RAM and ROM: These two concepts are easily mistaken

If you are using a computer, then you have probably heard two familiar terms: RAM and ROM and know they are related to computer memory. However, not everyone knows they are really different !!!

What is RAM?

RAM is an acronym for Random Access Memory – a computer hardware element in which programs, operating systems, and data are used for temporary storage to help processors. Can access faster when needed. RAM is one of the fastest memory types of the computer, but memory is variable, data stored on RAM will be lost when shutdown or power out (out of battery). If you ever unplugged your computer, you will see rectangular RAM placed on a slot on the motherboard.

For example: The Chrome browser you are using to read this article has been loaded into RAM and run from RAM. However, this information is only available when the computer is turned on or if power is off, if the computer shuts down, or the RAM is disconnected, all the information it has stored will disappear. By the way, read this article if Chrome uses too much RAM.

At present, more advanced motherboards come with more than one RAM slot, providing flexibility in upgrading RAM, increasing memory capacity for better system performance.

What is ROM?

ROM stands for Read Only Memory – the type of memory in which data has been written to and stored in programs that help the computer to “boot”. Unlike RAM, which clears all temporary storage, the ROM retains the contents even after the computer is turned off; That’s why computers can be turned on the first time. Without a ROM, booting the system would be a luxury.

A typical example of a ROM on a computer is the BIOS, the PROM chip stores the programs needed to start the computer boot process. Using static electricity is the only way to start the boot process of computers and other devices using the same boot process. ROM chips are also used in the cartrigde boxes of gaming consoles like Nintendo, Gameboy, Sega Genesis, etc. These boxes store the game program on a ROM chip read by the console when connected to the console. box.

The oldest ROM was recorded in 1932 with drum memory. Today, ROM is still used and continues to be improved for better performance and storage.

The main difference between RAM and ROM


RAM is a rectangular thin chip that is inserted into a slot on the motherboard, while the ROM is a tape optical drive. It is easy to see (with the naked eye) that RAM is usually larger than ROM.

Temporary storage capability

This is the most noticeable difference. ROM is a form of “non-volatile memory”, meaning that it retains information even when the computer is turned off. Meanwhile, RAM is considered as “volatile memory”, which only holds data when the computer is active.

How it works

You can recover or change the data stored in RAM, but you can not do so with ROM. Data in the ROM can only be read, but not modified or changed, which is why it is called ‘read-only memory’.


You can easily access, change or reprogram information stored in RAM. However, it will be very difficult to do the same thing in ROM.


RAM breaks ROM speed. It accesses data much faster than ROM and speeds up the processing of the computer.

Storage capacity

A ROM chip usually can not store more than a few megabytes of data (usually around 4 MB ROM). In contrast, a RAM chip can store at least 16 gigabytes of information.

Data recording capability

Writing data in RAM is also easier than ROM memory. ROM is also a very limited storage space, but ROM information is extremely important to the computer and persist.