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

RAM versus 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!

Follow Vangie Beal on Twitter

Based in Nova Scotia, Canada, Vangie Beal is a freelance writer, covering business and Internet technology for more than a decade. She is also managing editor of Webopedia.com.



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1200 character comment dude said on April 22, 2018 05:48 AM PDT

I wondered if I could write a one thousand two hundred character comment so here i am trying to write a one thousand two hundred character comment in a comment box that only allows one thousand two hundred character comments. I do not know why I am trying to do this but it seemed sort of easy and somewhat fun trying to come up with run on sentences to stretch out the character count and I guess I am just that weird also. Now I have seven hundred sixty four characters left so I am almost halfway done so I have made plenty of progress in the five minutes that I have been doing this. Maybe I shall type some random sentences to fill up the space I have left but i am the globglogabgalab and I do not cheat at typing one thousand two hundred characters in a comment box that only allows one thousand two hundred character comments. See my way to stretch out that last sentence? After typing this sentence I will have 260 characters left. With all said and done, I am nearing the end of my one thousand two hundred character comment typing minutes. I would like to thank all who have taken the time to read this far. For my last sentence, with only 45 characters to go, I do say goodbye to all you.

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