What is the difference between unified memory VS RAM?

unified memory vs ram

When you decide to buy a new Apple MacBook laptop but you are confused about its unified memory technology and RAM technology, then it becomes a big problem.

So, Unified Memory VS RAM: What’s the difference? Unified memory refers to a technology and marketing phrase for memory (or RAM) in heterogeneous computing where it is shared among the CPU, GPU, and other accelerators, and as volatile storage, RAM is used to store and current applications. .

This article will clear everything up about this problem with all the other useful information and tips to select a sufficient amount of UM or RAM for your MacBook Pro.

Unified Memory VS RAM: Main Comparison

Here, we have discovered the main comparison of unified memory and RAM. You will be clear after going through this section.

What are they?

Unified memory brings together high-bandwidth and low-latency memory in a custom package. No need to duplicate data across multiple memory pools, significantly increasing speed and efficiency.

RAM is an acronym for “Random Access Memory.” This is the essential part of a computer’s system memory. Your computer’s system memory serves as a temporary storage area for data that is now being accessed.

Work process

CPU, GPU, and other components share a unified memory; therefore, it is important to reduce data duplication as much as possible.

On the other hand, speed and performance are strongly tied to the amount of RAM installed in your computer.

Functional uses

In addition to making possible the physical integration of RAM, the new unified memory architecture also makes better use of existing memory proportional resources.

RAM is short-term data storage that disappears when the computer is turned off. The main drawback of RAM is that it is less efficient than unified storage.

Role in the game

To play a game on your Mac with unified memory, the CPU gets all the instructions for the game and then passes the data to your graphics card that it requires.

Better gaming experience and shorter loading times can be had by using more RAM and making it faster.


An integrated approach to unified memory allows all components to share and access the same memory, revolutionizing performance.

Processing speed increases linearly with the speed of RAM. Speed ​​data movement between memory and other components by using faster RAM.

Efficient use

Having all memory pooled into a single pool makes it possible for any component to increase its utilization at any time, allowing the system to allocate resources as needed.

Also, random access memory can be used to speed up retrieval of previously accessible data.

8GB Unified Memory vs. 8GB RAM

On the M1-based MacBook Pro (and MacBook Air), 8GB of unified memory should suffice for a regular user and is comparable to 16GB of RAM on the Intel and Big Sur-based versions.

If you want to run a lot of programs simultaneously, 8GB of RAM will do just fine in a laptop in 2022 if you can afford more; however, better.

What is RAM memory?

What does RAM mean? For short-term data storage, your computer’s RAM is the place to go. Distinct from long-term data stored on your hard drive, which persists even after the machine is turned off.

It doesn’t matter if you play a game from your computer hard drive or watch a drama online; the data needed by your computer’s CPU stays mostly in random access memory. It’s for performance reasons; your CPU needs fast access to it.

Explain the concept of “unified memory” and how it works?

The goal of unified memory is to reduce the amount of data that must be duplicated between separate parts of memory used by the CPU, GPU, etc. The copy takes a long time and consumes a lot of memory. A portion of your RAM is expressly reserved for the GPU in a typical memory layout.

A laptop with 16 GB of RAM has only 14 GB accessible for system functions if 2 GB of RAM is dedicated to the GPU. Apple’s Uniform Memory Allocation (UMA) helps to overcome this problem by making memory allocation more fluid and improving performance.

GPU relationship

GPU cores, GPU memory, GPU RAM, and processor all have their own dedicated memory space if you have an integrated graphics chip processor. The CPU and GPU memory perform independent operations on the same data before passing the results between them.

It’s easy to understand how putting everything in the same storage space can improve speed if you don’t need to transport data back and forth. The unified memory method dramatically transforms performance by allowing all components to access the same memory in the exact location.

on a macbook pro

Apple’s M1 MacBook Pro SoC is simply outstanding. Along with physical integration, the new unified memory architecture facilitates better utilization of the memory already available. Thanks to this improved RAM configuration, Windows 10 can run on the new iMac M1s. By putting all of your system’s RAM in a single “pool”, you’ll be able to allocate resources as needed dynamically.

Games in unified messaging

The most excellent way to take advantage of unified memory is through gaming. To play a game on Mac oS, the CPU first receives the game instructions and then sends them to the GPU, which in turn receives the data it needs. The graphics card then uses your CPU (GPU) and onboard RAM to process the data.

Apple Unified Memory Architecture

For years, the CPU, RAM, I/O, and other components have been spread across numerous Mac and PC processors. New levels of integration are achieved with Apple’s silicon chips, which fuse multiple technologies into a single System on Chip (SoC).

For starters, the M1 pro-MacBook has significantly faster memory than the 14-inch M1 MacBook Pro because it uses 200 GB/s unified program memory and a 7.4 GB/s solid-state drive (SSD). It’s even faster. This means that data is transferred and stored on the SSD much faster. The memory performance of the new MacBook Pro is far superior to previous MacBook Pro models and, as a result, to the vast majority of PCs.

That’s why it’s critical to know that the 16GB or 32GB of RAM in the new MacBook Pro isn’t traditional RAM but a high-performance unified memory architecture.

RAM Chips vs Apple MacBook M1: Main Difference

Report this ad The acronym stands for “Random Access Memory” or RAM. This is the essential part of a computer’s system memory. Your computer’s system memory serves as temporary storage for the data that is used. The files you are currently viewing and the files needed by macOS can be saved in system memory. Traditionally, RAM has been a long, thin stick that slides into a slot on your computer’s motherboard to store data. This is another aspect in which the M1 is revolutionary.

Since the M1 MacBook Air is an M1 Max system-on-a-chip (SoC), the RAM is onboard. While smartphones like the iPhone 12 series have RAM built into the SoC, this is a novel concept for desktops and laptops. Faster memory access is possible by incorporating RAM into the SoC architecture, which improves performance.

Apple tweaked the way the system uses CPU memory and physically increased the SoC RAM. The Apple Mac Mini’s unified memory on silicon plays an important role when it comes to this.

Windows PC vs. MacBook: How much RAM do you need?

Apple’s answer isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. Due to its built-in RAM modules, the M1 cannot be upgraded once purchased. If you buy an 8GB MacBook Air, you won’t be able to increase the laptop’s RAM capacity afterwards. Upgrading the RAM in a MacBook hasn’t been an option for quite some time. However, the latest Mac Mini M1 models cannot do this.

You can get a Mac M1 with 8GB or 16GB of RAM, but you can’t get more than that in the starting batch. Putting a RAM module in a slot is no longer enough.

What type of system RAM do you need? The prevailing consensus is that 8 GB of RAM is sufficient for most day-to-day computing operations on a Windows PC. For “prosumer” work like video editing, huge high-res files, that should be increased to 32GB minimum.

That’s all about it. So why are entry-level first-generation Apple Silicon Macs so fast, and can they pull it off with such a small amount of RAM? I hope you find out soon! In terms of performance, there is no doubt that the M1 Pro and M1 Max have made significant improvements. An Apple Silicon iMac seems more likely, and our collective minds are in awe of the possibilities of an Apple Silicon Mac Pro. Be on the lookout.

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