The main difference between register and buffer is that the register is a temporary storage area in the processor that allows transferring data faster while the buffer is a temporary storage area in the main memory that holds data before using them.
A register is a fast memory location built into the processor. Moreover, the total number of registers available on a computer depends on the computer architecture, and it varies from machine to machine. In fact, more registers help to increase the performance of the processor. On the other hand, a buffer is a main memory location that holds data temporary so that a process or a device can use them.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Register
– Definition, Functionality
2. What is Buffer
– Definition, Functionality
3. What is the Difference Between Register and Buffer
– Comparison of Key Differences
Buffer, Main Memory, Processor, Register
What is Register
A register is a fast and small storage unit. The processor stores data temporary in registers. This allows it to store and transfer data from one location to another. Some registers can perform read-only operations while others can perform write-only operations. Moreover, the sizes of registers can vary depending on the computer architecture. A register stores the received data and sends them to the required location as instructed by the CPU.
Furthermore, there are various types of registers available in a computer system, and they perform various operations. Some of them are as follows.
Program counter (PC) – Holds the address of the next instructions that should be executed
Instruction Register (IR) – Holds the address of the currently executing instruction
Stack Pointer Register (SPR) – Manages the stack
Accumulator Register (AX) – Stores the intermediate arithmetic and logical results
Data Register (DR) – Holds numerical values of arithmetic operations
Address Register – Holds addresses of instructions that access the primary memory indirectly
Status Register – Holds the status of instructions (whether to execute the instruction or not)
General Purpose Register – Stores both data and addresses
Floating Point Register – Stores floating point values
Vector Register – Holds data required for vector processing
What is Buffer
A buffer is an area in main memory for holding data during input and output data transfers. A buffer is useful when moving data between processes within a computer.
For example, we use a buffer when downloading a video or an audio file from the internet. Around 20 % of the file is stored to the buffer. Then, it begins to play. While playing the file, the computer continuously downloads the remaining portion of the file. The new section is also stored in the buffer. Likewise, the file plays with the help of the buffer, not directly from the internet. It prevents the file from skipping or stalling due to high network traffic.
Difference Between Register and Buffer
Register is a small amount of fast storage which is a quickly accessible location available on a computer’s CPU. A buffer or a data buffer is a region of physical memory storage used to temporarily store data while it is being moved from one place to another. Thus, this is the main difference between register and buffer.
Furthermore, registers are in the CPU while buffer is in the main memory.
A register allows the processor to store data temporarily for processing and transfer them from one location to another. Buffer helps to store data temporarily before using them. Hence, this is another difference between register and buffer.
The main difference between register and buffer is that a register is a temporary storage area in the processor that allows transferring data faster while buffer is a temporary storage area in main memory that holds data before using them.
1.“Processor Register.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Oct. 2018, Available here.
2. “Data Buffer.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 9 Oct. 2018, Available here.
3. “What Is a Buffer? – Definition from Techopedia.” Techopedia.com, Available here.
1. “CPU block diagram” By File:CPU block diagram.png: R. S. ShawSVG conversion by: Booyabazooka – This file was derived from: CPU block diagram.png (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Downloading A Torrent” By Mike MacKenzie (CC BY 2.0) via www.vpnsrus.com