Disk Cache

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What Does Disk Cache Mean?

A disk cache is a cache memory that is used to speed up the process of storing and accessing data from the host hard disk. It enables faster processing of reading/writing, commands and other input and output process between the hard disk, the memory and computing components.

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A disk cache is also referred to as a disk buffer and cache buffer.

Techopedia Explains Disk Cache

A disk cache is an integrated part of the hard disk and is a standard feature of most hard disk drives. The size of disk cache ranges from 128 MB in standard disks to 1 GB in solid state disks.

Typically, a disk cache stores the most recent and frequently used programs and data. When a user or program requests data, the operating system first reviews the disk cache. If the data is found, the OS and memory quickly deliver the data to the program. A disk cache can also be soft disk cache when it’s implemented on the RAM rather than the host/native hard disk.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.