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Windows 7: RAM Disk - Install for Browser Cache File Storage

31 Jan 2015   #10
LM2008

Windows 10 Home 64b
 
 

Great tutorial, will test it with Chrome and see if i can benefit.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jul 2015   #11
fenyoapa

Windows 7 Home 64 bit
 
 

Hi, I have a question. The RAMDisk loses its content when I turn off the machine, right? Then when I turn on and start browsing the same web pages it has to fetch all content again - it can't use any cache, not like when the cache files are on hard disk/SSD. Am I right?
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07 Jul 2015   #12
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

RAM is volatile storage so all contents are lost after a power down. The cache in RAM is faster than on disk but it cannot survive a reboot. That is one of it's disadvantages. In my opinion using a RAMDisk is usually a bad use for RAM. In some unusual situations it can be useful.
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07 Jul 2015   #13
fenyoapa

Windows 7 Home 64 bit
 
 

Understood, thanks. I think then this use of RAMDisk does not worth it. It would be great if the browser would look for data in RAMDisk first and if the data would not be there then it would look on hard drive and if found then put to RAMDisk, if not then fetch the data to the hard drive AND to RAMDisk. But it is too sophisticated I guess.
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07 Jul 2015   #14
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
RAMdisk - persitent

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fenyoapa View Post
Hi, I have a question. The RAMDisk loses its content when I turn off the machine, right? Then when I turn on and start browsing the same web pages it has to fetch all content again - it can't use any cache, not like when the cache files are on hard disk/SSD. Am I right?
The RAMdisk loses it's content if that's the way you set it up. It's possible to make it persistent - in other words store the data on it for next boot. Either way it significantly increases boot time and shutdown time.

Save RAMdisk contents on shutdown:

RAM Disk - Install for Browser Cache File Storage-ramdisk.jpg

I'm not familiar with the software used in this tutorial but I do use a RAMdisk from a different software provider. Also my main browser Cyberfox isn't set to use any sort of cache and it's fast enough. There's options to clear RAM cache but it's pointless for me since all caches are disabled.

Browser cache:
RAM Disk - Install for Browser Cache File Storage-cyberfox-cache.jpg

Clean cache if you want to:
RAM Disk - Install for Browser Cache File Storage-ram-cache-cyberfox.jpg

Override cache:
RAM Disk - Install for Browser Cache File Storage-cyberfox-options.jpg

Edit: Re - LMiller7's posts. He is correct of course. If you don't have spare RAM there's no point in using a RAMdisk. My machine has a lowly 4GB RAM and typically uses less than 2GB at any time. Rarely RAM usage exceeds 2.5GB. I feel confident in using a RAMdisk to boost performance significantly when using data intensive applications or when when watching opening large files or scrolling from point to point when watching videos.

Screenshot showing apps that are running in system tray:

RAM Disk - Install for Browser Cache File Storage-ram.jpg


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07 Jul 2015   #15
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fenyoapa View Post
Understood, thanks. I think then this use of RAMDisk does not worth it. It would be great if the browser would look for data in RAMDisk first and if the data would not be there then it would look on hard drive and if found then put to RAMDisk, if not then fetch the data to the hard drive AND to RAMDisk. But it is too sophisticated I guess.
You have to understand that Microsoft does not supply a RAMDisk software or even a RAMDisk driver with Windows. I assume this is because their research indicates that in most cases a RAMDisk is a poor use of RAM. It hardly seems appropriate for Microsoft to create sophisticated caching software using a RAMDisk that must come from a third party. If someone does install a RAMDisk it seems reasonable that they have some special need for this and would prefer to manage it themselves.

And Windows already provides a sophisticated caching system which works right out of the box with no user intervention required. It provides most of the advantages of a RAMDisk with fewer of the problems. A RAMDisk is for people who think they can manage this better themselves. And they may be right, but the odds are against it.
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07 Jul 2015   #16
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Kudos to "TrunkMonkey" for the tutorial. It does provide an advantage for users with HDDs. And as mentioned, SSD writes. I moved my browser cache files off my SSD and onto a HDD a couple of years ago because of the heavy I/O. And if you choose to remove temporary files on close of IE, there's a noticeable delay in closing the browser. I chose to disable the remove and run CCleaner at the end of each day to remove them. That takes time too. Having them on a RamDisk would speed repeat visits to a site as well as make my wish to remove the files manually before I shutdown easier. They would simply disappear.

Below is an example of a short day's worth of Temporary Internet Files from CCleaner. Most of these files are VERY small. Most will be 1-2KB or less and SSDs don't fair well with small files. And the new 4K drives are even worse. W7 has to emulate the 4K with 512 blocks so that's eating time. While specific, this method for Temporary Internet Files could help many folks looking for "just a little extra" while saving their SSDs and HDDs.


Attached Images
RAM Disk - Install for Browser Cache File Storage-temp-browser-files.jpg 
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07 Jul 2015   #17
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Update Status:
I setup a 256MB drive (252MB free) and increased my IE temp file size from 120 to 250MB.

Man, she flies! Seems faster than I remember even when the files were on SSD.

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24 Jul 2015   #18
rbmcgee

 

I have a SSD for the OS.
SSD perform great but are lifetime limited in terms of read/writes on a particular cell.
The more Read/writes to the SSD, the shorter the lifespan.
Under normal operating circumstances, reading/writing to the SSD is necessary however in some circumstances, reading/writing to the SSD can become significant. This is especially true when you are writing a tremendous number of very small files.
Although the pagefile writes can fall into this category, with enough ram, the pagefile may not get used that often so the actual number of writes can be small.
The situation, for a normal computer user, that generates a tremendous number of writes to the SSD is the browser cache.
By creating a ramdisk and then moving your browser cache to the ramdisk should increase the longevity of your SSD.

I have no comment on whether using a ramdisk improves performance or not. Not even interested in the conversation.

Some people say a modern SSD will last 5-7 years. Great! I want mine to last 10-12.
What I am interested in is increasing the amount of time my expensive SSD will last.

My dimms are guaranteed for life.
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24 Jul 2015   #19
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Thanks for refreshing this thread. It reminded me.

I think I may have discovered one drawback to moving Temporary Internet Files to RamDisk. I have noticed a degradation while playing YouTube videos. I haven't had a chance to test this yet because I thought I was having ISP problems. (Recent takeover.) With the files on disk, the video goes from memory, to disk, to memory. With the RamDisk, it's going from memory, to memory, to memory and I don't think my RAM can keep up. I'll revert back to disk later and see if it improves and post back.

Update:
Nope, that wasn't it. Moving the TIF back to HDD didn't improve video viewing. So I moved the file(s) back to RamDisk. Must be my crappy web service.
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 RAM Disk - Install for Browser Cache File Storage




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