ReadyBoost for Windows 725 Mar, 2010 By: Robert Green
CAD Manager's Toolbox: You can never have too much memory when working with CAD applications. This Windows feature increases your memory resources while keeping costs in check
I know that many CAD managers aren't using Microsoft Windows 7 yet, but with more machines shipping with the new operating system every day, I wanted to pass along a tip about a very cool Windows component called ReadyBoost.
It's a simple fact that any information in a computer is either contained in RAM (memory chips) or stored on a hard drive (a mechanical disk). It's another simple fact that RAM is fast and hard drives are slow, and the more often the hard drive is accessed, the slower your computer becomes. The problem with CAD applications is that they require so much RAM that hard drive access is frequent, and computer performance suffers as a result.
ReadyBoost uses external solid-state memory devices such as USB 2.0 memory sticks or SD memory cards (many modern laptops have SD card readers) to act like RAM and reduce hard disk access. While ReadyBoost isn't as fast as having more actual RAM installed, it is considerably faster than using the hard disk. And since a memory stick or SD card is a lot cheaper than RAM, the price is right too!
To make ReadyBoost work, simply insert your USB memory stick or SD memory card into your computer and locate the device in your list of available hard drives. Right-click the device's Properties tab, then use the ReadyBoost tab to allocate all or part of the device memory to ReadyBoost. (Tip: Get a 32 GB SDHC format card [the "HC" indicates high capacity], of the type typically used for high-speed access in digital cameras, to get the best performance in laptops.)
If you're using Windows 7 now, be sure you set your machines up to use ReadyBoost. And if you're not using Windows 7 yet, take advantage of this feature as soon as you upgrade. After all, nobody is going to complain if you make their machine faster!
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