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Thread: Can someone talk to me about cache

  1. #1
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    Can someone talk to me about cache

    Hello.
    I'm buying a new computer soon and I don't understand much about processor cache. If buy a processor with more cache what part of my computing experience will be better?

    I'm up for any type of input on this.

    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
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    Re: Can someone talk to me about cache

    Pretty much all of it, the processor pulls and puts info there that it will be using, so if it has more space it is lika bigger desk. You may need 5 books open to do your paper, but it you only have room for 3 then you have to close the other two and go back and get them from the shelf everytime you want the info in them.

    Hope that makes sence.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Can someone talk to me about cache

    Hey thanks. I think I get it.
    So If i don't run many programs at the same time and don't play games then I don't need a huge amount of cache. cool. thanks.

  4. #4

    Re: Can someone talk to me about cache

    Cahce is another parameter that influences the speed.

    I am not an expert but AFAIK there are 4 locations where data can be stored:

    the registers of the proc
    the cache of the proc
    RAM
    harddisk

    The time to write and read to/from these locations are different by magnitudes, the speed is the highest at the top of the list and it decreases. Also the size increases by magnitudes as you go down the list. The smaller cache you have the more likely is that the processor will have to use your RAM e.g. to store intermediate calculation results. The same rules play between the registers and the cache, the cache and RAM, the RAM and the HD (virtual memory).

    Now about your final thoughts, that you do not need large cache if you do not play games etc. is simpler: you do not need a good (expensive) computer if you do not use its capabilities. So if you do not play games etc., buy a cheap VGA card, buy a cheap processor, and so on. But to decide if you need cache based on the things you wrote is I think like you decide that you do not need a V8 car, a V6 is good enough since you only ever use it to go to the grocery store that's 3 miles from home. If that is the case, why do you care about Vs and engines? Buy a cheap car that does not consume a lot of oil and you're ok.

  5. #5
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    Re: Can someone talk to me about cache

    Operating system: Debian Wheezy 7.0.
    Computer: Celeron 2 ghz laptop, 2 GB RAM.
    Linux user since -99.

  6. #6
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    Re: Can someone talk to me about cache

    Quote Originally Posted by concerto View Post
    Hey thanks. I think I get it.
    So If i don't run many programs at the same time and don't play games then I don't need a huge amount of cache. cool. thanks.
    Well my personal recommendation is to get as much cache as you can, as long as it is financially do-able.

    Im not saying break the bank, but if it is an extra 100 to get a lil faster processor and a bigger cache go for it. You may not have a need for it now but if you do later it is expensive to replace the board and processor, especially if it is a laptop.
    MyBlog
    Sledgehammer engineering, if it doesn't work, hit it damn hard.

  7. #7
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    Re: Can someone talk to me about cache

    Quote Originally Posted by concerto View Post
    Hello.
    I'm buying a new computer soon and I don't understand much about processor cache. If buy a processor with more cache what part of my computing experience will be better?

    I'm up for any type of input on this.

    Thank you for your time.
    More cache = Better

    However, its one of those diminishing returns things. i.e. the more you have the less extra cache will benefit you.

    The benefit of cache is that its close to the CPU and runs at the same speed as the CPU (L1 cache does at least). So the CPU doesn't have to wait for info to arrive from the RAM which would take longer than fetching it from the cache(Assuming its stored in the cache).

    Also note that the is L1, L2 and sometimes L3 cache. (level 1,2,3). They run at different speeds. L1 is better than L2 etc. Generally the quoted amount of cache is L1+L2+L3, so if you can find a processor with lots of L1.

    I wouldn't spend *big bucks* just for a bit of extra cache. Rather focus on balancing the PC as a whole. i.e. Decent everything instead of a monster CPU in a rubbish PC.

    So If i don't run many programs at the same time and don't play games then I don't need a huge amount of cache. cool. thanks.
    No, cache work all the time irrespective of what your running or how many apps.
    Microsoft Patents the Crippling of Operating Systems. (Link: Patent 7,536,726)

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