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Does ReadyBoost really boost performance?

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  • User profile image
    geeky123

    I have heard a lot about how you can plug a usb drive into ur comp and windows vista will use it for caching stuff.

    I want to know from people who have used windows vista whether this really does give noticable performance boost at all or the gain in nano seconds only.

  • User profile image
    BruceMorgan

    Yes, it really works.  I have a laptop that's noticeably faster with USB drive with 1G ReadyBoost cache.   It's not an instant speedup, of course; what it helps is a system under memory pressure.  If your system  bogs down during operation because you're running a number of apps and the OS is swapping, then ReadyBoost will help.

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

  • User profile image
    Secret​Software

    I beleive the real reason MS introduced ReadyBoost is to save power in the labtop and notebooks and all mobile devices that would install vista. The speed perfromance is a byproduct of this.

    Your drive will not be spinning burning valuable energy when you are using readyBoost. Only when the buffer is full will the drive kick in, this saves alot of battery life + increase performance because now you have a place where files are called up on the go, sort of;)

    Now, you have to have special kind of USB drives (2.0+) fast usb link, or it will not do (could be wrong on that). My friend tried it wtih their USB and readyboost is not supported on thatone because they dont have a fast USB socket.

  • User profile image
    brantgurga

    Actually, everything written to the USB stick is written to the regular drive. It is actually designed for performance not power. If it were designed as you claimed, then things would go crazy when you pull the USB stick, but because everything is on the drive, it just reads it from a slower device instead of a faster device when it reads the information back in.

  • User profile image
    phx

    i haven't use it . but other users say it really boosts the performance. readyboost is made for performance while hybriddrives are for saving battery life . but slower usb memory's wont work . check this: http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2006/11/20/windows-readyboost.aspx#480615

  • User profile image
    BruceMorgan

    If you read through the link I posted earlier, you'll see that the hard drive is still used even if the data is also on the flash cache:

    Q: Aren't Hard Disks faster than flash? My HDD has 80MB/sec throughput.
    A: Hard drives are great for large sequential I/O. For those situations, ReadyBoost gets out of the way. We concentrate on improving the performance of small, random I/Os, like paging to and from disk.

    And everything is written to disk anyway:

    Q: Isn't this just putting the paging file onto a flash disk?
    A: Not really - the file is still backed on disk. This is a cache - if the data is not found in the ReadyBoost cache, we fall back to the HDD.

    As per my earlier memory pressure comment:

    Q: How much of a speed increase are we talking about?
    A: Well, that depends. On average, a RANDOM 4K read from flash is about 10x faster than from HDD. Now, how does that translate to end-user perf? Under memory pressure and heavy disk activity, the system is much more responsive; on a 4GB machine with few applications running, the ReadyBoost effect is much less noticable.

  • User profile image
    Secret​Software

    The harddrive is still used, I never said it is not used.

     

    What I say is that with ReadyBoost, you only use it when the write buffer is full. In between the drive is not spinning. Its conserving power. Only when the write buffer is reached its limit will the drive kick in and say, time to clean the buffer and does what ever it needs to do to clear it. The net effect is :

     

    1) The HD is not spinning always, it only starts when it is needed.

     

    2) Performance increase, because the files are cached on the go.

  • User profile image
    JChung2006

    For lots of random reads, perhaps.  Not for writes though; writes go to the hard drive, too.

  • User profile image
    Secret​Software

    But only if the Write Buffer is full.

  • User profile image
    cain

    SecretSoftware, maybe you're thinking of the hybrid harddrives?  ReadyBoost has no affect on when data is written to the hard drive.

    The hybrid harddrives are intended to save power as well as improving performance, but ReadyBoost is purely about performance.

    To answer the original question, I've had my USB key plugged in permanently (with 2.5GB for ReadyBoost) so I can't really judge how big a difference it makes, but what I do know is that my 2 year old laptop is running faster now than it ever did under XP.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    SecretSoftware wrote:
    

    What I say is that with ReadyBoost, you only use it when the write buffer is full. In between the drive is not spinning. Its conserving power. Only when the write buffer is reached its limit will the drive kick in and say, time to clean the buffer and does what ever it needs to do to clear it. The net effect is :

    1) The HD is not spinning always, it only starts when it is needed.

    2) Performance increase, because the files are cached on the go.



    You're thinking of ReadyDrive, not ReadyBoost. I've confused them on numerous occasions, too. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/features/foreveryone/performance.mspx

  • User profile image
    cisco.​hernandez

    has anyone tried readyboost with a flash drive with that u3 junk on it? I've installled vista on a slow box but it generally works great.. ( although i do get spikes of cpu usage @ 100% and i can't seem to figure out why -- even when i'm doing something cpu non-intensive )

    in any case, when i put in the drive(2GB sandisk cruzer) my cpu goes up and somtimes it'll stay at 100%. If i'm not doing anything it's around %30 for the system process. once i take it out, goes back down.


    My boss gave me this drive a few days ago so i haven't had time to play with it yet.  I'm going to try killing everything on the drive but i was wondering if anyone faced something like this before

  • User profile image
    cisco.​hernandez

    ahh, forgot to put the specs

    2800+ Sempron with 1Gig of ram;  I had to install some drivers that wren't vista ready so that might have something to do with the cpu spiking from time to time but i don't know.



    cisco.hernandez wrote:
    has anyone tried readyboost with a flash drive with that u3 junk on it? I've installled vista on a slow box but it generally works great.. ( although i do get spikes of cpu usage @ 100% and i can't seem to figure out why -- even when i'm doing something cpu non-intensive )

    in any case, when i put in the drive(2GB sandisk cruzer) my cpu goes up and somtimes it'll stay at 100%. If i'm not doing anything it's around %30 for the system process. once i take it out, goes back down.


    My boss gave me this drive a few days ago so i haven't had time to play with it yet.  I'm going to try killing everything on the drive but i was wondering if anyone faced something like this before

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    It could be that Readyboost is working on filling up that usb drive and that's why your cpu goes to 100%, what's so weird about it?

  • User profile image
    mycroft

    I've read that officially Readyboost doesn't support external card readers yet, but then I've read elsewhere that it works with SD in an external Sandisk reader. Anybody know the truth about this? I'd prefer to buy an external model

  • User profile image
    s0121

    At this time Vista Ultimate does not support my External Reader..
    It does support the Internal Reader..and
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/community/enhancements.mspx

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

    have  pretty good info on Readyboost..

  • User profile image
    Titan Storm

    First, I LOVE ReadyBoost and if any of you have memory card readers (SD, MS/Pro, MMC, SM, XD, etc.) pick up a XD or the cheaper SD card and use it in there... nothing sticking out and you always have a huge boost.  But my question is, would the read cache, under the device properties, hardware tab, policies, when set to "Optimize for performance" reduce the performance of ReadyBoost?  My understanding of this feature is it would as the contents of the drive would be cached in the system memory.  Any thoughts or ideas?

    - Tim

  • User profile image
    PerfectPhase

    I seem to notice the biggest difference is task switching under heavy disk activity or large memory pressure, things just seem smoother, much less lag.

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