Cache

1. Pronounced like the physical form of U.S. currency, Cache is a high-speed access area that can be either a reserved section of main memory or storage device. The two main cache types are memory cache and disk cache. Memory cache is a portion on memory of high-speed static RAM (SRAM) and is effective because most programs access the same data or instructions over and over. By keeping as much of this information as possible in SRAM, the computer avoids accessing the slower DRAM, which makes the computer faster. Today, most computers come with L3 cache or L2 cache, while older computers included only L1 cache.

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2. Cache, Internet browser cache, or Temporary Internet Files with Internet Explorer is used to improve how fast data loads while browsing the Internet. In most cases, each time you open a web page, the page and all its files are sent to the browser's temporary cache on the hard drive. If that page or file contained on that page (e.g. a picture) needs to load again and has not been modified, the browser opens the page from your cache instead of downloading the page again. Cache saves you lots of time, especially if you use a modem, and can also help save the website owner on bandwidth.

Anyone concerned about their privacy or wants to hide pages they have visited on the computer can clear their Internet cache (history). For anyone who clears their Internet browser history (cache) frequently should consider using an incognito mode.

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3. Like memory caching, disk caching is used to access commonly accessed data. However, instead of using high-speed SRAM, a disk cache uses conventional main memory. The most recently accessed data from a disk is stored in a memory buffer. When a program needs to access data from the disk, it first checks the disk cache to see if the data is there. Disk caching can dramatically improve the performance of applications because accessing a byte of data in RAM can be thousands of times faster than accessing a byte on a hard drive.

4. A cache server is a computer or network device that has been setup to store web pages that have been accessed by users on a network. Any user trying to access a web page stored on the cache server is sent the stored version, instead of downloading the web page again. Cache servers help reduce network and Internet traffic congestion, as well as save the company on bandwidth costs.

Also see: Buffer, History, L1, L2, L3, Memory terms, Proxy server, Server, Swap file, Tag, Write back cache