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Is RAM Disk worth it?

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#1
I am referring to this:

http://memory.dataram.com/products-and-services/software/ramdisk

Since I have 16GB, I'm wondering if I should set aside 4GB just for page file, and all the temporary folders for both windows and firefox. The 4GB is also free.

Are there any downsides for this? Like slower bootup times? And I'm assuming the partition will just appear under explorer as a local disk?
 
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#2
Not really worth it in my opinion, just extra hassle. I thought about it but got an SSD instead. The page file should not be located on ram at all ideally.
 
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#3
I am referring to this:

http://memory.dataram.com/products-and-services/software/ramdisk

Since I have 16GB, I'm wondering if I should set aside 4GB just for page file, and all the temporary folders for both windows and firefox. The 4GB is also free.

Are there any downsides for this? Like slower bootup times? And I'm assuming the partition will just appear under explorer as a local disk?
Like Vario says, page file = no (besides, the whole idea is a catch-22)
Temporary folders = maybe, though that may depend on the browser
Large files and work heavy applications = maybe, depending on the application and how much you leave your PC on. Don't even thin of trying it unless you have a UPS ;)

Booting to create the RAMDrive may add a second or two more, and yes, it'll just show up as another fixed disc (AFAIK).
 
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#5
I used to have one of these. Never really felt a difference in PC performance. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try it out.
 
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#6
I was using ramdisk for my pagefile for the longest time. It never really gave a noticeable benefit. Somethings were faster slightly.

Since you have more ram it cant really hurt. Most I ever used was 2gb for pagefile.
 
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#7
I use some old software from a company called qsoft for a big ol' cheap and affordable ramdisk solution. I put Oblivion (elder scrolls) in it to help with loading times. Yes, it does add time to your bootup though...
 
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#8
I used RAMDisk when I was rockin an E8400, DDR2 and HDD.
I found it made a huge difference.
If you're on Quads, DDR3 and SSD there's no point.
 
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#9
Why in the world are you people putting pagefiles onto a ram disk anyway? Your page file swaps ram to the hard drive to conserve ram in exchange for a bit slower load time. Basically, a file on the hard drive acting as ram. So if you put your pagefile on a ramdisk, you're basically ram-ception-ing. The swap file would swap data from the ram to the ... ram (pagefile on ram) so at that point, why have a pagefile at all? Just disable it and leave the data in memory...
 
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#10
Why in the world are you people putting pagefiles onto a ram disk anyway? Your page file swaps ram to the hard drive to conserve ram in exchange for a bit slower load time. Basically, a file on the hard drive acting as ram. So if you put your pagefile on a ramdisk, you're basically ram-ception-ing. The swap file would swap data from the ram to the ... ram (pagefile on ram) so at that point, why have a pagefile at all? Just disable it and leave the data in memory...
Apparently windows and programs does not work well without pagefile. It also risks of crashing if you use a program that has a memory leak. Wish I didn't needed page file, since my 16GB of ram almost never go above 25%, but it seems pagefile is mandatory
 
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#11
SoftPerfect RAM Disk, free, set any size, works like a charm. Great if u want to play poe without loading lag.
 
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#12
Yo!
I've just been reading my own advice list (which I only do when setting up a new PC) and it appears that a RAMdisc will also blow the socks off an SSD rig.
Here is the article about it followed by a set-up instruction with a link to software that I have used and can vouch for.
This instruction uses "Fancycache". There are two options to download, I can't find which one you want and it is only for 180 days.
The next post from me is the free one.
Speed Up SSD by Using RAM Cache
What it does is that, the temporary read / write operations on your system would be done in the ram which is many times faster than a SSD.

  • Begin the process by downloading Fancy Cache (~2MB) software.
  • After installation and starting up the program, the software interface would list out the storage mediums connected to your pc.
  • Select your SSD from the list and configure a cache size for it (Refer the image). The cache size may be set to suit your needs. We’ve allocated currently 3192 MB of RAM as the cache and the defer caching has been also set to enabled.
  • After setting the cache size for your SSD and related options on fancy cache, click Start Caching and you’re ready with the caching setup for your SSD.
Fancy Cache is a trial software and it gives you a 180 days trial period which is plenty, to test it out comprehensively.This software really does give a significant performance boost to speed up ssd and would make the file operations agile. The result is an experience of a much responsive and snappier system.

Fancy Cache can also speed up your hard drives, but things might get worse once you try copying files which are larger than the cache size, set for your traditional hard drive in fancy cache. This happens because, once the allocated cache memory in the ram has been filled up, the stored data needs to be transferred to the hard drive. So, you may notice a lag in performance when you copy a file which is larger than the cache size. It may seem like the hard drive is carrying out the file operations at its normal speed without any speed boost via the cache, where as small file operations would be carried out much faster.

