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What Is a Dynamic Cache?

A stick of DDR-RAM, a type of memory.
Cache is a section in the computer’s CPU memory.
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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2014
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Cache is a section in the computer’s central processing unit (CPU) memory that automatically holds previously viewed data without user input or preference. Dynamic cache holds data, but what is held is determined by the user’s instructions, allowing the user to take control of the dynamic cache system. This keeps cache from being overused and only important functions are held. With dynamic systems, the user can typically increase or decrease the cache size. One problem with an improperly configured cache is that, if the cache is set too low, it can throw away important data.

A cache is made as a net to capture data. When a user accesses a website, runs a program or does anything else, the cache will take note of it and store it in a temporary memory. If the user accesses the website or program again before it leaves the cache, then it will load much faster because the computer still has the information in a fresh state. The problem with cache is that it can quickly fill up with functions that are unimportant to the user or infrequently used.

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Many systems have an automatic cache that is set too high — higher than the random access memory (RAM) — which can produce frequent problems. When the cache is set beyond the RAM, newer processes are hard for the system to load or calculate. Performance suffers greatly, because the cache does not want to give up data but does want to open memory to allow for loading of the new data.

A dynamic cache is one possible solution to this problem. On one hand, the user is able to pick several programs or functions, and set them into the dynamic cache. For example, if the user sets a Web browser as a priority, then its data will be cached without delay, while lower-priority functions will not be kept in cache, or will be thrown away when necessary.

Another solution is that the user can set the cache size on dynamic cache. This allows the cache to be set to its absolute necessity, and it can be changed dynamically for whatever the user needs. When this is done, the cache cannot take over the RAM.

A problem with setting dynamic cache is that the user may set it too low. In this instance, when the cache is filled but the user loads new data for a high-priority function, the cache will become confused. It may throw away important cache data to hold onto the new data, or it may refuse to store the new information. If this occurs, the cache must be set at a higher threshold.

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