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Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Simple Explanation Of What Virtual Memory Is.

The concept of Virtual Memory can be a little confusing, but this explanation will make it less difficult to understand. But first you need to understand the difference between Random Access Memory (RAM) and Hard disk.

RAM refers to a bunch of silicon chips where the current running program and their associated files are saved that is why you can open more that one program at the same time and switch between them. For example, lets assume that you have a Word Processing Program running and then decide to surf the internet for something, but you have not save the document you are composing in the Word Processing program. You will notice that when you return to the Processing program after you have finish surfing the internet, you will still find the document the same way you left it. The reason is that they are being automatically saved in RAM's memory.
But the fact is, RAM is not a permanent storage chip, so if for any reason your computer where to go off, then the document you were preparing that you have not saved will be lost.

Hard disk on the other hand is the permanent storage chip. Thus if you have saved the document before you begin browsing and your computer goes off, when you turn it on back, the document will still be intact.

When you compare the speed of Hard Disk (disk in short) to RAM (also referred to Memory) Disk are slow, too slow. That is why your computer cannot work directly from it, so your computer/ will have to load the program you want to use and the program's associated file to RAM.

Virtual Memory on the other hand is when your Operating System try to use some space in your computer's hard disk as a RAM.

If you have notice, RAM's memory space is quite low when compared to Hard Disk. You can have a RAM of 1GB on your computer but a Hard Disk of 160GB of the same computer.

Thus, in the event when space required by the programs you are currently using becomes more than what the actual RAM of your computer can hold, the operating system of your computer will now turn to your hard disk and try to convert some of it's space and use it as RAM. Those space in your hard this that your computer Operating System is using as RAM is what is referred to Virtual Memory.
In other words, Virtual Memory are not RAM but are space from your computer hard disk which your operating system converts and start using it as RAM.

We hope this clarify you a little about Virtual Memory.

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