We’ve used CrystalDiskMark to benchmark ssd performance before and after enabling fancy cache and the results are as below.


SSD Performance without FancyCache

Now here are the results after we’ve configured and setup FancyCache for the ssd.


SSD Performance with FancyCache

The software actually gives you an impression that the data operation has been completed on the drive, but it actually works in the background even after that to offload the data to the drive from the memory. So, this is why we recommend you to have an uninterrupted power supply because in case of a sudden power loss, the contents of the ram gets erased and the final result would be a data loss!

Note : You may turn off Write caching in windows 7 if you are using fancy cache to speed up ssd performance.
 
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#13
I hope you can see the images.

Whether you have a hard drive or an SSD, your computer’s RAM is its fastest storage medium by a wide margin. If you have more than 4GB of memory, you can turn this speed to your advantage, turning some of it into a small RAM Disk. This disk will appear to Windows as a fully-functional storage drive that’s ready to hold your most frequently-used applications and launch them as much as twice as fast.

What You Need

1. 6 or More GB of RAM:While you can use a RAM disk with any amount of memory in your system, we don’t recommend that you create one if you have 4GB or less. Whatever amount of memory you assign to the disk will be unavailable to the OS and, since 4GB is the minimum standard these days, you really need 6GB or more to have both a RAM disk and a reasonable amount of system memory available.

Fortunately, if your computer takes DDR3 RAM — the standard type for more then 4 years — upgrading will be very inexpensive. An 8GB DDR3 kit (2 x 4GB) for notebooks costs less than $40 these days, but RAM that follows the older DDR2 standard is more expensive. If you don’t know which kind of RAM your computer needs, use an online memory finder tool to find out.

2. 64-bit Windows: To support more than 4GB of RAM in any PC, you need to be running a 64-bit version of Windows. Fortunately, most mid-range and higher Windows 7 computers sold in the past few years come with Windows 7 64-bit, even if they have only 3 or 4GB of memory preinstalled. If you don’t know whether your Windows is 64-bit, simply right click on the Computer icon and select properties.


3. RAM Disk Software: In addition to having enough RAM ,you need a piece of software that will create your RAM disk. There are a number of applications to choose from, but we’ll use the free version of DataRAM’s RAMDisk, because it’s easy to set up and supports up t0 4GB of storage space. A $18.99 paid version lets you create RAM disks larger than 4GB.

Setting Up Your RAM Disk

1. Install DataRAM RAMDisk. Just click next and “I agree” at the various prompts. There are no settings to configure during the install.


2. Launch RamDisk Configuration Utility from the Start Menu


3. Set the RAMDisk Size and Type under the settings tab. Since the size is set in megabyte, you’ll need to set it to 4092MB if you want a 4GB RAM Disk or 2046MB for a 2GB RAM Disk. Set the type to “unformatted.”


4. Enable Load Disk Image at Startup under the Load and Save tab. This will store the contents of your RAM disk on your hard or solid state drive so that they can reappear every time you power on your machine.


5. Configure the Save Image Settings. Enable Save Disk Image on Shutdown if you want the system to automatically save changes to your RAM Disk’s image file when you shut your computer down . You can also enable AutoSave, which will automatically write any changes to your image file on a regular basis (default is every 300 seconds).



Though both of these settings make it easy to keep the image file in sync with the content, they can also slow your computer down. When we tried creating a 4GB RAM Disk on a notebook with a 7,200-rpm hard drive, the computer took several minutes to shut down, because it was saving the 4GB file. However, when we switched the hard drive for an SSD, the same notebook took a more reasonable 54 seconds to shut down. So experiment on your system before deciding.

Fortunately, if you use your RAM disk to hold applications, you don’t need to resave the image file on a regular basis. When you install or update an application, you can manually save the image file by hitting the Save Image Now button under the Load and Save tab in the RamDisk configuration utility.


6. Click Start RAMDisk.


7. Click Install if you get a dialog box asking you whether you want to add a driver.


8. Click Format if asked to format the new disk. If the program doesn’t prompt you, locate the new drive letter in explorer and right click to Format.


9. Select NTFS as the file system , give your drive a label and click Format disk.


Your RAM disk will now be ready for you to install software on it. Make sure that, when installing programs you want to live on the disk, you select its drive letter rather than C:. You may also want to create a Program Files directory on the RAM disk to keep things organized.
 
