Traditionally there has been some confusion when talking about the memory of laptops, desktops and even mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. "What ... Show morememory does your computer have?" Is a question that we do not always know how to answer clearly?
Sometimes we confuse gigas with megabytes, the storage memory with RAM, and we get a little messed up. If you are an advanced user, apologize if what we are going to tell now is already known, but in order to undo this confusion we will start with simple concepts.
Computers run programs
The reason for being a computer is to run programs. As much as they look smart, they are nothing without the software. Everything a mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop, Windows or Mac or Linux, with processors of Intel, Qualcomm, AMD, Mediatek or the manufacturer that is, is just that: process program instructions. One after another, from start to finish.
A processor (a CPU or central processing unit), as soon as it receives power when you press the power button, waits for instructions to start executing them. The boot sequences of computers are responsible for initializing the system to run the operating system, on which, in turn, the programs we use in our day to day are executed.
Whether games, Photoshop, Google Chrome or Star Wars Battlefront, it all comes down to a processor that "reads" instructions and processes them according to the structure of the program that is running.
A CPU processes instructions at a clock frequency of several Gigahertz (GHz). The clock of a computer is like the captain of a galley. Mark the rhythm to which instructions are processed, in the same way as the captain marks the rhythm to the rowers. The nuance is that, if they had to paddle according to the clock frequency of a computer, they would have to move the oars a billion times per second, assuming that the clock frequency was 1 GHz.
That is the rate at which current processors work. That is, assuming a frequency of 1 GHz, one instruction is processed every nanosecond. At 3 GHz, 3 instructions would be processed for every nanosecond, and so on.
So that there are no bottlenecks that slow down the operation of the CPU, the processors have to receive instructions at that rate. Otherwise, they would have to be waiting for them, which would not make sense. Now, where are the programs that contain these instructions stored? The answer is: in memory.
Simple, but in practice, things get complicated. For example, there are several types of memory. And the instructions and data are moving from one to another as appropriate to make the processor does not have to wait to execute the code sequences. The faster this memory is, the more expensive it will be and the less quantity we can have.
So the engineers had no choice but to design a hierarchy of "containers" (buffers or cache memory) in which small amounts of super-fast memory are used in a first level, larger amounts of memory somewhat less fast in a second level, even greater amounts of cache even less fast in a third level, to reach a fourth level of RAM, which is the most familiar to users. The memory of the first three levels is called "cache" and is integrated within the silicon of the CPU. In a fifth level would be hard drives, SSD or magnetic.
To give you a rough idea, the RAM is what we can buy in stores, while the cache memories are part of the electronics of the CPU. Another difference between the cache and RAM is its technology: cache memories are of type SRAM (Static RAM), very fast but very expensive, while what we know as RAM is DRAM (Dynamic RAM), less fast, but less expensive.
If we talk about sizes, the L1 cache moves in values of the order of 32 KB, memory L2, of the order of 256 KB and memory L3, in the order of 3 - 12 MB. That is, very small quantities compared to the ones we usually use for RAM, in the order of GB. One MB is 1,024 KB and 1 GB is 1,024 MB, so you can get an idea about how little cache memory is available on computers.
As we have already mentioned, SRAM memory is faster, but very expensive. RAM is cheaper, but slower. Faster, lower capacity, and more price.
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Volatile, non-volatile memory and hard disks
Cache and RAM memories, on the other hand, belong to a wider category, that of volatile type memories. That is, if we turn off the computer, its content is lost. For this reason, it is necessary to have non-volatile memory to store the data and programs.
Hard disks and SSDs are non-volatile memory, and this is where a computer comes to boot to load in memory the instructions and data that will run during its operation. Non-volatile memory falls into the category of storage systems.
So, when they ask us about the memory of the device or the phone or tablet, they will usually refer to the volatile RAM memory. If you ask about the storage capacity, we are talking about non-volatile memory. The hard drives. The problem with non-volatile storage systems is their slowness. Access to content on a hard disk or even on an SSD is very slow compared to accessing RAM.
Doing some numbers, if we take as reference the time that a clock cycle lasts, that for a processor at 3 GHz is about 0.3 ns and if we normalize the scale to make the comparison reference is 1 second , we would have the following:
accessing the L1 cache is about 3 seconds
access the L2, about 9 seconds
access the L3 cache, 43 seconds
when we move to RAM, we are talking about a 6-minute access time
for an SSD disk, between 2 and 6 days
access to a magnetic hard drive, is between 1 and 12 months
In denormalized "computer" time, those 12 months are about 10 ms (milliseconds). A manageable time, but it is a figure much greater than the 0.9 ns (nanoseconds) it takes to access the first level L1 cache. And an unacceptable time for normal use of a computer (or a mobile or tablet).
