What Is Swap Memory?

Swap memory is a technology that computers use that will allow the operating system to give more memory to an application than a physical random access memory.

What Is Swap Memory

This is also known as RAM. When the system memory is exhausted the operating system is what can make use of swap memory to essentially add more memory. 

This is among lots of other multiple techniques that are used for memory management in today’s world of computing systems. Physical memory is often not enough which is why these techniques are used.

In this particular article, we will explain swap memory in more detail and the benefits that it can provide you and your computing systems.

If you have used a lot of your standard memory the computer will often be very slow and can really irritate you when you’re using it because of it. That is why it is so important to stay on top of your memory usage to avoid any unwanted problems with your computer.

As stated there are many techniques that can be used to do this. Performance is a key aspect of how a computer is received by the user so if it begins to struggle in that department then it will be seen as less than satisfactory.

How It Improves Performance

Swap memory works by using virtual memory which is essentially a storage space. Think of it like a cloud data package. If your phone for example only has 32GB of physical storage then when it runs out you will be asked to save data to the cloud rather than to your phone’s actual hard drive.

This will mean that you can still access that data but it is not physically stored on your device. Which will allow the device to still perform well. 

It is normally a default setting on most computers these days so that the user of the drive does not run into any issue with its performance though you can choose to turn this off.

The swap memory process is normally managed by the system itself. It will take effect when the physical storage has been used up. In short, the purpose of swap memory is to allow a more usable memory that is normally held by computer hardware. 

There are often times physical storage will be implemented in a device and that will then need a lot of added memory. Instead of minimizing a system to only have memory that is provided by a RAM drive, swap memory will allow the user of the device to put more memory to disk.

As stated a clunky performing machine can be a user’s biggest turn-off as it will be what they are dealing with on a daily basis so it is highly important to have swap memory to avoid any of the problems from regularly occurring for the user.

Systems that will notice this a lot more are things like gaming PCs where you will need to have lots of memory to be able to use it to its highest ability.

Swap File Or Swap Space, What Is It?

Swap space is something that is a temporary form of memory space. This will come into play when the physical space is already used up. The swap file is something that is used in the physical sense that will be used by the system that you are operating.

Understanding this is essentially done by understanding what the management of memory is. In the more modern systems, it is often segmented in many ways that are different forms. 

Advantages Of It

Well, the obvious first advantage would be that it provides you with more memory. Think of memory in terms of capacity. The more memory capacity that you have often the system will be seen as a better one.

What Is Swap Memory

This will mean that you can have a lot more information such as pictures, games or even music stored on a system without it filling up the provided memory that you already have maxed out (see also ‘How To Give Terraria More Memory‘). 

Another advantage of it is the continuous operations that it provides you. Essentially, it will be easier and a lot faster to look up things that you have stored. Which again is a massive benefit to how the device will perform.

It can honestly make a lot of difference to your overall enjoyment of the device as if this were not the case then you would often be waiting around for a little while before the thing that you were looking for was found.

It will also optimize the system. This means that the device will not go through any unwanted hiccups when the memory is full on the physical RAM as it will automatically transfer to something with more memory space.

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In Summary

Swap memory is what is used to maximise the performance of the operating system that you are using. In short, think of the cloud storage system.

When the physical memory is maxed out the cloud storage is used to back up the files that you are trying to save and will not risk damaging the performance of the system that you are using, this is very user-friendly because it will not make the system clunky which is something that the user of the system will notice instantly.

This is very useful in terms of gaming PCs that have a lot of need for storage to perform at the high level that is expected.

Physical memory is often very limited in terms of computers even though it may seem like a lot of storage at first.

If we look at games for example, the space required for them has risen dramatically over the last ten years, lots of this is to due with how much things like graphics have improved or even just the size of the game as a whole.

Being able to store memory on something other than the RAM of a system will eliminate the slowness you experience.

Erik D