Volatile Memory vs. Non-Volatile Memory

The main difference between volatile memory and non-volatile memory is that volatile memory is not stored permanently memory and in non-volatile memory, memory is stored permanently.

There are two types of memory that are

  • Volatile memory
  • Non-Volatile memory

In Non-Volatile memory data that is stored in memory, remain stored even if power is lost but in volatile memory, data is not stored in memory as soon as power is lost. If we take the Example Random Access memory is the example of Volatile memory and ROM is the example of non-volatile memory. Volatile memory is called temporary memory and non-volatile memory is called permanent memory.

Comparison chart

Basis Volatile Memory Non Volatile Memory
Definition Data is not stored in memory as soon as power is gone. Data remains stored in the memory even if power is done
Temporary Temporary memory Not temporary memory but is a permanent memory
Performance Fast Slow that Volatile memory
Example RAM ROM
Storage Primary Secondary

What is Volatile Memory?

Volatile memory is the type of memory in which data stored in memory is lost as soon as power is gone. This is the reason volatile memory is known as temporary memory. The most common example of volatile memory is RAM. The operating system loads the memory from RAM and once there is a sudden interruption in power or power is lost completely than our data is lost, we need to restart our system and again wait for the operating system to get load. But if we compare it with non-volatile memory it is really fast. In addition to being the fastest memory in the system, the drawback here is that it cannot protect our data as it is lost when power is gone.

Volatile Memory

What is Non-Volatile Memory?

It is the type of memory that is permanent and data is not lost and remain stored in memory even power is gone. Non-volatile memory is used for long term storage of data as data is not lost. The best example of non-volatile memory is ROM. External hard disk, paper tape, flash drives are the most common examples of Non-volatile memory.

Non Volatile Memory

Key Differences

  1. Volatile memory needs electricity (power) constantly to save data in memory whereas non-volatile can save data even when electricity is gone.
  2. Volatile memory is temporary memory and non-volatile memory is a permanent memory.
  3. Transfer of data is easy in volatile memory as compared to non-volatile memory.
  4. Storage capacity is more in non-volatile memory as compared to volatile memory.
  5. Volatile memory can read as well as write-through its memory while non-volatile memory can only read but can’t write.


So this article gave you a brief picture of how volatile memory is different from non-volatile memory. Volatile memory is more expensive as per unit than non-volatile memory.

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