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Hard Drive - Are "buffer" and "cache" synonymous?

Posted on 2013-01-30
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Last Modified: 2013-02-24
Are hard drive "buffer" and hard drive "cache" synonymous?
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Question by:jdana
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by:derrrp
derrrp earned 65 total points
ID: 38837133
Yes - they are terms used to define temporary RAM storage on a hard drive.
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Dave Baldwin earned 65 total points
ID: 38837379
Not necessarily.  While they are both temporary RAM storage, data in a 'buffer' isn't retained for later use while that in a 'cache' is.  They could be the same but they don't have to be.
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by:dlethe
dlethe earned 65 total points
ID: 38837382
Well, it depends on the source.  A marketing type person will use them interactively, but a storage engineer will not.

Technically they are different as not everything that is in a buffer is in a cache.  (There are also many different types of buffers, and also there are read and write caches)

A data-in buffer is not necessarily used for cache.   Do you have a specific question for context?
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by:nobus
nobus earned 65 total points
ID: 38838638
they can also be used differently : FIFO buffers, lifo, etc...for different uses
this purely depends on what they're used for
so no cache and buffers are not the same - but are both temp storage, as said
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by:jdana
ID: 38923126
Thanks to all four of you for an enlightening set of comments.
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