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Saturday, May 18, 2024
HomeAcademicPrimary vs Secondary Memory - Key differences

Primary vs Secondary Memory – Key differences

Hi there, welcome to my blog. Here I present you some of the key differences between Primary and Secondary Memory.

SNPrimary MemorySecondary Memory
1Any memory devices that’re connected directly to CPU or processor are referred to as Primary. Memory that is not directly connected to processor, for processor to access secondary memory it need to go through primary memory.
2Per unit storage cost of primary memory is high i.e. manufacturing cost is high because of technology and materials used.Data storage cost of secondary storage devices are cheaper than the that of primary.
3Response time is high and data/instructions can be accessed faster from Primary Memory. Majority of Primary Memory use Random Access mechanism.Slower response time as compared to primary memory. They usually deploy the sequential access mechanism.
4Content of Primary Memory can be accessed by using data bus.Contents stored in Secondary memories are accessed by using Input/Output(I/O) channels.
5Storage capacity is low. (generally between 1GB to 32 GB)It stores a large volume of data( Generally storage capacity is measured in term of GB or TB. Generally more than 100 GB)
6It is volatile in nature, means data cannot be retained if electricuty is cut-off.Secondary Storage devices are non-volatile in nature and can hold the data even after power is cut-off.
7Primary memories are used to store:
– temporary data of programs that CPU is currently working on.
– temporary data of programs that users are using frequently
– startup programs that tell system the startup program sequence.
Secondary Storage devices can be used to store permanent contents like documents, movies, graphic works etc.
8 Main types of Primary Memory:
a. RAM
b. ROM
c. Cache Memory
d. Registers
Main types of Secondary Memory:
a. Magnetic Storage Devices: Magnetic Tapes, Magnetic Disk(Hard Disk)
b. Optical Storage Devices: CD, DVD, Blue-Ray Disks
Fig: Difference between Primary and Secondary Memory by DataSagar


Also, for updated learning, I would like to recommend the following video to follow:

Thanks and Happy Learning!

The author of this blog post is a technology fellow, an IT entrepreneur, and Educator in Kathmandu Nepal. With his keen interest in Data Science and Business Intelligence, he writes on random topics occasionally in the DataSagar blog.
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