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 is a freelance writer, covering business and Internet technology for more than a decade. She is also managing editor of Webopedia.com.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
From A3 to ZZZ this guide lists 1,500 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Read More »List of Well-Known TCP Port Numbers
Port numbers 0 to 1024 are reserved for privileged services and designated as well-known ports. This list of port numbers are specified in... Read More »
Computer architecture provides an introduction to system design basics for most computer science students. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »The Five Generations of Computers
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that we use... Read More »