The Complete Guide to Choose a Gaming RAM and Memory Cache

How to Cheese the best RAM for your gaming Desktop

Other than the CPU and motherboard, the RAM (Random Access Memory is the next most important hardware in your system.

When a computer first boots up, the system loads data from the hard drive into the RAM. At any point of time when the CPU needs any information, it will access the RAM to retrieve the data it needs. Since the RAM transfer data at a speed faster than any other storage media (such as the hard drive, CD-ROM, and floppy disk), the retrieval process is shorter, work gets done faster and hence the computer performs better.

How does the RAM affect the performance of your gaming computer?

The amount of RAM you have in your $500 gaming pc affects the speed at which the game reacts. To process the huge amount of computation involved in a 3D game, there must be enough RAM to store all the information. For systems with a small amount of RAM, the memory space will be filled up easily and all overflow data is then written or page to the hard drive. When such situation arises, the CPU will have to travel a longer path to retrieve the data from the hard drive. This results in sluggish game performance and intermittently ‘hanging‘ of the game. To increase the performance of the game, the foolproof way is to increase the amount of RAM in the system. The more RAM you have, the better the game performance.

The Importance Of A Cache

If you are looking to build a fast gaming system, you have to understand the importance of a cache. Modern computers have both L1 and L2 cache and you may have seen some computers with the L3 cache. So what exactly is a cache and why is it so important? Read on.

Cache is an extremely fast memory used to store instructions that are repeatedly used by the CPU. It accelerates the CPU instruction retrieval process and results in a more efficient system.

Without a cache, the CPU has to retrieve instruction directly from the RAM. Since the RAM operates at a much lower speed than the CPU (18ns to 0.3 ns), the fuel efficiency of the CPU is not utilized. Its productivity effectively reduced by (18/0.3=60) times. This is not acceptable.

What if we include a cache in the motherboard (known as L2 cache) that has a small memory size but run at twice the speed of the RAM? Things will start to speed up.

To fasten thing up, an even faster cache was built into the CPU. This cache is known as an L1 cache. It runs at the same speed as the CPU. Now, the L1 cache caches the L2 cache which in turn caches the memory RAM. The CPU can then operate at its full speed and programs can run more efficiently.

A cache is very expensive, thus it is not advisable to include a big cache into the system. Generally the faster the CPU speed, the bigger the cache you need. A typical system has 64kb of cache. High-end CPU such as Intel dual-core extreme comes with 4MB cache. This also explains why the dual-core CPU is so expensive.

Celeron CPUs are the budget version of Intel chip. They may have the same operating speed as a Pentium4 chip but are priced very cheaply. The main reason for this is the size of the cache in the chip. A typical Celeron CPU has only 256kb while an Intel Pentium 4 CPU has 2MB cache. This also means that a Celeron CPU operates much slower than a Pentium 4 CPU even though they have the same operating speed.

There are many factors to take note of when building a computer and caching is one of them that cannot be left out. Hopefully, this article has given you an insight into the importance of cache.

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