Originally Posted by 4th-horseman
Anyone here using RAM disks? Notice any increased performance over SSD? The transfer speed should be much higher, but how do you handle shutdown/sleep/restart with utilities like XFast RAM? Any setup tips from someone who's happy with it?
Here's my $0.02 (from experience)...
RAM disk, which has been around for many years, is best suited for fast I/O buffering of temporary
data. Example uses:
- a high-speed temporary workspace, i.e. super-fast "scratch disk" area for Photoshop.
- a super-fast cache area for things like temporary internet files and pagefile/swapfile to reduce OS latencies inherent to slower system media forms (spinning platter hard disk drives in particular).
The main point to remember is that RAM disk is volatile, meaning that the data placed in it will be erased if the system is shut down or rebooted (which is why its usefulness in high-speed read/writes is necessarily limited to temporary/non-critical data). For this reason, you can never run your OS from a RAM disk.
Many RAM disk utilities, however, can overcome the RAM volatility by saving the information in RAM as an image file on a HDD or SSD before the system shuts off, and then (after the OS is up) reload the data from the saved image file back into RAM on startup. The downside, though, is that these steps add to the time needed for the system to shut down and to start up. So a system reboot will take longer to complete if imaging is enabled for RAM disk data retention on power-ups/restarts
Also, you do not need any special system hardware to set up a RAM disk. Again, this stuff has been around for years. ASRock, as far as I can tell from a quick look at your link, has brought nothing new to the table. (Please correct me if I am wrong!)
Here's my RAM disk setup:
Asus M4A88TD-EVO/USB3 (from 2010, has a maximum limit of 16GB DDR3 RAM)
Windows XP Professional x86, SP3
4 x 4GB DDR3-1333 DIMMS (can't remember manf. or model)
So here I have a system that includes 16GB of RAM, but since I also run a 32-bit operating system, the OS can't even use 4GB. So I have more than 12GB of "wasted" memory.
Enter the best RAM Disk solution for 32-bit OS Windows systems, IMHO:http://memory.dataram.com/products-and-services/software/ramdisk
Note: There's a free version, but RAM disk creation is limited to 4GB. If you purchase RAMDisk Personal edition, for $18.99 you will be able to access all the available RAM (outside of what the OS uses).
There are other RAM disk products, including quite a few freeware versions. Here's a good link, which lists 12 products and provides speed benchmarks:http://www.raymond.cc/blog/12-ram-disk-software-benchmarked-for-fastest-read-and-write-speed/
I use the RAM disk a a workspace to cut HD MPEG2 video. While my edited video is in the RAM disk space, I then use a program called CCExtractor to read closed-caption data from the edited video and then create a .srt subtitle version in text format.
When I did these tasks using HDDs as my source and destination areas, editing and sub creation took quite a while. Now I have SSD as my source area, and RAM disk for my destination area... and the speed difference is jaw-dropping.
I'll write more later, and include output reports from the video editor (VideoRedo) and CCExtractor showing the speed difference between "HDD -> HDD" versus "SSD -> RAM disk".