You may have heard of virtual or extended RAM. Many OEMs are now starting to mention this, which is confusing a lot of consumers. Today, in this article, we will share what virtual RAM, or extended RAM, is. Starting with this feature, you can use some internal storage to act as RAM to boost performance. This isn’t new; Windows has had this feature for a long time, and even Android is said to use it on some devices. You may have noticed that the more your storage capacity nears its limit, the slower it gets.

Virtual RAM

Also known as Extended RAM, Dynamic RAM, and RAM Pro, there are a lot of names that companies have used for years. This is software-based, which means companies can even push virtual RAM via an OTA update.

When it comes to RAM, it’s random access memory that is temporary storage on your device. It’s not meant to store your data for a long time, but rather to process that data. Now we understand that it’s a type of storage that’s not meant for data storage. As soon as your data is processed, it is removed, which makes it different from typical storage.

What is Virtual RAM in Smartphone
  • RAM Speed: Read & Write: LPDDR4x up to 4266Mbps
  • Virtual RAM Read & Write: UFS 3.1 up to 2100Mbps

Here, in RAM, it is one of the fastest types of memory. Now companies are using typical storage as RAM, which is not as fast but is intended for data storage. Some parts of your memory are now being used as RAM. It just brings additional RAM, but since the speed is way too low on this storage, it doesn’t bring any advantage. It’s also not healthy.

Manipulating general consumers

Companies now use additional virtual RAM. For example, if a device has 4GB of actual RAM, but by adding 2GB of additional virtual RAM, they mention it as 6GB of RAM. They don’t clearly mention that it is not actual RAM. They just use a small star at the bottom, saying “2GB of additional virtual RAM.”

This is clearly misleading, especially for those who are not aware of such things. Normal consumers just see the number and think that the memory is actual memory like they are going to get 6GB of RAM (including virtual RAM) instead of buying 4GB at a high price. Shopkeepers in the market push higher GB RAM to consumers.

Mobile manufacturers are using virtual RAM to manipulate general consumers.

Every company seems to be using virtual RAM or extended RAM in their marketing materials for devices, especially in the budget segment of smartphones. Many smartphone manufacturers have also started pushing the virtual RAM option as a way to allow users to use their internal storage to boost performance. Xiaomi has already rolled out this feature via an update to the Redmi Note 10 Pro 5G, and other OEMs like Redmi are also adopting it to improve performance.

  • Vivo: Extended RAM
  • Realme: DRE
  • Samsung: RAM+

This isn’t the first time OEMs have used virtual RAM as a feature. Companies like Vivo with Memory Fusion and Nubia with RAM Booster have used it to improve device performance. It’s fine if smartphone manufacturers bundle this as a feature on the smartphone, but they should stop marketing it on the box to manipulate consumers.

Disable your virtual RAM settings.

Virtual RAM is not going to be equivalent except for some marginal advantages on low-end smartphones, which means only devices with 2GB or 4GB RAM might benefit from it.

What is Virtual RAM in Smartphone

However, on high-end smartphones, it is just a gimmick. If you want to disable the RAM expansion feature, here is a guide:

  • Open the device settings, and then search for RAM in the settings.
  • From there, disable it.

If you have been using this feature, it doesn’t make any huge difference, but it does increase the reading and writing on the internal storage, which reduces the lifespan of the storage.