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When dealing with computers and similar electronics, buyers may run

across the termsRAM and ROM. It is important to know the difference


between these two types of memory when selecting computers and
other items. When evaluating the differences between these different
types of memory, buyers should look at different aspects, including
speed, type of storage, and other features. It is also important to realise
that RAM and ROM have different subtypes. For example, buyers can
select from DRAM and SRAM as well as PROM and EPROM. These
different types offer various features, so it is important for a buyer to
know what he or she needs.
In addition to learning about ROM and RAM in order to buy
electronics, buyers may also want to know how to expand memory.
Whether a buyer is looking to purchase a computer or just more
memory for his or her computer, it is possible to find these products in
traditional computer stores and online at retail sites like eBay.

Differences Between RAM and ROM


RAM (random access memory) and ROM (read only memory) are two
different types of memory that are used in computers. A buyer should
learn about the differences between the RAM and ROM in computers
and other devices. RAM is volatile memory, which means that the data
can be deleted. ROM is the non-volatile part of the memory where the
permanent data that is necessary for operating the computer system is
written. Another difference is that RAM needs electricity in order to
work, so the information stored in RAM is lost whenever the computer
is turned off. ROM does not need electricity in order to preserve the
data, so it retains the information when the computer is turned off.
Speed
RAM and ROM have different speeds. The computer finds it much
faster to access RAM, and increased RAM helps the processor speed
up, as well. ROM tends to be slower, and it cannot boost a computer's
processing speed.
Type of Storage
Buyers should also realise that RAM is only used for storing temporary
information, so it makes sense that the computer can access it faster

than it can access ROM. ROM is used for storing permanent


information, which generally means slower access and processing.
Other Features
Both the speed and type of storage are important, but the buyer should
also take some time to consider additional aspects of the two types of
memory, including structure, memory function, cost, and chip size.
RAM chips tend to be a lot larger than ROM. The structure of the two
chips is also different, as RAM is a rectangular-shaped chip that is
inserted into the computer's motherboard, and ROM tends to be an
optical drive that is made of magnetic tape. The memory functions
differ, which means that with RAM, both read and write operations can
be performed. With ROM, on the other hand, only read operations can
be performed since the user cannot make changes to the chip.

Types of RAM
A buyer should learn about the different types of RAM before
attempting to buy RAM modules. Different types of RAM have
different capabilities. It is important that a user knows which RAM
suits his or her purposes. Some of the various types of RAM available
on the market include SRAM and DRAM, each of which has a number
of subtypes.
SRAM
SRAM , or static random access memory, has multiple transistors,
usually between four and six. This kind of memory chip is usually used
as cache. It does not have a transistor in each cell. Although SRAM is
the faster option, it also tends to be more expensive than DRAM.
DRAM
DRAM , or dynamic random access memory, has memory cells with a
capacitor and paired transistor. This kind of memory requires constant
refreshing. A buyer can also choose from a number of different
subtypes of DRAM, includingEDO DRAM and SDRAM.

Types of ROM
Buyers can find five different basic types of ROM on the market,
including ROM, PROM, EPROM, EEPROM, and flash memory. All of

these types of ROM are non-volatile and unchangeable, but they still
have some differences among the various types of ROM. Thus, a user
should at least have a basic understanding of them.
ROM
ROM is the standard for this type of memory. Because of the way ROM
is designed, it is essential that the chip needs to be programmed
perfectly with the correct data in order for it to work accurately. These
kinds of chips cannot be rewritten or reprogrammed. Thus, if it is
incorrect or the data needs to be updated in some way, there is no way
to salvage the chip. Once they are completed, however, ROM chips
tend to be very inexpensive.
PROM
PROM , or programmable read only memory, is more fragile than
ROM, and it can only be programmed once. Because of this limitation,
PROM tends to be inexpensive.
EPROM
EPROM , or erasable programmable read only memory, tries to do
away with the problem of PROMs only being able to be used a single
time. This type of memory can be rewritten many times. In order to be
erased, however, the user has to use a special tool for the task.
EEPROM
EEPROM , or electrically erasable programmable read only memory, is
another step up from EPROM because EEPROM chips do away with
some of the drawbacks. For example, EEPROM chips do not need to be
removed to be rewritten. Additionally, a portion of the chip can be
changed without erasing the entire chip. Furthermore, it does not
require special equipment to rewrite the chip.
Flash Memory
Flash memory is another type of ROM that is actually a type of
EEPROM chip that attempts to further improve on the technology.
Flash memory tends to be faster than normal EEPROM chips because it
tends to write data in chunks instead of one byte at a time.

