Basics of Computers

Computer Memory

Recently there were few changes made in banking exams. One of them was the introduction of the computer aptitude in IBPO exam. This has led to many speculations about the type of questions and the syllabus. But looking at 2017 paper, the questions that were asked were basic level questions. You only need to have the basic knowledge of computer to answer these questions. Computer aptitude covered a variety of questions from computer organizations to hardware and software related to computer memory related questions. We will try and cover every topic one by one so that you can have enough material with you before the main exam. Today we will discuss computer memory.

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What is computer memory?

Computer memory is one of the most important parts of the computer. It stores and allows users to access the data anytime, anywhere they want. There are two types of computer memories.

  • Volatile memory and
  • Non-volatile memory.

Volatile memory is termed as RAM which stands for Random access memory. While non-volatile stands for ROM which is an acronym for Read-only memory. Computer memory is based on the two factors that include access time and capacity. The faster the speed of the memory is the lesser will be the access time. A computer uses the memory which is organized in such a way that it enables largest capacity of the memory and the faster speed.

Computer Memory

                                                                                                            Source: Wikimedia Commons

Types of Memory

In computer terms, memory is divided into two categories:

1) Main memory or primary memory

2) Auxiliary memory or secondary memory

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Main memory or primary memory

The main memory unit that connects directly to the CPU is the primary memory. Further, there are two types of primary memory i.e RAM and ROM

1. Random Access Memory

RAM is also known as the volatile memory. It is in the form of the chip that is implemented with the use os semiconductors. Generally, RAM is used to store temporary storage of output data, input data, and intermediate results. RAM can be divided into two categories:

  1. Static RAM or SRAM
  2. Dynamic Ram or DRAM

2. Read-only memory

ROM is not as accessible as RAM and is, therefore, non-volatile memory. Once a ROM chip is programmed it cannot be rewritten or programmed. The only changes you can make in ROM is at the time of manufacturing. ROM has three categories which are:

  1. Programmable ROM or PROM
  2. Electrically Erasable Programmable ROM or EEPROM
  3. Erasable Programmable ROM or EPROM

Auxiliary memory or secondary memory

Secondary memory is a permanent storage device. It is non-volatile in nature and is used to store programs and data when they are not being processed. Because of this, the data remains in the same stage as long as they are not deleted or rewritten from the user’s end. A secondary memory includes devices such as:

  1. Optical disks like DVD, CD, and Blue-ray disks
  2. Magnetic disks like memory stick, floppy disk, and hard disk drive.
  3. Solid state disks like the thumb drive, pen, and flash.

Along with this one may also ask units and measurements as to how memory in computers is measured. We all use a hard disk and a pen drive to transfer the data from one place to another. But what are its units? Computer measures data in many forms such as Megabyte, Kilobyte, Byte, Bit, Nibble, Terabyte, Gigabyte, Exabyte, Petabyte, and many more. Here are the conversions of these data into one form or another:

8 Bits 1 Byte
Bytes (1024) KiloByte (1KB)
KB (1024) MegaByte (1MB)
MB (1024) GigaByte (1GB)
GB (1024) TeraByte (1TB)
TB (1024) PetaByte (1PB)
PB (1024) ExaByte (1EB)
EB (1024) ZettaByte (1ZB)
ZB (1024)  YottaByte (1YB)
1 YB  BrontoByte
1024 BrontoByte 1 GeopByte

In computer memory, bits is the smallest memory. While Geopbyte is the highest memory. 1 bit is the binary unit.

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EDO Extended data out

EGA Exterior gateway protocol or enhanced graphics array

DVR digital video recorder

EDSAC Electronic delay storage automatic calculator

EBCDIC Extended binary coded decimal interchange code

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 Practice Questions

Q. Of what unit is a memory a part of?

A. Input device            B. Output device

C. Control unit            D. Central processing unit

Answer: D

Q. _______ is used to represent a character of information.

A. Field                         B. Bit

C. Byte                          D. Attribute

Answer: C

Q. Out of the following area ______ holds the information temporarily as the computer processes the information in the storage area of the computer itself.

A. Control unit            B. ROM

C. Hard disk                D. Main memory

Answer: B

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Q. What will happen when the memory chip is volatile?

A. Explodes due to high temperatures            B. Used for data storage

C. Loss of content due to loss of current         D. Used to write and read data

Answer: C

Q. RAM is located in ________

A. Motherboard                B. Extension board

C. External Drive              D. None of the above

Answer: A

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