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In computer terms, storage or memory refers to computer components and recording media used to save and keep digital information. Technically, there is no difference between the two. But in general usage, storage refers to hard drives and memory refers to Random Access Memory (RAM).
Memory or Random Access Memory
In general, the term memory is used to describe any electronic component that can save data on a temporary basis. Memory in computer is referred to as RAM (Random Access Memory). It is a collection of chips known as modules. It is an electromagnetic storage that loses all its data if the connected power is removed. It can be read by the computer for any data stored in any cell of the memory modules. It is composed of capacitors and transistors. These are matched to build a memory cell. The capacitor represents one bit of data while the transistor changes the mode of a capacitor either from 0 to 1 or from 1 to 0.
Storage or Hard Drive
Storage or hard drive refers to a medium of storage in which information remains whole until it is removed or overwritten. It has no impact whether the computer has power or not.
Compared to RAM, a hard drive is a permanent and high capacity memory. Hard drive details specify the total capacity of the computer. If the user wants to save more files and applications, then he must add more storage. It is built with a metal platter which rotates at a very fast rate. The hard drive head moves along the platter and as the platter rotates, it reads and writes information. User can turn off the computer and retrieve the information at a later time by using a hard drive.
Comparison between Storage and Memory
|Basis for Comparison||Storage||Memory|
|Definition||Used to denote a hard drive, which is a permanent high capacity type of memory||Used to denote Random Access Memory which is used for instant storage|
|Measurement||Measured in Megabytes (MB) or Gigabytes (GB)||Measured in Megabytes (MB)|
|Composition||A spinning metal platter||A collection of computer chips|
Memory and Storage on Computer’s Performance
For general purpose work, the RAM on our computer is sufficient. There might be a need to add a bit more to keep up with new operating system improvements, updated and new apps that have a heavier requirement. For more specialized work, more RAM may benefit you.
Depending on what computer you buy, you may not be able to upgrade your RAM. Consider this carefully the next time you buy a new computer and make sure it’s either upgradeable or comes equipped with as much RAM as you think you’ll need.
Besides RAM, storage can help improve computer’s performance. Aside from plenty of RAM mounted on the computer, computers still need to read and write information from the storage system which is either the hard drive or the SSD.
Hard drives come in different speeds and sizes. Faster drives cost more, are louder and use more power.
SSDs are faster and consume less power, produce less heat and can take up less space. But it’s also more expensive. SSDs take less time to load apps and documents than hard drives.