RAM vs Storage devices — confusing?

There is a lot of  noise out there about RAMs, ROMs and Storage devices. Obviously, more noise means more confusion. In this post, I will try to give you an understanding of RAM and Storage devices. I tried to include ROMs too but it made the post really long. The next post will be about ROMs as they relate more to OS and other technical detailing.

More about OS here.

People have incomplete or no knowledge about RAM and storage devices. This is the reason behind the clutter and the “bros” throwing random knowledge on the naives makes the situation worse.

Random Access Memory (RAM):

Let us breakdown the term “Random Access Memory” itself. A Random Access Memory can be understood as a memory which can be accessed randomly by programs in a device, there is no specific path or memory address allocated to a specific program.

Random Access Memory is a completely volatile memory. It means that as soon as the power given to a device is cut, RAM loses all its data and go blank unlike a storage device which keeps all the data saved in it.

A RAM stick
Image source: Tom’s Hardware

RAM and a Shopping cart, kind of same?

To understand Random Access Memory better we can take an analogy of shopping bag. Whenever we go for shopping we get a cart from the store. This empty cart is like the empty Random Access Memory, as you start loading it with stuff it will “lose” its available space. This is true in the case of RAM too. As soon as you open programs, they are loaded in the memory and occupy some memory in it. Also when you keep filling the shopping cart, a moment comes when it gets heavy and is tough to move and this is what happens in the case of RAMs too, when you open a lot of programs, RAM gets filled and the system starts lagging.

Empty shopping cart signifying an empty RAM
Image Source: Pixabay


More the RAM, smoother the user experience. Of course there are other factors on which smooth running of a device depends but RAM also plays an integral part.

DDR is a common term that usually comes complementary in the talks related to Random Access Memories.

DDR RAM stands for “Double Data Rate Random Access Memory.”

“Double Data Rate” means that it can fetch data on both the up and the down cycles of the clock, unlike the previous versions of RAM which only fetched on one clock edge.

Apparently, DDR4  Random Access Memory is the latest version of DDR in the marketplace.

DDR RAM can fetch data on both CPU cycles
Image Source: hardwaresecrets

Storage devices:

These are simply the chunks of non-volatile memory which we use for storing our everyday life data like pictures, videos, etc.

Storage devices comes in various shapes and sizes like SD cards, Hard Drives, Solid State Drives, etc.

An “UHS class 1” SD card
Image Source: Tested
Image Source: Seagate
A Seagate Hard Disk Drive
Image Source:


A Samsung Solid State Drive
Image Source: Samsung


Solid State Drives are new and expensive devices. In an upcoming post we will be talking exclusively about SSDs.


Hope you liked my attempt to give you an understanding of Random Access Memory and Storage devices.


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