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Thread: Ram drive

  1. #1
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    I have Windows 7 64 bit with 8 GB of ram. My machine is pretty fast, however I would like to be able to speed it up. I only occasionally use the swap file as I am not a power user. I thought maybe dedicating some of my memory towards a ram drive might speed some things up. I also think I heard somewhere that you could use some of your ram as cache for readyboost. How would I go about doing this and what programs might assist me if this is possible. Any other suggestions appreciated.

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    It's using some device like a fast enough rated thumb drive as a Readyboost device to supplement processes, especially start ups. You already have 8 Gigs of real RAM, and that is by far your fastest data processing area next to the on-processor caches. If you describe some of the other hardware specs and the acivities during which you notice a slow down, then perhaps someone would be able to suggest actions to speed up, but its not likely to be in the RAM or RAM related area; you're already "killin'" it there.

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Not being a power user, I suspect you will not use the RAM you have, let alone any additional slower memory used as RAM. The best way to speed things up is to limit what's running in the background. All apps you install think they need to run in the background. Wrong! Most do NOT need to be running to start fast. Once they start, they will run just as fast as if they were running in the background. Check out some of the system or UI tweaks at various tweak sites to speed your interface with Windows. Check:

    How To Geek


    Paul Thurrott's Windows Supersite


    and many others.
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    Using a USB device as additional cache for your SATA drive is like using a bicycle to increase the speed of your car. Current SATA speeds are around 3Gb/s, USB 2 is lucky to get 1/10th of that, and USB 3 is still a dream for most.

    cheers, Paul

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    I was not talking about adding a flash memory device. I read somewhere that you could dedicate some of your memory to use as a cache for Readyboost. Even with 8 GB, I still see some, but very little use of the paging file and I thought I could speed up the system where this was happening. I would also like to speed up the internet cache and speed up some loading times of programs. I am already managing start up programs and services. I also run disk cleanup and do regular disk maintenance. Not really a gamer, I bought this computer as overkill as I do not like waiting for things to happen. Also an incessant tweaker thinking I might get more out of what I have. I mostly just use the computer for internet and as such have several anti malware programs installed just in case I pick up something. I have none of them running in the background except my security suite. It is the loading and scanning of some of these programs where I thought I might see some improvement. I thought I might be able to use some of my extra ram like an SSD with a ram drive.

    CPU Intel I7 @ 2.8 Ghz.
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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    The easiest way to use some of your RAM as a paging file is to turn off the paging file; no tricks involved.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    No version of Windows, including Windows 7, was designed to run without a page file. The best way to deal with the page file when there is an abundance of memory on a machine is to set a relatively small minimum size for the page file, and then monitor how Windows utilizes it over time to determine how much virtual memory is actually used on a day to day basis. Since you have 8GB of ram, it would not be necessary to stick to the 1.5x formula for determining how much of a page file should be set.
    Deadeye81

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    It is the loading and scanning of some of these programs where I thought I might see some improvement.
    The bottleneck is in the hard drive in that case, not the RAM and it wouldn't help to set up an arbitrary area in RAM, it would still be the same speed and take as long to load or scan the hard drive. If you got a fast SSD and loaded OS and programs on that, it would speed up the process quite a bit; double it for sure I think, possibly triple it depending if other bottlenecks are encountered.

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    Thanks for all the replies. I have already reduced the page file size from the 8 GB windows chose to 1 GB minimum and 2.5 GB maximum. This was based on monitoring I did a couple weeks ago and so far it has not exceeded the minimum.

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    Just set the Page size to manage by the system and the system will use it when it needs to. You will NOT be able to a better job of it that what the system manager can do.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P T View Post
    Using a USB device as additional cache for your SATA drive is like using a bicycle to increase the speed of your car. Current SATA speeds are around 3Gb/s, USB 2 is lucky to get 1/10th of that, and USB 3 is still a dream for most.
    ReadyBoost in W7 has nothing to do with raw speed, it's about access times; flash memory and SSD's are much faster at accessing small, randomly located files, whereas HDD's are better at sequential reading of large files.

    Bicycle analogy: use the bicycle to power a pump or generator that would otherwise need engine horsepower to drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveA View Post
    Just set the Page size to manage by the system and the system will use it when it needs to. You will NOT be able to a better job of it that what the system manager can do.
    That may be correct regarding the average user and average machine specification during the period in which the latest designs were finalised by the software engineers. I very much doubt that it's true across 100% of users and their PC's. I'm sure there are scenarios in which a degree of manual control will yield a noticeably better result.

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Shepard View Post
    No version of Windows, including Windows 7, was designed to run without a page file.
    That part may be true; however, if one has sufficient installed RAM, Windows will run just fine without a pagefile.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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  13. #13
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveA View Post
    Just set the Page size to manage by the system and the system will use it when it needs to. You will NOT be able to a better job of it that what the system manager can do.
    A Windows managed pagefile will be resized by Windows based on anticipated need, which means HDD reads and writes just to resize the pagefile, and the fragmentation that goes along with all that resizing.

    A pagefile of fixed size will not be resized ever, eliminating all those unnecessary reads and writes. That is more efficient, and the unused space will not be missed on today's large HDD's.

    I have been running a fixed pagefile since Windows 95 OSR2.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    I have been running a fixed pagefile since Windows 95 OSR2.
    And the system management has been change a LOT since then.
    95 and 98 did NOT do a good job of management.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  15. #15
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have even gone further and placed my page file in it's own partition. This prevents the normal fragmentation. I realize there are pros and cons of doing this, even among the "experts". It works for me.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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