In computer science, a cache is a specialized section of a computer’s memory that attempts to improve performance by storing information that has been accessed recently or that is expected to be accessed soon. By keeping this information easily accessible, your computer’s performance can be improved immensely. A cache flush is what clears these sections of memory. Without caches and the ability to flush them, computers would run at significantly slower speeds.
A central processing unit. The primary cache, a type of computer memory, is built into the CPU.
There are several types of caches. A Domain Name System (DNS) cache flush consists of clearing the section of computer memory that stores DNS entries. These entries translate a domain name, such as www.wisegeek.com, into a numeric Internet Protocol (IP) address that your computer can use to connect to the site.
Most browsers have a feature that allows the user to initiate a cache flush that can alleviate these problems by deleting this information.
Another area of the computer that uses cache flushing is the browser cache. Web browsers store a variety of information about the websites the user has visited. In some cases, this information can be used to compromise user security by allowing remote users to access their accounts. Most browsers have a feature that allows the user to initiate a cache flush that can alleviate these problems by deleting this information.
Users who are security-conscious should also be aware of disk caching. Information written to and read from the hard disk is stored in a cache. Malicious users can access this cache to find out what information on the drive was last accessed by the computer. Specifications on how to perform a disk cache clear vary between operating systems.
Perhaps the most important cache of all is the central processing unit ( CPU ) cache. This is a specialized type of memory that is used by the processor to perform various operations quickly and efficiently. The CPU cache is usually several times faster than a computer’s random access memory (RAM), although it is significantly smaller. For those looking to find the best performing computers, the size and speed of the CPU cache are important factors.
In addition to security, cache flushes have a number of effects on computer performance. Disk Write caching can be used to increase performance on computers that commonly write information to the hard disk. However, this form of caching can have a negative impact on the performance of home computers. If a computer loses power while the information is in the write cache, the information will be lost.