CPU Museum

random access memory

Differentiating ROM and RAM in Computer Hardware

Many non-tech people refer to the ROM and RAM interchangeably, however, these two computer terms are different from each other. There are many key differences between these two. First of all, ROM stands for Read-Only Memory while RAM stands for Random Access Memory.

RAM vs ROM

The difference revolves on three factors as follows:

  • The use
  • The memory function and capacity
  • The physical sizes of ROM and RAM chips

ROM and RAM memory function

The ROM chips have a storage medium that’s non-volatile. This means that a constant power source is not required to store the information saved on it. In contrast, RAM chips are volatile. This means that when the computer is turned off, it will lose all the information it contains. Basically, ROM is used for permanent storage, while RAM is used for temporary storage.

ROM and RAM Uses

The ROM chip is mainly utilized when starting the computer and the RAM chip is utilized for normal operation following the loading of the operating system. For instance, the ROM chip generally stores the BIOS program on the computer’s motherboard. The RAM chip momentarily stores files used on the computer, for example, documents you write, images you edit, or data of games you play.

ROM and RAM memory capacity

ROM chips store many megabytes (MB) of data. Typically, it stores 4 to 8 MB for each chip. RAM chips could store many gigabytes (GB) of data, from 1 to 256 GB for each chip.

The Computer ROM

The computer BIOS is a very good example of computer ROM. This is the PROM chip used to store the programs required to start the computer process. For computers and other devices, using non-volatile storage media is the only way to initiate this process. ROM chips have also been used in game system boxes, such as the original Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Gameboy, etc.

AMIBIOS BIOS

The oldest storage medium of ROM type can be traced back to 1932. This type has magnetic drum storage that’s still being used to this date.

The Computer RAM

RAM chips are being used in computers and other devices to quickly store temporary information generated by programs. RAM is among the fastest storage types, so you can quickly switch from task to task. For instance, the Internet browser you use to read a page from a website is loaded into the main memory RAM and is executed from it.

Smartphones today are also powered by RAM for you to play games and browse the internet from your phone. Regardless, you will need an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to make this possible. You may check out mobilabonnement and compare mobile subscription data that’s suitable for your needs.

Tags: , ,

Categories: Computer, Hardware, Technology