ReadyBoost – Using Your USB Key to Speed Up Windows Vista


One very cool feature of Windows Vista – especially for machines not natively equipped with the kind of horsepower to fully enjoy the rich visuals of Windows Presentation Foundation (Avalon) applications is ReadyBoost. ReadyBoost enables you to plug a USB key into your machine and have Windows Vista use it as memory. I hadn’t actually used this myself, but had heard of it long ago. When a reader emailed me asking if this was an urban legend, I decided to check it out for myself and was very impressed with how easy and seamless the process is.

Installing/Configuring the USB Key as Memory


First I took a standard USB 2.0 key (I’ll list the prerequisites shortly) and plugged it into my machine. I’m running Windows Vista Beta 2, Build 5346, but I’m told that this works with the latest CTP made available to beta and TAP members as well as MSDN Subscribers. Upon plugging the USB key into my computer, I was greeted with the standard “AutoPlay” dialog box asking how I wanted to the operating system to treat the USB key. However, with ReadyBoost I get the additional option (circled below in the screen capture) of using the key to “speed up my system”.

AutoPlay dialog box displayed when a valid USB Key is inserted into a machine running Windows Vista

Once I click the “Speed up my system” option, the Properties dialog box for the device is displayed where I can specify to start/stop ReadyBoost usage of the device and how much space I want used as a memory cache. (Actually, according to one of the Product Specialists here, this space is used more as a flash-based page file than true RAM, but the impact is that the more space you choose here, the more benefit you’ll get in terms of overall system performance.)

The device Properties dialog box allows you to turn on/off ReadyBoost for that device and to set the exact size of the cache.

(In order to return to this dialog box, open the Computer window, right-click the drive (F: in this case) and select Properties. From there, click the Memory tab (as shown in the previous screen capture and adjust the settings as needed).


For the inquisitive, opening the drive in an Explorer window reveals that ReadyBoost has created a cache file of the specified size.

Example cache file created by ReadyBoost on a USB Key

Things to Know About ReadyBoost


If you have a USB key configured to use ReadyBoost and then insert a second key, Windows Vista will display the Properties dialog box where you’ll see the message on the Memory tab as shown in the following screen capture.

Example of a USB Key that cannot be used by ReadyBoost as it doesn’t have enough free space for a cache

While ReadyBoost will work with other devices – such as SD Card, CompactFlash, etc. – I’ve only used it with a USB key and here are the baseline requirements the team gave me regarding what ReadyBoost will work with:


  • The USB Key must be at least USB 2.0
  • The device must be able to do 3.5 MB/s for 4 KB random reads uniformly across the entire device and 2.5 MB/s for 512 KB random writes uniformly across the device.
  • The USB Key has to have at least 64mb of free space

 

Update: Due to so many questions about this feature, I’ve tracked down the Program Manager (owner) of this feature – Matt Ayers. Matt has put together a complete ReadyBoost FAQ for everyone that I’ve posted in a separate blog entry.
Therefore, feel free to make comments here, but if you have any questions, first check out the FAQ and if it’s not answered there, post me a question and I’ll see if Matt can update the FAQ with your question/answer.

Comments (125)

  1. Thanks Tom! I have been looking for this info for a very long time. Now I can see why my SD and Sony Memory Stick does not work, none of them get even closer to 3.5 MB/s

    Time to go to Frys to get a 1 GB USB 2. Wait, need to check if my laptop USB are 2.0!! Maybe when I am at Frys I’ll check for better hardware, is not that what Vista wants, make us all purchase new computers? :-)

    Again, thanks Tom for the fast info into this issue.

    Al

  2. CedarLogic says:

    One very cool feature of Windows Vista – especially for machines not natively equipped with the…

  3. Rosyna says:

    So what happens when you yank the USB key out of the USB port?

  4. Lapi says:

    Why would you use for cache such a slow device as 3.5MB/s? For a harddisk the average is about 40-50MB/s. Why don’t you increase your swap file? Or why don’t you introduce the option to have several swap files on different physical harddisks? Or why don’t you have a special partition for swap?

    Oh, God, too much *nix in my head!

  5. tomarcher says:

    Rosyna: What happens when you "yank" memory – or any other devices – out of your running machine? Who knows? Not exactly recommended. That’s why you have a tray app to remove devices – so that the system can properly stop using those devices and write any data that has been cached.

