Many of us are familiar with virtual memory incorporated into PCs to make them faster. Virtual memory is the excess amount of memory that the computer has access to in case the primary memory, that is, the RAM, is filled with data. The operating system takes up some storage from the hard drive and uses it as a supplement to favor the primary memory available in the RAM stick. It does not increase the overall space in the RAM stick; it just helps the primary memory to go on about its task even when several applications are set to run simultaneously.
What is Virtual RAM, and how is it used?
Virtual RAM in a smartphone is exactly like Virtual memory in PCs. We now have faster internal storage access, which improves the overall speed of the device. Undoubtedly, the RAM is a volatile memory with ultra-fast data speeds, while the flash storage is much, much slower. However, the virtual RAM does not work as additional RAM in a smartphone. The device magically does not go from 8GB RAM to 10GB or 11GB of RAM. The virtual memory only uses the storage on offer from the internal storage. It uses that storage to keep the core files of the open applications always ready to load.
The RAM does not store any data permanently. It pushes the core application files in and out, with a continuous flow of data required for the different applications running on the device. At times, when this allocated memory on the RAM stick gets filled, the flow of data gets clogged, and the running applications fail to perform their functions. It needs access to RAM to function properly. In such times, Virtual RAM will come into play and allocate a portion of the internal storage as temporary RAM, where the system will store the unnecessary data files that are clogging the RAM. The application will keep using the actual RAM, while the application that is not in use and running in the background will have its core files in the allocated virtual memory. Yes, the internal memory is not fast enough for the application to use for its functionality. Hence, it will only act as a storage unit. When the user loads up an application with its core files stored in the Virtual RAM, those core files will be moved to the actual RAM, and some other applications will be pushed to the virtual RAM. This will ensure that the smartphone will load up applications faster and the applications running in the foreground will have all the memory.
List of phones that support virtual RAM
- iQOO Z3 5G
- Vivo X60
- Vivo X60 Pro
- Vivo X60 Pro+
- Vivo V21 5G
- Realme 8 5G
- Oppo A53s 5G
- Oppo F19
- Oppo F19 Pro
- Oppo F19 Pro+
- Oppo A74 5G
iQOO Z3 5G has a virtual RAM expansion feature where you can use 3GB from the ROM to make it an 11GB RAM phone.
Vivo recently unveiled their X60 series of smartphones, claiming that all of these devices use virtual RAM to improve the overall speed and response of the smartphone.
We have three Vivo X60 devices, namely, the Vivo X60, Vivo X60 Pro and Vivo X60 Pro+. Vivo claims these X60 devices can access 3GB of internal storage as Virtual RAM. All three smartphones have an AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and 240 Hz touch sampling rate. The X60 Pro+ houses the Snapdragon 888, while the other two smartphones house the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870. Even in terms of cameras, these smartphones differ, but all are no slouch regarding raw performance. The latest Snapdragon 800 series processors, together with fast RAM, fast UFS 3.1 internal storage, and virtual RAM, will make these three smartphones a compelling offer for people looking to get a smartphone in the upper mid-range to flagship category of smartphones.
Vivo also offers extended RAM on the Vivo V21 5G smartphone that is touted to allow 3GB of ROM as Virtual RAM for an enhanced experience. Realme brings Dynamic RAM Expansion Technology (DRE) on the Realme 8 5G that allows the smartphone to utilize 3GB of storage as virtual RAM.
Oppo has also confirmed that Oppo F19 series, A53s, and A74 5G smartphones are now getting RAM expansion features via software upgrade.
Use several applications simultaneously, launch applications quicker & decrease lag with our latest RAM Expansion. This exciting feature is now available on the OPPO F19 & will soon be available on OPPO F19 Pro series, OPPO A74 5G & OPPO A53s 5G.@colorosglobal pic.twitter.com/oVmd7vHvNA
— OPPO India (@OPPOIndia) May 20, 2021
Oneplus claims that they use virtual memory technology with their smartphones to ensure that they are snappy at all times. However, they have not revealed which or how many smartphones use this technology.