Author Options:

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.


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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.