TO-Tech Blog Todd Ogasawara’s Tech Blog


Cheap Vista PC & ReadyBoost

One of the Vista innovations that caught my attention early on was ReadyBoost. It lets you take a USB 2.0 flashdrive as virtual memory to enhance performance. Note that this does not add to system RAM. So, you won't see your available memory go from 1GB to 2GB if you add a 1GB flashdrive.

I stuck a 1GB Sandisk Cruzer Mini USB 2.0 flashdrive in my cheap PC. Since Vista was using 128MB of my 1GB system RAM for shared video, I had about 860MB of system RAM left. Vista assigned 870MB of the USB drive as ReadyBoost virtual  memory. It reported that the drive was capable of 5789 KB/sec for random reads and 3573 KB/sec for sequential reads. Vista's minimum requirements are 2500 KB/sec and 1750 KB/sec. So, my aged flash drive more than met those specs.

I ran what seemed to me to be one of the most memory intensive apps I use, Virtual PC 2007 Release Candidate (running a Linux Guest OS). I didn't take any hard numbers. But, the system overall seemed more responsive than it did without ReadyBoost.

You can read an interesting Q&A with Matt Ayers (Microsoft Windows Client Peformance Program Manager) on Tom Archer's blog at...

ReadyBoost Q&A get some real details about this Vista feature.

Comments (3) Trackbacks (0)
  1. That sounds good. Would you say it was worth buying a faster flash drive (as my one is too slow)??? And would you say it made a big difference to apps such as flash and dreamweaver? ect
    James =D

  2. James: I don’t have enough data to recommend it one way or the other. Vista “seems” a bit more responsive when I put a 1GB USB flash drive on in ReadyBoost mode. But, it is not blazingly faster. It looks like I’m not the only one waffling on this issue. A quick check indicates Paul Thurrott’s commentary in his Windows SuperSite has a similar tone: Windows Vista Review
    Part 5: Windows Vista Features: Performance Features

  3. I can assure all off you, that adding a 1GbB 2Gb ect.. to ready boost, REALLY HELPS! especially with games! any more question about this feature please ask i will try to answer them to the best of my ability many thanks, steve

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