ReadyBoost and laptops

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Performance' started by Some Vista User, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Good day,

    I have a Dell Latitude D830 with 4Gb RAM. I also have a 4Gb USB drive that
    is ReadyBoost capatible. Most of the week, the laptop is 'docked' into a
    Dell docking station, and the USB drive is attached to a USB port on the
    back of this docking station. Once in a while, the laptop is removed from
    the docking station, maybe for an hour or two, and then inserted again.
    When this happens, Vista sometime does not seem to see the USB drive and the
    ReadyBoost file... I have right mouse click the drive, select ReadyBoost and
    tell it use this device for ReadyBoost.....

    Other then clicking "Undock", is there anything I need to do to prepare
    Vista to undock from the docking station, and to see the USB drive after
    docking?
     
    Some Vista User, Mar 12, 2008
    #1
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  2. Some Vista User

    Mark Guest

    I don't think ReadyBoost is designed to engage/disengage with a live system.
    It is either in charge, or it is not regarding the storage of these files
    that "boost" performance. When you disengage, Vista starts using the hard
    drive and memory to perform these functions. When you re-engage, Vista has
    no need of the USB drive because all the files are currently onboard and
    engaging may be a loss in performance.

    For this to work in your situation, the USB drive needs to move with the
    undocked computer.

    That said, ReadyBoost provides little to no "boost" unless your computer is
    running with 1GB or less in memory.
     
    Mark, Mar 12, 2008
    #2
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  3. Some Vista User

    JW Guest

    Since Ready Boost acts as a cache to your virtual/paging file it can engage
    in a live system since paging is a normal system activity.
    Use of Ready Boost has absolutely nothing to do with adding memory to a
    system with a small amount of memory. MS recommends that your your Ready
    Boost file size be about twice the size of your main memory so if you have
    2GB of ram then you should have 4GB of Ready Boost it possible.
    Since Vista uses more non-paged main memory as the size of RAM increases it
    is just as appropriate to have Ready Boost on a 4GB system as it is on a 1GB
    system.
     
    JW, Mar 12, 2008
    #3
  4. Some Vista User

    Mark Guest

    All the data stored in a ReadyBoost cache is backed up by a pagefile on a
    hard disk. If the flash drive with the ReadyBoost cache is unplugged, Vista
    falls back to the hard drive so no data loss takes place. But, it does not
    seek to restore the connection if the USB device is plugged back in.

    MS Matt Ayers, owner of the ReadyBoost functionality:
    Q: How much of a speed increase are we talking about?
    A: Well, that depends. On average, a RANDOM 4K read from flash is about 10x
    faster than from HDD. Now, how does that translate to end-user perf? Under
    memory pressure and heavy disk activity, the system is much more responsive;
    on a 4GB machine with few applications running, the ReadyBoost effect is
    much less noticable.

    Experience from actual users:
    http://manicprogrammer.com/cs/blogs/michaelruminer/archive/2007/02/08/375.aspx
    3GB RAM, 4GB ReadyBoost, Core 2 Duo, Vista x86
    Notice it actually tends to be worse with ReadyBoost in place.
    http://www.anandtech.com/systems/showdoc.aspx?i=2917&p=6
    Benchmarking with various RAM configurations.
    And supports my first comment that ReadyBoost is a waste if you have
    more than 1GB of memory.

    The best function of ReadyBoost is speeding up boot time.
     
    Mark, Mar 12, 2008
    #4
  5. Some Vista User

    JW Guest

    Ready boost does not replace the paging file it only acts as a cache memory
    to it so that both reads from the real paging file are not slowed down by
    the actual time to read data back from from the real paging file on disk.
     
    JW, Mar 12, 2008
    #5
  6. Some Vista User

    AJR Guest

    Although USB devices can be inserted/removed with unit running - they do not
    function the same between units and during some on/off periods. Reason is
    USB ports are initilaized from "scratch" when a device is inserted - which
    is primary difficulty in booting from USB.

    Interesting comments - First as already stated ReadyBoost is not an adjunct
    to RAM - it functions as an aid to "Superfetch" (Former XP prefetch) - boost
    in performance depends on type of HD read/writes - sequential read/wrtites
    are directed to the HD - non-sequential to ReadyBoost.

    In addition - performance depends on HD "speed" making it more ideal for
    laptops (or desktops with HD experience index below 4) - data sent to
    ReadyBoost is encrypted.
     
    AJR, Mar 12, 2008
    #6
  7. I have 4Gb of RAM on this laptop, and when the 4Gb USB drive is working as
    ReadyBoost, there is a noticable speed increase... Applications open 3 to 5
    times faster when its active. Even booting Vista is faster.

    From what I have read from the other comments, the best thing todo is
    connect the USB drive to one of the USB ports on the laptop and not use one
    of the docking station. I will see how that goes.

