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Difference between RAM and ROM – 6 Major Differences | Primary Memory

Difference between RAM and ROM

RAM Definition (Random Access Memory)

RAM (Random Access Memory) is the internal memory of the CPU for storing data, programs, and program results. It is read/write memory which stores data until the machine is working. RAM is a volatile memory because as soon as the machine is switched off, data is erased or lost. Random Access Memory (RAM) is a high-speed component in devices that temporarily stores all the information a device needs for the present and the future. Random-access memory allows any byte of computer memory to be accessed without affecting the preceding byte. RAM can be found in servers, PCs, tablets, smartphones, backup drives, and other devices. As of today, RAM is a type of integrated circuit chip that contains metal oxide semiconductor memory cells (MOS).RAM directly affects a system’s speed and performance.

Information in the RAM can be accessed quickly since it stores the information that the computer is currently using. In addition to loading applications, browsing the Internet, editing a spreadsheet, and switching between all these activities quickly, it enables computers to perform everyday tasks.

ROM Definition (Read Only Memory)

Read-Only Memory (ROM) is the internal memory from which we can only read but cannot write on it. A read-only memory (ROM) is a type of storage medium that stores data permanently on personal computers (PCs) and other electronic devices. This program contains the necessary programming for the start of a PC; it performs major input/output functions and holds software instructions. Throughout the evolution of the modern computer, how this type of memory is altered has been a source of design consideration. “Firmware,” which is hard-wired with integrated circuits, is stored on ROM. During the building process, the manufacturer inserts a specially designed ROM chip into the device. In contrast to a hard drive’s non-volatile memory, rewriting a ROM chip’s memory is difficult and time-consuming. Most integrated circuits can’t be altered, which means you can’t update more basic types of ROM.

The ability to reprogram modern ROMs may be limited by slow speeds and special equipment. ROMs with these limitations are unsuitable for applications that require frequent updates or are susceptible to security holes or bugs. ROMs are preprogrammed to suit the hardware they’re supposed to be in. Often, it controls functions that are integral to the device’s function and do not need to be modified or customized. The Basic Input-Output System (BIOS) is one kind of data that is usually stored in a ROM chip. The BIOS of a device controls how it responds to input from the user at the most basic level, such as the way a computer starts up when the system is turned on.

Why is ROM Non-Volatile?

ROM is non-volatile memory because the information is stored permanently in such memories during manufacture.

Types of RAM

RAM is of two types:

a) Static RAM (SRAM) and

b) Dynamic RAM (DRAM).

Types of ROM

ROM is of three types:

a) Programmable Read-Only Memory(PROM)

b) Erasable and Programmable Read-Only Memory(EPROM) and

c) Electrically Erasable and Programmable Read-Only Memory(EEPROM)

Difference between RAM and ROM 

Some of the differences between RAM and ROM are as follows:


RAM ( Random Access Memory)

ROM ( Read Only Memory)

1.RAM stands for Random Access Memory.ROM stands for Read-Only Memory.
2.RAM is read/write memory.We can only read ROM but cannot write on it.
3.RAM is a volatile memory because as soon as the machine is switched off, data is erased or lost.ROM is non-volatile memory because the information is stored permanently in such memories during the time of manufacture.
4.It is a faster process to write data to a RAM chip.It is a slow process to write data to a ROM chip.
5.RAM is used in the normal operations of a computer after starting up and loading the operating system.ROM  is used primarily in the start-up process of a computer.
6.RAM has high storage capacity than ROM ie; it can store multiple gigabytes (GB) of data, up to 16 GB or more per chip.ROM has low storage capacity than RAM ie; it can store only several megabytes (MB) of data, up to 4 MB or more per chip.

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Quiz Questions

Which of the following offers a combination of the features of ram and rom?

C. Flash Memory
D. Cache
Correct Answer: Option C (Flash Memory )
Explanation: Flash memory offers a combination of the features of RAM and ROM. Like RAM, it can be updated to store new information. Like ROM, it does not lose that information when the power to the computer system is turned off.


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