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External RAM Answered

I was thinking today about possible ways to make my pc better without adding internals. (I like external plug and play stuff). So anyway, I was thinking about my RAM and how to make it better. Then it hit me. What if I had external RAM? Possibly using 2 or more USB ports. Any Ideas? This would allow me to run large programs on any PC! Please collaborate.

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360Moore
360Moore

10 months ago

I know this thread is old, but posting anyway. Converting RAM speed (MHz) to transfer speed (GB/s) is a bit tricky, but a single stick of DDR4-3200 can transfer data within itself at around 25GB/s, and in a modern desktop with dual-channel RAM, we're looking at 50GB/s. The fastest consumer SSDs available today have a max speed of only a few GB/s. Therefore, a bottleneck. Thunderbolt 3 does have a theoretical max throughput of 40GB/s, but this isn't happening anytime soon. This is only the first problem. The other problem is that there is no such thing as native support for SSD ram. We can't make an SSD act like RAM. Instead, we would have to use a program to automatically move bits of stuff cached in the RAM to the SSD. At the high speeds we're trying to achieve, this would use a not-insignificant amount of processing power, especially considering that if you can't afford more RAM, you probably can't afford a blazing fast CPU. (I am not intending to make any assumptions, however. No offence intended.) Therefore, this is a slow and inefficient method. In addition, what if you accidentally knocked out the drive! Boom! Program crashes catastrophically!
Overall, this isn't a great idea, and external storage is best suited for just that. External storage. I'm open to any ideas, however, so let me know if you think of anything.
Note: yes, page files are important, but that isn't the question. You shouldn't create your page file on an external drive, because it isn't permanent.

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Clearspirit
Clearspirit

1 year ago

What I use is my page file located in admin settings Win10. I uncheck all enhancements for everything then I go to page file and I take my minimum to about 48000 and my Max to about 225000, the page file acts as ram and speeds up the computer, another thing to note is shortcuts, the more things showing on screen and toolbars slow the computer down. I have a tower and I use a HD Flat Screen. I do use a resdyboost at 2 gigs, remove all %TEMP% FILES Before I use the computer, If your a educated user and know that once you delete you won't want the deleted file do this. Go to Recycle Bin right click, find permanent delete files. What this does is eliminate the use of space that is used by the bin. The space will be overwritten. You can always do a right click on main drive and do maintenance , don't use the tools, go to advanced, then after that's cleaned go to Drive and clean the Drive. Another fantastic disc saver and speed boost is compress you're entire main drive.

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jeremypgarcia
jeremypgarcia

Reply 11 months ago

Could I try this on Windows 7

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gimmelotsarobots
gimmelotsarobots

12 years ago

Ok. Thanks for kindly squashing this. :-) hehe. I am just trying to come up with ideas for useful peripherals.

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guyfrom7up
guyfrom7up

Reply 12 years ago

well if you make a custom motherboard then it might be possible so that the ram can be outside and the processor is very colse

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gimmelotsarobots
gimmelotsarobots

Reply 12 years ago

I am trying to make something useful on any computer.

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caitlinsdad
caitlinsdad

12 years ago

If you open up your PC, you will notice that the RAM slots on the motherboard are placed extremely close to the processor CPU for a reason. It needs the shortest path to optimize the fast connection to work. There is a small amount of "RAM" onboard the processor chip called cache. When that gets used up it will use the RAM or if necessary then go to your paging file which is a pre-allocated amount of reserved hard drive disk space. So, there are many tweaks to optimize your current memory usage that you can find tutorials on. If your internal memory slots are full, you must buy new memory chips to replace the ones in there to expand on more RAM. Sorry, good thinking but it doesn't work that way.

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tech-king
tech-king

Reply 12 years ago

the cach is l1 and l2. its used to store semi-processed data, especially in hyperthreading processors. and as you said, its use is to speed things up; any time you cpu needs something off-chip, it has to request it through the north bridge.

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guyfrom7up
guyfrom7up

Reply 12 years ago

yep And Ram has a ton of contact for really fast stuff, usb has 4, and 2 are power and ground

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gimmelotsarobots
gimmelotsarobots

12 years ago

Not quite like readyboost. I mean actual RAM hooked up externally.

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guyfrom7up
guyfrom7up

Reply 12 years ago

you can't there'd either be too much resistance or inductance or something

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tech-king
tech-king

Reply 12 years ago

wrong. although your right, you cannot use usb ram, you have the wrong reason. on you pc, everything communicates over the motherboard. in order to prevent a backlog, bottleneck and data conflict, your mobo has two traffic cops; the north bridge and south bridge. the NB directly links the cpu, the graphics card and your ram, to enable fast processing and ram accesse. the SB links the pci and peripherals (usb, ide, sata) from the sb, things are routed to the nb, then to the cpu. ram over usb would never get to the cpu fast enough to be useful.

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zachninme
zachninme

12 years ago

As people have said, USB isn't a fast protocol at all in comparison to what RAM uses. You can do Readyboost on Windows Vista, and I know in gnu/linux you can use dd to add a swapfile on a thumbdrive. Keep in mind that x86 machines, which you probably have, only support about 3-4GB of RAM -- so getting a 64GB thumb drive won't do wonders ;P

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Labot2001
Labot2001

12 years ago

Are you running XP? Try using a USB drive for upping your virtual memory. But if you're running Vista, go with Readyboost.

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csharpdeveloper
csharpdeveloper

12 years ago

hmmm, I'm not sure about external ram, but readyboost is similar if you have vista. thinking about it there's a possibility you could just move the page file in xp to a flash drive essentially creating a readyboost drive in xp. just don't remove the flash drive.