dalton

ReadyBoost... ?

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This may be an odd forum for this question, but it's sort of storage related...

If I have 8 GB of RAM, what type of performance benefit will I see from using a 4GB flash drive to enable ReadyBoost? The normal case cited by Microsoft is using something like a 2 GB flash drive with 512 MB of RAM...

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This may be an odd forum for this question, but it's sort of storage related...

If I have 8 GB of RAM, what type of performance benefit will I see from using a 4GB flash drive to enable ReadyBoost? The normal case cited by Microsoft is using something like a 2 GB flash drive with 512 MB of RAM...

If you have more than 1GB of RAM, the performance gain is negligeable, and over 2GB RAM, I wouldn't botter to try to mess up with that ReadyBoost thing... Now, who would dare to use vi$$$ta with only 512MB ram?

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This may be an odd forum for this question, but it's sort of storage related...

If I have 8 GB of RAM, what type of performance benefit will I see from using a 4GB flash drive to enable ReadyBoost? The normal case cited by Microsoft is using something like a 2 GB flash drive with 512 MB of RAM...

Well, the obvious counter-question is: How much available RAM shows in Task Manager when you are running all your heavy-duty apps and multi-tasking like crazy? I must assume that you run several memory-intensive apps, or you wouldn't have bothered with 8 GB of RAM.

If you run up all your apps, and you still have tons of free RAM, then you won't see any benefit at all. On the other hand, if you are paging to disk, then ReadyBoost would improve your performance (but adding more RAM would be better!).

This is all, of course, assuming that you are running an OS capable of using more than 4 GB of physical RAM. That means that you had better be using a 64-bit version of Vista or XP Pro, or a really nice Server OS. B)

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Thanks for the feedback.

I'm running Vista x64, so I do see all 8 GB of my memory :P

As for utilitzing the RAM, I am a software developer by profession. A few scenarios come to mind:

  • When doing heavy testing, I typically run 2-3 VMs, which can very quickly use up the memory (Sometimes, I have to allocate a fair amount of memory to them if I'm doing something like kernel mode solution debugging, e.g. if I can't really "remote" debug from the host).

  • All 8.0 GB can also get consumed whenever I do any kind of bulk build / debug execute - e.g. compile and launch four projects from our solution simultaneously.

All that having been said, I don't typically run MORE than 2 or 3 VMs, so my "current working set" is likely somewhat finite. Given that my motherboard doesn't support upgrading beyond 8 GB, do you think it would be worth my investing in 16 GB of flash for ReadyBoost?

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Thanks for the feedback.

I'm running Vista x64, so I do see all 8 GB of my memory :P

As for utilitzing the RAM, I am a software developer by profession. A few scenarios come to mind:

  • When doing heavy testing, I typically run 2-3 VMs, which can very quickly use up the memory (Sometimes, I have to allocate a fair amount of memory to them if I'm doing something like kernel mode solution debugging, e.g. if I can't really "remote" debug from the host).

  • All 8.0 GB can also get consumed whenever I do any kind of bulk build / debug execute - e.g. compile and launch four projects from our solution simultaneously.

All that having been said, I don't typically run MORE than 2 or 3 VMs, so my "current working set" is likely somewhat finite. Given that my motherboard doesn't support upgrading beyond 8 GB, do you think it would be worth my investing in 16 GB of flash for ReadyBoost?

At this level of development, your time should be worth more than the cost of upgrading your system to a real workstation-class or server-class system that supports between 32 GB - 128 GB of RAM.

At the very least, you could purchase components and assemble them yourself, if you're an independent developer and have to purchase your own hardware. Just bear in mind that you will have to do all of your own support if you go this route.

It would also be worth double checking to verify that your motherboard doesn't support more than 8 GB with the latest BIOS, etc.

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I was under the impression that ReadyBoost was used almost exclusively to cache files used on program startup, which would speed up how fast a program opened. The reasoning being that there would be almost no seek latency opening the file off of a flash device. This was never supposed to have any effect on already running programs.

Is this incorrect?

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Thanks for the feedback.

I'm running Vista x64, so I do see all 8 GB of my memory :P

As for utilitzing the RAM, I am a software developer by profession. A few scenarios come to mind:

  • When doing heavy testing, I typically run 2-3 VMs, which can very quickly use up the memory (Sometimes, I have to allocate a fair amount of memory to them if I'm doing something like kernel mode solution debugging, e.g. if I can't really "remote" debug from the host).

  • All 8.0 GB can also get consumed whenever I do any kind of bulk build / debug execute - e.g. compile and launch four projects from our solution simultaneously.

All that having been said, I don't typically run MORE than 2 or 3 VMs, so my "current working set" is likely somewhat finite. Given that my motherboard doesn't support upgrading beyond 8 GB, do you think it would be worth my investing in 16 GB of flash for ReadyBoost?

At this level of development, your time should be worth more than the cost of upgrading your system to a real workstation-class or server-class system that supports between 32 GB - 128 GB of RAM.

At the very least, you could purchase components and assemble them yourself, if you're an independent developer and have to purchase your own hardware. Just bear in mind that you will have to do all of your own support if you go this route.

It would also be worth double checking to verify that your motherboard doesn't support more than 8 GB with the latest BIOS, etc.

Agreed, more physical ram will always perform better than a flash memory solution.

I was under the impression that ReadyBoost was used almost exclusively to cache files used on program startup, which would speed up how fast a program opened. The reasoning being that there would be almost no seek latency opening the file off of a flash device. This was never supposed to have any effect on already running programs.

Is this incorrect?

I was under the impression that it was merely similar to a page file on flash memory.

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A couple of notes:

Given that my motherboard doesn't support upgrading beyond 8 GB, do you think it would be worth my investing in 16 GB of flash for ReadyBoost?

The current generation of Readyboost technology runs on FAT32 devices by default, so have a limit to the maximum size of the readyboost cache of 4GB. So buying a larger flash drive is not as much benefit as trying to find the fastest flash drive you can get under 4GB.

I was under the impression that it was merely similar to a page file on flash memory.

Readyboost stores prefetch information that is also written to the hard drive as part of normal file operations, the boost it is supposed to provide is from the shorter access time gained in checking for prefetch information on the flash drive as opposed to having to access that folder on the system drive.

It may also provide some functions helpful to paging and maintaining temporary files, but I have not seen concrete evidence of that.

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Readyboost stores prefetch information that is also written to the hard drive as part of normal file operations, the boost it is supposed to provide is from the shorter access time gained in checking for prefetch information on the flash drive as opposed to having to access that folder on the system drive.
So essentially it just copies the contents of C:\Windows\Prefetch\ to the flash drive? My work computer has 102 items totaling 4.7MB in that folder. It seems like it would be even easier/better to store load that folder first thing into RAM on boot and just access it from there, at least if it is going to be less than 10MB.

It would be interesting to test ReadyBoost with the fastest flash card/readers around and see if it made any difference.

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