RAM (Random Access Memory)

More RAM means Better Performance

What is RAM?

Bigger RAM better performance

RAM is abbreviation from Random Access Memory. It is a component in a computer, to help storing data by allowing the component to read/write randomly. Hence, the name is Random Access Memory. RAM will only store this data temporarily since it needs constant electricity to keep this data. While Hard-drive disk (HDD) can store the data without electricity since it has its own magnetic disk. This is why when you just turn off and turn on your computer, none of your computer application or files still open.

Maybe you have question now, what if you put it on sleep mode then? When you put on sleep mode, they will still use little power to keep the RAM alive. While on hibernating mode, computer will copy the data on RAM to HDD temporarily and when you turn on your computer, it will be copied back to RAM. The data that RAM stores is different while HDD also. RAM only stores a bit of data for application to run and when you close the application that data will be deleted. This is why bigger RAM is better for multitasking. On the other hand, HDD stores more important files since it will not get cleared if you turn off your computer. It is much slower though, since it needs other component to work.

So doesn’t it mean that more RAM are better?

Galaxy Note 9 RAM

The answer is yes and no. When RAM is full they will try to clear some storage by deleting the application data. This is why sometimes when you open multiple app and back to your previous  sometimes it will be slow. This might not look significant on PC, but on mobile where mostly you open an app and just leave it in the background it is important. Although bigger RAM on mobile can make difference, if it is not optimized by the Operating System then the system itself can consume a lot of RAM also. Real world example, iPhone is still using 3GB of RAM and outperforms most of Android phone with 4GB of RAM. This is because Apple tries to optimize iOS system in every update including the iOS 12 and the apps in the App Store are going through strict reviews. However, on Android phones that are optimized such as OnePlus 6 can stay longer in the background even you are switching a lot of apps.

Imagine RAM is like a car. Inside a car there will be glove box compartment that let you store important things in a safer place. There is a dashboard also. The bigger the dashboard the better since you can place a lot of stuff there for quick access. Now imagine a big dashboard that has a lot of curve. This will makes you cannot place a lot of stuff there. That curvy dashboard is what it looks like with not optimized RAM. This is why RAM optimization by system is important.

How can I know if RAM is optimized or not?

It is pretty easy to spot actually. Android manufacturer that try to stick close to Google mostly are optimized. By giving out only the necessary features for users and not a lot of bloatware. If you see the phone has a heavy themed UI, that certainly will eat your RAM. Some people said that we can just change to Nova launcher, but this is wrong. We cannot disable the manufacturer’s UI, so this will still running on background. Second indicator is like what I mentioned earlier. If the phone has a lot of bloatware. Some bloatware might be useful, but the fact that manufacturer does not let us delete this bloatware is annoying. There are also some bloatware that blatantly copies Google’s own bloatware already. For example, including browser app when Google already put Chrome on Android.

I hope with this article when you are going to buy a phone, you will not only look at the RAM amount. Try to find an optimized Android, there are still plenty of manufacturers that do well in this. For example Sony Xperia XZ3 is still using 4GB of RAM but don’t have a lot of bloatware. OnePlus 6 has a big 6/8GB RAM and optimized software.

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