Windows ReadyBoost in Vista

One of the interesting new features of Windows Vista is ReadyBoost – a feature that enables you to plug in a USB 2.0 Thumb Drive and have it be usable as cache memory in your system. I wanted to try this out, so I found the newest USB 2.0 drive that I had available: An old SanDisk Cruzer Mini 512MB USB drive. I plugged it in, selected the “Speed up my System” AutoPlay option, and waited to be amazed… Turns out, it’s not fast enough!

Next, I went to Office Depot at lunch and bought a new Lexar 512MB JumpDrive FireFly for $9.99 after rebate. This new drive was acceptable to Vista for ReadyBoost purposes, so now am am doing some testing to see what effect I can see from ReadyBoost.

I remember seeing seeing a pretty impressive demo of ReadyBoost by Jim Allchin at the PDC 2005 Conference. Here are some more details about ReadyBoost.

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2 Responses to Windows ReadyBoost in Vista

  1. Brian says:

    I wouldn\’t have thought the USB interface would be fast enough to really help… but I guess maybe it\’s better than disk swapping? I seem to recall that flash memory used to have a limit on the number of read/write cycles before it would die. That may have just been old flash, but I would worry that using a flash drive this way might wear it out faster…
    Side note: The MSN Live comment widget doesn\’t work at all in FF1.5, and in IE6 I got multiple script errors and it won\’t let me enter my name or blog address. Go Microsoft!

  2. Glenn says:

    Here is what Microsoft says about thumb drive performance:
    "Using ReadyBoost-capable flash memory devices for caching allows Windows Vista to service random disk reads with performance that is typically 8-10 times faster than random reads from traditional hard drives. This caching is applied to all disk content, not just the page file or system DLLs.
    Of course, most flash devices are slower than the hard drive for sequential I/O. To maximize performance, ReadyBoost includes logic to recognize large, sequential read requests and then allows these requests to be serviced by the hard drive."

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