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Windows 7: RAMdisk - who uses it?

13 Apr 2011   #1
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 
RAMdisk - who uses it?

Does anybody have experience with a RAMdisk and can give a report for what you use it and whether it really speeds the system up (beyond an SSD). Also what are the downsides and what to watch out for.

Reason I ask is that I am in the very early stages of planning a new system. I am wondering whether it is a good investment to install e.g. 12GB of RAM to use 4 or 6 GB for a RAMdisk.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Apr 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

IMO, I used this for about a month and removed it. With today's technology, it's not worth using RAM for something like this (esp. if your OS files are on a SSD for booting, etc).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2011   #3

windows 7 Pro 64Bit
 
 

I'm Guessing you are referring to SuperSpeed Ramdisk? I use this on my laptop as basically a scratch disk to save writes to my SSD. I have not used this program with a spinner. So as far as performance is concerned I can't say, but it is a reliable program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Apr 2011   #4
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Oh, I forgot to mention that all my systems have SSDs - could'nt live without them. The new one may have a Revo drive or one of the 3d gen SSDs plus at least one hybrid spinner.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2011   #5

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

I doubt that a RAM disk program would have much benefit for you. I have only used one a little, quite some time ago, when browsers were slower than now, to run Opera on, but I seriously doubt that would help any more. There may be some other use that it would be good for, but I don't know what it would be.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2011   #6
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

One of the main applications I had in mind was video editing which I do a lot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2011   #7

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

Don't know anything about video editing, but if it is something that would mean a lot of work lost if there was a power loss, the volatile nature of that would be enough to discourage me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

whs:

I don't how much RAM you have.
If you've got tons of it, say, 6GB or more, you might consider using a RAMDrive to minimize writes to your SSDs. You probably won't see a heck of an increase in speed compared to SSDs, but RAM is still faster. It'll get all those Temp writes off your drive, at least.

In any case, I had a 1GB RAMDrive on my system for a couple of years.
I used it to store all my browsers' cache files.
I used it for all the System Temp files as well. (I pointed my TMP & Temp variables to it; both User & System)
I pointed all my programs' temporary files there, too.

Let me say this, and I'll probably catch some flack, but I'll be brave.
It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to put your pagefile on a RAMDrive.
That defeats the whole point of having a lot of RAM in the first place- avoiding the necessity of paging.

I used a program called DRDataRAM. One very nice feature is that you could set it up to save an image of itself on a HDD so it would be ready to load when the system started again. That's real nice if you don't want to lose all the data that's stored there. RAMDrives are volatile; but I'm sure you knew that.

The Free version allowed up to 4GB, if I remember right.
You can check it out here: RAMDisk - Software - Server Memory Products & Services - Dataram

I guess the bottom line is that you just need to play with it. See if you notice any benefit that you deem worthwhile. If not, the price is right and if you're a geek like me, it's a lot of fun. You can always uninstall it and be right back where you were. No harm done.

CAVEAT: If you use Acronis, you will have to get their 'snapman.sys' driver update. Otherwise they don't play well together.
You can find the link to the update mid-way down the page here: http://kb.acronis.com/content/1514
I posted here about this very thing a while back. Here it is: Acronis and DataRAM RAMDisk

Have fun!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2011   #9
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Thank you Richard. That was very informative. As I said, that would be for my next system where I consider 12GBs of RAM. You really made me curious regarding the experimenting - I like that. I use Macrium, but if necessary I would switch to Acronis. Anyhow, the system is not yet built. I am currently only exploring my best options.

And you are certainly right regarding the pagefile. There is so little activity on it, that it is really not worth moving it around. On the other hand some programs use it regardless how much RAM is available. And then you would not get a dump in case of a BSOD if you play around with it (e.g. make it smaller).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2011   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

You know what i do with that Pagefile? I make the smallest one that Windows will allow and toss it onto a spinner. Then, I forget about it. Windows has
It leaves more room on the SSD, too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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