cache memory

This is a discussion on cache memory within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; How would I upgrade or allocate more cache memory for my computer? Is this done by changing imbedded software to ...

  1. #1
    essence of digital xddxogm3's Avatar
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    cache memory

    How would I upgrade or allocate more cache memory for my computer?
    Is this done by changing imbedded software to recognize more memory assigned to the cache, or would i have to install more memory specifically made as cache memory?
    I want to update a hp pavilion 4440 with limiting my costs. I understand computers are cheap, but this is not a project for me, and i want only to upgrade the current available pc.

    [Edit1]
    How can you create multiple cache on one pc?
    [/Edit1]
    "Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence;
    supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."
    Art of War Sun Tzu

  2. #2
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    Well it depends if you mean level 1 cache or level 2 cache.
    Cache is not part of your RAM memory. Level 1 cache is onboard with the CPU (can't remember the exact part of the CPU) so only way to upgrade it is to upgrade the CPU. Level 2 cache is not onboard the CPU but is located on another chip close to the CPU (both in terms of bus length and physical location) and it might be possible to upgrade it though I'm not 100% sure.
    Also remember that cache is super fast memory, is located very close to the cpu, and is a lot more expensive then regular RAM (which is why you don't see desktops with 100 megs of it)

    Edit: Clarification: Cache is RAM in the terms of random access memory but it isn't part of the normally though of RAM.

  3. #3
    essence of digital xddxogm3's Avatar
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    if cache is not a feasable answer to my memory issue, can we custom configure windows to use a bigger swap? I know how to do it on *nix systems, but how would I partition and have set as the new default swap? Can I increase the current swap w/o repartition and reformat? The loaded os is win98. I already have intensions to upgrading the ram to the max the slots will fit, but I want to maximise all available options.
    "Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence;
    supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."
    Art of War Sun Tzu

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    in windows it's called virtual memory (i believe).....(but i'll just call it swap because it's shorter)

    what are you trying to do?

    cache memory is for super fast retrieval of data so that it doesn't have to get it from the ram which causes some latency (for various reasons)..... the cpu stores what it thinks is the most used data close to itself in cache memory ....virtual memory ( swap space ) is on the hard disk and only gets used if you run out of RAM (or maybe its the ram acts like a cache and stores less frequently used data on the hard drive)....either way, increased swap space won't help the cpu<--->ram latency...it may even slow it down if the cpu must retrieve data from the hard drive...

    edit: swap space does however increase the total amount of "ram"...cache memory, however, does not. if you have 128 megs of conventional ram, and you add 64 megs of cache memory, your still can only use 128 megs of ram (as far as i know anyway)


    edit: and yes, i'm pretty sure you must repartition to increase swap size
    Last edited by misplaced; 12-19-2004 at 12:51 AM.
    i seem to have GCC 3.3.4
    But how do i start it?
    I dont have a menu for it or anything.

  5. #5
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    In Xp Pro:
    Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Performance -> Settings -> Advanced -> Change -> Custom Size -> (Change the inital size and maximum size)

  6. #6
    essence of digital xddxogm3's Avatar
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    i'm trying to fix a very bad lag and crash issue w/o purchasing a new pc.
    i know the best option would be to purchase a pc for this century.
    i want to purchase 2x128mb sticks ram, max the cache i believe it was 512kb max, and add a bigger swap (maybe a half gig).
    i feel this would max the speed on an older archaic system.
    "Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence;
    supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."
    Art of War Sun Tzu

  7. #7
    Jez
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    Right click on "my computer"
    select "properties"
    select the "performance" tab
    click "virtual memory"

    You can play with the settings here. If you set the mininum and max size to the same value, then the swap file will not change in size, and hence should not become fragmented.

    Some people set up a separate partition solely for the swap file.

    Hope this is what you were after.

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    more memory is not always the solution to speed....

    you also have to take into consideration the cpu speed and the bus size....you can have the fastest cpu in the world and enough ram to store the internet on, but if your bus is only 8 bits, your computer is going to be bottle necking data constantly...also, hard disk speed should be taken into consideration, if you do run over into virtual memory quite often, then having a slow drive sucks.
    i seem to have GCC 3.3.4
    But how do i start it?
    I dont have a menu for it or anything.

  9. #9
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    Also run a disk scan (to look for bad segments) and defrag your drive. Those two things can do a world of good.

  10. #10
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    Keep in mind, increasing the virtual memory only helps up to a certain point. You should never increase your virtual memory to more than double your physical RAM. Virtual memory is nothing more than swap, so what you're really doing is increasing a portion of the harddrive for moving files. You can only have so much space being used until the head on the HD has to move too far to grab it, thus increasing the time to retrieve it.

    I personally recommend Executive Software's Diskkeeper. I recently purchased it and my computer is back to performing like it was when I first put it together. It lets you take care of a variety of things that I've never seen on other defrag/sys performance progs.

  11. #11
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    How much did it cost ober?

  12. #12
    essence of digital xddxogm3's Avatar
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    this pc is an older machine that is running 98se.
    according to intel, you can upgrade the processor chip of p2 systems with at the max a 1.5 p3. but this type of project wouldn't be worth it. i can purchase a new stripped down pc for about 300$ then transfer all the old software (cdburner, etc.) vs. finiding an oem shop that would have the correct p3 1.5 processor. i know that processor is not in my town. we have one oem store, and the only p3 processor they have seen in the last 5 months is a well below the 1 gig mark, and way out side of an acceptable price range. as for the bus, i understand that the pc is only as fast as the slowest part, but again i'm trying to max the speed w/o emptying the pocket book. if i'm going to pimp out a machine, it will be my machine not someone elses ;0). What I see for now it a system with 64mb of ram upgraded to the max of 256 (cost 75$). A system with only 64kb of cache that can be upgraded to 512k (not sure were or how to find a price or saler for this). And the possibility of increasing the size of the virtual/swap space.
    (1) how much/ and where can i order cache memory for the size i'm looking for and for the pavilion 4440?
    (2) as for the virtual memory, i understand from linux you need to have at least twice the amount of vm then you have ram. would setting the max and min of my vm at the double the ram mark create any system issues?
    (3) ober: can the system tool you speak of work on all windows flavors?
    I'm looking to keep the project costs under $150. anything beyond that is not cost efficient. If I can hold off on her purchasing another pc for 1 to 2 years, then I will have been successful.
    sorry for the long drawn out post, but thanks for everyones input, this has provided me with a better understanding of the project i'm looking at.
    "Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence;
    supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."
    Art of War Sun Tzu

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    windows only has one flavor....


    ....bitter
    i seem to have GCC 3.3.4
    But how do i start it?
    I dont have a menu for it or anything.

  14. #14
    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    Well I just did a search for "pentium processor" on ebay, and got all sorts of stuff (in nearly 700 hits).
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...730674766&rd=1
    A bit more digging may prove worthwhile.

  15. #15
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thantos
    How much did it cost ober?
    Well, I bought Version 8 less than a month before version 9 came out so they gave me a free upgrade to the latest version, but I still paid about 40-45 bucks for the Pro version (mainly because the home version won't work with XP Pro). But I'd definately say it is worth it. I even brought it into work and installed it on my test server and my work PC.

    It is worth it and then some.

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