RAM vs ROM vs Hard Disk – Difference and Comparison

What is RAM?

RAM is used to mean Random Access Memory in a computer system. It is volatile, implying that the data written on it vanishes when the power supply is off. RAM facilitates the functioning of applications and software on a computer by allowing them to load. The rationale behind incorporating RAM in systems is that it provides immediate data retrieval in the computer. RAM is present in smartphones as well because they run apps.

Whatever program you launch on your computer is loaded in your RAM. RAM is speedy in information storage and retrieval; therefore, it contributes to the workability of a computer. Since one of the primary functions is to allow the use of programs while the computer is on, it is impossible to imagine a computer working without RAM. There are two types of RAMs used: DDR3 and DDR4.

What is ROM?

ROM is the abbreviation of Read Only Memory. It is called so because it stores data for longer intervals. An electronic device’s capability, particularly a computer, comes from the presence of ROM. ROM is non-volatile and keeps the data stored even when the device is given no power supply. ROM is also crucial in starting a computer – a process technically termed booting.

The data on ROM is stored for a long time and is therefore retrievable even after years. ROM is designed in such a way that it takes a longer time to load. However, this drawback is somewhat resolved by the emergence of SSDs – an advanced example of ROM. Without ROM, a device cannot store data for longer usage, which is essentially expected from a computer.

What is a Hard Disk?

Hard disks are a typical example of secondary memory in a computer system. In terms of storage, it functions as a primary source of memory. It’s a magnetic disk having different minute mechanical components. It is used to store a large sum of data for longer times. Hard disks are considered a budget-friendly solution for data storage. They are also designed for improved durability and work longer.

Hard disks are preferred to optical storage devices like DVDs because they are readily available and are safer. Of the possible disadvantages of a hard disk, its physically moving parts are easily damageable if used without maintenance. Moreover, it has a life, and as it ages, its storage efficiency decreases.

Difference Between RAM and ROM and Hard Disk

  1. RAM is the abbreviation of Random Access Memory; ROM of Read Only Memory; Hard disk is a storage device.
  2. RAM stores data temporarily; ROM keeps instructions for a long time; Hard disk saves enormous amounts of all data.
  3. RAM does not keep data after power is off; ROM keeps data after the system is off; Hard disk retains its data without a power supply.
  4. RAM allows programs to run; ROM facilitates computer booting; Hard disk allows the user to store images, videos, files, music, et cetera.
  5. RAM has DD3 and DD4 as the main types; ROM can be a cartridge in consoles and a ROM chip; an HDD is a hard disk.

Comparison Table Between RAM and ROM and Hard Disk

Parameters of ComparisonRAMROMHard Disk
DefinitionRandom Access MemoryRead Only MemoryMagnetic Disk for Storing Data
TypeTemporary Data StoragePermanent Data StorageLarge Data Storage
Data RetentionVanishes When Powered OffStays When Powered OffLarge Data is Stored Unless Modified
ImportanceNecessary to Run Programs and ApplicationsNecessary to Boot a Computer SystemNecessary to Store Large Data for a Long Time
ExamplesDDR3 and DDR4Cartridge and ROM ChipPATA and SATA