Computer Science

What is Primary Memory?

Definition – What does Primary Memory mean?

Primary memory is a computer memory accessed directly by the processor. It enables a processor to access running execution applications and services that are temporarily stored in the specific memory location. Primary memory includes different types of memory, such as the system ROM and processor cache. In most cases, primary memory refers to system RAM or also known as Primary Storage or Main Memory.

Glossary Web explains Primary Memory

RAM consists of one or more memory units that temporarily store data while a computer is running. RAM is a volatile memory that means it is erased when the power is off. Therefore, each time you start your PC, the operating system must be loaded from secondary memory into the primary memory. Likewise, whenever you launch a program on your computer, it is loaded into RAM.

The operating system (OS) and applications are loaded into primary memory since RAM can be retrieved much faster than storage devices. In fact, the data can be moved between processor and RAM more than a hundred times faster than between the processor and the hard drive. By loading data into primary memory, programs can run faster and are much more responsive than if than constantly retrieved data from secondary memory.

Martin Adler

Martin Adler is a Computer Engineer and an accomplished writer with a passion for inspiring everyone with exciting technologies. He loves to explore technical terms and try to deliver something worth reading.