What is the difference between disk space and RAM (Random Access Memory)?

People from time to time get confused and refer to disk space and RAM as the same.  These are two very different things.  I will explain.  On a software package you could see the following:

System Requirements

  1. Recommended at least 2.4 GHz (GigaHertz) Pentium III CPU (or equivalent)
  2. 2 GB(Gigabyte) RAM
  3. Operating system requirements (the environment the software runs in)
  4. Hard Disk space 3GB


  1. This is the CPU(Central Processing Unit or “the brain”)  I always use the recommended requirements as the minimal requirements necessary.
  2. 2 GB RAM.  This is the amount of memory needed to run the program in memory(typically your computer comes with 1, 2, 4, and possibly 8 Gigabytes)
  3. Operating System is the Windows, MAC or Linux platform minimum requirements
  4. 3GB Disk space is the room needed to store the program on the computer.

So, RAM is the computers “climbing area” and the Hard disk space is “the park” (in layman’s terms)