What is RAM drive and how can it be useful?
Technology that allows you to use part of system RAM as an extra disk device, known for a long time – since the early 80-ies of the last century. And logic dictates that most widely it should be used today when RAM memory is cheap and abundant .
But the facts indicate the opposite – few PC users know what a disk in memory and benefit from its many advantages.
The basic idea here is not only to take full advantage of the available main memory of the computer, but also in achieving a much higher speed – not a percentage, and at times.
RAM chips of today’s PCs are often much faster than even the ultra-performance SSD-drives, which in turn seriously ahead in this respect, the classical magnetic HDD device.
But RAM drives have one serious drawback – because they stored information uses volatile storage devices (silicon chips), after a power failure (i.e. when the computer is off), these data cease to exist.
Fortunately today there are free tools such as SoftPerfect RAM Disk, which solve this problem in a simple and elegant way – a program that automatically writes (and, accordingly, when the system is shut down) all the information from the RAM device on a special partition of the system hard disk or solid state drive.
So RAM disks acquire high autonomy with little detriment to speed. And in combination with SSD device is a matter of compromise is so small that it’s not even worth mentioning.
By the way, in the context of creating and managing the RAM disk I happened to mention about SoftPerfect RAM Disk. On the Internet there are other similar programs, but SoftPerfect RAM Disk is one of the easiest tools to install, configure and use.
After installing the application, you just need to choose the option «Add a disk mounted at boot» to specify letter size and format a partition on a hard drive or SSD, which will be used to record data from the RAM disk.
Its size can vary depending on the available RAM, and what percentage of it you are willing to dedicate for use as a drive in memory.
According to the authors of SoftPerfect RAM Disk, even computers with 1 GB of RAM can take advantage of their program. Another thing is that in this case there will be more restrictions that must be observed.
Most modern PCs have at least 4GB of RAM, which makes them ideal for use SoftPerfect RAM Disk – in this system, we can safely allocate 20-25 percent of available RAM.
SoftPerfect RAM Disk take care of everything else, including will offer the ability to create more than one virtual disk. After the letter assignment the drive should appear in Windows Explorer menu and you can use it like any other device in the system.
But how to benefit from such a disk? First and foremost, it can dramatically speed up the loading of each program that uses a temporary (cache) buffers – for example, Adobe Photoshop.
The same applies to any web browser if you configure it so that it used that RAM disk as the buffer cache, it will not only run faster, but will not clog the hard drive of unnecessary temporary files.
RAM disks are useful if you want to extend the life of the SSD device. Known fact that after a certain number of write cycles SSDs «wear out» and stop working. So if you’re dealing with apps that I love to constantly refer to a disk device, redirect them to the created RAM-disk so you extend the life of the SSD system.