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Old 6th September 2008, 20:18   #1
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Arrow Using USB drive to speed up your computer

Has anyone tried this? Does it require Windows Vista, or can I also do this trick in Windows XP?

Basically, it allows you to use a part of the space on your USB drive as a RAM, creating more virtual RAM for your PC, which in turn runs faster (in theory). Do you really notice a big performance jump?
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Old 6th September 2008, 20:27   #2
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Originally Posted by amu1983 View Post
Has anyone tried this? Does it require Windows Vista, or can I also do this trick in Windows XP?

Basically, it allows you to use a part of the space on your USB drive as a RAM, creating more virtual RAM for your PC, which in turn runs faster (in theory). Do you really notice a big performance jump?
I guess its only with Vista not with XP. But FYI Vista 32 bit support max of 3GB RAM and 64bit Max 4GB. So if already have that much it won't help.

Moreover I am sure if you use your normal Flash drive for that, there are some special for this purpose.

Will try with normal Flash drive on my laptop and will tell you if you can use it as RAM.
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Old 6th September 2008, 20:38   #3
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Windows Vista Magazine | Use any USB stick to ReadyBoost your computer
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Old 6th September 2008, 20:47   #4
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I guess its only with Vista not with XP.
Try eBoostr.com - workaround for XP and for devices with large memory.
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Old 7th September 2008, 09:23   #5
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They will only be marginally faster as your USB device is very very slow compared to the DDR memory on the mobo but slightly faster than accessing the HD.
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Old 7th September 2008, 09:34   #6
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And you need a fast USB drive for that. Cheap, slow ones wont make a difference.

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They will only be marginally faster as your USB device is very very slow compared to the DDR memory on the mobo but slightly faster than accessing the HD.
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Old 7th September 2008, 11:43   #7
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I have tried this and now my comp is faster. I have used a 2GB USB flash drive. Thanks guys.

Ta

MK
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Old 7th September 2008, 11:45   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amu1983 View Post
Has anyone tried this? Does it require Windows Vista, or can I also do this trick in Windows XP?

Basically, it allows you to use a part of the space on your USB drive as a RAM, creating more virtual RAM for your PC, which in turn runs faster (in theory). Do you really notice a big performance jump?
It is in Vista and it is called ReadyBoost®. But as you said, it does not use the flash drive space as 'RAM', instead, it chaches some frequently fetched data from HDD, and it is something like the pagefile. This trick will speed up randome disk reads significantly, as claimed by MS. I was using this in my Vista Box, and I didn't see any performance difference, as the performance of my box is is quite good. May be it will help machines with a slower HDD. (Mine is 7200 rpm High performance one)

Last edited by clevermax : 7th September 2008 at 11:46.
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Old 16th November 2008, 19:17   #9
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Yeah.. makes sense only if the USB read/write speed is faster than that of the Hard disk.
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Old 16th November 2008, 19:37   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam003 View Post
I guess its only with Vista not with XP. But FYI Vista 32 bit support max of 3GB RAM and 64bit Max 4GB. So if already have that much it won't help...
A correction here - 32 bit supports max of 4GB and 64 bit supports 8GB.

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It is in Vista and it is called ReadyBoost®. But as you said, it does not use the flash drive space as 'RAM', instead, it chaches some frequently fetched data from HDD, and it is something like the pagefile. ...(Mine is 7200 rpm High performance one)
Same here; no difference noted with extra USB memory support. Maybe because even I am running on 7200 rpm HD.

My plan now is to get the 64 bit Vista loaded and get 4x2 GB cards loaded...

Last edited by HappyWheels : 16th November 2008 at 19:38.
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Old 16th November 2008, 20:08   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post
A correction here - 32 bit supports max of 4GB and 64 bit supports 8GB.



Same here; no difference noted with extra USB memory support. Maybe because even I am running on 7200 rpm HD.

My plan now is to get the 64 bit Vista loaded and get 4x2 GB cards loaded...

Well, 32 bit supports just 4GB and 64 will support much more than that.
Here it is how. Without explaining more,
2 raise to power 32 = 4 GB supported.

