Jump to content

Are you confused if a device is good for ReadyBoost use?


Spooky
 Share

Recommended Posts

I just posted this in the Vista Tips and tricks section. Its a little trick I discovered that might help someone out with determining if their USB device is or is not actually ReadyBoost capable even if Vista has told you its not because Vista might not be telling you the whole story. How to actually determine if your USB device will work with ReadyBoost and how to make it work if it will - even if Vista told you other wise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Flash drives were not meant for this type of usage anyway, as they have a much shorter lifespan (several hundred thousand to approximately a million writes per bit) than hard drives (several billion writes? magnetic media doesn't wear out in the same way).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, your right, however, the newer flash devices are good for about 10 years with millions of writes. Besides, Vista doesn't wear the flash device out anyway as ReadyBoost is not the intensive write thing everyone seems to think it is, and when Vista reads or writes to the device its doing just what the device was made for which is reading and writing to.

Flash drives were not meant for this type of usage anyway, as they have a much shorter lifespan (several hundred thousand to approximately a million writes per bit) than hard drives (several billion writes? magnetic media doesn't wear out in the same way).
Edited by Spooky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ReadyBoost works as intended but not for everyone. On the practical side, if you have for example only 512 MB of RAM in the computer and you plug in say for example a 1GB flash device then most people are going to see an improvement in performance, however, computers with 2GB or more of RAM are not going to see that much of an improvement and maybe none at all. I think the practical limit for ReadyBoost is about 1 GB before very little to no improvement is noted. Is it an 'emergency solution' thing? No, not really, maybe one could look at it that way but to be honest ReadyBoost is more of a novelity then anything at this point and a short term help to some. I guess if someone couldn't aford to upgrade their RAM right now and was in the 512 MB situation then ReadyBoost would help, but is it a real solution? Not really, the real solution is to add more actual RAM. Now it would probably be different if flash devices had read and write times on par with, or better then, that of machine RAM and motherboards accepted flash devices as part of the machines memory rather then an added storage device then plugging in a flash device would be like adding RAM. So what is ReadyBoost in the practical sense? Its basically a novelty item to many, but a help to some, but over all its not a real memory solution for anyone.

One of the problems with using ReadyBoost is that MS just threw it out there with Vista with some basic specs, but the flash device portion of the industry doesn't publish their specs for the most part so its hard to tell when you look at a device if it will work with ReadyBoost or not in centext with the MS specs. The reason that industry doesn't publish the specs is because for the most part when they build flash devices the sources for their chips are always changing in terms of speed and quality. Sure, for the most part they are suitable for storage, but if they were to publish specs for example that exceeded the MS specs and claimed their devices were ReadyBoost compatable then it would really put them in a bind because then they would have to add testing for every chip used in building the flash device to market and this would increase costs on flash devices by at least two to three times what they are now, and then consider that some would work for some people and wouldn't work for others leading to a return and tech support nightmare for these companies to support specs that MS set without consideration for what actually is in the real world.

Here's one persons experience with ReadyBoost: With and Without ReadyBoost

And....here is some good info on ReadyBoost: Tom Archers Blog entry for ReadyBoost

Sorry to move a little off-topic, but have you guys tried using the ReadyBoost? I was just wondering if it actually does work in the intended way? Or is it more like a emergency solution?

Cheers :thumbup

Edited by Spooky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is what I found in real world testing with actual systems and people;

I know MS said that 1.5GB was about the limit for seeing decreasing effectivness for ReadyBoost but my own testing on over 30 machines, and with input from 100 advanced intensive use Vista users I know, over a period of a month shows the more realistic limit is 1GB of RAM. Between 1GB and 2 GB (and at 1.5GB) of RAM I saw a very sharp, to mostly non-existant, decrease in ReadyBoost effectiveness. Its effectivness was greatest at 512 MB RAM. This was informal testing, did not test things like speed for example, and only considered an actual visible and noticible improvement from ReadyBoost. The re-boot or re-start sceinario was not tested because it is not true that ReadyBoost improves Vista start-up speeds, however, while in Vista actual applications were timed for start-up and on the 512MB systems there was a noticible improvement on most applications start up time and their responsivness while in use. So...what I was looking at is what actually happens rather then what could be because in the end the proof is in the actual effectiveness and usage.

512 - 1GB RAM = Improvement on most systems.

1GB - 2GB RAM = Some improvement but not as great as with below 1GB RAM. Will see decreasing effectiveness for ReadyBoost. While effectiveness was decreased greatly in this range compared to usage on machines with 512MB RAM (approximately 75% less effective) it was noted (very informally) that there seemed to have been a effectiveness peak at 1.5 GB because between 1.5 GB to 2GB ReadyBoost effectiveness became almost non-existant. (maybe this is what MS was saying about the 1.5GB thing?)

