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As an example, the N64 has a notorious 4kb texture cache. Could someone sap another 4kb (or more) from the system's RAM or the Expansion Pak and use that as texture cache space? If so, would it be worth it to do it?

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Since the texture cache was dedicated hardware, read directly by similarly dedicated rendering hardware, you couldn't just point the renderer hardware elsewhere or relocate the cache.

You could stream larger texture data from the cartridge memory into the cache in 4k chunks (2k if using mipmapping), however, and that's generally what later-generation games tended to do.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. That really wasn't what was initially used? Seems like the first choice, but if it's something that would have needed the EP to work well I could get why it took a while to get rolling. \$\endgroup\$ – Roy Moore Nov 9 '18 at 3:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ It wasn't a technique that required the expansion pack (which was basically just another few MB of the console's RDRAM) as far as I know; you'd just use the cart itself. It didn't get adopted until later in the console's lifecycle because it was difficult, and like most consoles, it took developers a while to become familiar and comfortable with all the ways the specialized hardware could be leveraged. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Nov 9 '18 at 4:22

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