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RAM, or Random Access Memory, is an essential component of your computer that functions as its short-term memory. Unlike the long-term storage provided by your hard drive or solid-state drive, RAM is used to temporarily hold data and instructions that your computer needs to access quickly. When you open a program or run a task, the relevant data is loaded into RAM, allowing the CPU to access it swiftly. The more RAM your computer has, the more applications and tasks it can handle simultaneously without slowing down. However, unlike storage drives, RAM is volatile, meaning its contents are lost when you turn off your computer. That's why saving your work to the hard drive is crucial to preserve data for future use. Think of RAM as your computer's short-term memory, enabling it to work efficiently and switch between tasks smoothly for a seamless computing experience.