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one of the new features in windows vista is the concept of readyboost.  readyboost is the part of those demos that you've seen someone stick a usb memory key in their laptop and boom they instantly increased their RAM.  well, kinda.

i needed a new usb key (lost mine) and decided to ensure i got one that was readyboost capable.  i opted for the .  namely because of the size and i liked the little switch-blade feature.  i decided my first use of it would be to see if could notice a difference in readyboost usage.

now, i should note that i do have a toshiba m400 (duo core) with 2gb ram already in place.  my machine is pretty snappy for me, but i wanted to see if multi-tasking would get better with readyboost.  what happens when you insert the usb device that is readyboost capable, you get a prompt asking you to allocate how much space.  after which your readyboost device now has a readyboost.sfcache file in it:


your machine is now taking advantage of this.  i will have to say that i did notice a few things operating a bit more snappier than usual, but for me nothing substantial.  my test of multitasking did show some better performance of some apps when i was using readyboost.  nothing scientific, just my observations.

i think readyboost comes into more advantage is on the lower end memory solutions...say a machine with 256/512 ram.  and here's where the important calculations come in.  in the great readyboost faq posted by tom archer, we can see that the recommendation is a 1:1 on the lower end and a 2.5:1 ratio for the higher end.  this means that if you have 512 ram and want to use 256 of your usb key to readyboost, you may not notice a difference.  likewise if you have a 1gb ram machine and a 4gb usb key and maximize the key usage, you may not see a noticeable difference (than you would if you allocated 2gb of the key).  something to note at least.

so if you have lower memory, and have a fast usb device, you may want to give it a try.  i plan on trying it on a few machines for our installfest happening in a few days...i'm sure there will be some machines with lagging memory that we may see a boost of energy with...

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