory. Therefore, a certain amount of RAM is reserved for the graphics adapter.
All the RAM remaining from the consumers listed above is available to the graphical shell of the operating system and installed applications. In this case, in one part of the remaining amount of RAM, the data of running applications is stored, and the second is always left free in case the user starts another program. If the amount of free memory decreases, then previously launched applications are unloaded from the RAM.

To date, the amount of RAM that the operating system reserves for its needs, is about 1 GB. Although manufacturers can apply their own settings and additional modules, which to some extent affect this figure,

If the operating system and applications are sufficiently optimized, it is not necessary to chase the number of gigabytes. A well-known and illustrative example: smartphones and tablets running on iOS, often have less RAM than competitors on Android. This does not prevent them from showing good results in everyday use, and in performance tests.

Types of RAM?

In addition to the capacity of the RAM is also different speed. The higher the number characterizing the RAM, the faster it will work. There is even a statement that according to the possibilities of 4 GB (LPDDR3) approximately correspond to 3 GB (LPDDR4). Perhaps the difference is not so big, but it definitely is. It is logical that it is recommended to choose a phone with an LPDDR4 module.

How much RAM should be in a smartphone?

When choosing a phone, it is important to consider that in most cases the operating system with the shell will “bite off” approximately 1-1.5 GB of RAM. Each of the running processes consumes a certain amount of resources, for example:
  • WhatsApp: about 20-30 MB.
  • YouTube: about 100-200 MB.

In today's reality, 3-4 GB of RAM in a smartphone should be enough to comfortably use the device, applications and games. Gadgets with 1-2 GB of RAM today can no longer boast of smoothness and speed, however, they are quite suitable for running a small number of programs, simple games and calls.

Those who are looking for a modern and powerful smartphone for any task, manufacturers offer devices with 6 or 8 GB of RAM. Now it may seem that such a volume of RAM is probably not needed by the phone, but in the era of machine learning, artificial intelligence and augmented reality, extra RAM will not hurt.

In the end, I can say that the speed of the smartphone is not affected by the amount of GB of RAM - as its type!
Therefore, no need to chase the volume and choose quality!

Thanks to  Administrator!

Related thread:
[How it Works #4] Type of Touchscreen and How it Work!
[How it Works #5] Type of Display and How it Work!
[How it Works #6] Camera in smartphone, and how it works!

[How it Works #7] What is the battery in your phone or smartphone?
[How it Works #8] What is a processor in a mobile phone?


Number of participants 3 Experience +43 Pack Reason

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2019-06-10 00:50:30
Favorites10 RateRate

News Reporter

ᎮᏒᎥᏁፈᏋ | from Redmi Note 4X


well Explained thanks for sharing!!
2019-06-10 01:11:09
Tech Explorer

Advanced Bunny

Madalin | from Redmi 5 Plus


awesome info.
2019-06-10 01:57:28

Advanced Bunny

ViVahiD | from MI 8 SE


very good explanation and understandable
2019-06-10 02:25:20

Master Bunny

Erdinçer | from MI MAX 2


Nice info thanks for sharing
2019-06-10 03:50:10

Feedback Team

Sampath madurai | from Redmi Note 4


Very well Explained thanks for your information
2019-06-10 04:11:23
Thanks for your information.
2019-06-10 04:36:33

Beta Team-Global

georan. | from Redmi Note 5 Pro


thanks for information
2019-06-10 04:47:26

Grand Master Bunny

Seragios | from Redmi 5


Thanks for sharing
2019-06-10 04:51:33

Beta Team-Global

Colin Hopper | from Mi MIX 2S


Great article, very informative and interesting, thank you so much for sharing this with us, it's appreciated.
2019-06-10 05:25:34

Pro Bunny

bob72gar | from Redmi 5 Plus


Good thread, thanks!
2019-06-10 07:25:39
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