one of the new features in windows vista is the concept of readyboost. readyboost is the part of those demos that you've seen someone stick a usb memory key in their laptop and boom they instantly increased their RAM. well, kinda.
i needed a new usb key (lost mine) and decided to ensure i got one that was readyboost capable. i opted for the sandisk cruzer micro 2gb. namely because of the size and i liked the little switch-blade feature. i decided my first use of it would be to see if could notice a difference in readyboost usage.
now, i should note that i do have a toshiba m400 (duo core) with 2gb ram already in place. my machine is pretty snappy for me, but i wanted to see if multi-tasking would get better with readyboost. what happens when you insert the usb device that is readyboost capable, you get a prompt asking you to allocate how much space. after which your readyboost device now has a readyboost.sfcache file in it:
your machine is now taking advantage of this. i will have to say that i did notice a few things operating a bit more snappier than usual, but for me nothing substantial. my test of multitasking did show some better performance of some apps when i was using readyboost. nothing scientific, just my observations.
i think readyboost comes into more advantage is on the lower end memory solutions...say a machine with 256/512 ram. and here's where the important calculations come in. in the great readyboost faq posted by tom archer, we can see that the recommendation is a 1:1 on the lower end and a 2.5:1 ratio for the higher end. this means that if you have 512 ram and want to use 256 of your usb key to readyboost, you may not notice a difference. likewise if you have a 1gb ram machine and a 4gb usb key and maximize the key usage, you may not see a noticeable difference (than you would if you allocated 2gb of the key). something to note at least.
so if you have lower memory, and have a fast usb device, you may want to give it a try. i plan on trying it on a few machines for our installfest happening in a few days...i'm sure there will be some machines with lagging memory that we may see a boost of energy with...
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