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Which of the following pair of alternatives is correct:

  1. This computer has an 8GB RAM.
  2. This computer has 8GB RAM.

Should the article an be there?

  • 5
    Additionally, should you say This computer had 8GB of RAM? – BladorthinTheGrey Sep 10 '16 at 18:40
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    Use an 8GB, not a 8GB. – NVZ Sep 10 '16 at 18:49
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    @NVZ Actually, don't use either (at least not in the context of RAM—“an 8 GB hard drive” is a different matter, of course). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 10 '16 at 18:59
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    "an 8 GB RAM" would refer to a single memory bar inserted in the computer. "8 GB [of] RAM" refers to the total RAM of the computer (possibly got from 2 or 4 memory bars) – Graffito Sep 10 '16 at 19:29
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    @Graffito That would be an 8 GB RAM module/stick/whateveryouwannacallit. Calling it ‘a RAM’ is, at least in my experience, very uncommon. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 10 '16 at 22:32
2

It has eight gigabytes of RAM

It has 8GB of RAM

This is correct, just like

It holds 5 gallons of water.

It takes 10 hours of my day.

It is unusual to use both a number and an article: you only need one determiner.

  • 8GB or RAM -- which is it? – Hot Licks Sep 11 '16 at 0:11
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Always "8GB RAM" and never "an 8GB RAM"… today.

Until about 1980, the cognoscenti called it RAM but Joe Public needed the full "random access memory" and both might very well have said or thought of "an 8GB random access memory".

Whether either would have said "an 8GB RAM" would have depended on whether they thought of "RAM" as the abbreviation it really is, or as the word in and of itself that it has become, although that was how long ago?

Full-out, random access memory was quantifiable and comparable to cars or grains, but the acronym RAM has become collective and comparable to traffic, sugar or salt.

  • Uh… what? Did someone not like that, please? – Robbie Goodwin Sep 29 '16 at 20:07

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