Virtual Memory and Improving PC Performance    

What is virtual memory?

Virtual memory is a technique for assigning and using hard disk memory that extends the amount of programs able to run at a time. Most computers are built with 64 or 128 megabytes of RAM – random access memory. Virtual memory is relatable to a fictitious memory system that is used in Windows operating systems in order to extend the potential of the computer’s physical memory. Rather than rely on actual, physical sites to store program information, virtual memory technology is able to assign unused parts of programs to imaginary memory addresses, when it is actually stored on the hard drive.

RAM is a network of integrated electrical circuits stored on computer chips or other physical storage units that is accessible by different programs at different times. Information saved to RAM isn’t physical in the same sense that CDs or flash drives are – instead, RAM is random in the sense that data can be randomly drawn as it is needed, rather than retrieved by sequence. RAM is so temporary that it is cleared and reset every time you reboot your computer.

When computers are running many programs and applications at once, the amount of memory that the computer needs to execute all the actions usually outweighs the amount of RAM the computer actually has. Using virtual memory, then computer is programmed to perceive more memory than there actually is, allowing it to run numerous programs. This is possible by fragmenting the memory required and using only the necessary amount of actual memory, allowing the other aspects of the program to rest dormant on the hard drive. The program thinks that the entire application is available at the same time, when in fact only the required parts are using RAM and the rest is stored on the hard drive.

Virtual memory technology tricks the computer into thinking that there is much more RAM available than there actually is and, since the programs don’t actually need all the RAM available at the same time, the process works to enable several large programs at once. Without virtual memory we wouldn’t be able to run numerous applications – like an operating system, a web browser, and a word processor without upgrading our RAM.

The exchange between actual RAM memory and virtual memory spaces is called swapping. Data can move freely between the different types of storage and exchange as it is required by the program. Since hard drive memory space is also far less expensive to install in computers, the use of virtual memory brings down the costs of personal computers that would otherwise require much more RAM. In this way, high powered computers capable of running numerous programs simultaneously are widely available to the public at relatively low cost.

Increase Virtual Memory Now

More about Virtual Memory ...

home  privacy
Mime Application Favorites File Favorites List  terms and conditions