Basic Computer Memory Types

Topics: Computer memory, Flash memory, Computer data storage Pages: 2 (501 words) Published: September 12, 2010
Random Access Memory (RAM)
RAM is a location within the computer system which is responsible for stacking away data on a temporary basis, so that it can be promptly accessed by the processor. The information stored in RAM is typically loaded from the computer's hard disk, and includes data related to the operating system and certain applications. When the system is switched off, RAM loses all the stored information. The data remains stored and can be retained only when the system is running.

When the RAM gets full, the computer system is more likely to operate at a slow speed. The data can be retrieved in any random order. Generally, there are two types of RAM; namely Static RAM (SRAM) and Dynamic RAM (DRAM). When many programs are running on the computer simultaneously, the virtual memory allows the computer to search in RAM for memory portions which haven't been utilized lately and copy them onto the hard drive. This action frees up RAM space and enables the system to load different programs.

Read Only Memory (ROM)
This type of memory is active, regardless of whether the system is turned on or is switched off. It is a kind of permanent non-volatile storage memory. As the name 'read only' suggests, the contents in it cannot be changed or modified. It is an integrated circuit which is pre-programmed with important data that should necessarily be present for the computer to carry out its normal functionalities.

Cache is a kind of RAM which a computer system can access more responsively than it can in regular RAM. The central processing unit looks up in the cache memory before searching in the central memory storage area to determine the information it requires. This rules out the need for the system to search for information in larger and bigger memory storage areas, which in turn leads to a faster extraction of data.

Computer Hard Drive
These devices are important data storage components that are installed in the CPU. Their memory ranges...
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