- The locations within a computer that serve for temporarily holding and accessing data in a machine-readable format. Memory chips are used for this purpose, and most are allocated for RAM, or main memory. Memory is usually quantified in multiples of bytes. For example, a computer with 1 gigabyte of RAM can hold approximately 1 billion bytes, or characters, of information, and this is the total temporary workspace this computer has available. Other forms of memory in a computer include ROM, PROM, and EPROM. Although memory and storage are sometimes used synonymously, storage refers to a more permanent form of holding and accessing data, using magnetic or optical media, such as disks and tapes. Also called memory, or system memory (1).