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Difference between Primary and Secondary Memory
Primary MemorySecondary Memory
These are semiconductor memoriesThese are magnetic and optical memories
They are characterized as volatile - RAM or non-volatile memories - ROMThey are non-volatile
They contain program and data that is currently used by the microprocessorThese are used for bulk storage
These memories are fast enough to interact with the microprocessorSlower than primary memories
Also known as Main Memory e.g. ROM and RAMAlso known as Backup Memory or Auxiliary Memory e.g. DVDs, Floppy disks, CD ROMs
They are located inside the system unit.They are located outside the system unit with the exception of the Hard Drive which is located inside the system unit.

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  1. Primary memory can be accessed directly by the CPU, while secondary memory cannot be accessed directly by the processor.
  2. Primary memory are considered as main memory while secondary memory are termed auxiliary memory.
  3. Secondary is accessed by I/O channels, while primary memory is accessed by data bus.
  4. Primary memory is considered volatile and non volatile(RAM and ROM) while secondary memory is non-volatile. 

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