Video Editing Computer RAM:
What Is RAM and Why Is It Important in Video Editing?


Video Editing Computer RAM

Video editing computer RAM...

If you’re going to build a reliable video editing computer you must get to know a little something about the computer's...Random Access Memory...

Learn more here…!


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Next to the computer's Central Processing Unit (CPU) RAM (also called Physical Memory ) is one of the most speed-critical elements on your video editing computer. In most cases, even with a fast CPU, a computer system without enough Physical Memory will be very sluggish.

There are a few ways that you can tell if a computer system has this problem... One good way is to look at the hard drive indicator light on your computer. On computer systems without enough RAM this light will be constantly blinking off and on... even if the user isn't doing much.

Video editing computer – high-speed RAM
Video editing computer – notebook RAM

The more RAM you have installed the faster and more stable your computer will be!

The more RAM (Physical Memory) a computer system has the less it has to access the hard drive to "Swap Out " data with the slower "Virtual Memory " located on the hard drive itself. 

Having enough RAM is crucial to the speed and stability of your computer!

What Exactly Is Computer RAM? What Is Its Purpose?

Modern computer processors (CPUs) can perform several billion operations per second creating and changing incredible amounts of data in a short period of time.

RAM module

To perform at this level...

CPUs have to be able to quickly juggle the information they process and...

They also have to have someplace to store it until it is needed again for modification or reference.

That place is in the computer's "Physical Memory" or Random Access Memory (RAM).

RAM is actually a small electronic circuit board on which memory chips are placed. A memory chip  is an integrated circuit (IC) made of millions of transistors and capacitors.

RAM is considered "random access" because the computer can access any memory cell directly... if it knows the row and column that intersect at that cell. Random Access Memory is also called "Short-Term Memory  " because all of the information stored there is not saved after the computer is turned off.

Why the need for separate computer memory?

Memory sticks

Of course... all modern computers also have hard drives which provide “tons of memory" and storage for data.

But...

Even with the improved speed of today's hard drive technology...

Hard drives are still far too slow to keep up with all the needs of the processor (CPU).

The CPU needs and can operate on considerably more information per second than can possibly be transferred to and from the hard drive.

This is where the need for a fast, short-term memory solution comes in... A memory space that provides very fast access for the processor...So that data can be written and read as needed without slowing down the system appreciably.

This is the RAM. The computer's "Physical Memory". It is vital in a video editing computer that you have more than enough RAM!

What is "Virtual Memory"? Why Is It Needed?

Hard drive

Virtual Memory is a method of extending the amount of the available memory the CPU has access to on a computer.

When the "real " memory (RAM) is insufficient...

The computer's operating system will then use hard drive disk space as a place to store information until it is needed by the Physical Memory  for processing by the CPU.

This is called "Virtual Memory".

Since the access time of RAM is in "nanoseconds" (very fast) and the access time of the hard disk is in "milliseconds" (much slower)... The system slows down considerably when it has to use the hard drive (virtual memory) for expanded memory processing.

How Does Virtual Memory Work? What Your Computer Is Doing When It's Using Virtual Memory...

Here is a short rundown on how your video editing computer RAM accesses and uses "Virtual Memory"…

How Virtual Memory Works #1

As you do work (Your word processing, graphics, video editing etc.) your output is divided into units of data by your computer called "Pages".


How Virtual Memory Works #2

The operating system then creates a “Page File ” (also called a “Swap File ”) on the hard drive as a storage space where these "Pages" can be taken out (swapped) and filed if not needed immediately by your computer's physical memory as you work.


How Virtual Memory Works #3

This storage area on your hard drive is called... the "Virtual Memory " space. The virtual memory is not a part of your computer's RAM (Random Access Memory).


How Virtual Memory Works #4

Recently accessed "Pages " are normally put directly into your computers Physical Memory (RAM) for fastest access by the CPU. Your RAM is the fastest memory in your computer and is only used for data that is being worked on immediately.


How Virtual Memory Works #5

As you do your work however… there are times when your computer will transfer data out of the physical memory to the virtual memory so as to clear space for the data that is currently being worked on.


How Virtual Memory Works #6

This action of transferring data from the computer's Physical Memory (RAM) to the Virtual Memory (located on the hard drive) is called... "Swapping Out " or "Paging Out " the page that is in Physical Memory.


How Virtual Memory Works #7

If that piece of data (that has been "paged out") is then later referenced (needed) by a program... your computer's operating system then reads (returns) that Page  back from the Page File (virtual memory) on the hard drive and into the RAM for use.


How Virtual Memory Works #8

This is called "Swapping in " or "Paging in " the page from the Virtual Memory on the hard drive.



How Virtual Memory Works #9

This action of "Paging in" and "Paging out" of data between the physical memory and virtual memory continues constantly as you do work on your computer.

This is how your computer handles the memory requirements of your programs and background services when there is not enough physical memory to do the job.

It is a fast operation but… not nearly as fast as just using the video editing computer RAM alone to store and retrieve information.

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The More Video Editing Computer RAM You Have… The Faster Your Video Editing Will Be...!

Video editing RAM – speed and performance

If You Want Speed and Performance When Video Editing… The Important Things to Remember about Video Editing Computer RAM Are…

Video Editing Computer RAM Tips #1

RAM and Virtual Memory are not equal in access speed! RAM is many times faster!

Video Editing Computer RAM Tips #2

The more Physical Memory (RAM) the better as you get lessSwapping ” to and from the slower hard drive.

Video Editing Computer RAM Tips #3

Data stored and directly accessed from Physical Memory (RAM) gives you much more speed and stability in transferring data to the CPU.

Video Editing Computer RAM Tips #4

The total amount of memory that is available to your programs will be: The amount of Physical Memory (RAM) installed in the computer plus the size of the "Page File" (virtual memory) space allocated by the operating system on the computer's hard drive.

If you want improved speed and performance the more video editing computer RAM… the better…!

The digital video editing process is one of the most demanding tasks for a modern video editing computer system to accomplish... Even more demanding on a computer than running the latest video games!


Make sure that you have more than enough video editing computer RAM...

So that your computer is fast and powerful enough to run your favorite video editing software program with ease...!

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Have fun...!  Dan


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