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Windows 7: exFat Formatting for ReadyBoost

29 Nov 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)
 
 
exFat Formatting for ReadyBoost

Hello everyone, I've recently been looking into trying to speed up my HP laptop using my Kingston 16GB flashdrive, I am already using ReadyBoost with the drive formatted to the FAT32 file system.

My question: Is it worthwhile to format the drive to exFat in order to allow for more ReadyBoost space? I currently only have 3GB of RAM, which for most things is fine, but I'm currently playing Fallout New Vegas, and the extra 4GBs ReadyBoost provides helps A LOT, so I'd like to get 8 or even 12GB out of my memory stick if possible.

Please help me! Fallout NV runs pretty well but occasionally the FPS drops to an annoying level, I'm hoping that increasing my ReadyBoost to 8 or 12GB it will at least help.

Another thing I'm confused about is while using the format tool within windows explorer it provides an option to pick "Allocation unit size", what exactly does that mean, and should I decide to format to exFAT what would be a preferable unit size?

Thank you oh so much in advance !

-Sneak


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Nov 2010   #2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

If you choose FAT16 or 32 format you are limited to 4gig, but if you use NTFS or exFAT, it should use the whole thing, as far as I know you can go upto 16 gb with exFAT.

Use exFAT, that'll be the fastest.

Allocation unit size is the Cluster size, it the amount of data that can be read into RAM in a single read instruction, so the bigger it is the better. The flip side is bigger minimum file size so more wasted space, but if you're going to use the drive exclusively for readyboost, try out exFAT with 32 mb allocation unit size.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2010   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Allocation unit (cluster) is a file system measurement unit. When you format your HD in Windows, the default cluster is 4,096 bytes (NTFS). One cluster can have data from one file only.

Name:  Cluster_2.png
Views: 353
Size:  60.7 KB

If you for instance store, save a file that is 40,960 bytes big, it's stored in optimal circumstances in 10 clusters next to each other. Normally HD's fragment a bit, the file is stored in clusters not next to each other. Logically, a file that is stored to clusters next to each other is faster to access, so you have to defragment your HD every now and then. Defragmenting tries to move clusters from one file to next to each other. On the other hand, a very small cluster size means computer has more clusters to seek and search, increasing access time, so access time is not only depending on how fragmented the HD is.

As I mentioned, one cluster can only have data from one file. This means that cluster is reserved even if there is only a byte or two in it. Let's say you save a file that is 5,000 bytes big. It needs two clusters (NTSF default), one to fill it with first 4,096 bytes of that file and the second to put last 904 bytes. Both clusters are now reserved, and you can not save anything else in to these clusters. This is why if you check properties of a file or a folder, you can see two different values, size and size on disk:

Name:  Cluster_3.png
Views: 82
Size:  45.2 KB

This example file for instance is 40,059 bytes, filling 9 clusters full and one partially, so it needs 10 clusters * 4,096 bytes = 40,960 bytes disk space.

In bigger files and / or folders you can regain that "lost space" by compressing files, so the used space can in fact be smaller than the actual size. Here, in my USers folder for instance I've gained over two gigs by compressing some rarely used files:

Name:  Cluster_1.png
Views: 63
Size:  36.3 KB

Kari


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Nov 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)
 
 

Thanks so much for the tips, and that big reply about clusters was very informative, way better explained than anything I could find via google

Thanks again, and have yourselves a good day
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2011   #5

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7600 Multiprocessor Free
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
In bigger files and / or folders you can regain that "lost space" by compressing files, so the used space can in fact be smaller than the actual size.
How does the compression save space? Does it use the unused space in partially filled clusters?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 exFat Formatting for ReadyBoost




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