Computer Memory

GCSE Computer Science: ​Computer Memory

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All Computer Science topics are covered, and each module comes complete with:

  • Classroom Presentations
  • Revision Notes
  • Activities & Quizzes
  • Mind Maps, Flashcards & Glossaries

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between RAM and ROM?

RAM and ROM are both types of primary memory in a computer system, but they have different functions. RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is volatile, meaning that its contents are lost when the computer is turned off. It is responsible for temporarily storing data and instructions that the CPU needs to access quickly. ROM, on the other hand, stands for Read Only Memory and is non-volatile, meaning that its contents are retained even when the computer is turned off. ROM contains instructions that are permanently stored and cannot be modified by the user.

What is virtual memory?

Virtual memory is a technique used by operating systems to provide more memory to a computer system than is physically available. It does this by using the hard disk drive as an extension of RAM. When the computer runs out of available RAM, the operating system temporarily transfers data from RAM to the hard disk, freeing up space in RAM for other tasks. This process is transparent to the user and allows the computer to run more programs or larger programs than it would be able to otherwise.

Can I upgrade the amount of RAM in my computer?

In most cases, it is possible to upgrade the amount of RAM in a computer. The exact method of upgrading RAM will vary depending on the specific computer model. However, in general, you will need to purchase compatible RAM modules and install them in the appropriate slots on your computer's motherboard. Before upgrading your RAM, it is important to check your computer's specifications to ensure that it is compatible with the new RAM and that the motherboard can support the additional memory.

What is cache memory?

Cache memory is a small amount of high-speed memory that is located on the CPU itself or in close proximity to it. Its purpose is to provide the CPU with quick access to frequently used data and instructions. When the CPU needs to access data or instructions, it first checks the cache memory to see if the data is already stored there. If it is, the CPU can access it much faster than if it had to access it from primary or secondary memory.

Can I delete files from my computer's memory to free up space?

Yes, deleting files from your computer's memory can free up space for other files and programs. However, it is important to note that deleting a file from your computer's memory does not completely erase the data. Instead, the file is marked as "deleted" and the space it occupied is now available for other data to be written to. If you want to completely erase the data, you will need to use specialized software that overwrites the data multiple times to ensure it cannot be recovered.