Cache Memory and Virtual Memory

Computer memory is a physical memory which consists of temporary data and permanent data. Permanent and temporary data gets stored in ROM(Read-only-memory) and RAM(Random access memory) respectively. To elaborate on the difference between Cache memory and Virtual memory, we are going to focus on both types of memory individually for better understanding.

What is Cache memory?

Cache memory is a storage unit of memory that is implemented on the processor. It contains the replicas of data that have been accessed recently. CPU's fast data accessing speed fastens cache memory accordingly. Main memory helps in program execution. If the data is already available to us via backup, then program execution will be faster.

What is Virtual memory?

Virtual memory is not physically a part of the computer system. It is a method with which computer memory can be extended. The real memory of the system gets broken into multiple modules called 'pages'. Each page is approx 4KB in size. When the actual memory gets full, pages that are not in use get written to virtual memory called a swap file.

Cache vs Virtual Memory

Cache Memory Virtual Memory
Cache management is done by the hardware. Virtual management is done by the Operating system.
Memory does not require mapping structures to map physical addresses. Mapping structures to map virtual address to physical address.
Cache memory is smaller in size. Virtual memory has a large capacity.
User cannot do multiprogramming as CPU takes time to do all task together. Memory increases the degree of multitasking.
Decreases CPU utilization. Increases CPU utilization.


We have discussed all the features of Cache and Virtual memory. Both the memory are part of the computer system. With this informative blog, the user will get the difference between Cache memory and Virtual memory. I hope you find the blog helpful in providing all the basic information you need regarding Cache and Virtual memory.

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