Learn how to a build a cloud-first strategyRegister Now

x
  • Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 2003
  • Last Modified:

ReadyBoost on a Gigabyte I-RAM drive?

Can I activate Readyboost on a RAM drive such the Gigabyte I-RAM?
0
lucavilla
Asked:
lucavilla
  • 8
  • 5
  • 5
  • +2
1 Solution
 
dhoffman_98Commented:
When you install removable media on a Vista machine, Vista automatically checks to see if the speed and capacity are available to be used for Readyboost. If so, you will see the option to enable Readyboost when you right-click the drive and select properties.
0
 
Eagle6990Commented:
You should see a tab called "ReadyBoost" if you go to the properties of the drive. From there you can see if it passed the test and an option to enable or disable ReadyBoost on that drive.  It must be at least 256 MB
0
 
lucavillaAuthor Commented:
On Wikipedia it says that ReadyBoost works (only?) on NAND flash memories. Another source says that it must be an USB flash drive. I'm confused.
I still don't have an I-Ram so I can't try. Isn't there someone that tried it?
0
Independent Software Vendors: We Want Your Opinion

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

 
Eagle6990Commented:
I don't even know what I-RAM is but it works with my USB flash drive and with my SD card.  If it appears as an internal hard drive, then it probably won't even test for ReadyBoost. I would just take the memory you would put into an I-Ram and put it into your machine instead.
0
 
garycaseCommented:
An I-RAM is not "seen" as a removeable device ... so the answer to your specific question is No, Vista will not use it as a ReadyBoost device.

... HOWEVER ==>  If you install an I-RAM, you can set your paging file to that drive, and get a MUCH larger boost in performance than any ReadyBoost device will give you.   Remember, ReadyBoost is based on flash-drive products, which are MUCH slower than a true RAM disk like the I-RAM.   ReadyBoost only helps with disk accesses (it serves as an extra layer of cache) ... whereas an I-RAM-based paging file will be significantly enhancing your performance anytime Windows has a virtual memory page fault.    NO disk access trumps faster disk access anytime :-)
0
 
lucavillaAuthor Commented:
garycase:
obviously I would put on the I-RAM the pagefile and the temporary folders too... but what's the problem to use it as a ReadyBoost device too? do you have an official source that states that the device must be removable? it would seem to me a stupid restriction by Microsoft.. :)

PS: note that the device for ReadyBoost must not necessarily be dedicated. I have an USB dongle partially filled with files enabled for ReadyBoost on its free space
0
 
Eagle6990Commented:
Also you can only have one ReadyBoot drive per system. You can't configure two at once.

What GaryCase said about the page file is spot on.  The whole ides of ReadyBoost is to use memory that can access random files very quickly to cache small files that it needs.  Your hard drive is very slow when it comes to random files but can transfer large files very quickly.  So ReadyBoost is between RAM and your hard drive in terms of performance.  Your IRAM drive would be able to randomly access files quickly as well as transfer files very fast so the page file would benefit more.  If you have enough Ram or a fast enough page file, then you shouldn't need to use ReadyBoost to get any performance increase because other components will be faster to access.
0
 
garycaseCommented:
Eagle6990:    "... So ReadyBoost is between RAM and your hard drive in terms of performance ..." ==>  Actually that's not completely accurate.   The transfer rate of modern hard drives is actually much FASTER than a NAND flash memory device.   The reason the flash memory is still good for ReadyBoost is the ACCESS TIME is virtually zero ... so transfers to/from the flash memory device START almost instantly; whereas with the hard disk it takes an average (for most 7200rpm drives) of around 12ms.   By that time, most of the small transfers ReadyBoost is used for are already done :-)    But for large file transfers, the hard disk would be faster ... because once the transfer starts, it's much faster than the flash drive.

lucavilla:  Whether you agree with the philosophy or not, that's how Microsoft implemented it ==> only on removeable flash devices; only one ReadyBoost device per system; and a maximum of 4GB in size.   ReadyBoost is designed as a cache mechanism for small, random I/O's ... so the system can read the data quickly without waiting for a disk access.   It will also not use your flash device if it doesn't meet certain performance requirements:  2.5MB/sec throughput for 4K random reads and 1.75MB/sec throughput for 512K random writes.    The ReadyBoost feature stores its data in a single file (ReadyBoost.sfcache) on your flash drive ... it doesn't require a dedicated drive, but it does require a minimum of 256MB of space;  that the drive be formatted with FAT-32 (most flash drives are);  and that it meet the performance I specs I listed above.   As I noted earlier, it will not use more than 4GB (this limit is due to the max file size for FAT-32).

