The primary difference between a ROM and a RAM chip is that a ROM chip does not need a constant source of power to retrieve data that is stored on it, meaning that the data will be saved even when the computer is turned off. On the contrary, a RAM chip requires a constant source of power to store data, meaning that the data will be lost when the computer is shut down.
There are also some other differences between a ROM and a RAM chip:
- A ROM chip is used mainly to start up a computer, whereas a RAM chip is used in the normal operations of a computer after it is started up and the operational system is launched.
- It’s faster to write data to a RAM chip than to a ROM chip.
- A RAM chip has more data storage space than a ROM chip.
ROM in Computers
Computer BIOS is a clear example of ROM in the computer. It is a PROM chip that stores the code that is required to initially start up the computer. ROM chips are also used in game console cartridges, such as Nintendo or Gameboy. The game cartridge stores the game code on a ROM chip that is read by the gaming system when the cartridge is inserted into it.
RAM in Computers
RAM is one of the fastest types of memory in a computer, so of course RAM chips are used in computers to store information and run programs. However, as we have already mentioned, any data that is stored in the RAM chip is lost when the computer is switched off or when it loses power. The computer can get access to the data much quicker, because information is accessed randomly, not sequentially, as on a CD or a hard disk drive.
How to Improve RAM
There exist lots of RAM optimization apps for Windows, Mac OS X and other operating systems. A good example is Kromtech MemoryKeeper for the Mac OS X, a small app with simple interface and useful functions.