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#14
#1-As said already, No Pagefile on ramdisk.
#2-Best use would be your web browser's cache, or the like
#3-Asrock has one for Free, that has NO limit. located on their Support download page,dunno if it's open to all.
#4-You have 16Gb of RAM, the benefit of the Ramdisk is Really a moot prospect, seeing as how Your PC has more than enough extra memory on hand.
#5-to ME , this sounds like a case of "I think I'll do it, JUST to do it" either out of boredom, or just to do it. If thats so, then tinker away, but You'll see NO huge gains, NOT on a new PC, which is already running PLENTY of RAM.
#6-If you dont have a particular reason in mind for the Ramdisk, why install it? And if you did have a use for it , i.e. video editing, or the like, You'd be better served by an ssd anyway.
#7-Yes Ramdisk has read/writes of 4000Mbs/s but it is a pain in the ass to back up on EVERY shut down, the tiny size is a pain, the loss of ram is a pain. It may be quicker, but in the end it is NOT a viable solution. It's like saying "I'll take a stock car to get groceries", Yes it's faster, and Yes it CAN technically function in that capacity, but it is NOT cost effective, and is a TOTAL overkill. I'm sure You see MY point
 

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#15
Your posts are remarkably detailed. Pretty awesome.
On topic, I set up a 4GB RAMDisk and it was for faster loading times in a single game. Problem with RAMDisk is the size. You need at least 16GB of RAMDisk (AKA 24GB RAM or more) in order for it to benefit a decent game. Even then it's only 1 game. For OS functions it's entirely worthless and you won't notice anything at all.

Setup and save on shutdown never bothered me, but I uninstalled it after 4 weeks as I found no useful function for a RAMDisk besides benchmarking.
 
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#16
Usability

Yes that's true, now I remember.
I used it for Photoshop and other basic regular use progs.
As RCoon says: It tends to more of a nik-nak than a game changer due to the massive amounts of RAM needed.
 
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#17
Using RAID0 SSD or even a RAID 5 HDD can speed things up a bit during boot. I wouldn't mess with it without 48 or 64 gig. You can disable the write (commit) on shutdown which makes things nice. Its worth it, but its definitely not for everyone.

RAMDisk 44GB.jpg
 
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#18
Apparently windows and programs does not work well without pagefile. It also risks of crashing if you use a program that has a memory leak. Wish I didn't needed page file, since my 16GB of ram almost never go above 25%, but it seems pagefile is mandatory
True, but if you have enough RAM that you're never running into hard faults then the pagefile will never be an issue anyway. The difference is milliseconds.


So... what if I built a ramdisk... loaded my operating system onto it (would take forever to boot up but be wicked fast) ... then used software RAID0 to make it stripe with *another* ramdisk... all cached on a SSD for nonvolitile storage... would I have the fastest computer in the world?
 

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#19
ram disks are completely redundant for normal people. however... if you are an engineer and are working on huge 3d CAD files that have really complex geometry you will see some improvement. similar workloads which are hindered by ssd or hdd speeds will also benefit.

as for boot up time. after windows 8.1.. my pc will restart in under 30seconds. and hybrid boot time is <=5seconds.
 
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#20
Lots of misconceptions in this thread. Ram disks are awesome, but with the hard drive bandwidth issue largely eliminated (compare the old slow ATA-33 and ATA-66 connection types), you can be sure or at least reasonably very confident that your pc is already using its various memory types in the most task efficient way - as de.das.dude said there's very limited room for improvement.
 

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#21
It's worth noting that if you're using disk caching for writes, you better have a UPS handy and your machine better be rock solid because a crash while writing or a power outage can cause data corruption when you use write-back caching. So even if it seems to perform faster, writes aren't guaranteed if something happens to the system in the interim.
 

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#22
so i've got 24GB of ram now (dont ask, i dont really know why either).


anyone found some nice caching software or whatnot to make it worthwhile?
 
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#23

Mussels

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#24

yeah theres a lot of options like that for the ramdrive, but i need something to use on it.

using asrocks XfastRAM that came with my mobo looks great, because it has options for moving IE/chrome/Firefox cache and windows temp files across, but the damn thing is outdated and doesnt seem to make anything but empty folders.
 
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#25
yeah theres a lot of options like that for the ramdrive, but i need something to use on it.

using asrocks XfastRAM that came with my mobo looks great, because it has options for moving IE/chrome/Firefox cache and windows temp files across, but the damn thing is outdated and doesnt seem to make anything but empty folders.

You're using it(xfast) wrong. Make the ramdisk with nothing checked then manually set locations to use the ramdisk. dont use the built in options.

Thats how i did it when i was using it.