What is a virtual RAM? Here's the truth
In recent years, Bangladesh has seen a rise in smartphone use, becoming a crucial aspect of daily life. Yet, there's a lack of understanding about smartphone technology among many, notably concerning virtual RAM.
Virtual RAM, or swap space, is part of a device's storage acting as backup memory when the physical RAM is full. It allows devices to run smoothly under heavy use. For instance, a device with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage might allocate 2GB as virtual RAM, effectively making it 6GB RAM but reducing storage to 62GB.
However, virtual RAM isn't equivalent to built-in RAM. RAM is faster and handles temporary data, whereas internal storage is slower, designed for longer-term data. In Android systems, crucial apps use regular RAM for quicker access, while less important ones use virtual RAM.
The truth about virtual RAM
Virtual RAM can indeed assist a device in managing its memory resources more efficiently. When your physical RAM is maxed out, virtual RAM can provide temporary relief by moving less frequently used data from RAM to storage, freeing up space for essential processes. However, it's essential to understand the limitations.
Virtual RAM stored on your device's storage is significantly slower than the dedicated physical RAM. When your device relies heavily on virtual RAM, you may notice a slowdown in performance, especially when switching between apps or performing memory-intensive tasks. The available storage space constrains the amount of virtual RAM your device can utilise. Unlike physical RAM, which is specifically designed for rapid data access, storage memory is optimised for long-term data storage, not quick retrieval. Thus, relying too heavily on virtual RAM can lead to storage bottlenecks.
Smartphone companies often market virtual RAM as a major performance enhancer. This is partially true but can be misleading. Some brands, however, have been vocal and transparent in recent years. For example, Xiaomi has chosen to adopt a transparent approach, informing customers about virtual RAM's real benefits and limitations, rather than overstating its impact.
While virtual RAM can be a helpful safety net, it should not be considered a substitute for having an adequate amount of physical RAM. If you consistently find yourself relying on virtual RAM, it might be a sign that your device lacks sufficient built-in memory to handle your needs effectively. In such cases, upgrading to a device with more physical RAM is a better solution.