  6. Eli says:

    Lapi, notice it says 3.5 MB/s for RANDOM reads. I don’t know of any hard drive that can read that fast at random.

  7. Lapi says:

    Eli, I think that random here is the same random as in RAM (random means at a random location, i.e. to access any address the time required is the same)

  8. Roni says:

    How about turning off Avalon?! I like appealing visual styles a lot, don’t get me wrong, but after using XP on Pentium 2s @ 333MHz and with only 128 MB RAM, I started turning off the XP styles and deactivated the design service in order to speed up things a little…

  9. Dario Solera says:

    @ Lapi

    We already can have multiple swap files on different partitions and therefore phisical drives. Many users, anyway, don’t have more than one HDD.

  10. Steve Thresher says:

    That’s a bit of a let down. When I first read about the feature I pictured a 4 port USB hub with 2GB sticks in each slot giving a massive cache to really boost the operating system. I wonder why it has been limited to one?

  11. Jordan Jacob says:

    I really agree with you steve not only that but it would be nice to get all of the swap off the HDD to a faster device without using alot of memory. Maybe use like 1GB or even 512MB and the rest on thumb drives… Even a 2GB thumb drive should do just fine forever.

  12. jpmckown says:

    I would have to agree with Lapi. This feature is cool, but not particularly useful at this moment in time. It would probably suit the user better to just upgrade their RAM. However, I am guessing that improvements to USB are forthcoming and this will become more practical.

  13. tom says:

    Capture By George! is an advanced Windows screen capture application that offers an easy and intuitive method of making screen captures.

    http://www.yaodownload.com/video-design/screencapture/capture-by-george_screencapture.htm

  14. remford says:

    What happens when you "yank" the key out of its port?

    What a letdown that it didn’t support multiple device implementation.

    I absolutely cannot believe some of the comments/opinions.  This has the opportunity to provide instant dramatic performance increases in an inexpensive and accessible way that had never before beeen supported.  These are the folks who’d gripe about lotting winnings for the taxes they incur.

    Microsoft has earned my sympathy.  It’s a true no-win for them with these impossible-to-satisfy user base who is dissatisfied with any proposal, even before its arrival.  I’d be entirely supportive of MS taking a "screw ’em" approach and leaving it out entirely.  My suite of Dual Core boxes are well-primed for Vista in its full Avalon glory.  Before even thinking about asking what Microsoft can do for me, I made sure I went out and did my part.

  15. I am guessing that the point of having some swap space on a USB key is not the transfer rate, but the access time. No matter how fast the transfer rate is for a disk drive, there is always rotational and head movement and settling time to consider.

    I’m thinking that for small chunks of memory, the usb access would be far faster.

    However, with memory prices so low, it makes the most sense to boost your RAm by a gigabyte or two.

    But it sure is easier to just plug in a USB key.

  16. Shawn says:

    It’s an excellent feature, but how about asking us developers for input.

    We may bitch and moan and for good reason.

    Modern PC’s have plenty of USB 2.0 ports which are unused – why not make them all available for USB key memory? This would enable the majority of home users to upgrade their OS without having to do a complete overhaul of their PC or to purchase a suite of dual core boxes!

  17. EricTN says:

    >> It would probably suit the user better to just upgrade their RAM.

    One thing worth considering is a business environment where there is no business-condoned option to enhance the hardware but you really need more headroom to effectively work.  Just pop in your own USB stick (**if** they haven’t previously gone and disabled the USB ports) and voila, you can get some work done (or get it done faster).

  18. aL says:

    i agree with remford..

    ofcourse its better to upgrade your ram. the argument about harddrives beeing faulty as we are talking about random accsess here.. pages beeing swapped. not alot of seqencial stuff goin on there.. also he listed the MINIMUM reqs. usb2 is alot faster than 3.5 mbs/sec

    this feature is prolly aimed at laptops were memory is expensive and harddrives usualy slow. at least on a system that does not have enuf memory for vista already.

    so microsoft, please ignore this whiners and keep up the good work

  19. Dario Solera says:

    Just a question: is there an official roadmap for Windows Vista? I searched almost everywhere and I couldn’t find it.

    Thanks.

  20. Geraldo says:

    Nice hints! I have been playing with build 5308 (Feb 06). I have tried a number of pen drives (all USB 2.0) on my ASUS M5A (US: Z33A), a Compaq V2000 and an Inspiron 6000. Some sticks work, some don’t.

