Computers have been changing our world for quite a while now. If you still haven’t transitioned onto these wonderful devices yet then you should do it right now. It’s high time that you also witness the amazing things a computer can accomplish but you might be worried that you don’t know anything about them. One of the most common misunderstandings that people have is regarding the RAM (Random Access Memory) and the hard disk. We’ll be discussing this very issue to clarify any doubts you might have.
Both of these are storage devices but their use differs significantly. For a novice, understanding these concepts can be a bit difficult due to the complicated nature of this issue but we’ll be simplifying the major differences. In this article, we’re going to be discussing the differences and the similarities between these two types of storage. So let’s find out what are the differences between a computer’s RAM and hard disk so you could know which one is better to use.
Perhaps the most significant difference between a RAM and a hard disk is between their read/write speeds. RAM sticks are usually also called solid-state drives because they have no moving parts and can read or write any information much faster than an ordinary hard disk. The hard disks are slower because they’re mechanical storage devices. There are various magnetic disks in a hard disk that rotate and this leads to a slower read or write speed in comparison to the solid-state storage devices. For this reason, RAM modules are used for storing only the most critical data of an operating system because it helps keep everything processing at higher speeds.
Another major difference between RAM and hard disks is that RAMs have a much smaller capacity as compared to hard disks. These modules can’t exceed a particular size limit, unlike the hard disks that can get larger in size. RAM is the fastest storage medium among all the other memory and storage devices, however, this speed comes at a trade of capacity. Its storage usually doesn’t exceed 128 GB in most widely used devices and while it’s adequate for being used as RAM, it falls severely short when we compare it to hard disks that can easily go up to 3TB of space. RAM is special storage that isn’t meant for day-to-day use while hard disks are meant for storing your files and other data. This is why it’s futile to even think about storing any data on your RAM.
3. Data Retention
Most newbies don’t know this but a RAM can only hold data till the time it’s supplied with electricity. RAM sticks can’t be used to permanently store data because they easily wipe out all the stored data when disconnected from power. However, the hard disks are a long-term data storage option and all the small disks within it are used to store data for a much longer time. This is why the operating system uses RAM to store the data that’s needed to process the various commands and it doesn’t have to keep the data saved. This eliminates RAM from any regular data storage as everyone wants to own a device that can safely store their data without having to worry about it being wiped out.
After going through the previous points, it must be clear why RAM and hard disks can’t be substituted for one another. However, we’ll still go through this point to provide you with much-needed clarity. The RAM modules are extremely durable because of zero moving parts inside of them, this ensures that it doesn’t get corrupted by any minor concussions or drops. However, the same can’t be said about the hard disks, as these devices are much more fragile and susceptible to long-term damage if handled roughly. You can easily corrupt the data in a hard disk if you drop it since it disturbs the arrangement of all the magnetized disks within the enclosure.
These are some of the major differences between the RAM and the hard disk storage options available. Both of these are storage devices in their own right but the more appropriate term for the RAM would be Memory. The functions of both these storage mediums are vastly different and they can’t be interchanged to replace each other. It’s important that you understand these basic differences because it’ll help you out in the future when you either want to expand your RAM or the storage capacity and you won’t get confused about which one to expand for a particular purpose.