Note also that all ReadyBoost writes are mirrored on a "real" disk ... it's designed primarily to make the reads much faster for small paged blocks.   So if you had an I-RAM installed (and set as the paging disk), both the reads and the writes would be much faster than with a ReadyBoost device.   In that case, your system would actually perform better WITHOUT using ReadyBoost.

... FYI, the ReadyBoost team at Microsoft IS considering allowing multiple caches for a future revision of Vista --> so it MAY eventually be implemented.   I suspect, however, that this is not a high priority with regard to Vista modifications => especially since a 4GB ReadyBoost is already large enough to handle most paging requirements (the effective capacity is actually larger, as the file is also compressed).

0
 
Eagle6990Commented:
You are correct Gary.  What I meant was that, ReadyBoost fills the gap between RAM and hard disk.  RAM has fast access and speed but limited storage.  Hard disks have lots of storage but relatively slow access.  What I was trying to say is that ReadyBoost fills the gap between these two by giving you fast access to small files with limited storage instead of replacing RAM.
0
 
lucavillaAuthor Commented:
Eagle6990:
> If you have enough Ram or a fast enough page file, then you shouldn't need to use
> ReadyBoost to get any performance increase because other components will be
> faster to access.

I have 4GB of RAM and my Windows Vista 32-bit only make 2.75GB of it available. 2.75/3 GB of usable RAM is the limit for all 32-bit Windows. Adding more RAM would not have effect on my PC and I don't want to pass to the 64-bit Windows because of driver compatibilities issues.

I'm an avid user of my PC and 2.75GB is not enough for me. It still uses the pagefile a lot. In this moment is using 3995MB out of 8644MB of my pagefile and I sometimes have to wait because of swapping HD activity.

As you see it make no sense to add RAM on my system.

I-RAM is the solution.

I would put pagefile and temporary files and ReadyBoost on it.

garycase:
> So if you had an I-RAM installed (and set as the paging disk), both the reads and the writes
> would be much faster than with a ReadyBoost device.   In that case, your system would
> actually perform better WITHOUT using ReadyBoost.

I would put ReadyBoost on the I-RAM disk in addition to pagefile and temporary files. I think that pagefile+temporaryfiles+ReadyBoost on I-RAM would be better than pagefile+temporaryfiles on I-RAM. Don't you agree?
It's a pity that ReadyBoost is activable only on removable devices.
Isn't there a program that converts a fixed storage device in a removable storage device at software level? I already heared of such a program time ago.....
0
 
garycaseCommented:
First, as I noted before, you CANNOT put ReadyBoost on an I-RAM ==> BUT it does not matter, because you do NOT want to use ReadyBoost if the paging file is on an I-RAM !!!   The I-RAM is MUCH faster than a flash drive (about 30 times as fast ... 150MB/s vs. around 5MB/s) ... so using a ReadyBoost device would actually SLOW the system down.   If your paging file is already on the fastest "drive" in the system (an I-RAM), there's nothing you can do to further speed it up !!

An alternative to an I-RAM (if you're willing to pay the price) is a solid-state disk.   These are beginning to become available in reasonable capacities ... SanDisk recently announced a 32GB drive that's likely to be available for around $1000.   These use high-speed NAND memories, so they're still a lot slower than an I-RAM, but they're faster than USB flash devices (the SanDisk works at about 40MB/s).    The I-RAM is better (since it's about 4 times as fast), but the capacity of the SSDs is nice.
0
 
Eagle6990Commented:
On a side note, my PC at home was built a year and a half ago and I have yet to run into a problem with finding Vista x64 drivers for it.  I did have to wait a month after the release for advanced drivers for my Razer mouse but other than that, everything was available either at release or a few days later.
0
 
lucavillaAuthor Commented:
garycase:
I need to make it clearer: I DON'T want to put ReadyBoost on a flash drive. I WANT to put ReadyBoost on the I-Ram drive.
Anyway ReadyBoost has very little to do with the pagefile. Don't confuse it with a thing that "speed up the pagefile". ReadyBoost is for caching little and frequently read data *of any files* of your HDs, not only of the pagefile.

