Cache Memory: Meaning, Types, How to Clear

Read this article to understand what is Cache memory, what is its use, where it is used, how many types of Cache memories are there and how you clear a cache memory.

You must have been receiving lessons regarding removing cache memory in your system. But what exactly is it? Or what is its role in hampering your overall computer speed? If you are juggling the same kind of questions, this post will answer all your queries.

What is the cache memory?

Cache memory is a temporary file storage location in any computer (Windows and macOS) that reserves a specific area or part of the overall memory. Talking about macOS, Apple says the cached data stored on your mac may reduce the overall download speed and accessing the different files stored on iCloud. Cache data is stored within the computer memory to give the user complete liberty to retrieve it whenever required.

Caching is essential, especially if your MacBook is aligned with a weird ethernet rather than reliable WiFi connectivity. This will ensure a much-required boost in the performance. For a seamless experience and smooth operational functioning, one requires to clear cache timely. That's because removing unnecessary cache memory preserves the identity, fastens the speed of programs and apps installed on the system, and prevents the outdated forms of MacBook collecting crucial information entered years or months ago.

What are the different types of cache memory?

If we structurally, cache memory consists of some integral sub-banks. Each cache memory sub-bank consists of lines, consecutive bites, and locations, preserving a lot of information. The computer processes the tag arrays to find and process the collected data.

Some popular types of cache memory include -

Primary cache - Also known as Level 1 (L1) cache, the size of this cache memory type is different compared to other memory sizes like - 64KB or 2KB. It is one of the highly talked about cache types among all. Rest it depends on the computer processes as well. It is one of the types of embedded registers found in a computer's backend memory or microprocessor. The standard instructions found in the CPU are first searched in L1 Cache memory.

Secondary cache - L2 is recognized as cache memory type 2 or L2. This is the size of the cache memory. It is more spacious than L1 (primary cache memory) which stays in between 256KB to 512KB. This cache type is likely to take a toll on your system's performance. Therefore, learn to clear this cache type as soon as you notice it inside your Mac. The experts at Macpaw reveal that the secondary cache is stored on the microprocessor of the computer system. Here, the high-speed system bus interconnects with the cache memory and then to the microprocessor.

Main memory - This one is referred to as the L3 or Level 3 memory. It reduces the speed of the system as compared to L1 and L2. This memory's overall size is between 1MB to 8 MB. Its multicore processor usage separates L1 and L2, which makes vast space for the L3 space type.

How to clear it?

There are many shortcuts to clearing unnecessary cache space in the MacBook. Here's how to do it.
  1. Press the Shift command and key G through the Finder window.
  2. Enter the instructed command into the displayed search box - /Library/Caches
  3. Press 'Go,' and you will land upon the cache folder containing all cache files.
  4. Now press A and select the cache files to delete.


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