So for 64 bit OS, it will be
2 raise to power 64 = 17179869184 GB will be supported.
Here the limitation is what we can fit on to our desktop. Max for even our best desktop mobos are 16GB in case of high end boards.
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Old 17th November 2008, 11:04   #12
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Yeah.. makes sense only if the USB read/write speed is faster than that of the Hard disk.
So you are planning Fast read/write from storage device?

But->

Whatever clock speed your individual devices use and main bottleneck is Average of all FSB: Front Side Bus of all devices. They are connected through FSB only.

e.g. If RAM clock is of 400MHz, CPU FSB is 533/800MHz, MB FSB is 800 MHz then
1. RAM will work on 333MHz for 533 FSB CPU,
2. same RAM will work on 400MHz for CPU 800MHz FSB.
Motherboard has no option but to be on mercy of CPU/RAM combination.

effective rate reaches at 40MBps or 320Mbps for bulk transfer on a USB 2.0 hard drive with no one else is sharing the bus, still it faces music at FSB front. Unless your HDD is of old technology something 2600RPM motor or lower. No gain in speed gain from this.

So I bought 4GB second hand RAM (max for my MB: intel 865GBF) and installed in my home PC.

Last edited by omishra : 17th November 2008 at 11:20.
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Old 17th November 2008, 13:31   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
Well, 32 bit supports just 4GB and 64 will support much more than that.
Here it is how. Without explaining more,
2 raise to power 32 = 4 GB supported.
Most of the the newer PCs can use 36 bit bus with 32 bit OS, and can support 16 GB RAM.

My work PC (HP xw6400 Workstation overview - HP Small & Medium Business products) has 8 GB RAM and works fine. I am using Redhat with 2.4.21 kernel.

Individual process can sill not see more then 4 GB RAM, but overall system can user more then 4GB.

Even on Windows, more then 32 bits can be used by switching to PAE enabled kernel.

Details on switching to PAE enabled kernel:

/pae
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Old 17th November 2008, 22:53   #14
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Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post

1) Most of the the newer PCs can use 36 bit bus with 32 bit OS, and can support 16 GB RAM.

2) My work PC (HP xw6400 Workstation overview - HP Small & Medium Business products) has 8 GB RAM and works fine. I am using Redhat with 2.4.21 kernel.

3) Individual process can sill not see more then 4 GB RAM, but overall system can user more then 4GB.

4) Even on Windows, more then 32 bits can be used by switching to PAE enabled kernel.

5) Details on switching to PAE enabled kernel:

/pae
1, 3) Well, it depends upon applications. For example when I put in 6GB RAM in my machine with XP SP3 and the mods applied, there was no difference in the performance of 3DS MAX rendering. Depends upon applications. Even though XP will support, the applications installed must be flexible enough.

2) I dont know, but always Redhat kernel are flexible. My friend also manages to use 8GB with the same kernel on his C2D.

4) But the gain in performance gain is not much specailly in networked environment. My lab's network administrator tried this on client pc with no major improvement.

5) Thanks,tried it but the real apps dont improve on performance.
Again thanks.
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Old 17th November 2008, 23:16   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
Well, it depends upon applications. For example when I put in 6GB RAM in my machine with XP SP3 and the mods applied, there was no difference in the performance of 3DS MAX rendering.
XP kernel specifically disables Memory above 4 GB, so App might not benefit at all from PAE. Try with Windows server 2003 or newer Kernels.

Reason for that is more commercial then technical, they backported DEP but left out PAE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
4) But the gain in performance gain is not much specailly in networked environment. My lab's network administrator tried this on client pc with no major improvement.

5) Thanks,tried it but the real apps dont improve on performance.
Desktop Apps will not see significant improvement from PAE. In fact, additional page table lookups can slow down some of them.

In a networked environment any 32 bit app that can be clustered would definitely benefit. And yes typical desktop Apps are not among those. Only Exceptions are apps like professional video/CG tools or source code builds that support batch processing in parallel mode.

Otherwise in networked environment, things like Tomcat that is limited to 4 GB due to 32 bit vm benefits a lot from PAE since multiple instances can run on the same machine and share up to 16 GB RAM.

Or on Linux/Windows machines, Memory mapped files also make is fairly easy to share up to 16 GB RAM (as a file). If machine supports PAE.
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