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Difference between Random Access Memory (RAM) and Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

  • Last Updated : 20 Nov, 2019

A person novice to computers often is in confusion between Random Access Memory (RAM) and Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Here we draw comparisons between the two.

Similarities between RAM and HDD :

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  • Both are used for storage of data.
  • Both are physical components of the computer machine.

Differences between RAM and HDD :

Full FormRAM stands for Random Access Memory.HDD stands for Hard Disk Drive.
Also known asRAM is also known as primary memory.HDD is also known as secondary memory.
ComponentsRAM does not contains, mechanical parts, only electronical parts like transistors.HDD contains moving mechanical parts, like the arm.
R/W TimeRAM has shorter R/W time.HDD has longer R/W time.
Memory AccessIn RAM each and every element takes same time to be accessed.In HDD different elements take different time to be accessed.
SizeIn a system the RAM is smaller than the HDD.In a system the HDD is larger than the RAM.
CostRAM is costlier per unit storage.HDD is cheaper per unit storage.
NoiseRAM does not produces noise.HDD can produce noise due to mechanical movements.
Duration of DataData stored in RAM is temporary. It remembers as long as it has electricity, i.e. the power is on.Data stored in HDD is permanent, i.e. it retains data even after shutdown.
Speed of ComputerInadequate RAM slows down the speed of the computer.HDD does not affect the speed of the computer.
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