With more people choosing to hold on to their older computers for a longer period of time, the question of increasing the cache memory on a system sometimes appears. Depending on the type of hard drive that is present in the system, as well as the amount of random access memory, or RAM, that is currently available, it may be possible to increase the memory, at least by a small amount. However, it is important to realize there are limitations, and not every system can be augmented or adjusted to allow for an increase in cache memory.
In order to understand how to increase cache memory, it is important to know how the cache works. Essentially, the cache functions as a storage area for files that are accessed and used. This storage area is part of the random access memory and works with the main memory of the system to quickly retrieve recently used files when and as they are needed by the end user. The size of the cache depends on the amount of RAM and main memory that is built into the system.
The size of the cache is determined by the configuration of the central processing unit, also known as a CPU or the processor. With newer systems, the most effective way to increase cache memory is to replace the current CPU with one that has a higher capacity. This will automatically make it possible to increase the size of the cache memory, as well as enhance the processor speed and overall performance of the system. Since some systems have limitations on the size and type of processor that can be used, it is important to determine if there is a stronger CPU that is compatible with your current system before going to the time and expense to upgrade the processor.
With some of the older desktop and laptop computer designs, it is possible to increase cache memory by upgrading what is known as the cache chip. This chip is found on the computer motherboard, and can be replaced with a chip that has a higher capacity. Replacing the cache chip is something that should only be done by a professional, since it is possible to damage the motherboard during the process, and thus render the system inoperative.
Additional cache memory can be helpful for several reasons. For anyone who works with a number of files continually, the quicker retrieval provided by a larger cache increases general productivity. Even for people who use their computers for non-work related activities such as watching video streams online will find that the larger cache makes the streaming less choppy and more like watching a program on a television. Keep in mind that if the memory has already been upgraded once, it may not be possible to add more. If that is the case, you may want to consider purchasing a newer system that is equipped with more RAM and a CPU that has a greater capacity.