I will search for a program that makes the I-RAM a "removable storage device"...
0
 
lucavillaAuthor Commented:
Eagle6990:
I forgot to mention the main problem: I don't want to lose my 10-years old Windows system by reinstalling it from strach. I have more than 100 applications installed and configured on my system.
0
 
garycaseCommented:
"... I need to make it clearer: I DON'T want to put ReadyBoost on a flash drive. I WAT to put ReadyBoost on the I-Ram drive. " ==>  Yes, you've made this very clear.  HOWEVER, as I've also made clear, you CANNOT do that!!    And ReadyBoost's caching of "little and frequently read data" includes a LOT of pagefile data and very few other files.   As I've noted several times, you will notice MUCH more performance improvement by simply moving the pagefile to an I-RAM and NOT using a ReadyBoot device than you will with ANY ReadyBoost device.

Since you seem intent on adding an I-Ram anyway ... TRY it :-)

0
 
lucavillaAuthor Commented:
> "little and frequently read data" includes a LOT of pagefile data and very few other files

*assuming* that this is true I agree with you now, but I'm not very convinced of it.

> Since you seem intent on adding an I-Ram anyway ... TRY it :-)

I think I'm going to buy and try at least 3 I-Ram for a strip-set RAID ;)

0
 
lucavillaAuthor Commented:
ReadyBoost work on the I-RAM!!!
0
 
garycaseCommented:
Good ... glad you can use it like that.   Be sure to use the I-RAM for your paging file first, however ==> that will help a lot more than a ReadyBoost device.

By the way, the Microsoft Shell team ReadyBoost folks are working on allowing multiple ReadyBoost devices ... so that feature will get even better in the future :-)

It's also interesting that Vista offered to use the I-RAM with ReadyBoost ==> according to the Shell team it should have used it as a ReadyDrive rather than a ReadyBoost device.   Just depends on exactly how the I-RAM driver enumerates its capabilities to the OS ... and proves that this technology is evolving :-)
0
 
lucavillaAuthor Commented:
Here are my benchmarks with the SATA controller integrated in my ASUS motherboard:

Single I-RAM tested with HD Tach:
"Random access: 0.1ms
CPU utilization: 9% (+/- 2%)   (note: this value is very variable)
Average read: 122.8 MB/s"

Single I-RAM tested with ReadyBoost test:
"The device (Unknown Unknown) is suitable for a ReadyBoost cache.  The recommended cache size is 4085760 KB.  The random read speed is 46613 KB/sec.  The sequential write speed is 97250 KB/sec."

Triple I-RAM raided-0 through the Nvidia BIOS tested with HD Tach:
"Random access: 0.1ms
CPU utilization: 7% (+/- 2%)
Average read: 156.4 MB/s"

Triple I-RAM raided-0 through the Nvidia BIOS tested with ReadyBoost test:
"The device (Unknown Unknown) is suitable for a ReadyBoost cache.  The recommended cache size is 4192256 KB.  The random read speed is 39436 KB/sec.  The sequential write speed is 256685 KB/sec."

Triple I-RAM raided-0 with Windows Vista tested with HD Tach:
not possible because it strangely see them as separated drives

Triple I-RAM raided-0 with Windows Vista tested with ReadyBoost test:
"The device (Unknown Unknown) is suitable for a ReadyBoost cache.  The recommended cache size is 4192256 KB.  The random read speed is 47106 KB/sec.  The sequential write speed is 259359 KB/sec."
0
 
Computer101Commented:
PAQed with points refunded (500)

Computer101
EE Admin
0

Featured Post

Industry Leaders: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

  • 8
  • 5
  • 5
  • +2
Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now