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I have heard that increasing the cache size makes web browsing faster, but also slows down your computer to an extent. What cache size would allow me to get the best of both worlds?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Xavierjazz, Tog, Dave Rook, random Mar 5 at 4:22

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I have never heard anyone claim that increasing the cache size slows down your computer. Do you have a link or citation? –  David Schwartz Mar 4 at 7:04
    
@DavidSchwartz Sorry, it was just a thing I heard somewhere or other. I couldn't say where or when... –  KnightOfNi Mar 4 at 15:04

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is a question of a finding a good balance that works best for you.

Internet cache size defines how much of content from the Internet can be stored on your computer (cached), so that the next time you try to retrieve it the local files will be used instead of downloading them again, if they are up to date.

The dilemma is... Is it faster to re-download the content or load the content from the disk? Most of the time it is faster to load from disk, unless you are loading from a very slow disk. Or, unless the content that you have stored locally has expired and an up-to-date content needs to be downloaded anyway.

If you are on a fast enough broadband without serious limits, it is probably better to keep the cache size small to ensure the most up-to-date content, without sacrificing the speed.

If you are on a slow connection or have severe limits, you can set your cache size to as much as your hard drive space permits, to minimize the traffic, but beware that the performance of loading files from disk can degradate when amount of cached files goes huge (e.g. >10000). Also keep in mind that large amount of files can cause indirect degradation in performance of your system, e.g. anti-virus scans taking longer, increased fragmentation, etc.

I would opt out for 20MB cache max, unless I'm on a slow or metered connection. But, honestly, it won't matter much if you are on a good connection.

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Huh. Set my cache size to 500 MB just before posting my question, and so far so good. –  KnightOfNi Mar 4 at 15:16

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