RAM vs memory What is the difference between RAM and memory

RAM vs memory: What is the difference between RAM and memory?

Here is whatever you require to understand about RAM vs memory: What is the difference between RAM and memory? Now, you need to be questioning:“is memory and RAM the same?” The response is no and you will discover why throughout this post.

Both parts serve extremely various functions. A great deal of individuals puzzle these terms and utilize them interchangeably.

It is fantastic to have 16 GB of RAM, however it is uneasy to have simply 16 GB of storage memory. Hard disk drives are primarily described as the “storage memory” on a computer system. Then if the disk drive is thought about memory, what is RAM? While both are unified by typology, they are separated by function and performance.

Sounds puzzling? All of us have actually been through it. Do not stress! You came here puzzled, however you will entrust to a notified concept.

This post unmasks all your doubts about what a computer system’s memory is and what storageis Memoryvs RAM We’ll be speaking about RAM and disk drive: what they are and how they interact.

RAM vs memory: What is the difference between RAM and memory?

Let’s begin withRAM It is an acronym for“Random Access Memory” Yes, right there, you thought the very first difference. RAM is the memory of your computer system.

Hard disk drives are another essential part of your computer system’s hardware. They function as storage on your system. Those gadgets keep all the files and information that your system requires later on. This includes your files, images, basic files, running system files, and far more.

Nowadays, there are 2 kinds of disk drives extensively popular and frequently utilized. These consist of disk drive (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD). Both carry out the exact same function regardless of working in a different way.

A lot of computer systems throughout the world function HDDs as their internal storage. They vary from SSDs in their operation to check out and gain access to information. A disk drive (HDD) includes mechanical plates and utilizes a moving head to read/write information.

On the contrary, a solid-state drive (SSD) includes quickly available memory chips to gain access to information, making it quicker and quicker.

RAM vs memory What is the difference between RAM and memory

RAM and disk drive: Short-term storage vs s econdary storage

Now, as we have actually developed what memory and storage are, here comes the latter part. A computer system’s RAM is likewise described as its short-lived storage. On the other hand, a hard disk drive is irreversible storage and is likewise called secondary storage.

As pointed out previously, both RAM and disk drives share shared typology. The difference depends on function and performance.

RAM shops information momentarily and keeps it as long as the running system is running. That is why it is called as memory, not storage. On the contrary, a hard disk drive shops information that can be accessed once again and once again.

RAM and disk drive: Performance

Now that we comprehend both and their typology, let’s pertain to their performance.

What is memory?

A computer system gadget’s memory serves as a bridge between your saved information and the main processing system (CPU). The memory is made up of primary memory and cache memory. The primary memory is more classified into 2 memories:

  • RAM (Random Gain Access To Memory)
  • ROM (Check Out Just Memory)

When we describe a computer system’s memory, we are mainly worried about its primary memory, orRAM Here’s the reason:


RAM: RAM or Random Gain Access To Memory is the bridge between your information and CPU. Let’s comprehend the performance of RAM with a real-life example.

Expect you are dealing with a project. The project is due after 3 days, and you are working day and night to finish it. Day 1 is ended up, and you are made with your prepared work.

Now, where would you keep it? Would you load it in a file folder or leave it on your desk? The latter so that you might resume your work once again tomorrow.

In computer systems, RAM can be thought about as your desk, and the disk drive is your file folder. When you access a file from your storage, your RAM reads it from your storage gadget. RAM then momentarily shops that submit and permits you to process it. As long as you are utilizing that file, it is saved, accessed, and processed from RAM.

However there is something to bear in mind here. RAM is an unstable memory. It just shops information as long as you are utilizing it and needs a constant power supply.

As quickly as your computer system closes down, RAM immediately loses its information. If you make any modifications to any file or program, you require to resave the file in your storage, i.e., the disk drive.

Once again, take the example of your project. When you finish your task, you load it in a file folder to wait completely.

Now you must be questioning why the CPU does not straight gain access to information from storage? The procedure of accessing and processing from a hard drive takes a very long time.

It is simple to access your project from your desk instead of going to the file cabinet each time. In the exact same way, it is simple for your CPU to gain access to information from your RAM than your storage. It is quicker, quicker, and far more workable.

By providing fast and quicker access to information, RAM carries out 2 functions:

  • Enables you to multi-task (larger the desk area, more files can be opened at a time);
  • Boosts the efficiency of your computer system gadget (quicker to gain access to desk than file folder).

A RAM boosts your computer system’s efficiency through its speed and capability. Normally, the greater the RAM speed and size capability, the more comprehensive information and programs you can process at a time.

To find out more about memory, RAM, and computer system efficiency, you can read our post“How to check RAM and RAM speed in Windows 10“.

ROM: ROM is the short form for Read-Only Memory. As the name suggests, the memory is only capable of reading data. ROM is a non-volatile memory. This implies that the data stored on a ROM can neither be erased nor altered once it is manufactured.

The read-only memory provides storage for files and instructions that the operating system uses to run a computer. The data includes BIOS and other firmware.

