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Home > How To > RAM vs ROM: when is enough actually enough?
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RAM vs ROM: when is enough actually enough?

RAM vs ROM: when is enough actually enough?

By  GB Blog Official 2017-08-09 70963 7

What is RAM and ROM? What do RAM and ROM do for phones? And how much do you actually need? There are some suggestion about RAM and ROM for the consumer。

phone storage

What is RAM?

RAM stands for Random Access Memory, meaning you can access the memory randomly. The RAM stores dynamic data and temporary data. It is similar to the memory bank on the computer. The data in RAM will disappear when the device is power-off. RAM decides the speed of processing games and programs.

Although it is subdivided into DRAM and SRAM, RAM is widely recognized as memory.

In current phone configurations, you can see combinations like 2GB+16GB, 3GB+32GB, 4GB+64GB etc. The 2GB, 3GB, 4GB all refer to RAM, or as we usually say, memory.


Why is the actual memory less than the indicated RAM? After buying a 4GB RAM Android smartphone, people will find that the memory is only slightly more than 3GB and the actual available memory is maybe just 2GB.

You may think you were cheated, but you were not.

As a kind of smart hardware, the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) also needs memory support, so it's not cheating by advertising it as 4GB RAM. The part of the memory used by GPU is not displayed – this is the same situation with computers.

As with computers, when a smartphone is running, the GPU uses up part of memory; that's why the available memory is less than the memory displayed in the settings.

What is ROM?

Read Only Memory means you can read the memory only. It means the ROM static space, only for storing data. It will not disappear along with the power-off phone. Like a system disk in the computer.

On the market, ROM is considered as the storage capacity. The ROM of past phones was commonly 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, but now, the starting point for ROM is generally 32GB.

cell phone specification

ROM is generally described as "eMMC" (Embedded Multi-Media Card), a new kind of storage technology. Some high-end phones utilize UFS.

The internal storage medium is Flash memory which is soldered on to the PCB, so ROM is also called Flash.

How to classify the ROM in your smartphone?

smartphone ROM/storage

ROM consists of 2 main parts:

● One occupied by the system with low operability for customers.

● Another part can be regarded as a hard disk which you can access.

The capacity is the nominal capacity, while the operable capacity is the available capacity, the difference is the system part.

The indicated 16GB ROM on an iPhone is actually about 12GB. As more and more software installed, available memory becomes less and less – a major complaint of users.

That's why the iPhone 7 has adopted 32GB ROM as its minimum configuration.

The part occupied by the system can be further divided into "system" and "data".

● System: mainly for system files; all system files are placed here by default.

● Data: stores the files of third-party software which can be uninstalled.

smartphone internal storage

As for flashing ROM, it often refers to Android smartphones. The part that is "flashed" is mainly the space occupied by the system.

It's similar to re-installing a computer OS. The impact on your storage space depends on the size of the ROM package.

ROM differs from RAM which will clear all the data after powering off. However, as ROM utilizes Flash technology as a storage medium it has a limited lifespan.

However, your current smartphone will be an antique by the time the Flash memory becomes unusable – so don't worry about it!

Do you really need to replace your 16GB ROM smartphone?

For most people with using 32GB ROM on their smartphones, running "out of space" will not normally happen. You can also expand your phone's capacity by using external memory card – good news for multimedia fans.

But for those people still using under 16GB ROM, you will find the space insufficient except for most daily applications.

If you still have a low capacity smartphone and you are interested in different apps and videos, it's time to get a new one - unless you just use it for voice calls and social media.

You can choose to clear the cache files and other useless files from your system to free up more space.

 You may also want to read:
 5 EASY ways to free up space on Android
 7 sure-fire ways to speed up your Android smartphone
  How to use imei number to track your lost android phone
  How to unlock an android phone if you forgot the password

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