2GB RAM and up = No improvement from ReadyBoost at all. Every once and a while the USB device LED flashed very briefly indicating access for ReadyBoost, I saw it flash maybe twice during a two week daily usage on one particular machine I use constantly. Not worth even considering a USB device for ReadyBoost if using 2GB RAM or above.

Its been reported to me by others that what I saw was what they were seeing also for ReadyBoost usage so I think i'm on the right track. A few people with 2GB of RAM reported to me that they did see some increased light ReadyBoost activity a few times during each of their sessions while they were using Photo Shop for some graphics work but while not using Photo Shop their ReadyBoost activity was in line with what I found for 2GB or more RAM.

So, my own opinion is if you have 512 to 1GB of RAM then you might benefit from ReadyBoost.

I've tried the ReadyBoost thing (Beta 1, Beta 2 and RTM) and don't see any noticeable improvements. I'm still not finished with trying it in the RTM, so the jury is still out on it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a little off topic, but:

I love readyboost's intention.

However, I hate its actions: It takes a long time to simply load the stuff on my flash drive - so it won't help during startup. In fact, it seems to make it worse as not only the system has to load, but the readyboost cache needs to be built up at the same time. Any ideas how to fix this? Right now my Readyboost is on Delayed Start, but as I said, Automatic doesn't seem to help.

If it helps, I have a 512MB RAM laptop with 32MB Shared Video RAM. (Can't get any lower)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"It takes a long time to simply load the stuff on my flash drive - so it won't help during startup. In fact, it seems to make it worse as not only the system has to load, but the readyboost cache needs to be built up at the same time"

I'm not sure I understand what your saying here. Here are my experiences in testing ReadyBoost as i think they relate to your post;

1. ReadyBoost isn't supposed to really help with startup persay...even though it does to some extent, its actually designed to start helping after the system starts up and any benefit from it for start up is just a side benefit (even tho MS advertises it differently). The first place Vista looks at for start up is the hard drive, and then ReadyBoost helps handle the smallish I/O stuff taking the strain off the hard drive and system a little by putting those smaller I/O's somewhere (your ReadyBoost device, written to and from the cache file on the device), so I guess you could say that it helps with start up but it doesn't really kick in until after start up. ReadyBoost just doesn't jump in on every small I/O that comes along either. If your ReadyBoost device is enabled then there is no cache to build up, when you enable the device to be a ReadyBoost device the cache is automatically built in the size specified on the ReadyBoost tab, the cache file is called ReadyBoost.sfcache.

(yes, i'm aware of the video on the net that shows a computer with a 75 second start up without ReadyBoost and then a 14 second startup with ReadyBoost - its not real, the 'with ReadyBoost' part is time compressed. If it were real then the system has some really big memory problems that need to be addressed. If it were real it would indicate that the whole OS was being cached just about on the ReadyBoost device or in memory, a 50% or better decrease in loading time? hmmm...Ok.)

2. Your ReadyBoost device should be on Automatic start and not Delayed and on 512 MB systems should be twice to three times the size of your installed RAM (MS recommendation) at a minimum. I tried some USB devices for ReadyBoost on some 512MB systems, the USB devices were 1GB (twice the installed RAM), I've found, however, that on 512 systems while a 1GB USB device worked well that ReadyBoost was a whole lot better and helped out a lot more when I switched to a 2GB USB device. The ReadyBoost device should not be used for anything else except ready boost and should not have any other files on it except for the cache file ReadyBoost puts on it. Even though ReadyBoost devices work better with Fat32 at smaller sizes, there is really no difference between Fat32 and NTFS for ReadyBoost operation. The ReadyBoost.sfcache file size has a max limit of 4GB (it's a FAT32 limit for max file size i think).

What size is your ReadyBoost device? From what you said it sounds like it may not be big enough. (no, thats not what she said either ;) )

Remember, ReadyBoost is not a solution, its a temporary measure, contrary to what all the hype would have one think. The solution is more ram in the system.

This is a little off topic, but:

I love readyboost's intention.

However, I hate its actions: It takes a long time to simply load the stuff on my flash drive - so it won't help during startup. In fact, it seems to make it worse as not only the system has to load, but the readyboost cache needs to be built up at the same time. Any ideas how to fix this? Right now my Readyboost is on Delayed Start, but as I said, Automatic doesn't seem to help.

If it helps, I have a 512MB RAM laptop with 32MB Shared Video RAM. (Can't get any lower)

Edited by Spooky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh... so the video is faked?

