What is Virtual RAM , Is it any good?

  1. Navdeep_Malik
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus TV U1S Sep 17, 2021

    Navdeep_Malik , Sep 17, 2021 :

    The idea of possessing more RAM is a buzzword in the tech realm these days. How much RAM does this phone has? Is one of the first things people ask while looking to get a new device. From having onboard of mere 700MBs of RAM to nowadays behemoth 8GB RAM standard, OEMs are pushing devices with bigger and faster RAM chips. Remember Asus Rog 5 with 18GBs of RAM, Overkill? Yes! But for devices that fall in mid-range to lower flagship category, there might be a need for MORE RAM at times, when your 2-year-old phone starts to lag or doesn't hold any more new apps. One of the solutions is RAM management via virtual RAM. Well this isn't a new thing , and is being done for a long time now! Remember tinkering those fancy settings in windows where you could achieve as much as Virtual RAM with Page file as you want or the same kind of thing in custom ROMs while installing custom kernels if you are familiar with it?

    Screenshot 2021-09-17 125148.jpg

    Looking at android now, the system is composed of RAM, zRAM, and UFS storage. One thing to note down here, is out of all these the DDR RAM is lightyears faster than the others, even compared to the UFS storage. And the zRAM Is basically a partition on the RAM, where the background processes are compressed and pushed into until they are needed back.And hence we have more free memory to play with! This is how RAM management basically works. But because the size of the onboard memory is fixed the performance may be bottlenecked at times and we may very well have more demanding tasks at hand or some apps to run. This is where Virtual RAM comes into play.
    Screenshot 2021-09-17 130815 copy.png
    Using onboard storage does kind of solves this issue. Here, some part of our external drive (UFS storage) is reserved and used as RAM.Fancy, right! Well, the processes of low importance which might be clogging space on DDR are transferred onto the external storage, easing space on DDR, which then can be then better utilized for other applications. This is called Swap, basically what virtual RAM is about. The good thing is, here the onboard RAM gets some room to breathe and you can hold onto your device for a tad bit longer. But all that glitters is not really gold and this does come with some cons! Although, now you have some space free as RAM , but because external storage is slower, having a large space dedicated to virtual RAM might not be that good of a thing. In addition to this, the flash storage has a limited life span, and having some space dedicated on it for Swap space can be bad as frequent writing might cause faster wear on the storage and consequently shortening its life span, like a catalyst. One of the recent examples of this is the M1 mac and SSD wear happening on it. This at the end of the road may result in forgetting of the data on the storage. Recently Samsung pushed an update to its newer A52 ,adding an extra 4GB of virtual memory on it. In my opinion, most users may not need it, although it might be useful in some instances.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021

  2. rhyd1am
    KitKat Sep 19, 2021

    rhyd1am , Sep 19, 2021 :
    Complete overkill on most devices these days. My Find X2 Pro has 12GB RAM out of the box (already more than needed), but now has effectively an extra 7GB after recent updates (that's more than my laptop) 🤷🏼‍♂️

    Navdeep_Malik and McJader like this.
  3. Navdeep_Malik
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus TV U1S Sep 19, 2021

    Navdeep_Malik , Sep 19, 2021 :
    That's awesome no, so much RAM you have now 😛 You have a Super phone 😂

    rhyd1am likes this.
  4. rhyd1am
    KitKat Sep 19, 2021

    rhyd1am , Sep 19, 2021 :
    All just marketing gimmicks imo though 😂

    Navdeep_Malik likes this.