The importance of RAM
The RAM, ultimately, is the memory that combines a decent size with an affordable price . It is the memory where our programs and data are "loaded" from the SSDs and hard disks so that they are "on hand" when they are claimed by the processor prediction algorithms, so that they are loaded into the caches before they The CPU claims them.
In this way, the CPU just has to wait, since the data and instructions are organized so that they are always in the fastest memories. If we do not have enough RAM, or the prediction algorithms fail, this flow is broken and the processor will encounter the harsh reality that is facing the slowness of the hard drive or the SSD.
For example, if the processor needs a data that is not in the caches, or in the L1, L2 or L3, it will go to RAM. If it is not in the RAM either, it will have to go to the hard disk or the SSD to read it , and therefore we will have to wait enormous amounts of time for the reading operations to take place.
The more RAM we have, the more likely we are that there is no need to look for data or instructions for slow non-volatile storage systems.
When we say that "the computer is slow", in many cases these are situations in which the system works more time with RAM and hard disks than with caches. In this order of things, it is interesting to say that the best friend of RAM is an SSD, especially when we turn on or off the computer, or when we start a new application on the computer.
At times like turning on, turning off, or when launching a new application or reading a photo or text file, the system has to work "yes or yes" in the area of RAM and non-volatile storage systems . And, as we have seen, using an SSD disk instead of a magnetic one, is the difference (on a normalized scale) between taking days to perform data access operations and programs, taking months.
When using SSDs, starting and stopping the computer or, in general, loading applications into RAM, are tasks that are performed in a fraction of the time it takes with magnetic disks . And if we suspend the equipment, the boot is even faster, because in this case you do not have to empty the RAM to save it on the disk, but it maintains its content thanks to the power of the volatile memory is not cut off.
Of course, not to use, say, 32 GB of RAM, the system will go faster. There is an amount of memory below which we will have problems, but above certain limits, unless we use very demanding applications, we will not notice difference between, say, 16 GB and 32 GB.
A few days ago, McAfee published the latest mobile threat report of 2019. According to the reports of one of the leading cybersecurity companies in the world... Show more, this year we will see an increase in the so-called false applications for Android smartphones and tablets.
According to McAfee, between June and December 2018 there was a 650% increase in fake applications. Fake applications - like the free version of the successful Fortnite game - try to access users' phones for identity theft purposes.
According to the study, in that period an increase of 200% was detected in the so-called "Financial Trojans" in smartphones. These applications contain Trojans that steal the victim's financial credentials, which allows the hacker to access the user's account. Once inside the bank account, the hacker tries to transfer as much money as possible to his own account.
If the financial theft to an individual is already something bad enough, it can be much worse for the hacker to obtain passwords that allow him to access the company's networks!
Hackers need unprotected access to access a system or network, and one of the best ways to access a company is to find cracks in security by hacking an employee's phone. Once the hackers enter a network, the company is almost completely unprotected. In that case, only in a matter of minutes the hacker will steal sensitive data (for example related to projects or new products, to sell them to the highest bidder) or install a malicious software tool such as a ransomware that encrypts valuable data.
Regardless of your specific criminal intent, once the system is open it will allow you to perform all kinds of activities to the hacker. Therefore, it is essential that this never happen in your company. Here are some tips to avoid hacking the employees' smartphones:
Employees should know that their mobile device is a perfect entry point into the company's network. Training in data security, both for the use of private and corporate mobile devices, must be mandatory for all employees.2 The Company must implement rules for the use of private devices within the company.
There must be a strict division between private use and commercial use. Applications used in business environments should never be used for private purposes. It is a good idea to centrally manage all the applications available for the company's smartphones or tablets - Mobile Applications Administration, MAM.
All smartphones and mobile devices that are used within a company must be managed by a centralized administration (also called Mobile Device Management). From this tool, the administrator will be able to implement all the necessary patches and security features through a single implementation. In short, the administrator can manage all the devices from his desk. Only the use of tablets or smartphones in the company's network should be authorized within a specially protected guest area that allows access to a limited Internet and that is monitored in real time, so that malware cannot be distributed in the company.
