Difference Between SRAM and DRAM

Key Difference between SRAM vs DRAM

  • SRAM has a lower access time and is faster, whereas DRAM has a higher access time and is slower compared to SRAM.
  • SRAM uses transistors and latches, while DRAM uses capacitors and very few transistors.
  • L2 and L3 CPU cache units are some general applications of SRAM, while DRAM is mostly found as the main memory in computers.
  • SRAM offers low packaging density, while DRAM offers high packaging density.
  • SRAM is in the form of on-chip memory, but DRAM has the characteristics of off-chip memory.
Difference Between SRAM and DRAM
Difference between SRAM and DRAM

Here, I have analyzed the difference between SRAM and DRAM and will comprehensively evaluate their pros and cons.

Before learning about SDRAM and DRAM, we need to understand the RAM.

What is RAM?

The information stored in this type of memory is lost when the power supply to the PC or laptop is switched off. The information stored in RAM can be checked with the help of the BIOS. It is generally known as the main memory, temporary memory, cache memory, or volatile memory of the computer system. The full form of RAM is random access memory.

There are mainly two types of RAM.

  1. SRAM
  2. DRAM

What is SRAM?

SRAM image

SRAM is a type of semiconductor memory that uses bistable latching circuitry to store each bit. In this type of RAM, data is stored using the six-transistor memory cell. Static RAM is mostly used as cache memory for the processor (CPU).

SRAM is relatively faster than other RAM types, such as DRAM. It also consumes less power. The full form of SRAM is static random access memory.

What is DRAM?

DRAM image

It is a type of RAM that allows you to store each bit of data on a separate capacitor within a particular integrated circuit.

It is the standard computer memory of any modern desktop computer. The full form of DRAM is Dynamic Random Access Memory.

DRAM is constructed using capacitors and a few transistors. In this type of RAM, the capacitor is used for storing the data, where a bit value of 1, which signifies that the capacitor is charged, and a bit value of 0, which means that the capacitor is discharged.

Difference Between Static RAM and Dynamic RAM

In my experience, here are the differences between SRAM and DRAM.

SRAM has a lower access time, which is faster compared to DRAM. DRAM has a higher access time. It is slower than SRAM.
SRAM is costlier than DRAM. DRAM costs less compared to SRAM.
SRAM needs a constant power supply, but it consumes less power. DRAM requires more power consumption as the information is stored in the capacitor.
SRAM offers low packaging density. DRAM offers a high packaging density.
Uses transistors and latches. Uses capacitors and very few transistors.
L2 and L3 CPU cache units are some general applications of SRAM. DRAM is mostly found as the main memory in computers.
The storage capacity of SRAM is 1MB to 16MB. The storage capacity of DRAM is 1 GB to 16GB.
SRAM is in the form of on-chip memory. DRAM has the characteristics of off-chip memory.
SRAM is widely used on the processor or lodged between the main memory and processor of your computer. The DRAM is placed on the motherboard.
SRAM is of a smaller size. DRAM is available in larger storage capacities.
This type of RAM works on the principle of changing the direction of current through switches. This type of RAM works by holding the charges.

Characteristics of SRAM

From our findings, here are the important characteristics of SRAM that I have studied.

  • SRAM is faster than DRAM.
  • Several times more expensive than DRAMs
  • Takes up much more space than DRAMs.
  • Consume less power than DRAMs
  • Usage: level 1 or level 2 cache
  • Cycle time is much shorter compared to DRAM because it does not require to pause between accesses.
  • It is often used only as a memory cache.

Characteristics of DRAM

In our experience, here are the important characteristics of DRAM.

  • Cost-effective
  • It has a short data lifetime.
  • Requires to refresh
  • Slower compared to SRAM
  • More power consumption

Advantages of SRAM

In this section, I will share the advantages that come with using SRAM:

  • SRAM performance is better than DRAM in terms of speed. It means it is faster in operation.
  • SRAM is used to create a speed-sensitive cache.
  • It has medium power consumption.

Advantages of DRAM

In my professional practice, I’ve observed these pros of DRAM:

  • Cheaper compared to SRAM.
  • It has a higher storage capacity. Hence, it is used to create a larger RAM space system.
  • Offers a simple structure.
  • It doesn’t require you to refresh the memory contents.
  • You don’t need to refresh the memory contents, and its access time is faster.
  • Logic or circuitry is needed, so the memory module itself is simpler.

Disadvantages of SRAM

Here are the cons of using SRAM based on my personal observations:

  • It is costlier compared to DRAM.
  • It is volatile, so you will lose the data when the memory is not powered.
  • SRAM does not offer to refresh programs.
  • It has a low storage capacity.
  • SRAM offers a more complex design.
  • Reduces the memory density.

Disadvantages of DRAM

Here are the cons I’ve found with using DRAM:

  • It is comparatively slower than SRAM, so it takes more time to access data or information.
  • You will lose data when the power is off.
  • It has a higher power consumption compared to SRAM.

How to Choose Between a SRAM and a DRAM

Based on my experience, SRAM and DRAM are applied differently within a computer system because of their inherent qualities. I generally recommend SRAM for processor cache memory because it’s faster, though more expensive. In contrast, my choice for the main system memory is DRAM, as it is cheaper and slower. The decision between using static RAM or dynamic RAM depends on the specific needs of the system.