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Last Post by RikTelner
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    This thread is 7 years old. Its clear that a computer in 1995 and still in 2012 requires RAM to even start up. Can someone mark this as solved? Read More

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To the best of my knowledge, you can not on newer computers as the computer won't ever get past the POST. I think even older computers required some amount of RAM.

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i believe all computers neeed at least one bank filled with ram, be it the older machines where one bank was around 4 slots, to the new machines of one bank being the slot itself.

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you can but i think it will be very SLOW !!! Why would you do that ? if your ram is broken i suggest you fix it

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This thread is 7 years old. Its clear that a computer in 1995 and still in 2012 requires RAM to even start up. Can someone mark this as solved?

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no u cannot boot a computer without a RAM, becuase during booting the cmos will look for the bios setting to start POST, after post, operating sysytem files will located from drive c: and loaded into memory, and this files contains the GUI desktop. SO IF U DON'T HAVE A RAM u will boot a manchine and your desktop will go dark.
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Can any body put it now as solved

only the orignal post can mark it as solved ,and they never did come back to the thread

Edited by caperjack

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Ok lets make this more hypothetical, if you completely redesigned a computer and re-wrote the entire operating system could you have a computer that doesn't need ram. From my understanding ram is the middle man, you transfer data from your hard drive to your ram and then to your cpu and then your cpu transfers data to your ram and then your hard drive, so couldn't you just remove the middle man. Could you potensially make a computer that doesn't run off of ram.

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Ok lets make this more hypothetical, if you completely redesigned a computer and re-wrote the entire operating system could you have a computer that doesn't need ram. From my understanding ram is the middle man, you transfer data from your hard drive to your ram and then to your cpu and then your cpu transfers data to your ram and then your hard drive, so couldn't you just remove the middle man. Could you potensially make a computer that doesn't run off of ram.

Hypothetically, yes. But such a computer would either be extremely limited without some alternative strategy to RAM, or extremely slow, given the current alternative to insufficient RAM: virtual memory.

Edited by deceptikon

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Even with highspeed harddrives, the speed difference between RAM and permanent storage is a 1000:1. Your CPU would be starved for information. Of course you could design it to run off of cache, but that is just highspeed RAM on the chip. It is still temporary memory.

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There has to be storage available for the CPU to move bits around, perform calculations, etc.. Storage is found in the CPU as cache (really fast memory), on RAM modules (temporary fast memory), and on secondary storage (slower, but can store information while the PC is powered off).

So I suspect the only reason why you dont have a computer with just cache memory is because if you built one with the amount equal to what you see in RAM, it would be cost prohibiitive for the consumer. However, the PC would be really, really fast...

This is the main reason why when there are questions related to "which computer should I buy", my response is that you should buy a PC with as much L1, L2 cache as possible, fast RAM, and fast secondary storage drives. I rather put my money there rather than buying a PC with the latest CPU chip with the highest Ghz rating.

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Hello everyone reading this thread... Since this question was raised 7 years ago... consumer based computers have changed quite a bit, but one thing that has not changed as of yet in 2013 is that you cannot boot your home PC without RAM. RAM is still required.

Can you build a computer that has no RAM?.. of course..if you are into computer engineering, there is no reason why you cannot develop a computer without RAM. But, I am pretty sure that the original poster of this thread was just wondering about RAM in a traditional PC and not asking about what/if scenarios...

So, as to not confuse anyone else that may come accross this thread... you need RAM for your PC to boot. Let's wait another 7 years around 2020. Maybe by then, Random Access Memory will be replaced by something else..

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I'm running an Asus K54C WITHOUT RAM!!! It's for a customer, and I SWORE to him that this was not possible, but lo and behold, the machine booted up. I took it apart to see if there was a hidden slot on the mainboard, or at least try to figure out if there was some onboard memory. NOTHING. I have the computer at my shop right now! I will provide proof if needed. lol

Edited by K: adding a line

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K, you might not have found a extra slot when you took it apart ,but if you knew what to look for you will find a ram chip of some sort soldered to the board ,all computers need ram to boot !!!!
i have a dell laptop here that only has one slot for me to put ram in ,and it i take out the one in that slot the laptop still boots ,becaue of onboard ram !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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On board ram is not what he is talking about. He was talking about ram modules. on board ram is really just for start up. Running a XP pro laptop right now with the 1 gig ram chip in my hand. If I place the memory in the lappy it will not boot or do a preboot check.