What Is Printer Memory?

By Oliver W. Jones

Printers have their own dedicated memory, and you can install more printer memory to avoid problems and print larger files. This memory is an important factor in avoiding errors and printing documents properly.

Definition

Printer memory is memory (RAM) built in to the printer. Printer memory is separate from computer memory. All printers come with a certain amount of printer memory installed, but most are upgradeable to handle more or larger print jobs.

Function

Printer memory is used to store and process print jobs as they are sent to the printer from a computer. After printing, the job is cleared from the memory to make room for more print jobs.

Importance

Printer memory is directly linked to two print characteristics: speed and print quality. More memory allows you to print faster and print larger, high-quality graphics.

Adding Memory

Printers use single inline memory modules (SIMMs) for memory. Standard SIMM sizes include 2 MB, 4 MB and 16 MB. Some printers accept third-party SIMMs, while others accept proprietary SIMMs only.Refer to your printer's documentation to determine the type of memory you need.

Hard Drives

Some printers also use hard drives to store print jobs. While printing from a hard drive is slower than printing from RAM, you can store many jobs on the hard drive without overloading the printer's memory.