RAM vs ROM vs Flash Drive: Difference and Comparison

It was easy to tell the difference between RAM and ROM in the early days of computing. When a computer is turned on, data is stored in random access memory (RAM), which is designed to lose that data when the power is turned off. The information that read-only memory (ROM) chips stored was hardwired into their physical architecture and remained there until they were destroyed. However, modern technology combines the two, such as flash memory.

RAM is a sort of computer memory that keeps track of data being utilized right now so that the processor can access it fast. ROM is a sort of computer memory that houses pre-recorded data.

Key Takeaways

  1. RAM is volatile memory that temporarily stores data for quick access, while ROM is a non-volatile memory that permanently stores firmware and system data.
  2. Flash drives use NAND flash memory for portable data storage and transfer, which is non-volatile and retains data without power.
  3. RAM allows faster data access and manipulation, while ROM and flash drives provide longer-term storage solutions.
RAM vs ROM vs Flash Drive

RAM vs ROM vs Flash Drive

RAM is a type of volatile memory that temporarily stores data while the computer is running. ROM is a non-volatile memory type containing data that cannot be modified or deleted. Flash drives, also known as USB flash drives or thumb drives, are portable storage devices that use flash memory to store data.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonRAMROMFlash Drive
Physical chip sizeBiggerSmallerSmaller
Storage capacityHigherLowerHigher
CostExpensive CheaperCheaper

What is RAM?

The hardware component of a computer, known as random access memory, or RAM, stores data, operating systems, and programs that are currently in use so that the CPU may access them rapidly.

Consider RAM as the computer’s memory bank. Along with the power of the processor, the amount of multitasking and gaming you can perform on a computer or mobile device heavily depends on the RAM that is available. 

The information stored in RAM is volatile and will be lost whenever you turn off the computer. It is an expensive, high-performance memory component that is used to store information about the running programs in real-time.

One (or two) oblong chips are implanted in a slot on the motherboard if you ever open the computer cabinet (computer tower). The RAM is that. Modern motherboards have multiple RAMs, giving you the option to expand your RAM capacity and improve operational speed and computational performance. 

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Types of RAM

  1. SRAM: A 6-transistor memory cell is used to store data in static random access memory (SRAM), a form of RAM. SRAM is employed as a processor’s cache memory. The end user can not replace it.
  2. DRAM: A type of RAM known as dynamic random access memory (DRAM) uses two transistors and capacitors to store data. Compared to SRAM, DRAM is less expensive, but it operates more slowly. They are suitable for computer systems with replaceable or upgradeable memory modules due to their replaceability.

What is ROM?

Contrarily, ROM is a sort of memory where data has already been pre-recorded. It has the software necessary for a computer or smartphone to “boot up.” A computer can be turned on because of read-only memory, or ROM, which keeps its contents even after the device has been powered down. It’s safe to say that you wouldn’t ever be able to turn on your computer without ROM.

ROM is referred to as the internal storage capability when discussing smartphones. Technically speaking, it is known as an eMMC, or embedded multi-media card. The majority of the time, this memory is permanently soldered to the main circuit board of smartphones.

Types of ROM

  1. PROM is an empty variant of ROM that can only be written to or updated once. A computer nerd may use a PROM and a special tool called a programmer to program it once, creating a permanent copy of a particular program that can never be changed.
  2. EPROM supports multiple writing and rewriting operations. However, ultraviolet (UV) rays are necessary to remove the previously saved data. The previously recorded data is burned whenever UV light of a particular frequency passes through, emptying it so that another program can be added. EPROMs have a short lifespan and deteriorate over time.
  3. The most advanced version of ROM is EEPROM, which enables multiple rewrites of the software (up to a thousand) and does it without the need for special tools. The EEPROM, in contrast to the other two types of ROM, enables programmers to write and rewrite programs into it without the need for specialized tools or even the disassembly of the ROM card from the main system.

What is Flash Drive?

To store and move files between computers,  flash drives are frequently utilized. For instance, you might draft a report on a school computer, transfer the content to your flash drive, and then continue working on it when you get home. Flash drives are another fantastic and simple option to back up vital files. 

For instance, in the event that something were to happen to your computer, you could copy all of your photos, documents, music, and other files to a flash drive and store them someplace securely.

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People who work in technology, education, or finance can benefit from flash drives. The following fields should absolutely use flash drives to store their work:

  1. Technology
  2. Education
  3. Photographers
  4. Art&Design
  5. Finance
  6. Music

Despite their small size, flash drives are incredibly powerful! They function using a method of electronic data storage known as flash memory, which stores data in blocks and rewrites it as bytes.

flash drive

Main Differences Between RAM, ROM and Flash Drive


  1. RAM is a major form of volatile memory.
  2. RAM, a form of memory frequently used in computers and printers, has a maximum capacity of a few gigabytes.
  3. RAM makes it possible for the computer to read data rapidly and effectively, enabling it to perform applications swiftly.
  4. Static RAM costs more and offers more storage space.
  5. Dynamic RAM is slower because it needs to be refreshed more frequently.


  1. In-home computers, the ROM only has a few thousand bytes of storage.
  2. The software needed to start the computer and run diagnostics is stored in ROM.
  3. ROMs are integrated circuits that store data and are unchangeable.
  4. ROM is non-volatile in nature.
  5. ROM is more reliable than RAM.

Flash Drive

  1. It is portable, lightweight, and small enough to put in a bag or pocket.
  2. Although the price of a USB increases with storage capacity, they are fairly inexpensive.
  3. To use it, plug it in, copy and paste the files, and then eject the device before unplugging it.
  4. Data speeds on USB flash drives can reach as high as 4.8 gigabytes per second, which makes them work extremely quickly.
  5. Typically, USBs can be used with media players like laptops, tablets, phones, and cameras. 

Last Updated : 28 July, 2023

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