What is virtual RAM in mobile phones: advantages and disadvantages of expanding memory

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What is virtual RAM in mobile phones: advantages and disadvantages of expanding memory

If you like the world of technology and smartphones in particular, surely in recent weeks you have read a lot about virtual RAM or dynamic RAM. The name changes depending on the manufacturer (in Samsung it is called RAM Plus), but the concept is the same and more and more brands incorporate it as an improvement in their mobiles either from the factory or with a post upgrade.

The last to incorporate it has been the LITTLE M4 Pro 5G joining the list of other brands such as Alive, Realme, Samsung, OPPO, Xiaomi… An easy-to-use technique you are looking for increase and improve mobile performance through virtualization using phone storage.

What is RAM and what is it used for?


Virtualizing RAM by using physical memory is not new. In the PC market it has been in the making for years, but in mobiles it is something new. And it is not surprising now that in the palm of our hand we have devices with 8, 12 or 16 GB of RAM.

RAM is the acronym for Random Access Memory or random access memory. It is one of the differential factors when a device works more fluidly because in it and instead of saving and storing information in the long term and in a static way, what is done is temporarily store instructions and data. Information that is erased when we turn off the device and whose characteristic is that it is a fast access memory and that is related to the processes that are running at all times.

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This speed is justified because it stores all the instructions related to processes that are being developed at that moment. The more processes or heavier, the more amount of RAM we will have occupied and more free memory, more operations we can perform without resorting to the internal storage of the phone.


But they can happen cases where RAM runs out and it is at that moment the system will determine which processes it should load into virtual memory to free up the RAM. You will not notice any of this, but you can perceive how everything runs in a slower way. And this is where virtual RAM comes in.

Advantages and cons of virtualizing


What virtualization does is block a number of GB of storage that will be used to run processes when “normal” RAM does not have enough capacity. Some manufacturers call it RAM Plus like Samsung and others Virtual RAM in the case of Vivo.

Each manufacturer is in charge after establishing the parameters that determine how it works and for example Vivo allows that through the settings we tell the system the amount of storage that we want to virtualize as if it were RAM memory. It is generally allowed to increase the RAM with values ​​between 2 and 4 GB at most.

New batch phones already come with this function activated, while others that were already on the market is being deployed remotely via a software update. This solution is a way out of the problems of lack of RAM in some cases, but it is not a panacea, since it is slower than normal RAM in its execution.

In addition and although it is not easy to notice it if we change mobile frequently, physical memory has a limited number of reads and writes, so the more times it is overwritten (the use of RAM requires repeating this constantly), the less useful life it will have.

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In this sense, it is always advisable to look for phones with a good amount of RAM. In the case of Android at least 4 GB currently required, although it is common for mid-range or high-end models to make use of amounts ranging from 6 to 16 GB of RAM through 8 and 12 GB.

The virtual or dynamic RAM, as we like it, is an emergency solution for phones that runs more tight on RAM, but it is not the perfect system far from it, so it is always interesting to look for the terminal that has better specifications.

The news

What is virtual RAM in mobile phones: advantages and disadvantages of expanding memory

was originally published in

Engadget Android

by Jose Antonio Carmona.

What is virtual RAM in mobile phones: advantages and disadvantages of expanding memory 1