It looks like Vivo is going to sell the phone with 10GB of RAM. That’s almost the same as a gaming PC and about 6GB more than most phones. Many people are scratching their heads and asking why the world needs 10GB of RAM and does that mean my 4GB phone needs more?

This won’t be the first time we’ve seen phones with lots of RAM. The OnePlus 5T has an 8GB configuration, and browsing 6GB inside some phones is becoming quite common. Let’s talk about what RAM is, how your phone uses RAM, and why a phone will have 250% more than «needed».

What is RAM

RAM (Random Access Memory) is short-term digital storage. Computers (and yes, your phone is a computer) use RAM primarily to store the data that apps are running—along with the processor and operating system kernel—because RAM is very fast when it comes to reading and writing. Even the fastest hard drive or flash memory is slow when you need to read or write something «right now», and while the CPU in your phone has its own cache to store the data used for computing, there isn’t much of it. . The Snapdragon 835 (as an example) has 2MB of cache for high performance cores and 1MB for low performance cores. 2MB of cache is only enough to store what’s in use now, so you need somewhere to store what’s in use next.

Reading and writing to and from RAM is fast. Super fast.

The OS kernel acts like a traffic cop for everything that goes on when it comes to using your phone’s hardware. When a game or some application wants to draw a new screen, the data is created to be used and it goes to RAM where the OS can parse it, let the CPU and GPU do whatever processing is needed, and then send it to the display, so the correct color dots can be drawn in the right places.

This all sounds complicated, and it is, but all you need to understand are three basic things: RAM is a place to store data for a short period of time, and data placed there can be read or written. very fast. Data in RAM is erased when the phone is turned off. Part of the RAM in your phone is used right after you turn it on and no apps or even OS can use this part. This applies to almost any computer; they (almost) all have RAM and use it the same way.