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What Is Ram?

Updated on December 31, 2018
joepotter profile image

I've worked in the IT field for over 35 years with companies like Sprint, IBM, and Boeing.

The Difference Between RAM and Hard Drives

I was asked this question frequently or could tell by the way callers and customers were speaking that they didn't know the difference between memory or RAM and the hard drive.

"Maam, you need more memory for Windows to operate properly"
" If I move my pictures off will that help?"

"The program says I'm out of hard drive space, can you sell me a stick so I can upgrade it?"

Those are small examples of the types of questions we get at my computer store over the last 14 years, so I came up with an easy analogy to assist people in understanding the difference between the two and how they are much like the kitchen in your house.

First memory or RAM are the same thing (Random Access MEMORY). Memory for a computer is like the size of your kitchen. The more counter space and floor space in your kitchen the more dishes you can prepare at one time. You can even have more than one cook, or helper if you have sufficient room. The same is true for a computer, the more memory you have the more programs you can run simultaneously.

HDD - Hard (Disk) Drive
HDD - Hard (Disk) Drive

Your hard drive is like the kitchen cabinets. The more cabinets in a kitchen, the more food, pots, and pans, infomercial appliances and the like you can store away until you need them. Your hard drive stores your programs, Windows (the operating system), pictures, documents, movies, and so on. Its that simple.

© 2018 Potterville

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