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Cache Memory

Another factor in your computer's speed is whether or not it has cache memory. This is high-speed memory on the system board or built into the CPU that runs much faster than the computer's regular memory. Cache memory speeds up the operation of some programs by storing the most recently used information, which generally will be needed again soon.

All chips since the 486 have had at least some cache memory built in. Cache memory that is internal to the CPU is called the L1 (level one) cache. Cache memory that is external to the CPU (on the motherboard) is called L2 (level two). But all types of cache memory are different from the computer's main memory, or RAM, which is covered in Chapter 11.


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