Expanding Memory

Buyers should know that they can purchase more RAM rather easily for
computers and other electronic devices whenever they need more
memory. When first purchasing a computer, it is a good idea for the
buyer to think about how much RAM he or she needs. This depends on
what he or she tends to do with the computer. RAM comes in
microchips of different sizes, such as 256 MB, 512 MB , 1 GB, 2 GB,
or more. If a buyer engages in activities that require a lot of memory,
such as gaming, 3D modelling, or similar activities, then he or she
needs more RAM than someone who is simply checking his or her
email or shopping on the Internet.
On the other hand, ROM is permanent and is typically built into the
device, so it is difficult to purchase it separately. Generally speaking,
the buyer is limited to whatever ROM was included when he or she
purchased a computer.

Finding RAM and ROM on eBay


It is also possible to find RAM and ROM on eBay, especially if you
know how to best take advantage of the site's search tools. Although a
variety of tools are available, it may be easiest to run a keyword search
first. You should type keywords, such as RAM, into the search box. If
you do not want to look through all the product listings, you can narrow
it down by selecting certain filters.
You should also keep in mind some of the other useful tools that eBay
offers. For instance, if you want to learn more about a computer's specs
or purchasing RAM, you can make use of the tool that allows you to
contact a seller. This tool can be found on the product listing's page.
Another tool you should check out is the feedback tool. With this, you
can see what other buyers have said about a particular seller to help you
decide whether or not to make a purchase. After you have made a
purchase, you can also leave feedback to help other buyers make
purchasing decisions.

Conclusion
Those who are new to electronics may be unsure of the difference
between RAM and ROM, which are different types of memory found in

computers and some other electronic devices. Computers need both


types of memory, as they perform different functions in the computer.
ROM is used for storing permanent information and running the
operating system of a computer. RAM, on the other hand, is used for
temporary information that disappears when the computer is turned off.
A buyer should understand the various differences between the two
types of memory in order to purchase the right type for his or her needs.
Furthermore, a buyer should understand that he or she can select from
different kinds of ROM and RAM. Some of the various types on the
market include SRAM, DRAM, ROM, PROM and EEPROM. A buyer
can purchase more RAM, but the amount of ROM in a computer is
generally set when the computer is built. A buyer should always
consider what he or she needs to do with a computer, and if more
memory is needed in the future, buying additional RAM modules is a
possible option.
Firstly, it is a good idea to define exactly what RAM and
ROM are. RAM is short for random access memory whereas ROM
means read-only memory. These are both very important in the
computing world and they share similarities and differences.
RAM has a lot more flexibility then ROM due to its random
structure. Data can be accessed from any part of the memory and
also more than one piece of data can be accessed simultaneously.
ROM does not allow this flexibility and is mainly used
for firmware chip devices. Since it is read-only, ROM is a very safe
means of storage due since it is protected from any alteration.
If you are ever unsure of a word, it is always a good idea to look it
up in thedictionary or in an encyclopaedia. This will give you a
detailed definition and should also provide a few examples to add
context. If you do not own a physical dictionary or encyclopaedia,
there is a world of knowledge at your fingertips via the Internet.
There are many online dictionaries available to use for free such
as www.dictionary.com and online encyclopaedias such as

Wikipedia. Once you get to the page you simply find


the search bar and then type in the word you wish to find more
information about.
You should never be afraid to ask questions as you will gain lots of
new knowledge if you start questioning more things.

