Why RAM is called a volatile memory

Being a gamer or tech-savvy, you must have come across terms such as volatile and non-volatile memory, RAM, and ROM. But, do you know what are they, and how do they work? Well, they are a significant part of the use of computers.

That’s why, in this piece of information, we are going to learn everything essential about them. We will try to cover what volatile memory and non-volatile memory to why RAM is called volatile memory and a ROM is called a non-volatile memory. So, without any more fuss, let’s get into it!

Volatile and Non-Volatile Memory

To start with, volatile memory is a type of computer memory that stores information when the computer is turned on. But when the power is interrupted, all the stored data gets quickly erased.

They are generally used as a primary storage option and are made faster than the hard drive (HDD) and Solid State Drive (SSD). For example, you can say Random Access Memory (RAM) is a volatile memory.

On the other hand, non-volatile memory is a memory that stores the information after the CPU is turned OFF. It is typically used for Wikipedia. The best examples of non-volatile memory are Read Only Memory (ROM), and Erasable Programmable Memory (EPROM).  

Why is RAM Volatile and ROM Non-Volatile Memory?


While going through the article, you must have asked yourself, is RAM volatile or non-volatile, or how RAM and ROM are divided into these two categories? To answer why RAM is volatile, it needs the power to keep data. 

After the computer is turned off once, the whole data is gone. RAM can store data or fast-forward the processing speed until the computer is turned on. After turning off your computer, it erases all the data and starts capturing data when you switch on it again. So that’s why RAM is called volatile memory and a hard disk is called non-volatile memory.

The reason ROM is a non-volatile memory is that it can store data whether there is system power off or on. It manually does not delete the files. If the memory is corrupt then only the files will be erased, otherwise, with your command it will erase the files.

Types of Volatile and Non-Volatile Memory

worldwide markets of traditional PCs and tablets

(This graph shows worldwide markets of traditional PCs and tablets, showing the demand for traditional PCs going down). 

Just like volatile and non-volatile memory have major distinctions in nature, they have distinct types as well. Thus, in this section, we’ll take a look at the types of both volatile and non-volatile memory:

Types of Volatile Memory

  1. RAM (Random Access Memory):

    The RAM is a type of computer memory that stores information when the computer is turned on, and all data is erased whenever the power is switched off. The CPU randomly accesses information written on RAM.

    It’s a quick component of the memory system, which has a low memory capacity on the other side of things. The cost of RAM per unit size is much more than non-volatile memory. These are the 2 best 8 GB RAM – 1. XPG ADATA GAMMIX D30

There are two types of RAM:

  • Static RAM:

    SRAM (static RAM) is random access memory (RAM) that retains data bits in its memory as long as power is being supplied. Unlike dynamic RAM (DRAM), which stores bits in cells consisting of a capacitor and a transistor, SRAM does not have to be periodically refreshed. Static RAM provides faster access to data.

  • Dynamic RAM:

    Dynamic random-access memory (dynamic RAM or DRAM) is a type of random-access semiconductor memory that stores each bit of data in a memory cell consisting of a tiny capacitor and a transistor, both typically based on metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) technology.

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  • V-RAM:

    V-RAM or Video RAM is used for displaying complex images and graphics. It is particularly handy when we talk about games, 3D images, or high-quality video files. 

    If you are a game lover, you must know that V-RAM is the one that is responsible for your high-quality gaming experience.

  • Cache Memory:

    Cache memory is a type of volatile memory that works as an intermittent between the RAM and the CPU. It is the fastest memory among all the volatile memories. 

    The size is much smaller compared to RAM. Is 8 GB RAM enough for gaming? The speed of a cache memory increases when the data storage is more.

  • Hard Disk Drive Cache:

    A hard Disk Drive (HDD) cache is a kind of volatile memory that is embedded in a hard disk drive to speed up the internal memory of the computer. It uses a small part of RAM for transferring information quickly to the microprocessor.

  • Solid State Drive Cache:

    SSD cache enhances system performance by rendering quick access to memory on Solid State Drive (SSD). It is very useful for the CPU in the sense that searching information on hard drives is no longer required as it is very time-consuming for the CPU.

Types of Non-Volatile Memory

  1. Hard Disk Drive (HDD):

    The hard drive is what stores all your data. It houses the hard disk, where all your files and folders are physically located. It can hold over 100 GB of data. 

    The data is stored on a stack of disks that are mounted inside a solid encasement and is stored on the hard drive magnetically, so it stays on the drive even after the power supply is turned off.

  1. Solid State Drive (SSD):

    Solid-state electronic devices are made up of solid components that do not move. Devices that use only solid-state parts, such as use of mobile phones, television sets, speakers, and digital watches, are often referred to as solid-state products.

  1. Flash Drives:

    It is a small data storage device that uses flash memory and has a built-in USB connection. Flash drives are also very thin, often having a depth of less than a centimeter.Because of their small form factor, they are highly portable and can easily fit in a pocket or on a keychain (hence the name “keychain drive”).

  1. Optical Media:

    Optical media typically does not have as fast of a seek time as hard drives, but it has many other advantages. The discs are less likely to lose their data and have a longer shelf life, around seven times longer than magnetic media. 

    The discs are also more durable than hard drives and are much cheaper to produce. Optical media refers to discs that are read by a laser. Ex: CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs.

  1. Read-Only Memory:

    ROM is memory containing hardwired instructions that the computer uses when it boots up, before the system software loads. In PCs, the instructions are read from a small program in the ROM, called the BIOS (Basic Input or Output System).

Do You Know?
IBM 1311 was the first disk drive to use removable media. It was quite large (looking like a washing machine) yet it had a capacity of fewer than 5 megabytes.


This article has thoroughly explained the meaning of volatile and non-volatile memory and described why RAM is a volatile memory and ROM is non-volatile. In addition, types of both memories. 


Ans: The four types are: MROM (Masked Read Only Memory), PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory), EPROM (Erasable and Programmable Read Only Memory), and EEPROM (Electrically Erasable and Programmable Read Only Memory). 

Ans: The data received by ROM is saved permanently into the chip and doesn’t get erased by turning off the desktop, so it is used for things like starting programs. 

Ans: The three volatile memories in the computer are: Cache, SRAM (Static Random Access Memory), and DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory).