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Cache

Note that RAM typically runs at about 70 nanoseconds and can provide data at about 30 Mhz (33 nanoseconds), while all new CPUs run faster than this. Level 2 (L2) cache (which is off the CPU, as opposed to L1 cache, which is on the CPU) is used to bridge the difference, but the utility of L2 cache decreases with multitasking machines like Unix servers, since different areas of memory will be accessed and there will be more cache misses. L2 cache is usually SRAM, which runs much faster (3 to 8 nanoseconds), but is bigger (less dense), hotter, and about 10 times more expensive than DRAM.


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