Difference Between Primary and Secondary Memory


In this post, we will understand the difference between primary memory and secondary memory.

Primary Memory

  • It comes under the category of volatile and non-volatile memory.

  • It is also known as internal memory.

  • The data can be directly accessed by the processing unit.

  • Since it is a volatile memory, data can’t be retained if power fails.

  • It can hold data/information currently being used by the processing unit.

  • The capacity of primary memory is usually within the range of 16 to 32 GB.

  • It can be accessed by a data bus.

  • It is expensive in comparison to secondary memory.

Following are the types of Primary Memory −

Secondary Memory

  • It is a non-volatile memory.

  • It is also known as Backup memory or Additional memory or Auxiliary memory.

  • The data can’t be accessed directly by the processor.

  • It needs to be copied from secondary memory to primary memory first, and then accessed by a CPU.

  • Since it is non-volatile, data can be retained in case of a power failure.

  • It stores a considerable amount of data and information.

  • The capacity of secondary memory ranges from 200GB to some terabytes.

  • It can be accessed using I/O channels.

  • It is less expensive in comparison to primary memory

Following are the types of Secondary Memory −

Updated on 19-Apr-2021 06:13:01