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What is the difference between L1, L2, and L3 cache?





ocalhoun
I've been trying to figure it out for a while and thought I'd get some help.

This is reffering to CPU caches.
(Not refering to their location)
SoftStag
Different processors use different types of cache.

All processors rely on L1 cache, this is usually located on the die of the processor and is very fast memory (and expensive). L2 cache is slower, bigger and cheaper than L1 cache. Older processors used L2 cache on the motherboard, nowadays it tends to be built in to the processor. L3 cache is slower, bigger and cheaper than L2 cache. Again this can be on chip or on the motherboard.

It is possible to have L4 or higher cache, but this is not proving to be worth doing.

If you need an explanation of how cache works, I'll look in to putting an article together.
farrengottu
i stole this from www.webopedia.com

A memory cache, sometimes called a cache store or RAM cache, is a portion of memory made of high-speed static RAM (SRAM) instead of the slower and cheaper dynamic RAM (DRAM) used for main memory. Memory caching is effective because most programs access the same data or instructions over and over. By keeping as much of this information as possible in SRAM, the computer avoids accessing the slower DRAM.

Short for Level 1 cache, a memory cache built into the microprocessor.

Short for Level 2 cache, cache memory that is external to the microprocessor. In general, L2 cache memory, also called the secondary cache, resides on a separate chip from the microprocessor chip.

As more and more processors begin to include L2 cache into their architectures, Level 3 cache is now the name for the extra cache built into motherboards between the microprocessor and the main memory.

the l2 cache is now always built onto the processor for x86 archetechure
gonzo
trace distance from the core
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