What Is Cache?

Cache is memory that contains information recently accessed by a computer’s CPU. A CPU can access the cache very fast and frees up space that would otherwise be used on RAM. Images and web addresses are a good example of what the cache stores for faster access. A bottleneck exists between the CPU and RAM. This bottleneck is a reason cache is necessary for faster computing. There are 3 types of cache that are integrated in a computer.Learn More About Cache With Free Computer Maintenance

Level 1 Cache – Level 1 Cache is usually deemed “high-speed” and is integrated in the processor. A reason for having this cache is due to the concept of “locality of reference.” This means that data recently accessed by the processor has a higher chance of being accessed again in short term. The Level 1 cache holds the most recently accessed data. If the processor needs the data again it first checks the Level 1 cache and successfully retrieves it. This process is about twice as fast compared to RAM.
Level 2 Cache – Level 2 Cache is the secondary cache available to the CPU. It is most often found on a memory card close to the CPU. It is connected to the CPU directly and is controlled by a circuit in the motherboard. This circuit that controls the Level 2 cache is called the L2 controller. The L2 cache collects data that has been recently used and is not in the Level 1 cache. For many computers, the L2 cache allows the CPU to retrieve about 95% of its requested data from cache memory.
Disc Cache – This type of cache memory is very slow compared to the other caches. Disc cache records information from a computers hard drive and stores in on the RAM. Programs such as DOS use disc cache.
Performing computer maintenance tasks such as clearing the cache should be done on a regular basis. Allowing the cache to build up over time can result in a slow computer. It is actually very simple to clear the cache from a computer.
For Internet Explorer:

  1. Click “Tools”
  2. Click “Delete Browsing History”
  3. Select the box marked “Temporary Internet Files”
  4. Click “Delete”

For Firefox:

  1. Click “Tools”
  2. Click “Clear Recent History”
  3. Select the time range of the cache desired to clear
  4. Click on “Details” and ensure “Cache” is marked
  5. Click “Clear Now”

For Google Chrome:

  1. Click “Tools” (This is the wrench located in the upper-right hand corner)
  2. Select “Options”
  3. Click “Clear Browsing Data”
  4. Mark the box labeled “Empty The Cache”
  5. Click “Clear Browsing Data”

For Safari:

  1. Click on “Safari”
  2. Click on “Empty Cache”
  3. Click “Empty”

Regular computer maintenance is recommended to ensure the cache folder does not hoard system memory. Cache folders that are not regulated often result in a slow computer and decreased performance.

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