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Virtual Memory, Does It Have A Limit?

Jul 9, 2008
'Virtual memory' is a term that is heard from the day we are born in today's society. Everything virtual is more natural to younger generations than the trees of a park or the rippling water of a shallow creek. It seems that more and more can be stored and done by virtual methods every day. But, have we reached the limits of virtual memory usage or have we simply not found the depth of the well to date?

If we are talking about the amount of virtual memory available on the average desktop computer, then the answer is both. Since we haven't yet capped the size of the personal computer in virtual memory capacity, we can't truly know if we have found the bottom of the well or not. What we can ascertain is whether each individual spigot to the well has a depth equal to the algorithm that rules the ratio of all virtual memory on a system to the amount of available and usable virtual memory on the same system.

If your system has 4GB of available virtual memory, then only 3GB can be accessed and used. The additional 1GB is used for operational resources that allow you to run all those applications that are using the available virtual memory. If it were available, there'd be no memory space for your computer to keep track of all the applications running on your computer.

Each year, personal computers grow larger as we begin to demand more space for our daily lives in the virtual realm. Many people work from home and are finding that running a business on a computer requires large amounts of virtual memory. Computer manufacturers and designers listen, increasing the much coveted space available virtually for our use.

If the trend of growth in the size of computers increases as it has been for several more years at least, then we haven't come close to the bottom of the proverbial well. We have only dipped a few buckets and withdrawn a sampler of what's available. With this in mind, our current limitations won't be the same as our future limitations.

If you do try to run more than your computer will handle, your computer will complain with a warning that it can't run the requested application because it is out of memory. At this point, you can shut down applications you may not be working on and then run the desired application, or you can invest in some memory upgrades. Keep in mind that not all systems are capable of being upgraded easily, as is the case of the laptop computers. If you are forever finding yourself out of memory, it may be best to cut back on how many applications you run simultaneously.

Technology will keep increasing our available virtual memory, but for now there is a limit in the infinite world of virtual memory upon our desktops and laptops. Perhaps in ten years, that limit will no longer exist. However, maybe we already have plenty of virtual memory since more memory only indicates more work, more hours spent producing, and less living.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for computer memory, PC supplies, and computer games. When shopping, we recommend the best online stores for PC supplies, computer accessories, computer memory, Virtual Memory, and used computer games.
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