My readyboost drive is a SanDisk 256MB, on my Compaq Presario V24xx notebook.

Also, try this to see what I mean: Stop the ReadyBoost service, then don't do anything on your PC. Then, start it again. See the hard disk and readyboost drive activity? That's what I hate: it takes minutes to stop. (It's probably building the cache.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, not faked completly, the 14 second part was time compressed to show a faster start up time of 14 seconds. I could understand maybe a 10 - 20% improvement in start up time, but from 75 seconds to 14 seconds, 50% or more improvement in startup time? No, I don't think so, not with ReadyBoost. If that were true then,compartively, anyone who can start up in a 30 second time frame for example could have a 5 second startup time just by using ReadyBoost. OK, show of hands...who here has a 5 second startup time for a Vista machine by using ReadyBoost? Hmmmm...OK, thought so :), ReadyBoost just doesn't work that way.

(There is one other way this could have been done, if the person somehow managed to get Vista to actually install on a very large Flash drive (they do exist, i've see ones that are 60GB), or in a very large memory cache, it would be possible. the video specifically implies, however, that its a machine and ReadyBoost was used.)

If you have 512 MB of RAM installed in the laptop then your ReadyBoost device (your SanDisk 256MB device) is too small. It needs to be at least 1GB. Thats a starting point to discover why your not seeing any benefit from ReadyBoost.

ReadyBoost is not adding memory, its not memory, its only a cache for things like small I/O operations to relieve the hard drive from those things. Are you thinking that you had 512MB in the laptop and then you were adding 256MB more of memory?

Your not suppose to stop the ReadyBoost service if your trying to use ReadyBoost. It leads to corruption of the ReadyBoost.sfcache file. You need to, in the ReadyBoost device properties, check the "Do not use this device". Your confusing the heck out of Vista. The activity your describing is normal activity for the conditions you describe.

BTW, just so there is no confusion, I'm not saying ReadyBoost will work fine for everyone, I'm just saying that if you meet the requirements ReadyBoost might be of some help to you.

Oh... so the video is faked?

My readyboost drive is a SanDisk 256MB, on my Compaq Presario V24xx notebook.

Also, try this to see what I mean: Stop the ReadyBoost service, then don't do anything on your PC. Then, start it again. See the hard disk and readyboost drive activity? That's what I hate: it takes minutes to stop. (It's probably building the cache.)

Edited by Spooky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have 512 MB of RAM installed in the laptop then your ReadyBoost device (your SanDisk 256MB device) is too small. It needs to be at least 1GB. Thats a starting point to discover why your not seeing any benefit from ReadyBoost.

ReadyBoost is not adding memory, its not memory, its only a cache for things like small I/O operations to relieve the hard drive from those things. Are you thinking that you had 512MB in the laptop and then you were adding 256MB more of memory?

OK... So do you think I should actually use my 1GB Flash Drive?

Also, I know that readyboost does not add memory. 2 Questions, since that was brought up: :D

1. Then, for a 512MB RAM, why do we need more - 1GB?

2. Is there any program which will reinstall the flash drive driver so it will act like RAM? Wishful thought...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"OK... So do you think I should actually use my 1GB Flash Drive?"

Yes, if you really want to use and see if ReadyBoost will do you any good you need to at least give it a chance by meeting the specs. See next answer.

"1. Then, for a 512MB RAM, why do we need more - 1GB?"

Because the minimum spec for ReadyBoost is a minimum of at least twice your installed RAM for reliable and helpful service. By using less then the minimum spec'd amount you actually place an added burden on your hard drive and system and can decrease its performance.

"2. Is there any program which will reinstall the flash drive driver so it will act like RAM? Wishful thought..."

Nothing comes to mind right now, I've always just added physical RAM. I'm sure someone has tried to come up with something. But why would you want to do that?. More RAM is the solution.

If you have 512 MB of RAM installed in the laptop then your ReadyBoost device (your SanDisk 256MB device) is too small. It needs to be at least 1GB. Thats a starting point to discover why your not seeing any benefit from ReadyBoost.

ReadyBoost is not adding memory, its not memory, its only a cache for things like small I/O operations to relieve the hard drive from those things. Are you thinking that you had 512MB in the laptop and then you were adding 256MB more of memory?

OK... So do you think I should actually use my 1GB Flash Drive?

Also, I know that readyboost does not add memory. 2 Questions, since that was brought up: :D

1. Then, for a 512MB RAM, why do we need more - 1GB?

2. Is there any program which will reinstall the flash drive driver so it will act like RAM? Wishful thought...

Edited by Spooky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...