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What is the difference between ROM and RAM?

RAM (Random Access Memory) and ROM (Read Only Memory) are two types of computer memories that are integrated in a computer to modulate the processor, to accurately and rapidly access the information which stored in computer.  Both the RAM and ROM are meant for storage purpose, they vary in the style of usage, i.e. ROM is used to stockpile the code for programs that are run under the processor.  RAM is used to clutch the temporary information that is produced and used by the processor.

The name random access memory reflects that the user can instantaneously access any area of the memory without referring the entire memory space.


The major difference between a ROM (Read-only memory) and a RAM (Random-access memory) chip are

  • A ROM chip is non-volatilestorage and does not require a constant source of power to retain information stored on it. When power is lost or turned off, a ROM will keep the information stored on it.
  • In contrast, a RAM chip is volatileand requires a constant source of power to retain information. When power is lost or turned off, a RAM chip will lose the information stored on it.


Other differences between a ROM and a RAM chip include:

  • A ROM chip is used primarily in the start up process of a computer, whereas a RAM chip is used in the normal operations of a computer after starting up and loading the operating system.
  • Writing data to a ROM chip is a slow process, whereas writing data to a RAM chip is a faster process.
  • A RAM chip can store multiple gigabytes (GB) of data, up to 16 GB or more per chip; A ROM chip typically stores only several megabytes (MB) of data, up to 4 MB or more per chip.

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