Memory Capacity

What Does Memory Capacity Mean?

Memory capacity is the amount of memory that can be used for an electronic device such as a computer, laptop, smartphone or other smart device. Every hardware device or computer has a minimum and maximum amount of memory. The performance of a device and the efficiency of its input/output operations is dependent on memory capacity.


Techopedia Explains Memory Capacity

The memory capacity of a device is commonly expressed in bytes, kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes or terabytes. A device’s memory capacity can be obtained from either the operating system or motherboard. In most cases, the architecture of the motherboard of the device influences the memory capacity of the machine. Certain third-party tools such as system-scanning applications can confirm the memory capacity of the device.

The memory capacity of a device depends on many factors such as the number of available address registers in the CPU. In the case of 32-bit CPUs, they can only address a memory capacity of up to 4 GB. As for a 64-bit computer, the memory capacity is unlimited. Operating systems also influence memory capacity. The memory capacity of a device is dependent on the main memory storage, random access memory and any external memory enhancement possible. Primary memory is often volatile while secondary memory is non-volatile.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.