Difference Between RAM and ROM


RAM stands for Random Access Memory and ROM stands for Read-Only Memory. They are both vital part of your computer. In this article we will learn about the Difference Between RAM and ROM.

Difference Between RAM and ROM

What is RAM

RAM as we mentioned in the opening paragraph, stands for Random access memory. This means the CPU can access it at any time. RAM is the quickly accessible memory that stores data temporarily. It is also a volatile memory. The data stored in RAMs depend on power and when the computer is shut off or restarted, the data saved in RAMs also gets erased. RAM is really important to run a fast computer and they are often on of the key components you should consider while buying a Laptop or building a PC.

Normally size of a RAM can range from 64MB to 4GB per unit. However, nowadays there are RAM sticks available that can range from 8-32GB. Server grade RAMs can have even higher memory capacity.

You can find 2 kind of RAMs those are-

  1. Static RAM – Needs constant flow of power, Faster, More Expensive
  2. Dynamic RAM – Needs to be refreshed, Slower and Cheaper compared to Static RAM

What is ROM

Basically ROM means read only memory. The Central Processing Unit can only read the data stored in the ROM. It does not have permission to modify the data in ROM. The CPU cannot directly access the content of the ROM. Firstly the data is transferred to RAM then CPU reads the data from RAM. Unlike RAM, ROM is a non-volatile memory. So, the data in ROM is permanent and is not erased when the computer shuts down.

ROM stores all the data needed to boot the Computer. ROMs have lower memory capacity compared to RAMs. They are also slower and cheaper. The main use of ROM is to store the boot information. There are few types of ROMs.

  • PROM: Programmable ROM, the user can modify it only once.
  • EPROM: Erasable and Programmable ROM, user can erase the content and reprogram this ROM.
  • EEPROM: Electrically Erasable and Programmable ROM, user can erase and reprogram this ROM ten thousand times.

Now lets look at some key difference between RAM and ROM in the table below-

Random access memoryRead only memory
Stores data temporarily Stores data permanently
CPU can access it at any timeCPU cannot directly access the content of the ROM.
Makes PC run fasterStores data needed to boot up the PC
Faster, expensive and more memory capacity.slower, cheaper and less memory capacity.

So, This are some key difference between RAM and ROM. Hopefully, you will find the information useful. Have a great day.

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