Tech FAQ: What is the Difference Between RAM and ROM?
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!
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.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »List of Free Shorten URL Services
A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015
The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
Webopedia's computer architecture study guide is an introduction to system design basics. It describes parts of a computer system and their... Read More »What Are Network Topologies?
Network Topology refers to layout of a network. How different nodes in a network are connected to each other and how they communicate is... Read More »