Virtual RAM is no longer a new thing in the world of phones. With PCs, the feature has been in use for a long time. Only recently have we seen a lot of people using it on their phones. People who make phones use many different words for advertising a feature that they put on their phones, but it’s basically the same thing every time. Virtual RAM was first added to midrange phones, but it’s slowly making its way to high-end phones. Besides, what is Virtual RAM, and how does it work? To help you understand, here’s a video to show you how it works.
What is Virtual RAM?
The phrase “virtual RAM” refers to RAM that isn’t physically present on your system (unlike regular RAM) but is used when needed. RAM (Random Access Memory) is a high-speed storage component responsible for temporarily remembering your data. Unlike your internal storage, where data is saved indefinitely, this is not the case. RAM is faster than eMMC or UFS 3.1 storage, typically utilized for long-term storage. RAM remembers which programs you have open and what you were doing the last time you had them available, whereas internal storage saves data like photographs and videos.
When you do this, RAM makes it possible to load apps as quickly as possible. When you open an app, it’s stored in RAM, making it easy to get to. So, technically, having more RAM means having more apps running in the background and opening them quickly and without a lot of lag or delay.
In theory, Virtual RAM provides additional RAM as needed, but how does it accomplish this? Onboard storage is used as RAM. How can you tell if you have this? ” You’ll have to hunt around a bit because different manufacturers use different marketing lingo. Samsung calls it RAM Plus, Realme calls it Dynamic RAM Expansion, while Vivo refers to it as Virtual RAM.
How does Virtual RAM work on Android?
What is the mechanism through which virtual RAM operates? So how does this work? It takes a set amount of space from your primary storage and allocates it to the app you’re currently using. However, in order to fully comprehend how Virtual RAM works, we must first grasp the fundamentals of Android’s memory management system.
RAM (LPDDR4, LPDDR4x), internal storage (eMMC or UFS), and zRAM (a segment inside your RAM that holds low-priority compressed data operating in the background) are the three types of memory on Android devices. This is done in order to free up RAM for the software or apps currently in use.
Memory management on Android is done by paging. RAM is divided into smaller chunks called “pages,” with a typical page size of 4KB. The number of free or actively used pages determines how much RAM is being used. In Android, this information is displayed in the recent apps section. The image below should serve as a helpful reminder if you haven’t already.
“Clean pages” and “dirty pages” are the two categories of pages. In the storage, clean pages have an unaltered copy of data, and dirty pages have a modified copy. A revised copy is dynamic data that changes every moment, whereas an unmodified copy is static data that does not change. When Android does not require access to resources, clean pages can be removed, saving up RAM.
It may appear complicated at first, but a few real-life instances will help clarify things. Apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit have tidy sites and tend to remain static when placed in the background. While Facebook is saved in your phone’s RAM, it does not refresh in the background when you go between Facebook and Twitter. When you return to Facebook, it displays the timeline you were on before you restored. Read also; What is Screen Flickering And How to Fix on Andriod.
Music streaming applications and YouTube, on the other hand, use dirty pages to keep operating even when the app is not active. As a result, these programs dynamically use RAM and cannot be closed. As a result, these programs are compressed and delivered to zRAM to save space while ensuring that the app remains active in the background.
Virtual RAM uses your device’s internal storage by establishing a swap partition that serves as zRAM. Because budget phones have low RAM, manufacturers employ this technology to increase RAM virtually. It’s worth mentioning that the feature does not increase the device’s physical RAM. As a result, even if you turn on Virtual RAM, the quantity of actual RAM will not change.
Is Virtual RAM beneficial for your phone?
You can run more apps on your phone with the help of the Virtual RAM feature, but it isn’t frequently found on top handsets. Why? Because it makes the most sense on an entry-level device with a limited amount of RAM, to begin with. The feature is less likely to make a difference on high-end Android handsets, which often ship with 12GB or 16GB of RAM.
Additionally, the feature requires constant reading and writing, which is not ideal for flash memory, with a limited number of reading and writing cycles. The lifespan of your storage is shortened when it is used so frequently for Virtual RAM. Read also; How to use Google Assistant to voice shop at Walmart.
Why are we seeing the Virtual RAM features on phones now?
Virtual RAM has been around for a long time, but not on phones. In the old days, only phones that had been rooted could have this feature. PCs now have this feature built-in. But recently, we’ve seen manufacturers start to make phones with this feature already built-in so that we can use it. This is most likely because apps are getting bigger and taking up more space, like RAM. Thus, this feature gives users more RAM without adding more physical RAM to a phone (pushing up costs).
So, is this good? I don’t think so because this feature can do more harm than good when it comes to the internal storage life of your phone. A big reason why Google hasn’t been using this feature is that it would have been a lot of work. This is what the Android developer page says. The storage space on Android doesn’t get used for swap space as it does on other Linux implementations. Writing to this space a lot can wear it down and make the storage medium last less long.