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ReadyBoost-Speed up your Vista PC by using a USB key as Ram

May 15th, 2006 by Patrick S

YES! the title is indeed correct, you can use your USB key as RAM for your vista PC to give it a speed boost (cause lets face it, vista sys req’s are demanding especially for us people with older hardware).

How to do it?

Its simple really. I got my small 256MB USB player and plugged it into the USB port of my PC. The auto-play menu appears and then you select speed up my system from the menu.

autoplay menu

After that is done it will show a window like this:

 

 

From this menu you can choose how much of the USB key memory you want to allocate to the system. You can also choose weather you want to enable the memory allocation feature (disabling this will free up the space on your key) The more memory you allocate to you storage device the higher the overall preformance of your system. (In order to return to this dialog box, open the Computer window, right-click the drive (F: in this case) and select Properties. From there, click the Memory tab (as shown in the previous screen capture and adjust the settings as needed).  

  

For the inquisitive, opening the drive in an Explorer window reveals that ReadyBoost has created a cache file of the specified size.

blat

 

Here is my cache file: I allocated 440MB to the system. Attempting to insert another USB key for windows to use as memory will fail as currently Windows only supports one external RAM device at any one time. 

Here is my cache file: I allocated 440MB to the system. Attempting to insert another USB key for windows to use as memory will fail as currently Windows only supports one external RAM device at any one time.This works with any external storage device e.g. CF/SD cards etc however there are some requirements:

  • The USB Key must be at least USB 2.0
  • The device must be able to do 3.5 MB/s for 4 KB random reads uniformly across the entire device and 2.5 MB/s for 512 KB random writes uniformly across the device.
  • The USB Key has to have at least 64mb of free space

source help 

-Patrick S (Sorry there is no glass i had to do it via Remote)

Posted in Reviews, Windows Vista | 11 Comments »


This entry was posted on Monday, May 15th, 2006 at 11:48 pm and is filed under Reviews, Windows Vista. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


11 Responses

  1. Matt Says:

    In the latest build 5381. It told me that my 256mb key was not enough. So just warning anyone to buy 512 or higher…

  2. Patrick S Says:

    Oh thanks,
    I remember reading in a help file that it was 64MB and wondered why i had to delete everything off the drive to test this.
    Thanks Matt 🙂

  3. Matt Says:

    Well, the thing is my 256mb key worked fine in 5365 or older. I saw some nice performance increases.

  4. Joseph Bittman Says:

    What about like USB HDs? LOL Can you use like 80 GB of RAM or?… or can it only be “flash” USBs or?

  5. Patrick S Says:

    USB HD’s work…but i think that there is a limit…it would just be like virtual RAM it has to transfer it all over via a slowish connection process it and then throw it all back on ram…it would help but yea there must be a limit.

  6. Mike C Says:

    How to check if my USB flash device can do 3.5 MB/s for 4 KB random reads uniformly across the entire device and 2.5 MB/s for 512 KB random writes uniformly across the device?

    They say you can use WinSAT.exe to test the throughput. But how?

  7. Patrick S Says:

    Sorry not sure

  8. Phil Says:

    I have just finished 1 week of using this beta version. And while I aggree with the comments on Aero – it’s really nice!! but very hardware intensive.

    I found this Beta to be really a beta, with numerous stop errors and lots of time spent just trying to actually use my laptop. My laptop is no slouch, it has a core duo 2.16 gig processer 256meg GO7800 card and 1 gig of ram + a 7200 rpm HDD, yet this ran rather slow. So overall, while I accept that Beta is just that there is a huge amount of work required b4 I change from media centre XP 100% stable and as long as you don’t use IE6 safe in the internet – just for the extra pretty graphics.

    Mind you I do like WMP 11, and I’m slowly getting used to office 2007 but now I’ve gone back to Media Centre and will continue to use WMP11 with office 2007 but no upgrade for me to Vista untill all issues are resolved.

  9. AdrianoD Says:

    I cant see how this would be faster than a vram or a swap partition

  10. Jiks Says:

    Hey … is there any way by which we can get this feature in Xp also ?? …. i would love it to come for XP … please inform if possible 🙂

  11. Leba837 Says:

    FYI

    Have tried USB 2.0 PNY Attache (512mb) drive but does not have correct performance requirements.

    Have tried Sony Memorystick M2 (512mb) card in Laptop card reader using Memorystick to Memorystick M2 adapter but does not have correct performance requirements.