9 Actual difference between RAM and ROM [Tabular]

Let’s start with the question “What is the difference between RAM and ROM?“. It is one of the most confusing questions. It is asked in exams from classes 7th to higher education, in GK questions to Competitive exams. Still, most of the people are confused between RAM and ROM. Given below are the major differences between RAM and ROM in tabular form.

Do you know?

“More than 50,000 people search for Differences between RAM and ROM every month”.

After reading this post you can surely distinguish between RAM and ROM. You will get an idea of how RAM and ROM work? What are their types? What are their uses? You can easily answer such questions related to it with accuracy.

What is the difference between RAM and ROM?

Full-Form RAM stands for Random Access Memory. ROM stands for Read-Only Memory
Function It stores all the data to run your applications and software. It stores only the data necessary for booting your system.
Volatility RAM is volatile. It means that the data will evaporate or disappear when you shut down the system. ROM is Non-Volatile. It means data do not disappear even if disconnect from the power supply.
Data Storage It stores data temporarily. It stores data permanently.
Modifications RAM is both readable and editable. We can change data in RAM. ROM is only readable. You can’t edit or change data in ROM.
Maintenance RAM needs electricity to maintain data. It does not need electricity to maintain its data.
Cost It is costlier than ROM. It is cheaper than RAM.
Speed It is fast but uses more power. ROM is also faster but uses less power than RAM.
Type Static-RAM(SRAM) and Dynamic-RAM(DRAM) PROM, EPROM, and EEPROM


Note: You may have got a basic idea about the difference between Ram and Rom from the table for an exam or General knowledge only. But if you want to know RAM and ROM technically, then read this post thoroughly. Once you know, what is RAM and ROM properly then you can easily differentiate between them.

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Difference Between Ram and ROM: Primary or secondary memory?

The main confusion about the difference between RAM and ROM is whether they are part of primary memory or secondary memory. Some website says that RAM is primary and ROM is secondary. And says both are primary. Then Which one is true?

First Let’s understand what are primary memory and secondary memory. In easy words,

  • Primary memory is the memory that can be directly accessed by CPU. It is also known as primary storage or main storage.
  • Secondary memory is the memory that can not be directly accessed by CPU. These are first accessed by RAM and then by the processor.

Since both RAM and ROM can be directly accessed by CPU then both are the part of the primary memory. Flash drives and hard drives are some examples of secondary memory because they are firstly accessed by RAM, not by the processor.

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Let’s study about RAM and ROM deeply to understand it properly.

What Is RAM?

RAM - Difference between RAM and ROM
By An-dOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
  • RAM stands for Random Access Memory.
  • It is a form of computer data storage which stores current data of the computer.
  • If you are running multiple programs on your system then you’re gonna need more RAM. It saves your data temporarily. Let’s make it more clear.

Have you ever used Microsoft paint on your computer? Sometime you might have drawn the wrong line or you have erased your drawing by mistake. Then you might have pressed the shortcut key Ctrl + Z to recover the data. Have you wondered from where the data recovered magically? The data is saved on your RAM temporarily until you close Paint or disconnect the system from the power supply.

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More the programs you open on your system more the RAM you require. Therefore, when you open too many apps or programs your system becomes slow because it runs out of RAM or memory.

Different types of programs occupy a different amount of RAM. If you have 3GB or 4GB RAM then you might observe the slowness of your computer when you run two heavy programs like Photoshop, Corel Draw together. But if you have more RAM then you can easily operate not only 2 programs but 4-5 programs also.

Is RAM expandable?

Yes, RAM is expandable.

  • If you are running out of RAM then you can expand it. You can expand your system’s RAM at home if you are having a computer but you might need to visit a help center to expand the memory if you are having a laptop.
  • It is difficult to change the RAM of the laptop on your own. But on Computers, there are separate dedicated RAM slots where you can easily fit a new RAM. Just buy any RAM from your nearby shops or purchase online. Put it in RAM slots of CPU. It is super easy.

So, you can expand your RAM size even to 64GB or more. Normally laptop has 4-8GB RAM which is more than sufficient for normal uses.