One of the questions that Webopedia has been asked a few times
on our Facebook Page is to explain the difference between RAM
and ROM. RAM (Random Access Memory) and ROM (Read Only
Memory) are types of computer memory that provide users with
access to information stored on a computer. Here are the top five
differences between the two types of memory:

RAM is Random Access Memory.


ROM is Read Only Memory.
RAM is the memory available for the operating system, programs
and processes to use when the computer is running.
ROM is the memory that comes with your computer that is prewritten to hold the instructions for booting-up the computer.
RAM requires a flow of electricity to retain data (e.g. the computer
powered on).
ROM will retain data without the flow of electricity (e.g. when
computer is powered off).
RAM is a type of volatile memory. Data in RAM is not permanently
written. When you power off your computer the data stored in
RAM is deleted.

ROM is a type of non- volatile memory. Data in ROM is


permanently written and is not erased when you power off your
computer.
There are different types of RAM, including DRAM (Dynamic
Random Access Memory) and SRAM (Static Random Access
Memory).
There are different types of ROM, including PROM (programmable
read-only memory) that is manufactured as blank memory (e.g. a
CD-ROM) and EPROM (erasable programmable read-only
memory).
There are many differences between RAM and ROM memory but
there are also a couple similarities (and these are very easy to
remember). Both types of memory used by a computer, and they
are both required for your computer to operate properly and
efficiently.
Have more questions about RAM and ROM? Feel free to ask in the
comments section!
Follow Vangie Beal on Twitter
Based in Nova Scotia, Canada, Vangie Beal has been covering
small business, electronic commerce and Internet technology for
more than a decade. You can tweet with her online @AuroraGG.

1. Introduction
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) needs to store data whilst it is carrying out the processing
required.
The hardware that carries out this task is called 'memory'. Memory can be classed into two
types:
Read Only Memory (ROM)
Random Access Memory (RAM)

2. Read Only Memory (ROM)


ROM is a special kind of memory which stores the instructions which the computer uses when it
'boots up' - the BIOS (basic input output system). It allows it to check the type of hard disk
installed, the amount of RAM installed (see next page), the type of CPU being used etc.

ROM is a type of memory that retains its data even without power, so even when the computer
is switched off, it will not lose the data which is saved onto it.
This kind of memory is needed because the computer must be able to obtain instructions from
the moment it is switched on and it must know some basic things about the hardware that
makes up the machine i.e. 'its configuration settings'.
Because the data is 'read only', it can be read but not changed by the user.
The ROM chip (although there may be more than one) is attached to the Motherboard.

The key thing to remember about ROM is that the data is not erased when the computer is
switched off - the data is stored permanently. This type of memory is also called 'non volatile
memory

3. Random Access Memory (RAM)


How many times have you worked for a whole lesson on something which you were just about
to save but then the computer crashed or your mate 'accidentally' switched it off. When you
rebooted and logged back in, your work was gone forever.

This was because your work was stored in RAM, or 'temporary memory'. It was fairly safe there
while the computer was working, but as soon as it was switched off, everything disappeared.
This type of memory known as 'volatile memory'.
As well as storing the data you are working on, RAM also stores the modules that are needed to
make your applications work. For example, when you open up your favourite word processing
application, you may notice a short delay while the modules are loaded into RAM.
RAM is also needed so that you can have multiple windows open and so that you can switch
between them.
However, if you have a lot of windows, documents and different applications running, you might
find that your system starts to slow down. This is because your RAM is full up and it is having to
decide what it needs to keep stored in memory at any given time and what it can release. If this
happens to you a lot, you can improve the performance of your computer by installing extra
RAM.
Most computers are typically sold with 1-4 Gb of RAM installed.