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Volatile storage

Volatile storage definition

Volatile storage is a type of computer storage that retains data only when the system is powered on. The moment the power is turned off or interrupted, the data stored in volatile memory is lost. It happens because volatile storage relies on electric or current flow to maintain the stored information. When the power supply is cut off, the capacitors within the storage medium quickly discharge, erasing the stored data.

See also: RAM scraping, random access memory

History of volatile storage

The use of volatile storage dates back to the early days of computing. As computers evolved, users saw the need for fast, temporary storage for processing tasks. This way, various volatile memory types were developed. It included, among others, random access memory (RAM), which is the most common form of volatile storage.

Advantages of using volatile memory

  • Volatile storage, especially RAM, offers rapid data access speeds essential for real-time processing.
  • It enables quick data modifications, suitable for data processing and system operations.

Disadvantages of using volatile memory

  • The primary drawback is the potential data loss if power is interrupted.
  • Volatile storage, especially high-speed variants, can be more expensive per unit than non-volatile storage.
  • Compared to non-volatile options like hard drives, volatile storage typically offers less capacity.