    What would be neat is if someone could find a way to use DDR RAM as
    ReadyBoost as well. I have a desktop running 32bit Vista, but it has 8Gb
    RAM (which 3.5Gb is usable). If someone could find a way of using the
    memory above the 4Gb limit at ReadyBoost.... This machine never gets turned
    off (well, maybe once every six to eight weeks). The BIOS and motherboard
    sees the whole 8Gb. Its just a limit on the 32Bit OS.
     
    Some Vista User, Mar 13, 2008
    #7
  8. Some Vista User

    JW Guest

    I use a USB flash drive for ReadyBoost on my desktop. However, on my laptop
    I use a SD Flash Card instead since I have a flash card slot on the side of
    my laptop and I never have to worry about it getting in the way or having to
    be moved in order to use a docking station.
     
    JW, Mar 13, 2008
    #8
  9. Interesting suggestion ... Did you do anything special to get Vista to see
    your SD Flash Card as a ReadyBoost device...? I have not read anything
    saying you could do this... everthing talks about ReadyBoost using USB
    drives.

    The Dell Latitude D830 has a PC-Card slot, an ExpressCard slot, as well as a
    SmartMedia slot... One of these should be able to take a ReadyBoost device.
     
    Some Vista User, Mar 13, 2008
    #9
  10. Some Vista User

    JW Guest

    I didn't have to do anything. If you go the store just make sure you get a
    flash card that says it is ReadyBoost capable since many of them are too
    slow.
    I have a SD Ultra II in my laptop and it is fast enough even though the
    package at the time I got it did not say Ready Boost on it.
     
    JW, Mar 13, 2008
    #10
  11. Some Vista User

    DevilsPGD Guest

    In message <> "Some
    ReadyBoost is basically SuperFetch-for-flash, with SuperFetch doing what
    it can within the limits of RAM. ReadyBoost has a slight advantage in
    that it can survive a reboot, it would probably take longer to
    pre-populate 8GB of RAM with cache data then said cache data could
    return performance improvements due to the law of diminishing returns
    which applies to file caching.

    Going above the ~3.2-3.5GB limit on a desktop x86 system is unlikely at
    best, given that most consumer desktops are already more or less 64-bit
    ready (and those that aren't are almost definitely not PAE ready), I
    highly doubt we'll see Microsoft putting the development work into PAE
    just for caching.

    The resources/effort would be far better used toward easing the eventual
    transition to the x64 platform, which has the added benefit of not only
    being able to use the additional RAM for Superfetch, but for other
    applications as needed.

    Just my opinion, of course.
     
    DevilsPGD, Mar 13, 2008
    #11
  12. Some Vista User

    oufan199 Guest

    Great idea! Is 4GB necessarily better than 2GB? I may do this, because I
    hate a flash drive sticking out the side of my laptop.

    Note to all would-be ReadyBoost users: You may have to tweak your registry
    to use ReadyBoost with the flash drive The first time I plugged in my flash
    drive, it said the flash drive didn't have the correct specs. Once I made
    the edits to the registry, it worked fine.
     
    oufan199, Mar 13, 2008
    #12
  13. I agree that developers should put there efforts into developing 64Bit
    drivers (and getting software to use more cores), but there are lot of 32Bit
    machines out there, and memory is cheap... Like I said, this machine never
    gets turned off, so the repopulation of the ReadyBoost cache is not a big
    problem. And, would't DDR2 RAM be faster then any USB drive...?
     
    Some Vista User, Mar 13, 2008
    #13
  14. Some Vista User

    JW Guest

    JW, Mar 13, 2008
    #14
  15. Some Vista User

    DevilsPGD Guest

    In message <> "Some
    You can't just toss more then 4GB of memory into a 32-bit machine and
    access it at all unless some very specific requirements are met. Among
    them, the hardware needs to support PAE, as does each and every kernel
    mode driver.

    There are a small number of server-grade builds that support such a
    configuration, but the vast majority of 32-bit desktop hardware simply
    doesn't support more then 4GB of address space (meaning 3.something GB
    of memory) under any circumstances.

    It's simply not worth it to introduce another step between consumer x86
    and x64, given that like x64, it would require new hardware and new
    driver support for nearly every consumer add-on.

    x64 is already here, and unless you're reusing old hardware, you can
    probably go to x64 without much (if any0 pain, and get full use of as
    much RAM as your motherboard supports. If you ARE reusing old hardware,
    you might not be able to run x64, but you almost definitely can't run
    PAE either.
    You still need to reboot occasionally, and when that happens, the cache
    would get dumped.
    Disk caching is a strong example of diminishing returns, once the hit
    ratio hits a certain point increasing the cache will yield very minimal
    performance increases -- There is an excellent article on technet
    describing the concept here:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb742613.aspx
     
    DevilsPGD, Mar 13, 2008
    #15
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