I need to know a bunch about ramdisk

December 11, 2010 at 13:11:31
Specs: N/A, Intel i5 760
I am working to put together a new computer. I need to decide how much ram to put into it because from what I understand, I won't be able to easily increase it latter, so its either 8GB, or 16GB. From what I understand, 8GB would be more then what I need for most circumstances, but maybe I want to use ramdisk, which could use more.

I am asking with all three OS, XP, linux, and win7. I may duel boot, or otherwise take some time deciding what I want to use.

Is there a free or inexpensive good ramdisk program?

Are ramdisks terribly complicated to do?

Can I get say 16GB or more of my RAM into a ram drive?

Can I set things up so the ram drive is created automatically each reboot?

Can I be selective in what goes into the ram drive, like can I use it for browser cache, but have my regular HDD used for login cookies so I don't have to log in each time? Could I load a whole or part of a game into ram disk, and still have my save files go to and from the HDD?

Does win7 and linux still use the HDD for virtual memory, even if there is more then enough RAM space?

Can I set ramdisk up so that it unpacks and loads virtual memory files etc to a ramdisk created at the beginning of the load, so that my OS's load faster?

Even with a SSD, is RAM disk notably faster?

Is memory always on, drawing the same amount of power whether used or not? Would you figure about 20 watts of power used per two sticks of DDR3 dimms?

Plus anything else you guys might be able to tell me about ramdisks, ram, and ramdisk verses SSD, that I might not have thought of, or known to ask about.

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December 11, 2010 at 13:49:04
I think you are misunderstanding exactly what RAM disk is. RAM disk where designed in the days when hard disks were relatively slow and a RAM disk could speed up some process considerably. In this day and age there is no advantage in having a RAM disk. The memory would be better used for other things. Bear in mind that when the computer is shut down, the entire contents of a RAM disk is lost and needs to be recreated at every boot.

Perhaps you are getting confused with virtual memory which is memory stored on a hard disk whereas a RAM disk is a disk stored in memory.



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December 11, 2010 at 14:30:11
A ramdisk was a useful thing back in the days of DOS. But those days are long gone. With a modern OS a ramdisk is almost always a poor use of memory. The system cache, an integral part of the OS, offers most of the advantages of a ramdisk with fewer problems.

The best use for memory is to let the system manage it.

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December 11, 2010 at 16:52:54
I am well aware that ram is temporary and what both ram disk and virtual memory are before you said anything.

And if I buy 16GB of RAM, I am told I am unlikely to use more then 6GB anyway, so that would be free RAM just sitting around doing nothing, why not put it to work using its high speed?

I asked a good number of direct questions in this inquiry, and I don't think I got a answer to any of them. Fine, its slower this way, but I will repeat just a couple of those questions so we can focus on a few at a time and that I might get a answer to one or more.

Does win7 and linux still use the HDD for virtual memory, even if there is more then enough RAM space?

Does ones browser use the hard drive for cache, even when there is more then enough ram space?

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