How does the Extendable RAM feature works in smartphones?

Vivo has launched a couple of smartphones with Mediatek 5G chipset and the special feature is the extendable RAM feature where you can extend the original 8GB RAM to 11GB. How does this work and how effective is it?

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Simply they will allow some of the flash storage to act like RAM … From android authority’s I have seen something like +7GB of a device’s storage will be accessible for this …

The key lesson here is “acting” …The “extended RAM” WILL NOT be as performant as actual RAM …

A longer, more comprehensive look goes into Computer Systems/Architecture on the topic of Virtual Memory …


Not just in 5G smartphones, but this works in Vivo Y73 as well that has Helio G95 4G chipset. Actually, some of the internal storage acts as RAM when you need extra RAM for some work.

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Well, if you know installation of a Linux OS, then that should not be hard to understand. Unlike windows, Linux based OSes allows one to choose independent disk or partition for practically every system aspect. One of them is a SWAP partition which is a part of the harddisk that works like RAM. I believe that’s the case since android is a Linux based system.

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That’s how the M1 macbook with limited ram(8gb) works. Part of the nvme ssd is used as additional ram when ram is used up. Of course the ssd is not as fast as actual ram, and also not as durable. Continuous writing and deletion on the ssd may reduce its life span. That’s why there are some concerns about the longevity of the m1 macbook’s ssd

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Right. I think even Oppo is bringing these features in some of its powerful Mediatek-powered smartphones. Would be interesting if people buy these.