"Although swap acts as an extension of system memory, there are
several purposes swap space can serve within that descriptor.
"In the classic scenario, swap space could be considered a
last-resort for data before an application - or the entire system -
crashes. How does it work? Let's pretend you have 1000MB of RAM, of
which 800 is used. You now load a program that consumes 300MB of
memory. In this simplistic scenario there is more data than memory
available; therefore, approximately 100MB will be moved into swap.
Is this inherently bad? It isn't ideal, but typical far better than
having the system grind to an uncontrollable halt and forcing a
Some of the products that appear on this site are from companies from which QuinStreet receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. QuinStreet does not include all companies or all types of products available in the marketplace.