Computer Components: Internal Memory

A computer uses two types of storage. A main store consisting of ROM and RAM, and backing stores which can be internal, eg hard disk, or external, eg a CD or USB flash drive.


Main store (or computer memory) is divided into Read Only Memory (ROM) and Random Access Memory (RAM).

Task 1 - List the differences between ROM and RAM (you can do this by describing the functions of both ROM and RAM).

Cache Memory

Task 2 - Copy and Paste the following passage and fill in the blanks. You will find the word options at the bottom of the passage.

Cache memory, also called _____ memory, is ______________________ (RAM) that a computer microprocessor can access more _________ than it can access regular RAM.

As the microprocessor processes _______, it looks first in the _______ memory and if it finds the data there (from a previous reading of data), it does not have to do the more time-consuming reading of data from larger __________.

[  quickly    /    memory   /    CPU  /      cache    /    data   /   random access memory  ]    

Cache memory is fast and it is expensive. It is categorised in levels that describe its closeness and accessibility to the microprocessor. Level 1 cache, which is extremely fast but relatively small, is located close to the processor. Level 2 cache can be found half-way between the process and the system bus; it is fairly fast and medium-sized. Level 3 cache is relatively large and close to RAM.

Clock Speeds      

Alternatively referred to as clock rate and processor speed, clock speed is the speed that the microprocessor executes each instruction or each vibration of the clock.

Task 3 - ' A dummies guide to clock speeds'. You are required to write a brief 'dummies guide' style paragraph explaining the theory behind clock speeds. (You could also include diagrams to back up your explanations).

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