| By Mark Joseph Edwards |
Vista has a lot of new features you can take advantage of to improve its overall performance.
This week, I’ll tell you how to make Vista load files as much as 10 times faster, which in turn will make your entire system run faster.
Use Vista ReadyBoost for a big performance increase
If you’re using Vista, then you know that it’s a pretty good improvement over Windows XP. It’s full of new features, has improved security, and it’s fast. But I can help you make it run even faster.
There are five basic ways to make Windows Vista run really fast. The first four of these can actually be used to make any operating system run faster:
- A fast CPU (1GHz or faster);
- Plenty of RAM (at least 1GB);
- Fast disk drives (7200 RPM); and
- A graphics card with at least 128MB of RAM
For all intents and purposes, ReadyBoost is a file-caching system that works by using a Flash drive as the cache storage medium. Reading from disk is one of the biggest bottlenecks in OS operation, and using a cache can minimize that bottleneck. Also, using a Flash drive for caching can be faster than using disk drives, especially when huge sequential files aren’t involved. Thus, the use of a Flash-based caching system is what makes ReadyBoost a great performance-enhancing feature of Vista.
The way it works is simple: When Vista needs to read a file, it first checks the ReadyBoost cache. If any necessary piece of data isn’t available in that cache, Vista will read that data from disk and then insert it into the ReadyBoost cache. This way, the next time it’s needed, it can be retrieved much faster. Likewise, when you write data files to disk, they’re also stored in the ReadyBoost cache for future access.