    I have also tried various SD cards and none of them even give you the "Memory"tab.

    The question is: When I am shopping for a pen drive, how the heck do I know if it will transfer data at the required speed (I don’t recall seeing that information on the "box")?

    .

  21. lev says:

    Why are you guys removing posts which are unpleasant?

    What is it for then? To show only covenient posts so that people buy it as a great product?

  22. Roger says:

    Will it support all USB drives, regardless of how they are ID’d to the OS ("hard disk drive" or "Device with Removable Storage")?

  23. morg says:

    This seems like the same thing as swap, err… "Virtual Memory" to me.

  24. cyotebreezes@yahoo.com says:

    I was fortunate enough to not have been working when I did the conversion over for Vista on my Dell Pentium four. Last summer was a nightmare for Software. Constant patches for security and missing files. Yes I was a survivor, Earthlink sent me one of those cybor heros USB flash drives for wining the game, I swear it was loaded with a virus from Earthlink. Every one had their crap out there for us do deal with, man and one major trajan that took three reformats and a crash coarse in how to remove and reformat partitions on my hard drive. I am working off a small lap top right now and working is what I need it for. If I had my Dell out of storage I would do it all over again. The Vista was ausome and I was really looking forward to scoring a copy from Mr. Gates the day he did his big presentation on Vista’s release.. He had promised to pass out some authentic copies of vista to some of us that logged on that day. I can not believe that they still do not have the buggs removed and have a heafty dollar signe on what I believe to be the coolest opperating system created. It is deffinately not for amatures or impatiant defeciant, it will drive you crazzy. I really must pat Dell on the back for the time they spent walking me through the steps of my first reformat and the patiance I recieved from their emplyees in India. There had even been a couple that knew me by name and made it a habit of calling me back the next day to make sure I was back up and running again. Well I am looking forward for anouther chance to run my computer active, I do mean active. we just need to keep our DLL’s from running out and bringing back what ever they can grab and then installing before you even know what happened. Well, for those of you just learning to convert over, please stay out of my web space, but enjoy the experiance and that it most certainley is an experiance!   Koreen E.T.  

  25. richard says:

    will it just be usb keys or would you be able to plug in say a normal usb 2.0 hard drive of a few gb?

  26. shoult says:

    Well ‘ve been using build 5342 and have tried three different USB sticks.

    1. KINGMAX 1GB Flash Drive (USB2.0 Portable) Model KFD-001GU2 that has a read speed of 18.5mb/s and a write speed of 11.5mb/s.

    2. PNY Attache P-FD512U20-R 512MB (USB2.0 Portable), speed specs unknown.

    3. Microsoft branded 128MB USB stick I received directly from them less then two months ago.

    Vista tells me NONE of these devices has sufficient performance characteristics, speed specs also unknown.

    Any clues on how to make any of these work?

  27. Adrian says:

    I agree to the fullest with Remford.

    Now, come on. The same protest were made when XP launched. (Though people decided to deactivate a lot of features in XP to make it run smooth.)

    We are in fact moving into a new age of computer technology and we will addapt to improved requirements. Just as games?, anybody that have bought a new graphic card to run a brand new game??? Doom III – enthusiast, raise your hands. Or did u change resolution? Haha…

    This is a great way to boost your system performance, and I would have been dissapointed if it didn’t work at all.

    And another point… Vista releases in dec-2006. Were were USB-sticks back in beg. of 2005?

    PS. Pardon my english. I’m swedish.

    PS2. Im ready for vista with 64-bit and all :)

  28. Eric J says:

    Some think comments are anti-microsoft.  Others realize comments are not so much anti-microsoft so much as constructive critisism.  Microsoft has come a long way…. but some anti-microsoft / constructive critisism continues to go unresolved.  Things like the fact that Microsoft (continuing again with Vista) has always been the most unsecure, unstable, unscaleable, monopolistic tactic driven OS provider.

    They don’t even seem to care since they’ve got a good marketing department that lies to public and does a great job selling.  We’ve all got a love-hate relationship with Microsoft eh?

  29. Chris says:

    Are flash devices not limited to a few million read/write cycles? Do you really swapping eating away at your document storage lifespan?

    On linux you’ve been able to do this for years, a usb key is just a block device and sure you can fdisk a swap partition on it, #swapon /dev/sdaX and your away. Funny thing is no-one does.

