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Computer Memory

What is cache memory?

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September 25, 2012 1:34PM

A small amount (normally less than 1MB) of high-speed memory residing on or close to the CPU. Cache memory supplies the processor with the most frequently requested data and instructions. Level 1 cache (primary cache) is the cache closest to the processor. Level 2 cache (secondary cache) is the cache second closest to the processor and is usually on the motherboard.


A cache, in computer terms, is a place to store information that's faster than the place where the information is usually stored. Cache memory is fast memory that is used to hold the most recently accessed data in slower main memory. The idea is that frequently accessed data will stay in cache, which allows the CPU to access it more quickly, which means it doesn't have to wait for the data to arrive.

In reference to your processor, the Cache Memory is the Processor's internal quick-hand storage that it uses for things that it's currently processing at that given time.

As with most things, the more cache memory a processor has, it will usually run smoother and faster than one with less of about the same operating frequency.


  • Cache memory is usually "On Die" which means it is in the processor chip, which allows it to 'talk' with the processor direct at a much higher speed than standard RAM.
  • cache is a small chip, that's usually placed inside the CPU or sometimes its right next to it and is responsible for providing direct access to the commonly used programs, rather than going back to the hard disk and ram again and again

    so cache makes it more fast than RAM, you know!!!


Pronounced cash, a special high-speed storagemechanism. It can be either a reserved section ofmain memory or an independent high-speed storage device. Two types of caching are commonly used inpersonal computers: memory caching and disk caching.

A memory cache, sometimes called a cache store orRAM cache, is a portion of memory made of high-speed static RAM (SRAM) instead of the slower and cheaper dynamic RAM (DRAM) used for main memory. Memory caching is effective because mostprograms 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.

Some memory caches are built into the architectureof microprocessors. The Intel 80486 microprocessor, for example, contains an 8K memory cache, and the Pentium has a 16K cache. Such internal caches are often called Level 1 (L1) caches. Most modern PCs also come with external cache memory, called Level 2 (L2) caches. These caches sit between the CPU and the DRAM. Like L1 caches, L2 caches are composed of SRAM but they are much larger.



I would like to point out the disadvantage of the Cache...Just in case the Cache memory is full and data that is required to process or an application required to run doesn't fit into the Principle of Locality (that is not in the near by location) then it is obvious that the time required for the main memory to access the information would increase...coz first the the data need to be relocated into the cache and then process over here if the cache memory was missing it would be quicker...furthermore being such an extensive memories they are very small in Memory Size which requires location and relocation of the data or applications.

It allows commonly accessed data to be stored in full and referenced faster than recompiling the data each time.