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Types Of RAM

Types of RAM - difference between RAM and ROM
Created by – Tushar Gahlot

Basically, There are two types of RAM

  • Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM)
  • Static Random Access Memory (SRAM)


  • DRAM stores each bit of data or program code in a storage cell consisting of a transistor and a capacitor.
  • A DRAM storage cell is dynamic. It means that it needs to be refreshed or given a new electronic charge every few milliseconds to compensate for charge leaks from the capacitor. But it is cheaper than SRAM.
  • It loses its data in a very short time even when the power supply is on. Therefore it is refreshed thousands of time in a second automatically.

DRAM can even be subclassified into other categories. We are not going to that level. If you want to read more you can read it here.

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  • It is a type of memory that keeps data in memory as long as power is supplied to the system.
  • Therefore you need to refresh it periodically. It is much faster than DRAM which makes it more expensive.
  • Consequently, DRAM is a more prevalent memory in computer systems.

What is ROM?

  • ROM stands for Read-Only Memory.
  • It is a type of computer storage which stores data permanently of your system. ROM contains the programs which are necessary for starting any computer.
  • It has data about booting up and input-output services.
  • We can not change data in ROM because it is Read-Only Memory.
  • It contains a program called BIOS. This program is written and saved already by the manufactures when you buy any system. You cannot change or edit it.

BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. It handles all basic input and output services. BIOS loads the OS from the hard drive. It is the first software run by your system when you turn it on. It also handles power management.

When you buy any system and you do not have any Operating System(OS) installed on your drive then if you start your system you can see a screen with some menus or words like “no bootable device, insert disk”. This is the BIOS. When you get an OS, BIOS helps you to install the OS on your system.

Types of ROM

Basically, There are 3 types of ROMs:

  • Programmable Read-Only Memory (PROM)
  • Erasable and Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM)
  • Also, Electrically Erasable and Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM)


  • It is a One Time Programmable (OTP) ROM.
  • The user buys a blank ROM and enters his desired contents using a special device called the PROM programmer.
  • During the process, the circuit fuses or antifuses within the chip. Which makes it usable only once.


  • Since it is an erasable and programmable ROM, it can be erased and be reprogrammed. EPROM can be erased by exposing it to ultraviolet rays for about 40 minutes.
  • While rewriting EPROM higher voltage is required than usual. It can be erased again with the same method. And again now it will require an even higher voltage to rewrite the EPROM.
  • Therefore, Repeated reprogramming would lead to wear out of EPROM. It can be reprogrammed about 1000 times.


  • EEPROM can be programmed and erased electrically.
  • In EEPROM, any location can be selected, erased and programmed. It makes it flexible.
  • But EEPROMs can be erased one byte at a time, rather than erasing the entire chip. Hence, the process of reprogramming is flexible but slow.
  • It can be reprogrammed about 10,000 times which is 10 times more than the EPROM.

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People Also Ask

Q.1) Which is a more expensive RAM or ROM? and Why?

Ans. RAM is more expensive than ROM. Because Ram involves more complex technology than ROM to store data. ROM s used for writing some sets of rules and instructions, which do not require so much space. But RAM is used to keep your data and make your system fast. Using 32gb ROM or 64gb ROM for a simple laptop is useless. Because ROM does not require so much space for its programs.

Q.2)Which is more important ROM or ROM?

Ans. Both are important because A system cannot start without these two things. Read our post above completely to know the functions of RAM and ROM. Although one may be expensive and fast, both are equally important.

Q.3) Why ROM is slower than RAM?

Ans. Actually, ROM is not slow. Making of ROM is slower than RAM.

Q.4) Why RAM and ROM are not suitable to store our wok data, why do we need additional storage devices for it?

Ans: To answer this question, first, you have to know what are RAM and ROM?

  • RAM is a Random access memory. It stores temporary files and data into the system. Once the system is disconnected from the power supply, its data disappear. So you can not store your data in it.
  • Now, ROM is Read-only Memory. There are some prewritten programs called (BIOS) in it. You can not add your data to it. Because ROMs are uneditable. You can not edit them. (Some can be but you need to perform some sophisticated methods).
  • Please read the post again for a more elaborate answer.

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