ReadyBoost : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary

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A feature of Vista, W2008, W7-32, W7-64, W8-32, W8-64, W2012, W10-32 and W10-64 to use a flash drive you insert into a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port. It is a Mickey Mouse feature that does not work well for a number of reasons. If you want to improve your disk preformance, get an SSD. Main RAM (Random Access Memory) is now so fast, cheap and big. Hard disks have become so fast with large built-in cache RAM. Flash RAM drives, in order to lower prices, have become slower. SSDs (Solid State Disks) are so fast huge and cheap you can put all of your OS (Operating System), programs and active data on one.

ReadyBoost acts like auxiliary RAM to speed up disk access. The flash RAM on a flash drive is not nearly as fast as the main system RAM, but it is still 90 times faster than a hard disk for random access, though it is slightly slower for long sequential accesses. To speed up disk access, Vista puts commonly used small files on the flash drive for rapid access. The speed up effect is even more pronounced for laptops which have slower hard drives.

In drive properties, you can turn on write caching as well as read caching. This speeds up disks even further, but it means it becomes unsafe to remove the flash drive at any time. In Vista ReadyBoost uses a maximum of 4 GB. The rest of you drive is for files. W7-32 and W7-64 allows up to eight devices for a maximum of 256 GB of additional memory, with up to 32 GB on a single storage device.

Many models describe themselves as optimised for ReadyBoost without giving specific figures. The main reason flash drives are faster than hard disks is not a higher transfer rate, but that they don’t require time for seeking to the correct spot.

When you use ReadyBoost, your drive is a lot quieter. It makes fewer seeks and hence runs cooler and should last longer, though some say use and heat are not what make modern drives fail. Since the flash drive has no moving parts, faster, but more reliable than the mechanical disk.

The alternative would be adding RAM to your motherboard for disk caching. 16 GB of regular RAM would cost about  $560.00 USD , if your motherboard had room for it.



For ReadyBoost you must use the fastest USB drives, e.g. USB-3. ReadyBoost is somewhete obsolete. You would use an entire SSD (Solid State Disk) instead.

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