Disk cache

Disk cache

Post by Paul and Tracy Shortma » Wed, 17 Mar 1999 04:00:00

The w98 resource kit help file mentions a program called 'winalign' and a
feature called 'mapcache' for improving the performance of the disk cache.
I can only find a program called 'walign' in the windows\system directory,
and nothing anywhere called 'winalign'.  Are these the same program?  Is the
cache automatically mapped as it says in the resource kit, so that two
copies of the same code are not kept in memory, or do have to find some way
of enabling the mapping feature?

Thanks for any help or comments you can offer.

Paul Shortman


1. Disk Cache & Memory Cache

Cache memory is random access memory (RAM) that a computer microprocessor
can access more quickly than it can access regular RAM. As the
microprocessor processes data, it looks first in the cache memory and if it
finds the data there (from a previous reading of data), it does not have to
do the more time-consuming reading of data from larger memory.

Cache memory is sometimes described in levels of closeness and accessability
to the microprocessor. A level-1 (L1) cache is on the same chip as the
microprocessor. (For example, the PowerPC 601 processor has a 32 kilobytes
level-1 cache built into its chip.) Level-2 cache is usually a separate
static RAM (SRAM) chip. The main RAM is usually a dynamic RAM (DRAM) chip.
SRAM does not have to be electromagnetically refreshed as DRAM does, and is
therefore more expensive. A popular SRAM (or cache memory) size is 1048
kilobytes (1 megabyte). Typical DRAM sizes are 4 megabytes to 32 megabytes.

In addition to cache memory, one can think of RAM itself as a cache of
memory for hard disk storage since all of RAM's contents come from the hard
disk initially when you turn your computer on and load the operating system
(you are loading it into RAM) and later as you start new applications and
access new data. RAM can also contain a special area called a disk cache
that contains the data most recently read in from the hard disk.
Hope this helps.

Pranav S.

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