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A Question About RAM

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So as of late, I've been very interested in computer hardware. I've always thought the subject was interesting, but it was just last month that I realized how interesting the specific workings of computers were. I took a particular interest in RAM, and found a lot of comparison between RAM and arrays in programming, where information is stored in an address and retrieved using the same address. This was interesting, but I'm a bit confused. How does the computer know which address to select for the right values when called? How does it store the addresses if they're stored at all, and where? Is my view on this TOTALLY wrong and misinformed? Feel free to educate me, my mind is impressionable and willing to accept new information. Thanks :D

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It would take a very long time to describe accurately how the system knows where it stores what it stores, but there is a fairly simple analogy for it... Imagine your RAM as a row of houses on each street, each house has an address, and those addresses never change. The RAM controller acts like the post office, and sends and receives the information for specific addresses. This is an incredibly simple way of looking at the physical RAM addressing system, but it tends to be quite effective. How it stores the information is difficult to describe, but think of it as a set of on/off switches that change only if they get a signal sent to them, and they stay in that configuration until sent another signal. Looking up diagrams for Random Access Memory construction might help you concerning these questions.

 

As for how the CPU knows what to do with the RAM, now you're getting into the programming aspect of things. I recommend looking up information about the Assembly language, as it is the primary language used by the CPU, and it deals heavily with memory operations. (when you hear someone say that binary is 'machine code' they know nothing about modern computer systems, it's all hexadecimal opcodes in the Assembly language)

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