There is one major difference between a ROM and a RAM chip. A ROM chip is non-volatile storage and does not require a constant source of power to retain information stored on it. When power is lost or turned off, a ROM chip will keep the information stored on it. In contrast, a RAM chip is volatile and requires a constant source of power to retain information. When power is lost or turned off, a RAM chip will lose the information stored on it.
There are two main types of computer memory, ROM (read only memory) and RAM (random access memory). ROM contains pre-written software and data that the CPU can only read, while RAM can be accessed and written to at any time.
Computer ROM- A good example of ROM in the computer is the computer BIOS, a PROM chip that stores the programming needed to begin the initial computer start up process. Using a non-volatile storage is the only way to begin the start up process for computers and other devices that use a similar start up process. ROM chips are also used in gaming system cartridges, like the original Nintendo, Gameboy, Sega Genesis, and a number of others. The game cartridge stores the game programming on a ROM chip that is read by the game console when the cartridge is inserted into the console.
Computer RAM- RAM chips are also used in computers, as well as other devices, to store information and run programs on the computer because RAM is one of the fastest memory in your computer. For example, the Internet browser you are using to read this page has been loaded into memory and is running from memory. However, as mentioned earlier, any information stored in the RAM chip is lost if the computer is turned off or loses power.
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