Main memory is temporary memory. Data transfer between CPU and main memory is managed by the cache memory. Secondary memory is permanent memory. Data transfer between secondary memory and primary memory is managed by an I/O processor.
This article discusses the difference between main memory and secondary memory.
The differences between main memory and secondary memory are:
|Main memory||Secondary memory|
|Main memory is also known as primary memory or internal memory stores data temporarily||Secondary memory is also known as auxiliary memory or external memory stores data permanently|
|It can directly access data by processor/ CPU||It cannot directly access data by processor/CPU|
|The nature of Parts of the main memory varies, RAM- is volatile in nature. ROM- Non-volatile.||Secondary memory is always non-volatile in nature|
|Memory is stored in semiconductor chips||Memory is stored in an external storage device such as hard disks, pen drives, etc|
|This memory has a fast access time||This memory has low access time.|
|It is expensive||It is inexpensive|
|Examples of main memory are: RAM and ROM||Examples of secondary memory are: magnetic disks, magnetic tapes, etc|
Main memory is also known as primary memory or internal memory has fast access time while secondary memory is also known as auxiliary memory or external memory has less access time. In primary memory unlike secondary memory data is directly accessed by the CPU