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Computer Memory: RAM, Flash Memory, and More

Computers use several types of memory, each of which fulfills a different function. Here, you will find Micro Center’s full selection of two common and important types of computer memory: RAM and flash memory. Let’s quickly run down the differences between these two.

Random access memory, or RAM, is the workhorse primary memory that a computer uses to run its operating system and other applications. Rather than storing data long term, RAM, more specifically, dynamic RAM or DRAM, works with the central processing unit or CPU to handle processes that are currently in use. Implementing a memory upgrade in your computer’s RAM can give you a significant improvement in speed — but it is critically important to understand the types of RAM available first.

Flash memory is the opposite: a type of non volatile memory that offers reliable and low-footprint options for storing data. It is basically the same technology you will find in the solid state drive SSDs that are popular as both laptop and desktop memory. Here, we offer some of the most convenient and portable forms of flash memory: USB flash drives and SD cards.

High Performance RAM for Your Computer Needs

With hundreds of options for RAM, how can you choose the one that is right for your computer system? First, remember that RAM memory modules are installed in slots on your motherboard. Thus, it is smart to start by figuring out facts like how many RAM slots your motherboard includes and whether it supports DDR4 or DDR5 RAM.

The two most prominent types of RAM currently available on the market are DDR4 and DDR5 RAM. DDR5 RAM is the new standard for memory storage, with the latest generation of processors and motherboards from leading brands supporting DDR5 RAM storage. DDR5 RAM is more powerful than DDR4 by a solid margin, with faster speeds and a higher peak data rate. For those interested in upgrading to DDR5 RAM, make sure to buy a compatible motherboard that supports DDR5.

Memory capacity is another key factor in choosing RAM. Most modern computers come with at least 8 GB out of the box. 32 GB RAM is a common spec for gaming and creative computers, while 64 GB is a top shelf option that is steadily becoming more common for high performance workstations and gaming rigs. It is also important to look at the data speed in megahertz that the RAM offers since this will affect the memory’s general performance.

Browse all of our main memory RAM options here. Looking for hard disk drives and other types of permanent storage? Check out our full selection of hard drives and SSDs.

SD Cards and USB Flash Drives

Need flash storage to access data on the go? Our selection of SD cards and flash drives offers everything you need to efficiently store data of almost any kind — photos, documents, project files, and whatever else you have got. Browse flash memory storage devices, or shop all of our SSDs to find data storage solutions for your laptop, desktop, and beyond.

Choosing the Best USB Flash Drive for Your Needs

First, you will want to make sure that your USB drive has the right connector type for your computer’s USB ports. USB A flash drives are the most ubiquitous and use the familiar rectangular USB A port that most people simply know as a USB. There are also the newer USB Type C flash drives, which use the much smaller, round edged, and reversible USB C connector that is common on newer devices. Although USB C will eventually become the dominant technology, USB A drives are still more common and will continue to be relevant for many years. Storage capacity will also be a relevant factor in your choice. We offer flash drives in a wide variety of memory sizes, from basic 16GB models to ultra large options with 256GB and even 1TB of storage space.

Micro Center’s lineup of USB flash drives includes dozens of models from top names in flash memory storage like Samsung, SanDisk, Kingston, and more. Browse our whole lineup above and find our best prices on reliable data storage you can take on the go.

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