A computer memory is one of the most significant components of the computer to perform the essential tasks it is expected to perform. There are certain parts of the computer, which can be referred to as intrinsic memory. Random Access Memory (RAM) and Read Only Memory (ROM) are two kinds of memories in the computer, which have their own important roles to play.
RAM and ROM are intrinsic memory parts of the computer, wherein the basic difference lies in the fact that RAM consists of accessible temporary data that allows change if required, while ROM consists of critical information that cannot be accessed or changed but only read. Both are internal memories essential for the various complicated functions of the computer.
To understand the above differences more clearly, we should explore simple examples. The booting program, for example, is a critical program that is written and stored in ROM, while all the daily activities that we perform on the computer are done using RAM. The files and the data that we create use information and have to be saved somewhere, otherwise it will be lost once the computer is shut down. But the information in ROM doesn’t get erased even when power is off.
The subtypes of RAM consist of static RAM (SRAM) and dynamic RAM (DRAM). SRAM is comparatively faster and consumes less power. RAM basically speeds up completion of the tasks by making data available easily, quickly, and efficiently.
ROM includes programmable ROM (PROM), erasable programmable ROM (EPROM), electrically erasable programmable ROM (EEPROM), and also FLASH. PROM uses high voltage device to be programmed once only. EPROM, however, can be overwritten utilizing UV radiation. EEPROM allows to be overwritten, as the name suggests, by using electrical methods. CD-RW, CD-R, CD-ROM are other examples, where various information, music, and media files can be stored.
CPU and RAM have a cache memory in between, which most frequently stores used information or instructions that are to be processed. L1 and L2 are present in most systems, while the most advanced computers have L3 grade cache memory, which speeds up memory even further.
To handle very large applications, the operating system may have to use the hard drive to store information temporarily. This is the virtual memory, which may slow down performance if depended upon frequently. The hard drive is the place where data is stored permanently.