PC Hardware

Technical Terms Beginning With R

RAID (redundant array of independent disks)

The combining of several drives using either hardware or software controls to make them seem to be one drive.

RAM (random access memory)

The main memory where a computer temporarily stores data.

read-only memory


real mode

An MS-DOS mode in which a computer can perform only one operation at a time and an application expects full control of the system. Real mode operates within the MS-DOS 1 MB limitation.


Temporary memory storage areas located inside the CPU. Used to hold the intermediate results of calculations or other operations.


A file or set of files in Windows 95 and later that stores information about a computer's hardware and software configuration.


A device that works like an amplifier; it increases or boosts a signal to allow transmissions over longer distances.


A measurement of the detail of images produced by a monitor or printer. Normally measured by a horizontal and vertical number of pixels for monitors or dots per inch for laser printers. The higher the number, the better the quality and more memory required by the system.

ring network

A type of network in which all the servers and clients are connected in a closed loop.

RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing)

Uses a smaller and simpler set of instructions to control the processor thereby greatly enhancing the processing speed.

ROM (read-only memory)

Computer memory that contains instructions that do not need to be changed, such as operating system startup instructions. The computer can access data from ROM but cannot put new data into it.


A device that works like a bridge but is able to select the best route from network to network based on traffic load. A router can also connect dissimilar networks.