Primary Storage Device
Alternatively referred to as internal memory, main memory, and primary memory, a primary storage device is a medium that holds memory for short periods of time while a computer is running. Although it has a much lower access time and faster performance, it is also about two orders of magnitude more costly than secondary storage.
Random Access Memory (RAM) and cache are both examples of a primary storage device. The image shows three different types of storage for computer data. Primary storage's key differences from the others are that it is directly accessible by the CPU, it is volatile, and it is non-removable.
- See our storage device definition for a full list of storage devices.
- Computer RAM help and support.