- Joined May 26, 2004
What type of memory is a computer hard drive known as? RAM or ROM? Or is it even consider one or the other?
But we agree that it is rare for the tag 'RAM' to be applied to the modern disk/armature hard drive? Indeed the acronym RAM is so open ended that it can be applied to many memory applications, but addressing the OPs question I would be a touch confused if someone described a HD as RAM."random access memory" by definition is just that. yes semiconductor memory ic's have adopted the ram tag, but i don't believe ram identifies only solid state devices.
Considering virtual memory from the OS set, then virtual memory is just that - addressable memory that the programmer can access whether it be physical memory (RAM in many cases) or not. It is one of these abstraction cases which is intended to make programming large software packages easier and more transparent (either that or it encourages bloated software, depending on how you view this!).Strictly speaking, the hard drive is a storage medium. Some confusion may arise from the MSOS using a portion of the hard drive as "virtual memory".
Joe, although certainly not a standard, I would hazard to say that it is a convention. NV-RAM typically (in the range of literature on Compouter Systems Architecture) refers to non-mechanical data storage devices where the concept of random is in reference to data locality, i.e. there is no continuum between adjacent data structures. Do Hard Drives satisfy this criterion? This is why physical memory and cache memory are referred to as RAM memory. Sadly these things aren't set in stone and hence raises the doubts we see with the OPs question.I missed that international standards rule. Do you have a cite?
here is a quote i found on wikipedia hope it solves some of the doubts we have becoz terminologies are not really well thought out or atleast seem to be.Originally, RAM referred to a type of solid-state memory, and the majority of this article deals with that, but physical devices which can emulate true RAM (or, at least, are used in a similar way) can have "RAM" in their names: for example, DVD-RAM.
RAM is usually writable as well as readable, so "RAM" is often used interchangeably with "read-write memory". The alternative to this is "ROM", or Read Only Memory. Most types of RAM lose their data when the computer powers down. "Flash memory" is a ROM/RAM hybrid that can be written to, but which does not require power to maintain its contents. RAM is not strictly the opposite of ROM, however. The word random indicates a contrast with serial access or sequential access memory.
"Random access" is also the name of an indexing method: hence, disk storage is often called "random access" because the reading head can move relatively quickly from one piece of data to another, and does not have to read all the data in between. However the final "M" is crucial: "RAM" (provided there is no additional term as in "DVD-RAM") always refers to a solid-state device.
Isn't another one the idea of 'memory'. People talk of saving to memory, when they mean the hard disk. In the system of computer architecture, isn't the memory a data storage medium that the processor directly reads to and from (i.e. the RAM)? If so, the hard drive is not memory. The list could go on!RAM is an acroynm and as such the flood gates are open, as it describes Random Access Memory, which includes hard drives, sticks of ram, thumb drives, a single electronic chip and a host of any other read/write voltile and non-volitile storage devices.
GAU ... generally accepted usage ... will get one into trouble.
I can remember magnetic core non-volitile Random Access Memory in the Digital PDP-8/P computers ... and that ram wasn't a "solid-state" device. Of course I remember phantastron's ... but that only says I'm old.
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by Jake Hertz
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