If you have Windows Vista in your system, you might know the performance overhead associated with it especially when you have limited memory resources. In case, if you have installed Vista just because your system met the minimum memory requirement (512 MB of RAM), then probably you will be having tough time using your machine. The performance of the system may go down drastically if the memory gets overloaded. Adding an extra RAM is the best & simple solution to solve this problem. But, sometimes you might not be in a position to add an extra RAM either due the cost factor or due to the non-availability of expansion slots in the motherboard. To overcome this problem, Windows Vista ships with a new concept called ReadyBoost.
Readyboost is a feature provided by Windows Vista to boost the performance of the Operating system by adding more high speed memory using non-volatile flash memory devices like USB (Universal Serial Bus) drives, SD cards & compact Flash. The performance of these flash drives as an additional cache is more compared to hard drives as they have better seek time. ReadyBoost relies on the advanced memory management feature provided by Windows Vista called ‘Super Fetch’ which allows the programs to load much quicker than they would on XP based PC’s. Not all flash drives can be used with ReadyBoost. Only flash devices which meet the imposed minimum requirements can be used with ReadyBoost. Below are the some of the main requirements for the device to be compatible with ReadyBoost
- The access time of the device should be less than or equal to 1MS
- The capacity of the device should be at least 256 MB
- The device should be capable of 2.5 MB/s read speeds for 4 KB random reads
- The device should be capable of 1.75 MB/s write speeds for 512 KB random writes
How to use?
Usage is pretty simple & straight forward. After you plug in the flash drive, the windows Autoplay dialog will pop up. If your device is compatible with ReadyBoost then you will find an option called ‘Speed up my system’ at the bottom of the dialog box. A click on it will take you to the properties tab of the removable device. Here you can select the amount of memory that you want to reserve for optimizing the performance of your system. You can use the rest of the memory for your file storage. You need to have a minimum of 235 MB of free space to use it with ReadyBoost. On the other way, a maximum of up to 4GB is allowed. The page file related data stored in the flash drive will also be backed up on the Hard disk. So, even if you remove the flash drive at any point, there won’t be any loss of information. This also makes it safe & secure.