  30. dreambuster says:

    "Like all flash memory devices, flash drives can sustain only a limited number of write/erase cycles before failure. In normal use, mid-range flash drives currently on the market will support several million cycles, although write operations will gradually slow as the device ages."

    "This should be a consideration when using a flash drive as a hard drive to run application software or an operating system. To address this (and the space limitations common on flash drives), some developers have produced versions of operating systems (such as Linux) or commonplace applications (such as Mozilla Firefox) designed to run from flash drives. These are typically optimized for size and set up so as to place temporary or intermediate files in memory rather than nonvolatile storage (to avoid excessive writing to the flash memory in the flash drive)."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_flash_drive

  31. tomarcher says:

    lev: The only posts I’ve intentionally removed are those that where one person has used inappropriate language or attacked another poster. I have absolutely no problem – and even welcome – contradictory opinions.

    If you feel like I’ve unfairly removed a comment of yours, please let me know by emailing me directly and I’ll definitely reconsider putting it back in. (It might just be that I misunderstood something you said or simply removed a comment by mistake.)

  32. Definitely a neat idea.  me and a few friends of mine were thinking of making an ata device out of flash-ram chips just to put the swap file on (well I have been thinking about it since I left dos) but I also realize that windows can be like a bill that has passed the senate and house in the us federal government.  If it wasn’t loaded with nearly so much bloat maybe just maybe it won’t be trying to use 500 MB of ram out of the box! Or in the case of vista will it be 1GB? Any way of the four boxes I own only one runs windows it is windows 2000 because it is the most efficient true 32 bit windows that I can find and I only use it for games.  I want a thinner more efficient kind of windows.

  33. p reding says:

    Interesting article.  I am looking forward to see this feature work.

  34. ohm says:

    And I think that the most efficient Microsoft OS is Windows 98. I know that it is not a "true 32 bit" but the fact that it implements full win32 API is enough for me.

    I’m using it and believe me – it works like a charm on the modern hardware.

  35. K. Komeri says:

    To Jonathan Conley:

    SSD (Solid State Disk), which essentially is a flash memory, with an IDE, SCSI interface, has been available for a long time. The price for such devices is gradually comming down, and it won’t be long before they become viable alternatives to the existing hard disks. This will without doubt speed up the speed of the systems in the entire world, as the bottleneck om many systems is the hard disk access.

    General reply:

    Using flash memory for performance is a great idea, and it is good to see that even a slow USB 2.0 can make performance gains that can be felt. I really look forward to working with this feature, preferably from an SSD installation, to really gain the full speed advantage of the hardware that I will be using.

  36. Daryl Vaughn says:

    I found out about this new technology over at http://www.vistaultimate.com

    My question is with memory prices so low and hard disk capacity increasing (i.e. use swap file), why should Microsoft even bother with ReadyBoost?

  37. tomarcher says:

    morg: You’re exactly right. It’s basically using a very cheap device that any end-user can easily plug into their machine for virtual memory. This greatly enables people who either don’t want to purchase more costly memory or who can’t/don’t desire to get into their machines to upgrade their hardware a means of drastically improving performance at a very low cost.

  38. Scot says:

    I have been using a Lexar 1GB Jumpdrive to boost my notepad and it works great, allowing effective RAM well above the 1GB installed and much faster than the HDD swap file. I look forward to any refinements Ms can make in this feature in upcoming builds.

  39. andyclap says:

    I hope this is an optimised falvour of cache that tries to minimise rewrites, as mentioned above flash memory is not really robust enough for a ram cache.

    If you don’t mind risking a BSOD if the flash chip runs out of usable cells, you can already use USB flash memory as VM from XP.

    Mind you, I can get 1GB DDR RAM for about £50.

  40. Jeremy Pack says:

    Tom:

    These:

    The device must be able to do 3.5 MB/s for 4 KB random reads uniformly across the entire device and 2.5 MB/s for 512 KB random writes uniformly across the device.

    The USB Key has to have at least 64mb of free space

    numbers are *not* the numbers that Matt Ayers was giving out last week on a Vista TAP programme webcast. Tom’s numbers were 2.5 and 1.75 (same scenerios) with 256MB free.

    I can also confirm that Vista 5381 does not work with a 64MB memory stick or even a 256MB one that does not have 256MB free.

    FWIW

    :J

  41. DohMan says:

    The idea here is that this speeds up random access read access. (HardDisks are very fast at sequential reads, but slow on random reads)

    The OS will cache some files in this area (or actual data) that is constantly randomly accessed. The data itself will not change that often.

