3.8. Fetch Ratio

In a processor without any kind of prefetching the cache miss ratio will equal the ratio of memory accesses that cause a fetch from main memory. However, with prefetching the number of cache misses may be much lower than the number of accesses the processor does to main memory.

Prefetching therefore introduces a new concept, the fetch ratio. This is the ratio of memory access instructions that cause a fetch from main memory. Note that writes normally cause a fetch of a cache line even though the data in the line isn't actually used.

The fetch ratio directly reflects the memory bandwidth requirement of the application's read accesses, see below.