Extra Ram Using a Thumb Drive





Introduction: Extra Ram Using a Thumb Drive

Computer running slow? Have a thumb drive lying around? I have the solution for you!

Step 1: Memory Stick

Plug in the memory stick

Step 2: Properties

Right click on the device and select properties, then "ReadyBoost".

Step 3: How Much?

Now you need to choose whether or not you want to use the whole device or only a portion. Select this using the options.

Note: You will not be able to use the dedicate memory as storage space.

Step 4: Congratulations

You are done!



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66 Discussions


Do u know how to turn readyboost on? my pc says i have to turn it on :/

You are aware,that this was a failed experiment of Microsoft? The physics just dont add up:

Medium DDR3-memory (DDR3-1600) has with a clock of 200MHz a transferrate of around 96Gb/sec which is 12GB/sec.

Even the fastest USB3.1 (to which you would need a stick capable of filling this bus to the brim!) only delivers 10Gb/sec which is 1.25GB/sec

So lets face it: even medium-speed-RAM is around 10x faster than the fastest possible USB-thing around.

Do yourself a favor and dont buy PK K´isauve SSD 3.1 (Only 3.1-Stick i could find) with a transferrate or around 50% of the max USB3.1-Speed (Around 500MB/sec) for around 160$. That would be (at 128GB space) around 2.5$ per GB space per GB/sec transferrate.

As comparison: Cheap 8GB-sticks for 128GB total will yield 0.3625$ per GB space per GB/sec transferrate

2.5$ vs 0.36$

It is just not worth it.

Also: You clutter your USB-Controller and may have negative preformance-effects (because of USB is not ment to by Windows to serve such a constant Read- and write-bonanza) depending on the layout and organisation of your USB-Controlers...

9 replies

...but whatever he said, he said it real fast... probably at 65 terra blibits every nano second!

Why are you comparing DDR speeds with USB speeds?

It's mechanical hard disk latencies (not transfer rates whatsoever!) that you should be chucking numbers around for.

Upgrade RAM - upgrade Hard disk - great for you if you have money - the instructable is about a completely free of charge "upgrade" using existing, possibly defunct equipment - lots of people don't bother carrying their old 1/2/4 gig sticks around any more - on older PC's that may or may not benefit depending on motherboard, hard disk and memory configuration.

+1 to instructable for offering up an easy, free, quick tweak that many people obviously are not aware of.

-1 for your comment for being unnecessarily negative and not understanding what this was about.

Why comparing ReadyBoost vs. RAM? simple:
Because you try to increase the space available for the swap-file. The swapfile is just an extension of "not so often" used content of the RAM if it doesnt fit into the RAM-space you have available. "Not so often used" in RAM-terms is maybe only 20 times a second...

So yes, a USB-thumbdrive is faster in latency than (sometimes) a (fragmented) magnetical harddrive. BUT: with ReadyBoost one just trys to lessen the blow you already have: Storrage of data not fitting into your RAM somewhere else than in your RAM.

What i suggested with my comment was not to use a USB-bus for a task, it is not designed for. Sure, it MAY be faster due to no mechanical latencys compared against a magnetical harddrive. But a quick calculation of mine shows me: more than 580kB writing and even the slowest Harddrive wins with "first to write the last bit" against a normal USB-stick from Sandisk.

So better not only go with a solution from uber-suck to medicore-suck but fix the problem-source itself: too low amount of RAM. This way you can disable the swapfile alltogether (Did that) and thus forcing windows to exclusively use the plenty of RAM you supplied. I did that with my 16GB and noticed a REAL speedboos in normal work-conditions since i disabled the swap-file.

Believe me: i know what the post and suggestion was about. I am a programmer and work as a specialist in IT-hardware on hardware-level and -interfacing. The problem in the presentes solution was that it only lessens the blow a little bit and not completely eliminates it.

You have completely and utterly missed the point. Your suggestion is to spend money. The Instructable does not require this. Therefore Instructable wins - hands down - compared with your "solution".

I have 16Gb of RAM myself. We are not talking about my machine, or yours.

Surely for these folks less well off than ourselves this is a great idea to at least try? Can you not understand that?

You remind me a bit of the morons that work at most big box stores. This is actually a great idea just to speed your system. I have used it before but instead of a USB (which to me would be annoying) I use a SD card instead. it does actually work without having to spend a lot of money. I agree upgrading your RAM to the max is the best route but this works well too. Don't immediately start spouting "Go get more ???" some folks don't have the cash at hand. Oh and by the way in case you were wondering A+,MCSE, Network and security certified.

Any slow RAM faster than any SSD. But this option precaching HDD read operation. Like combo SSD+HDD-drive there SSD for cache + HDD like storage. This function need if you already have HDD and unnecessary flash-drive.

Rreadyboost does not work the same as a HybridDrive you mean... Readyboost cannot directly cache often used files on a harddrive. You need the harddrive to do this on its own and internally as an example like the Seagate 1TB SSHD #ST1000DX001

Trying it from now on. Let's see if it helps my Laptop ;)

You really need more RAM using linux?:) I use linux on daily basic and have no clue where you spend all your ram:)

As I often say, one user's experience is not *every* users experience. I use a number of small board Linux devices for various tasks and they are almost always under-spec'd on ram. In most cases, the affordable ones tend to top out at 2GB of main memory and they are not expandable or upgradable. As such, I have had to use both microSD and USB flash as swap space to fix performance issues. Not as good as being able to add more ram, but in practice it works relatively well.


2 years ago

what happens when you plug it out ???

i tried it and my computer tells me readyboost is disabled. because readyboost wouldn't make a difference in performance.

1 reply

If your page file is on an SSD, readyboost is disabled. Thats the next best alternative to more RAM.