ReadyBoost Update for 64-Bit Windows 722 Feb, 2012 By: Robert Green
Many users overlook this great utility, but all you need is an inexpensive memory card to improve disk access and performance in your CAD and database applications.
Many users overlook this great utility, but all you need is a memory card to improve disk access and performance in your CAD and database applications.
One of the greatest utilities added to Windows 7 (and Vista before it) is a performance-enhancing utility called ReadyBoost. I've mentioned it before, but this time I'll pass along some tips for making the best use of it with 64-bit operating systems.
What is it? ReadyBoost uses solid-state memory devices (such Memory Sticks or SD cards) to act like RAM buffers to speed up hard disk access. ReadyBoost isn't as fast as having more RAM installed, but it is considerably faster than using the hard disk. And ReadyBoost allows you to enhance your machine's performance even when you can't install more RAM — a plus if your RAM is maxed out already.
Setting it up: To make ReadyBoost work, simply insert your USB or SD device into your system. Now locate the device drive in File Explorer, right-click on it, and select the Format option.
When you run the formatting operation, be sure to select the NTFS file system rather than the default FAT32 format so you can get the full drive capacity.
Finally, go back to File Explorer and right-click to select the drive's Properties tab, then use the ReadyBoost tab to allocate all or part of the device memory to ReadyBoost. In my example, I've allocated an 8-GB SD card (widely available for about $10) to ReadyBoost, which I then simply leave in my laptop all the time. You could use a 16- or 32-GB SD card or Memory Stick to get more capacity.
Performance tip: If you use an SD drive for ReadyBoost, make sure to get an SDHC-format card (the kind used for high-speed digital cameras). And if you use a USB memory stick, insert it in a USB 3.0 port (if you have one) to speed access.
I really can't recommend ReadyBoost enough, especially for laptop users. It makes a measurable difference in disk access and performance that you'll notice right away in CAD and database applications. If you have an available USB or SD port on your computer (especially in a laptop with a slow hard drive), you'd be nuts not to use ReadyBoost!
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