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Tech FAQ: What is the Difference Between RAM and ROM?

Computer Memory: RAM

One of the questions that Webopedia has been asked a few times on our Facebook Page is to explain the difference between RAM and ROM. RAM (Random Access Memory) and ROM (Read Only Memory) are types of computer memory that provide users with access to information stored on a computer. Here are the top five differences between the two types of memory:



RAM is Random Access Memory. 
ROM is Read Only Memory.

RAM is the memory available for the operating system, programs and processes to use when the computer is running.  
ROM is the memory that comes with your computer that is pre-written to hold the instructions for booting-up the computer.

RAM requires a flow of electricity to retain data (e.g. the computer powered on).
ROM will retain data without the flow of electricity (e.g. when computer is powered off).

RAM is a type of volatile memory. Data in RAM is not permanently written. When you power off your computer the data stored in RAM is deleted.
ROM is a type of non- volatile memory. Data in ROM is permanently written and is not erased when you power off your computer.

There are different types of RAM, including DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) and SRAM (Static Random Access Memory).
There are different types of ROM, including PROM (programmable read-only memory) that is manufactured as blank memory (e.g. a CD-ROM) and EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory).

There are many differences between RAM and ROM memory but there are also a couple similarities (and these are very easy to remember).  Both types of memory used by a computer, and they are both required for your computer to operate properly and efficiently.

Have more questions about RAM and ROM? Feel free to ask in the comments section!

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Based in Nova Scotia, Canada, Vangie Beal has been covering business and Internet technology for more than a decade. You can tweet with her online @AuroraGG.

Dihansa said on March 09, 2016 23:43 PM PST

TNX. best answer ever

NovaScotian said on March 03, 2016 07:47 AM PST

This is really helpful for class

shabista shahid said on November 29, 2015 04:04 AM PST

Thx. I needed this answer greatly.....

IVY said on October 27, 2015 23:15 PM PDT

The information came in quite handy.... Thanks a lot!!!!!!

favour jacksoh said on October 12, 2015 03:09 AM PDT

Thanks for the knowledge shared

HI said on October 07, 2015 06:38 AM PDT


By shabista shahid   December 03 2015 08:53 AM PST

Useful for home work

phoebe said on September 25, 2015 08:48 AM PDT

I love the way every detail is simplified and explained

nandhini said on January 06, 2014 05:11 AM PST

good explanation.

smsitliquidation said on December 29, 2013 08:13 AM PST

Thanks for the basic info....

vyshnavy said on December 05, 2013 23:18 PM PST

Excellent awesome

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