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How do RAM timings really work?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
So I understand the basic principle that RAM timings dictate how many clock cycles must pass between when a CPU requests data from the RAM and when the RAM actually responds. But what I dont understand is why the RAM waits at all, why cant it react immediately? Furthermore, why is it possible to artificially force the RAM to respond faster by lowering the timing settings? Last, if we know the CPU has to wait for the RAM to respond to a request for data, why cant the CPU "work ahead" and request the data in advance to make up for the latency? I think I know the answer to the last question, but I'll wait for an explanation anyway to make sure I am correct.
post #2 of 2
Probably has a bit more to do with keeping things in line. If there was an open door policy there wouldn't be a easily predetermined stream of information and programming would become infinitely difficult.

Edit: and the fact it probably has lot to do with the physical properties of the ram itself. CPU caches work the same way.
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