Jan Leow's Press Blog

Windows Vista ReadyBoost Flash RAM

This is intriguing. Plugging in a thumb drive Flash RAM and using it as a virtual memory page file instead on a hard disk. I have just started using Vista and there are interesting bits of new technology to explore and use. Using a flash RAM has the advantage of speed up to 10x the speed in comparison with hard disk and it is cheaper cost against the price of DDR RAM.

However, there are downsides to using thumb drive Flash RAM ReadyBoost as expounded by some other people’s blog comment. It may be cheap in the short term but due to wear and tear of Flash RAM it may be cheaper to use normal RAM in the long run. This may not be an issue if according to Microsoft they are aware of the lifecycle of flash RAM and ensured that read/write are efficiently used thus the flash RAM can last as long as 10 years! That’s very long for computer technology considering the way computer components become obsolete in a few short years.

Using a flash drive for readyboost to speed up PCTo enable ReadyBoost, make sure your thumb drive flash RAM is ReadyBoost ready and have at least 256MB capacity. If not sure just plug it in and see if the ReaduBoost option is available or not.

1. Open My Computer.
2. Right Click on the Removable Disk Drive and select Properties.
3. Click on ReadyBoost Tab.
4. Enable the feature by selecting the option and allocate the amount of space you want to use as memory.

For best performance, a thumb drive flash RAM ratio to DDR RAM to aim for would be 2.5:1. A 1:1 ratio should be adequate enough.

However, in my system, I have 1GB of DDR RAM, and out of curiosity used one of my 512MB high speed thumb drive flash RAM to try out the ReadyBoost feature. I do not have any benchmark software to measure its performance, so I have no idea whether there is any improvement or whether the poorer ratio has any disadvantages.

Perhaps my higher internal memory is already more than adequate and thus 512MB of thumb drive flash RAM is adequate for my system for now.

I will consider to purchase a 4GB Kingston Flash RAM later. However the price of Kingston DataTraveler flash RAM is already very affordable these days with price falling rather quickly. Since I have just invested in upgrading to my 19″ ViewSonic VG930M monitor, I will put off the purchase of flash RAM for now till later.

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