March 8, 2015
Memory Management Requirements
Memory management is important regardless of what operating system you choose to use. Whether it be Windows, Macintosh, or Linux they all require memory management in order to function properly. Memory management is important because it controls the computers available memory. The management system coordinates and assigns portions of memory known as blocks to application and programs. In addition to residing in programs and applications, memory management also resides in the system hardware, and the OS.
When we discuss memory management in terms of hardware it speaks of physical components that store data. These components are RAM, memory caches, and hard drives. The most important component for computer performance would be RAM. RAM stands for Random Access Memory. The operating system and other data that is currently being used is stored on the RAM. This allows for the computers direct access to the information, so you can see how lack of ram would make computer performance bad. RAM does not save data once the computer is shut down. Once you shut the computer down and turn it back on memory is loaded back on to the RAM via the hard drive. Hard drives are another form of physical computer memory hardware. It is equally important with the ram because it actually saves the information unlike the RAM. You can think of it as a giant library accessible by your computer. The hard drive is a disk or set of disks that has memory recorded to it electromagnetically.
Memory in the OS
Memory management inside of the operating system is different than the physical components that just store and access memory. The memory management system in the operating system is responsible for allocating and constantly reallocating memory to different applications and programs. Memory demands for an application often change based of the way the user is using it, so the memory