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The difference between memory and storage

I often hear my customers tell me they think they need more memory. Their hard drives are full of music, videos, photos and documents and as a result their computer is running really slow and hence the need for more memory.

However, there is a big difference between memory on your computer and hard drive storage space.

Although the two sound quite similar they are in fact very different. When talking about the difference in memory and storage we must first understand what either does.


What does storage and memory do?

When you store files on your computer such as a pictures of videos they get stored on your hard drive and are there until you delete them or the computer dies. They are there for the long term no matter how many times you turn your computer on or off.

When you install a program such as Microsoft Word for instance the files which make that application run are stored on your hard drive waiting for you to use them. When the time comes you want to type up a word document your computers operating system grabs those stored files to make the program run and loads them into your memory for you to use the program.

As you are using Microsoft Word you are using it now with the memory. Once you have finished your document and save it you are again saving the new document on your hard drive in the storage.

When you restart your computer the program which was running in the memory is wiped but your documents you typed up and saved is sitting there in storage waiting for you to access it again.


Memory Ram TownsvilleWhat is Memory

Memory is commonly referred to as RAM (Random Access Memory) and this is a standard necessary component that comes with your computer.

The more memory you have as a general rule the more things you can do on your computer at the same time. Every application you execute and use on your computer including your operating system is run through your RAM (memory).

A new computer computer as of 2015, even a low end cheaper priced one, will have at least 4 Gigabytes of RAM which to the standard basic user will be sufficient. More about memory.


Hard Drive Townsville DiskWhat is Storage

Storage on your computer can encompass a wide range of devices such as a USB drive, a CD or DVD disk, a ZIP drive or even online storage where you can store your files in the cloud such as Dropbox.

When referring to space on your computer to store files they will need in the future like photos they are referring to their internal storage which is their hard drive which usually shows up on your computer as the letter “C:”.

Todays hard drives are nothing short of massive, able to store literally millions of files such as pictures, documents, movies, drivers and operating system files and applications.

As of 2015 hard drives come standard at the size of 500 Gigabytes or 1 Terabyte (1000 Gigabytes). More about hard drives.


Deciding what you need

If your computer is running slow it can be for a number of reasons.

Focussing on memory and storage for the article in reference to your computer running slow is probably due to two reasons.

1) If you don’t have a lot of memory on your computer or too many applications are trying to run at the same time for example, more memory may fix this problem. Assuming none of these programs are running crazy stealing memory when hey don’t really need it.

2) You have run out of storage space on your C: drive and you computer can no longer save files and operate ion the way it was designed leaving you with the option to buy a larger hard drive or clear and make space on the existing one.


Townsville computer repairs Nerds to the rescue

If your computer is running slow, you hard drive is full up or you need more memory, Townsville computer repairs Nerds can help you.

The most important thing is you don’t loose the files you already have. Make sure if you can backup you do before doing anything with your computers storage.

If you do not know how to back up please let us know before we do anything and we can help you save your precious files so you do not loose them.

Please call Ross Rudall if you have any questions and we can give you a 100% totally free on site quote.

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