Difference Between RAM And ROM

Difference Between RAM And ROM

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Anshuman
Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content
Updated on Jul 26, 2023 17:13 IST

RAM and ROM are two commonly used terms in different types of computers. However, many people are perplexed whether these words are related in any way. In this article, we will look at the difference between RAM and ROM.

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Before understanding the difference between RAM and ROM, let’s first understand computer memory. So, what exactly is computer memory? Computer memory is simply the computer’s brain, where data and information are saved for easy retrieval. In simple terms, computer memory is the storage space on a computer that temporarily or permanently stores data or programs.

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Table of Content

Difference between RAM and ROM 

To understand the difference between RAM and ROM in a better way, let’s go through the differences in a tabular format:

Parameter RAM ROM
Full form Random Access Memory Read-only Memory
Expensive Yes No
Speed High Low
Capacity High Low
Data working type Read, Modify and Delete Read
Stored data is used to Process current instructions Bootstrap the computer
Data stored is volatile Yes No
 CPU can access the data Yes No
Used as/in CPU Cache and Primary memory Firmware and Micro-controllers
Accessibility of data Easily accessible Not easily accessible
Storage capacity A few megabytes of data Multiple gigabytes (GB) of data
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What is RAM?

RAM definition: RAM, or random access memory, is a computer’s short-term memory that stores the data the processor is currently processing. 

RAM is a temporary memory bank in which your computer stores data you need to access quickly. It keeps data accessible so your processor can find it quickly without having to access long-term storage to finish immediate processing tasks. There are mainly two types of RAM: Static and Dynamic.

  • Static RAM: Static RAM is a type of RAM that uses the state of a six-transistor memory cell to store data. Static RAM is primarily used as a processor cache memory (CPU).
  • Dynamic RAM: Dynamic RAM is a type of RAM that lets you store every bit of information in an integrated circuit’s capacitor. Dynamic RAM is a computer memory common in many modern desktop computers.

Application of RAM

There are various applications of RAM. Some of those applications are:

  1. Reading files
  2. Temporary storage
  3. Loading applications

What is ROM?

ROM definition: A ROM or Read-only Memory is a storage medium that permanently stores data on personal computers and other electronic devices.

ROM is a non-volatile memory that retains information even when the power is turned off. It also includes the programming required to start a PC, which is required for boot-up. There are mainly four types of ROM: MROM, PROM, EPROM, and EEPROM.

  • PROM: PROM, or programmable read-only memory, is a type of ROM that the user can program. In this ROM, the data and instructions cannot be changed once programmed.
  • EPROM: EPROM or Erasable read-only memory is a type of ROM that can be reprogrammed in programmable read-only memory. Expose it to ultraviolet light to erase the data. To reprogram it, first, erase all previous data.
  • EEPROM: Electrically erasable programmable read-only memory, is a type of ROM in which data can be erased without using ultraviolet light by applying an electric field. 
  • MROM: MROM, or Mask read-only memory, is a type of read-only memory masked off during manufacturing.

Applications of ROM

There are various applications of ROM. Some of those applications are:

  • ROM stores data and update firmware software for the computer.
  • It allows the computer to boot up and load its operating system.
  • ROM performs large input/output (I/O) tasks and protects programs or software instructions.

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Conclusion

The primary distinction between RAM and ROM is that RAM is random access memory, whereas ROM is read-only memory. RAM can both read and write operations, whereas ROM can only perform read operations.

Now that you understand the difference between RAM and ROM, you can use these computer memories more effectively.

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FAQs

What is the difference between RAM and ROM?

The primary distinction between RAM and ROM is that RAM is random access memory, whereas ROM is read-only memory. RAM can perform read and write operations, whereas ROM can only perform read operations.

What kind of data is kept in RAM?

RAM stores the operating system (OS), application programs, and data in use.

Where is ROM kept?

ROM is a type of firmware typically located on the BIOS chip within the motherboard of a personal computer.

What kind of data is stored in ROM?

ROM typically contains firmware or software instructions for booting the computer or running basic system operations. Examples include a computer motherboard's BIOS (Basic Input/Output System).

Is RAM faster than ROM?

RAM is generally faster than ROM because it allows for both read and write operations, making it more suitable for dynamic data storage.

Can ROM be upgraded or modified?

Unlike RAM, ROM is not designed for easy modification or upgrading. Changing the data stored in ROM requires specialized processes such as flashing or replacing the ROM chip.

How much RAM and ROM does a typical computer have?

A computer's RAM can vary, but common amounts range from a few gigabytes (GB) to several dozen gigabytes. Conversely, ROM is usually measured in megabytes (MB) and is typically much smaller in size.

Can I add more RAM or ROM to my computer?

Adding more RAM to a computer is often possible, as it is upgradable. However, adding more ROM is more challenging, as it usually involves replacing the existing ROM chip or using external storage devices.

About the Author
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Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content

Anshuman Singh is an accomplished content writer with over three years of experience specializing in cybersecurity, cloud computing, networking, and software testing. Known for his clear, concise, and informative wr... Read Full Bio

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