    So you will probably never run out of cells because of writes, since the data doesn’t change that often, but is read like crazy.

  42. tomharcus says:

    I think that they have come up with an excellent idea here as most cpu’s ram are expandable only up to a certain size(mines only 2 gig) and with the usb devices getting bigger and better all of the time it won’t be long until you can affordably get a 10 or 20 gig usb device.Can you imagine how good that would improve your system 20 gig ram!!!I really think they should make it so it will work with multiple usb devices though, so we can plug in a few 2 gig ones and get a 6 or 8 gig ram going until the 20 gig ones are avaliable.I think they should also put out an update patch for the windows xp system users so they can do the same as not everyone will be converting to vista right away due to availability and price.

  43. fschuldt says:

    Can you also use a Mp3player to speed up your system? I don´t have an USB-Stick, neither Windows Vista, so I can’t try it on my own.

  44. chris lawrence says:

    I have tried multiple thumb drives to make an attempt to use the readyboost feature.  both have sent vista complaining that they don’t have the performance specs, but i know they do b/c of the packaging.  is this something we can hope to see resolved or partially resolved with the coming release of beta 2?

  45. Chris says:

    Can we plug in a PDA and use both its memory and CPU for extra processing?  Furthermore, can we do this easily with multiple desktop machines?   This would greatly shorten my video editing batch process time.

  46. Travis says:

    I cant get readyboost to work with an ocz key drive that hauls ass. Is there a place in the registry where I can tone down the performance requirements?

  47. Robert Banghart says:

    I am running Vista on 2 gig of RAM on a board capable of holding four gigs. I can easily acquire 2 more gig of RAM at a very reasonable cost. I also have a 1gig Key (which I got from the Microsoft Office Visio Conference) and which Vista recognizes and can use for ReadyBoost. I have a 320 gig hard drive, 40 gigs of which is on the C drive and limited to Vista and only those things that get by me and install themselves without asking on that drive.

    Like other posters, I would like to put ReadyBoost to do some serious testing by getting both the other two gigs of RAM and a larger key drive (say the A-DATA 4GB Flash Drive (USB2.0 Portable) Model PD8 2.0 [http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820211240] – which reads at 18MB per second and writes at 13 MB) but, I don’t really want to spend the money on those things if the new key won’t work and without knowing

    1. Which USB key manufacturers support this function and when will that information be posted on http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/evaluate/hardware/vistarpc.mspx?

    2. What kind of boost can be expected under various scenarios?

    3. Beyond the (present) one key limit, are there limits to the size (MB/Gig) of the key we could use?

    4. Is there a practical limit to the size of key to use beyond which we would see little, no, or even negative boost?

    5. Why isn’t the ReadyBoost team blogging and giving us this information?

    6. Tom, can you get back with the ReadyBoost team and have them answer these questions for us?

  48. RoastBeef says:

    I think the simple reason for readyboost is to encourage people to try Vista even though their system only has the bare minimum of ram to run Vista (256mb). Having a page file on usb should help performance.

    I am surprised that people like Dell are still shipping PCs with 256mb ram instead of 512mb or even 1GB — for the LOWEST spec’d pc. They should ship a base ram of at least 512mb for even the cheap 299 dollar machines.

  49. Dan says:

    How much of a "speed increase" are we really talking about here?  Are you really going to see it for that everyday use machine or would this be more for games, graphics, and development applications that eat up a lot of memory?  Also couldn’t this potentially be a security risk whereas personal/private/corporate information could be put on the USB Key, and then someone comes along and swipes it.  Of course the person who took it would have to go through and decipher the cached information, but it’s technically possible isn’t it?

  50. Robert Banghart says:

    I am running Vista on 2 gig of RAM on a board capable of holding four gigs. I can easily acquire 2 more gig of RAM at a very reasonable cost. I also have a 1gig Key (which I got from the Microsoft Office Visio Conference) and which Vista recognizes and can use for ReadyBoost. I have a 320 gig hard drive, 40 gigs of which is on the C drive and limited to Vista and only those things that get by me and install themselves without asking on that drive.

