Memory and Storage, available Storage, Storage and memory

Computer Memory and Storage – The Difference Explained

It’s easy to confuse memory and Storage when you’re looking to purchase a new computer or upgrade an existing one. Knowing the difference between Storage and memory is essential when deciding which components to prioritize.

Understanding the differences between Storage and memory is essential for your computer performance.

Memory Explained

Also known as random access memory (RAM), memory is a component of a computer that stores data during the computer’s operation. It can contain anything, from a Word file to a website that you are currently browsing. Your computer can quickly access the data from its memory when it needs it.

Your computer’s memory will determine how many files you can store on it. It is important to have enough memory in order to multitask, run resource-intensive programs such as AutoCAD(r), or have large files.

Storage Explained

The place where data is stored on your computer permanently is called Storage. For example, when you install a program, your computer copies its files from the downloaded installation file or install disc to your Storage.

Your computer also uses Storage to store documents, photos, and music. How many files your computer can store will depend on how much Storage you have.

What is the difference between memory and Storage?

Storage and memory are often misunderstood, but they’re quite distinct.

Computer Memory

Memory allows you to temporarily store data on your computer, while Storage is where you can save files permanently.

The file is copied from the memory to the storage drive when you save it. Your computer will run slower if it runs out of memory. 

It must pull data from the storage drive to make it work. You can free up memory by closing unneeded applications and deleting temporary files.

Computer Storage

However, Storage is permanent and stores all your files regardless of whether you are using them right now. Most people associate Storage with the hard disk. You save files to your computer’s storage drive.

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External Storage is not available to you. External Storage plugs directly into the computer, while internal Storage is part and parcel of the computer’s hardware.

You can also use Storage to store temporary files on your PC while it performs other tasks. Suppose you are editing a photograph, and the software requires more memory. In that case, the program will place the photo on your storage drive until it is finished.

Are both memory and Storage required?

To run properly, your computer requires both memory and Storage. When it comes to upgrading your computer memory or Storage, the choice is really up to you.

You will need more memory if you intend to run many programs or need more space for temporary files. Storage is more important if you only need to store files, software, and other files.

The operating system, software, and data on your computer will run smoothly even if you don’t have much Storage. It is therefore important to ensure that your computer has enough memory to support the amount of Storage available.

How do I check the memory on my PC?

It is important to determine how much RAM your computer has in order to assess its health. Run tasks like your web browser or any other programs you often use to determine how much memory you have. The next step is to follow the steps:

  • Press Use Ctrl+Shift+Esc to immediately open the Windows Task Manager.
  • Open Windows Task Manager and click on the Performance tab.
  • Open the Memory sidebar.

The Memory sidebar displays a graph of your memory usage and your available memory. This will display how much RAM your computer uses for basic tasks such as web browsing or more complicated tasks like photo and video editing.

Get a quick overview of the RAM that you have on your computer:

  • Go to the Settings section of your computer.
  • To see your computer specifications, click through to Systems and About.
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This will display both your RAM installed and available RAM. Windows may use some of the RAM you already have.

How do I check my memory on a Mac?

Mac users have the ability to monitor their RAM usage using Activity Monitor. It is similar to Windows Task Manager on PC.

  • To open Spotlight’s internal search engine, first press Command+Space.
  • To open the application, type in “Activity Monitor.”
  • Open Activity Monitor and tab over to At the top of the application, click on
  • You can see the RAM and available RAM at the bottom of your screen.

You will need to ensure that you have enough RAM to match the amount of RAM you use. Click on the Apple symbol in the upper left corner of the screen to check your RAM. Click on the menu item “About This Mac” to see how much RAM your Mac has.

How do I check the Storage on my PC

It is vital to know how much Storage your computer has, especially if you need to make room for new programs or games. To check your available Storage:

  • To open the File Explorer app, press Win+E
  • Scroll down to the left sidebar, and choose Choose this PC
  • The screen that displays your Local Disk (C.) drive and any secondary drives will be displayed.
  • To see the Storage Disk, click through.

How do I check the Storage on my Mac?

You can check the Storage of your Mac just like you would your memory.

  • Click the Apple symbol at the top left corner.
  • Click on the “About This Mac” option from the menu.
  • To see how much Storage you have available, click Storage. The visual breakdown will color code the files that occupy the most space.

How many GB and how much Storage do you require?

Storage and memory are two crucial components of a computer. The amount you use will determine how much you need.

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Casual users

You will need at least 4GB RAM and 256GB Storage if you are using your computer for basic tasks. This will enable you to run multiple programs simultaneously, browse the internet and listen to music without any bottlenecks.

Professional users

Are you using your computer for work? You should have 8GB RAM and 500GB- to 1TB storage if you use your computer for work tasks. This will enable you to stream video calls, edit photos or videos, and run professional applications. Some games may be playable at medium graphics settings with no framerate or stuttering.

Power users

Power users who use graphics or 3D modeling or graphic design software should have a minimum of 16 GB RAM and between 1TB to 2TB storage. This will enable you to run games and applications at their highest settings without having to worry about technical issues.

How to increase your computer Storage and memory

There are several ways to free up storage space if you are running out of room. You can delete files that you don’t need anymore. You can also move your music, photos, and videos to an external drive. You can also delete unwanted programs or compress large files.

There are a few things you can do to increase your computer’s memory. Start by closing down any programs that you don’t use – this also applies to all tabs in your browser. You can also buy additional memory for your computer. This may require professional help to install.

Final Thoughts

Although the terms Memory and Storage appear similar, Storage and computer memory are vastly different. Your computer uses memory to run programs and Storage to store your files, programs, data, etc. To use a computer, you will need both Storage and memory. However, how you use your computer will determine how much you require.

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