Storage & Units of Memory

Storage & Units of Memory


Types of memory include:

GCSE ICT - ROM Chips on MotherboardRead Only Memory (ROM) – The ROM chip is attached to the Motherboard and stores data even when the computer is switched off. It needs this memory from the moment the computer is switched on and contains information like what kind of hard disk and CPU is installed and how much RAM can be used.

  • Random Access Memory (RAM) – This is the working memory of the computer and is reliant on the power supply. If you switch off a computer without saving your work, the chances are the file will be lost. RAM is the short term memory of the computer which enables you to switch between windows and applications. You may have noticed that the operating speed slows down when you have several applications open. This is because the RAM is struggling to keep up with the demands you are placing on it.
  • Printer buffer – This is a kind of holding area for data you have sent to the printer. The data is being stored in a temporary location whilst the printer deals with another printing task.
  • Virtual memoryWhen you have stretched your RAM beyond GCSE ICT - Stuffed Suitcaseits limits, perhaps by using too many applications at one time, the computer may freeze or crash altogether. To prevent this from happening your PC may make use of virtual memory. This is when part of the hard drive is used as temporary RAM. This is an overflow measure. The virtual memory of a PC is small and runs a lot slower than ‘real’ RAM.


Units of memory