    Like other posters, I would like to put ReadyBoost to do some serious testing by getting both the other two gigs of RAM and a larger key drive (say the A-DATA 4GB Flash Drive (USB2.0 Portable) Model PD8 2.0 [http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820211240] – which reads at 18MB per second and writes at 13 MB) but, I don’t really want to spend the money on those things if the new key won’t work and without knowing

    1. Which USB key manufacturers support this function and when will that information be posted on http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/evaluate/hardware/vistarpc.mspx?

    2. What kind of boost can be expected under various scenarios?

    3. Beyond the (present) one key limit, are there limits to the size (MB/Gig) of the key we could use?

    4. Is there a practical limit to the size of key to use beyond which we would see little, no, or even negative boost?

    5. Why isn’t the ReadyBoost team blogging and giving us this information?

    6. Tom, can you get back with the ReadyBoost team and have them answer these questions for us?

  51. shoult says:

    To answer my own question above, Under Vista 5342, 5381 or 5384.4 none of the 120x (18.5 mb/s read, 11.5 mb/s write) USB devices I was using would pass the initial ReadyBoost test. So they could not be used as ReadyBoost drives.

    I recently bought a 1Gb Geil 198x (30mb/s read, 20mb/s write) and under Vista 5384.4 it works great! With 2 GB RAM there is NO disk thrashing when I have Several programs open.

    With 1 GB RAM there is much less thrashing then without the ReadyBoost drive.

    With 512MB RAM the 1 GB ReadyBoost drive makes the machine almost usable.

    My Vista Test Box uses the following hardware.

    Intel D865GLC motherboard

    Intel P4 2.8 Ghz HT

    2 GB Dual Channel DDR400 (running at DDR 333) RAM

    (when running 1GB or less RAM it runs at DDR 400)

    nVidia GeForce FX 5200 128 MB

    Intel 82801EB ICH5 onboard Audio

    Maxtor 4G160J8 (160 GB, 5400 RPM, Ultra-ATA/133)

    External Fireware 400 160GB Hitachi drive

    PIONEER DVR-108  DVD+/-RW

    TOSHIBA SD-M1912  DVD Player

    Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Desktop Adapter

    Geil 1GB 198x USB Flash Drive

  52. Sal says:

    Well why stop at a 2gb hard drive?

    Out of curiosity, will this work with an external hard drive??  What really is the difference between a USB flash drive and a hard drive when you connect it to a USB port in windows?  They are both USB memory storage devices.  

    If this is true, you can easily get a HUUUUGE performance boost, with external hard drives being just a little bit more expensive than flash drives.  Why would you settle for a 2gb flash drive when you can use a 250gb hard drive?  Can anyone confirm this?

  53. TMilli says:

    There are a lot of opinions here so I figured one more wouldn’t hurt. So here goes: I am running Vista on a laptop with limited memory: I am using the laptop because it wasnt being used for anything else at the time. It is very slow with the new features enabled, but runs ok without them. I think that using a USB drive to speed up performance may be just what I was looking for. I think maybe we should call a spade a spade here. Using a USB flash drive to help performance is a nice idea that may allow more people to take Vista for a test drive. I would never consider using it a full time solution since all newer MBs can handle lots of RAM. I would much rather spend a few extra dollars for a much better performance gain. a 1GB PC3200 module can be had for around $80 and a 1GB flash drive can be had for about $60. For the extra $20, the RAM would boost performance much more than the Flash drive. OK, so this was a bit long winded. So here is the short story (in my humble opinion). Allowing the use of a USB flash drive is a nice temporary soulution to boost performance while on your Vista test drive. Is it a long term solution? I dont think so….

  54. PyRo says:

    multiple usb sticks would be handy, not just for the extra space but also the extra bandwidth, it would be like a raid 0 setup for ur page file, sept pcs with 12 and 14 usb slots could have 12 times the bandwidth, it would definately make a difference then, and usb drives are tending towards greater read/write speed as they get larger, with a 128mb one those speed werent as important but with 2gb ones when ur try to fill or copy the whole thing even tiny speed gains make a large difference, in the future the boost in speed will be considerable even for gaming, but if u know what gigabyte has been upto with its pci based hdd that use ramsticks instead of a disk u will know that b4 this feature reaches a decent speed it will be left for dead by this new technology anyway, but it would be fun to try it out anyway, just cant get me a msdn account to dl vista, anyone with msn add me, nic@z6.com

  55. Chris Lees says:

    I’m not so sure this is such a good idea for prolonged use. It may be useful for certain temporary situations. There *is* a reason why multimedia lecturers tell you not to work on your documents directly from flash drives (it’s the same reason as they used to give for Zip disks).