RAM vs memory What is the difference between RAM and memory

What is storage

Let’s revert to our assignment example once again. It’s day three, and you have successfully finished your assignment. Now, what next? Would you let it reside on your desk, or would you put it back into your file folder? Obviously the latter. This frees up space on your desk so:

  • You do not lose your finished assignment amid a new bunch of files;
  • You can start your new work without worrying about your finished assignment.

Storage is your computer’s file folder. Storage is non-volatile memory. It can store and retain your data without any power supply so that you may access it anytime.

Any file or any program you wish to use or access again needs to be in your storage. It is the permanent storage of your computer and stores data for the long term. Its end-user can only delete the data in a hard drive; that is you.

Permanent or secondary storage can be either internal or external. Internal storage refers to installed drives in your computers.

If you run out of internal storage, you can make an addition to your storage space either by installing a new disk drive or through an external disk drive.

External disk drives include several options. In the past, the storage options included floppy disks, magnetic disks, compact disks (CD), and DVDs (Digital Video Disks). Today, the list is updated, including USB flash drives, memory cards, Blu-Ray drives, or memory sticks.

All these options provide you storage space just like any hard drive. But yes, you cannot easily store your installed programs or applications on external drives. There are some ways to do so too, but we aren’t going to delve into those for now.

RAM and Hard drive: significant differences 

So far, we have understood how RAM and hard drives are united by typology but separated by purpose and functionality.

Let us now move ahead and study significant differences between both memory and storage of computer:

Data storage

RAM: RAM storage is solely for its purpose. The operating system uses RAM storage to store required data. RAM is a volatile memory, and it automatically loses its stored data when the OS is shut down. RAM stores data that is necessary to process your files and data.

Hard drive: A drive is your actual computer storage. Any data that you wish to access anytime is stored in a hard drive. RAM also accesses and stores data from your hard drives.

Storage is not a volatile memory either. That means you don’t lose your data in case of any power loss or OS disruption. Let us understand this with an example. We’ll assume you open an Excel sheet from your storage.

The CPU takes command from you and processes it to your RAM. RAM then accesses the file from your hard drive and stores it.

As long as you are using the file, it is run and stored in your RAM. Now, if your computer shuts down abruptly, all the changes you made in your file will be lost. This is because the file was stored in your RAM.

Size capacity

RAM: A general rule of thumb for both memory and storage is to have a bigger capacity.

The size capacity range of RAM and hard disk storage is very different. RAM is usually available in size ranging from 2 GB up to 32 GB. Your computer usage determines the required amount of RAM.

If you play video games or any heavy programs, your computer will perform best with a bigger amount of RAM. It will be able to process big files, resulting in better computer performance.

Hard drive: All programs, applications, files, documents, and data are stored in a hard drive. This explicitly means that you need a lot of storage to keep this humongous bunch of data.

The size capacity of a hard drive typically ranges from some hundreds of GB to 2 or 3 TB.


RAM: RAM is generally expensive. If one GB of hard drive costs you around 10 cents, one GB of memory will likely cost you ten times more than that.

Hard drive: Hard drives are a bit lighter on your pockets. It is easy to make an addition to your storage as they are cheaper and budget-friendly.


RAM: One distinctive feature and purpose of RAM is its speed. RAM is capable of reading and writing data much faster and quicker than a drive.

Hard drive: A hard drive functions slower than RAM.

It takes a longer time to read and write data on hard drives. As a reason, RAM is installed in a computer to improve its performance. RAM works along a CPU and storage to accelerate the process of reading and writing data.

Today, SSDs (solid-state drives) have become widely popular. The main distinctive feature of SSDs is their faster speed to read and write data. If you plan to replace or upgrade your internal HDD, you must consider getting an SSD as your new storage device.


RAM: A RAM can be upgraded, provided your computer’s motherboard has the specifications to handle it. Suppose you wish to increase the speed of your computer. You can do it easily by upgrading your memory to a larger size and faster speed RAM.

Hard drive: A hard drive can only be upgraded by replacing it with a new one. You can install a new hard disk into your CPU, or you may get external drives for additional storage.

You can only free up space on your existing one by deleting your current data.

Wrap Up

After reading this article, we hope you will able to correct somebody saying “I have got 500 GB memory” Now it makes good sense to you why 8 GB of memory is an excellent figure, however 8 GB storage is rather brief.

Lastly, here comes the most typical and often asked concern: do we require both? YES! Your computer system requires both memory (RAM) and storage (HDD) to work as it should.

A CPU is much like a body. Each organ is necessary, and each organ has a distinct purpose/function. If any organ is gotten, it leads to the dysfunctionality of the body.

Other related articles that may be interesting for you:
  • Intel Optane memory discussed
  • Monitoring the quantity of RAM in your Windows 10
  • Maximizing RAM in Windows 10
  • How can I utilize the hard drive as RAM in Windows 10?
  • How can I maximize RAM on my MacBook?
  • Just how much RAM does Windows 10 require?
  • Can I utilize external RAM on a computer system?

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