An inventory record must be kept of all the mobile devices used by the company and keep it updated. There must also be a (brief) documentation of each product and its updated status - manufacturer, type of product, operating system, updates, patches installed and phone number. The delivery of any device to an employee must always be backed under signature.
If the mobile device is used for both private and business purposes, special measures must be implemented. There are different possibilities to divide the use: one of them is to offer a special containment application. There are many in the market, for example: Air Watch Container from VMware, Sophos Mobile Control 6.0 or Container Station of QNAP NAS. Within the containment application, the software may work normally, but it will not be able to connect to external links without a notification occurring. It also prevents the copy or transfer of sensitive data to private and non-secure applications such as WhatsApp. If the containment application is not available, the employee may only use applications and programs after authentication. In addition, downloads and data transfers should always be made through a VPN.
You must remember that you will never be completely safe from cyber-attacks, even after implementing our advice. Hackers will always look for new and better ways to access weak points in the company's system or network. If you have received an attack, inform the local authorities and in case you need to recover data - for example, after a ransomware attack - contact a professional data recovery service provide such as professional data recovery services
Most users come to data recovery service for SSD Drive repair due to a series of common circumstances: the hard drive suffered a blow, the computer does not ... Show morerecognize the disk, the memory card asks for formatting, etc.
But we also get clients with slightly more peculiar problems. Today we have compiled some unusual accidents and other disasters:
I got into a swamp with my cell phone in my pocket. Never get in a swamp with a cell phone in your pocket.
The iPad fell to the ground ... and then it was run over by a truck.
The hard drive was on a shelf. He fell off the shelf and hit the wall, bounced off the table and from there fell to the ground.
I left the laptop on a hood.
The disc fell from a height of a first floor.
We need to delete some data safely. An office mate who is a bit rough has just destroyed the disk with an ax, but just in case we prefer that you finish destroying you.
Of course, each case is a drama for those who have suffered it, but when seen together they almost surpass a good catastrophe film.
Fortunately, in the last case there were no personal injuries when destroying the disk with an ax, although the safe deletion using Disk Eraser would have been 100% effective and without danger to the physical integrity of its office staff...
In any case, if you have suffered an accident that prevents you from accessing data from your hard drive, your phone, tablet or any other device, do not hesitate to request your data recovery budget without commitment.
In this photo we show you a hard drive full of ants that we have received in the data recovery laboratory, coming from an African country.
As you know, hard... Show more drives are extremely delicate, especially magnetic dishes where data is stored in digital format.
When the plates begin to spin, any tiny particle causes damage to the magnetic emulsion when it is dragged by the read-write heads.
And any damage in the magnetic emulsion can make it difficult or impossible to recover the data. You already imagine that finding a legion of insects walking around the dishes is not the good news ..
Discs usually leave the factory hermetically sealed. Many have a ventilation duct, but they carry a filter so that no particles can pass. So, how could the ants enter?
In this case, it seems that they have managed to find a way to the rubber that hermetically seals the disc on the side of the SATA connector. Then, they have gnawed the rubber, they have entered the unit and they have gone to walk it calmly, arriving until the magnetic plates as you see in the image.
In other occasions, the entrance of ants through tiny ventilation holes has been described for hard drive recovery service.
Why do electronic devices attractants?
Ants often like to nest inside computers and other electrical appliances because of the heat they give off, which speeds up the development and growth of their young.
Electricity not only does not drive them away, but it seems to attract them in certain cases. They are famous for it called " crazy ants ", an invasive species that in Texas (USA) has come to break through massively in all kinds of electrical appliances, causing short circuits and causing problems even at the NASA center in Houston, apart from a good number of incidents of damaged hard drives and data loss in home computers, laptops and smartphones.
In the forums of Internet, the histories of discs invaded by ants are not scarce. Almost always there is some funny Forero who does not resist telling the affected person that he has to "debug" his system, joking with the technical word debug, which in computer slang refers to debugging or "eliminating errors" and in its sense literal means "eliminate the bugs". Already in the time of the first electromechanical computers, there is documented some famous anecdote in which a real insect was the cause of the failures of the system.
Anecdotes aside, you have to avoid this kind of problems by all means, so if you find ants near your computer, do not leave it for tomorrow and take the appropriate measures so that the area is free of insects. Any parasite inside the disk can cause irreparable damage to magnetic dishes, making it difficult to recover the data contained in it.