Readyboost Operating as Normal Priority = Bad

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Performance' started by Ben Enfield, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. Ben Enfield

    Ben Enfield Guest

    To all, and especially those readyboost programmers:

    I have been using a 4 gig flash drive to accommodate readyboost. This, I
    thought, would speed up my computer. Normally I am correct, but during
    startup, my computer is anything but quick. I first noticed the problem
    when I couldn't open Outlook within ten minutes of booting my computer, and
    it became more apparent when I was trying to open other programs at the same
    time. Even the opening of task manager and the performance monitor was
    painstakingly slow (think more than a minute).

    This last boot (when everything was slow) I looked at the disk activity in
    the performance monitor I saw file that I frequently load (but was not using
    at the time) being read by the system. That is what readyboost is supposed
    to do, load files that you frequently use into the fash or memory cache.
    The problem with this was that the process (system) that was accessing the
    file was operating under "normal," not "background" priority. I popped out
    my readyboost drive only to find the computer speed up dramatically.

    This is completely unacceptable. Writing random files to readyboost cache
    is *NOT* a priority. The first and foremost priority of the system should
    be allowing me to open Outlook and use it.

    Do I have any options other than to cease my use of Readyboost ?

    Ben Enfield, Mar 20, 2007
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  2. I have seen this also. Until the ready boost cache is fully populated it
    will make using the system unbearably slow.

    Having the USB drive permanently connected actually "slows" down the
    computer. After I put in my password I go away to make a cup of coffee.
    Usually by the time I get back everything is ready to go. If I take out the
    USB stick the computer is ready to use 2-4 minutes sooner.

    I have attributed this to the fact that I am using an older single core CPU
    (AMD Athlon XP 3200 Barton). Maybe the problem goes deeper than that.



    Richard Urban MVP
    Microsoft Windows Shell/User
    Richard Urban, Mar 20, 2007
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  3. I haven't noticed it with a X2 4400 CPU and 2 GB of RAM and a 4 GB Patriot
    flash drive. It starts up fast, and is ready to go.

    But, with my P4 3.0 HT (single core), it can get REALLY slow at startup (1
    GB RAM, same 4 GB Patriot flash drive).

    So, it may be a problem with the PC resources... Of course, the CPU and RAM
    difference may make it a lot less noticeable as well. Not really comparing
    apples to apples here. Might be too big of a difference in overall system
    speed to begin with.

    Dustin Harper

    Dustin Harper, Mar 20, 2007
  4. That is what readyboost is supposed to do, load files that you frequently
    No, that's not right. You're thinking of SuperFetch, which preloads your
    RAM with the files it thinks you're going to need next.

    ReadyBoost is solely used to speed up page faults, where memory has to be
    swapped out of RAM onto the hard disk. It pages to/from the USB drive.

    Having said that, I can't what is causing that performance hit you've got.
    Mine seems fine.

    Steve Thackery, Mar 20, 2007
  5. Ben Enfield

    Ben Enfield Guest

    To all,

    I also have a single core (Pentium M), but have 2 gigs of ram. A possible
    problem I might be having is a 5400 rpm 2.5 in laptop hard disk with a
    maximum data transfer rate of 10 megs per second (mps sounds like a good
    unit). The unit just isn't up to the task of serving both my uses and
    readyboost with data.

    I have also noticed the cache being flushed from time to time (I can see it
    in the performance and reliability monitor). After the flush only 1 gig of
    the 4 gig flash drive is used for readyboost. As one might expect, during
    the post flush filling of my cache the computer operates unbearably slow.

    Also notable is a general speed improvement when I am on power saver. It
    seems that the computer only writes to the flash after it already accessed
    the file for another reason.

    Ben Enfield, Mar 20, 2007
  6. Ben Enfield

    Ben Enfield Guest


    Ok, then I am confused. In terms of hard disk access for populating the RAM
    and flash, what will be different? Won't they both try to predict hard
    drive queries, but the RAM will just be much faster?

    Ben Enfield, Mar 20, 2007
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