Computing

Difference Between ROM and RAM

Main difference

For a computer system to work, there is always the requirement of memory and critical files that are stored in the system. This can be done with the help of storage devices and options that can help read data on storage devices. This can be done in two ways for digital devices in the form of ROM and RAM. Both are known as read-only memory and random access memory, respectively. They both have differences between them. The main one is that RAM stores memory for a short period of time and when the system is turned off, the data is lost. ROM, on the other hand, stores data forever. Changes can be made to data in RAM, but such changes cannot be made to data in ROM. This helps to make the observation that ROM data is only available in read mode, while RAM data can be read and written according to requirements. RAM is available in two different types while ROM has 4 other forms, all of which are used in the system according to the specifications. There are also many other minor differences that will be discussed at the end.

Comparison chart

ROM RAM
Full name Memory of only reading Random access memory
Function read data write data
Viability Helps keep core application files installed You can run different applications that are installed on the computer.
Sure Yes No
Changes It can not be done It can be made

Definition of ROM

ROM is known as read-only memory, which is used in digital devices such as computers and cell phones. It is used to properly store memory that cannot be changed quickly and requires certain actions for modifications to take place. All applications and drivers are installed in the ROM because it can keep the memory safe and longer. Once the product is manufactured there can be no changes to the system hardware and specifications it has because they are completely stored in ROM. Although this can have its benefits, there are also some drawbacks, for example, if there are some errors that hinder the process or errors that need to be debugged, they cannot be removed and the problem persists. Because of this,

Definition of RAM

RAM is known as Random Access Memory and is a different way of storing data than ROM. The main advantage of this is that the data can be used in a short time, as it is available for reading at any time. RAM maintains the location of data in memory and whenever the command requests it, it brings that memory to the user. In the past, devices such as hard drives and memory sticks were used to perform this task and the system took much longer to work. It operates on the principle of multiplexing and demultiplexing which helps to get to the line where data is stored for reading and writing. It can divert the user to different locations and memories at the same time, which is another advantage it has over previous devices. The only drawback is that if the system shuts down or some other error occurs, the data that is written will be lost. Efforts are being made to reduce this problem, but there is still a lot of work to be done in that regard.

Differences in a nutshell

  1. RAM is known as Random Access Memory while ROM is known as Read Only Memory.
  2. RAM allows the user to read and write data, while ROM only allows the user to read data.
  3. RAM can run different applications that are installed on the computer, while ROM helps maintain the main application files that were installed.
  4. ROM holds all the critical files needed to boot the system, while RAM does not hold any of those files.
  5. Data stored in ROM is safe and cannot be altered, data stored in RAM can be lost the moment the system is powered off.
  6. RAM can be accessed easily at any time while ROM cannot be accessed all the time.
  7. Alterations can be made to RAM, but changes to ROM cannot be made effortlessly.
  8. The main types of RAM include RAM and DRAM, while the main types of ROM include PROM, EPROM, and EEPROM.

Final Thought

Computer architecture is something that is a mystery to people who are general users and do not have detailed knowledge of it. The two terms ROM and RAM are similar that they are considered the same but they are different in operation and functions. This article, therefore, gives a proper understanding of the two types for people to have a clearer idea.

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