Primary storage device

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope
Secondary storage

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.

RAM (random access memory) 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.


A primary storage device may also be referred to as internal memory, main memory, main storage, and primary memory.

Related pages

Cache, Memory terms, Off-line storage, Secondary storage device, Storage device