“When you fire up an application, the operating system assigns it a virtual address space,” Robin Harris writes for ZDNet. “In Windows 8.1 and later with 64-bit apps, that address space is a hefty 128TB, while macOS offers a ginormous 18 exabytes of addressable space for 64-bit processes.”

“The operating system — Windows, Linux, or macOS — then manages the virtual to physical address translation and swapping in and out of physical RAM of active program segments. Typically the segments (or pages), are 4 or 8KB,” Harris writes. “The CPU provides hardware assist to the OS to keep track of millions or even billions of pages.”

“Naturally, the speed with which pages can be swapped has a huge impact on system performance. That’s why advanced PCIe/NVMe drives — such as those in the latest MacBook Pros — are vital,” Harris writes. “From a cutting edge feature in the ’70s to omnipresent and forgotten in the ’10s, virtual memory is the technology that enables your notebook or desktop to run data sets that are way beyond RAM size. I commonly edit 250GB ProRes video files on my five year old 16GB MacBook Pro — without maxing out RAM usage.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Behold the raw power and capabilities of macOS teams with blazing fast SSDs.