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(also virtual memory)

vMem definition

vMem (virtual memory) is a memory management technique used by operating systems (OS) to extend the available physical memory of a computer by using a portion of the hard disk or solid-state drive. It allows multiple applications to run simultaneously, even if the total memory requirement exceeds the available RAM. vMem works by swapping inactive parts of the memory (called pages) to the disk, freeing up space for active applications. However, relying heavily on vMem can slow down the system because accessing data from the disk is significantly slower than accessing it from RAM.

vMem examples

  • Page file (Windows): A reserved space on the hard disk used by Windows to store memory pages that are not currently in use by the RAM.
  • Swap file (Linux): Similar to the page file in Windows, the swap file in Linux is a partition or file on the hard disk used to store inactive memory pages.

vMem vs. RAM

RAM is the primary memory used by the computer to store and access data quickly. It’s faster but limited in capacity. vMem extends the available memory by using the hard disk or solid-state drive, which is slower but has a larger capacity.

Managing vMem

  • Monitor your system’s memory usage to ensure it has enough RAM for optimal performance.
  • Adjust vMem settings according to your system requirements and usage patterns.
  • Consider upgrading your RAM if you consistently experience slow performance due to heavy vMem usage.

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