    What happens if you want to unmount the drive while it’s got 128 megs of swap on it? I’m assuming you’d have to wait a while for the data to copy back onto the hard disk. And I would really hate to see what would happen if you accidentally unplugged the drive before unmounting it, which is something I’ve shamefully done a couple of times

    I wouldn’t recommend it for anything but a temporary speed boost, if you’re running lots of large programs. Having said that, I might just try putting the swap onto a flash drive in Linux for a bit of fun.

  56. tomarcher says:

    *** Update: ***

    Due to so many questions about this feature, I’ve tracked down the Program Manager (owner) of this feature – Matt Ayers.

    Matt has put together a complete ReadyBoost FAQ for everyone that I’ve posted in a separate blog entry.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/tomarcher/archive/2006/06/02/615199.aspx

    Therefore, feel free to make comments here, but if you have any questions, first check out the FAQ and if it’s not answered there, post me a question and I’ll see if Matt can update the FAQ with your question/answer.

  57. gj139 says:

    Does it speed up games?

  58. Byron Miller says:

    Readyboost is built into new hybrid hard drives if i’m not mistaken so USB stick support is just an added bonus for those that bought in with USB storage devices as well.

  59. Arjuna says:

    Hi,

    I am running the VISTA OS on Microsoft Virtual PC and due to this its unable the detect the USB Key that I plug into the machine. Does anyone know how I can get around this.

    Thanks

    Arjuna.

  60. George says:

    I have a laptop that is a little challenged to run  windows XP so I run win 98SE  on it. (Fujitsu Lifebook C6530 500 mhz, 196 MB Ram (max).)

    Something like readyboost for windows XP would probably give it enough improvement to run XP as well as it runs win 98 SE.

    Does any one know of any app that offers similar capability to readyboost.

    George

  61. Henk Tiggelaar says:

    Are you people serious???

    Did you ever notice the CPU usage when simply copying files to/from a USB  Flash device? USB is a very unefficient protocol requiring a lot of CPU intervention. Using it as a swap drive will definitely slow down your system when using processor-intensive software.

  62. 都知道Windows Vista是个“吃粮大户”,微软官方网站的说法是Windows Vista的最低安装需求是512MB内存。有经验的读者朋友都知道,所谓的最低安装需求往往不足为信,例如微软曾经号称64MB的内存就已经足够“迎娶”Windows…

  63. This week I went out to Harris Technology and got myself a 2GB USB Key. It was a good price so I couldn’t…

  64. I have not had the pleasure/pain of Vista yet (I do really think it will be great when it is released)…

  65. Get ready for a long list of large affordable USB drives as well as Window’s Vista’s Ready Boost feature.

  66. One of the favorite enterprise features of Microsoft® Windows Vista™, USB device installations, gets

  67. El Bruno says:

    Mi amigo Juan Luis, siempre se queja que tiene poca RAM en su Dell yo me asustaría mas porque

  68. If there is one thing that can really help applications on Windows Vista run better, it’s memory. When

  69. SSiTE News says:

    If there is one thing that can really help applications on Windows Vista run better, it’s memory. When comparing the performance of Windows XP and Windows Vista on a PC with 1 GB of main memory, Windows Vista is generally comparable to Windows XP or faster.

  70. Well after being caught up in the Windows Vista hype last weekend I finally installed Windows Vista on Thursday. I was very excited except for me Vista is not ready for prime time. I have two computers at home, one…

  71. Moderatoren: Matthias Niess und Timon Royer

    Themen: Hybridfestplatten und Windows Vista Nie wieder Passwörter merken Mashups, was ist das eigentlich? Gibt es bald wieder Musik ohne Rechtemanagement? weitere Themen in den Shownotes

    Moderatoren:

  72. Moderatoren: Matthias Niess und Timon Royer Themen: Hybridfestplatten und Windows Vista Nie wieder Passwörter merken Mashups, was ist das eigentlich? Gibt es bald wieder Musik ohne Rechtemanagement? weitere Themen in den Shownotes Moder

  73. Boost Windows Vista system performance with ReadyBoost Is your flash drive fast enough for Vista’s ReadyBoost?

  74. Back in April, I posted a blog entry on the ReadyBoost feature – the Windows Vista feature that allows

  75. Like any other operating system Vista performs pretty nicely if you've got enough RAM, but sometimes