What is the difference between Hard Drive space and Memory (or RAM)?
By Jeandre de Beer
Many times you hear people talking about the amount of disk space or memory their computers have.
At times your IT support person may have suggested that your computer is slow due to low memory.
You then checked your hard drive space and noticed that you have more than 50% free – so how can your computer be running out of memory then?
The short answer is hard drive space or disk space is not the same as memory or RAM.
What is Memory or RAM?
Memory (RAM) is where your programs reside when they are open. If you for instance open Outlook or Internet Explorer – it uses your memory. So any program that opens up – needs memory to run in.
When you close the program or restart your computer – your memory clears itself. No data is stored in your memory – only programs that are currently open uses it.
So if your computer becomes slow due to a lack of memory – you either need to add more memory or close some open programs that you are not currently using.
What is Hard Drive space or Disk space?
Hard drive space (Disk space) is where your data is saved. To free up hard drive space – you need to delete files that are saved that you do not need anymore.
So if someone tells you your computer is running
out of memory they are referring to the memory open programs uses to run in. In most cases adding more memory is inexpensive and it can drastically increase your computer’s speed.