Using RAMDISK as an Ultrafast Hard Drive

     Today has marked a special day for Billy’s laptop, the day it got a RAM upgrade. It has gone from 4 gigabyte to 8 gigabytes and the change is… hardly noticeable in daily use. Of course, the reason I did this is because I’m often doing a lot of multitasking on my computer and having development environments as well as YouTube and Spotify while I’m looking at pictures of cats in teacups can be taxing on the system. Still, 8 gigabytes of RAM is a little excessive, so what I decided to do with some of that extra RAM is create a free RAMDisk.

     Dataram’s RAMDisk is a program with both free and paid versions that lets you use some of your RAM as a new hard drive partition. The free version will allow you to convert up to 4 gigabytes of RAM into a 4 gigabyte hard rive while the paid version will allow you to use any size. The advantage to this is that RAM is ultra-fast volatile memory acting as a hard drive meaning that it will have speeds comparable to, if not better than, a solid state drive! Speaking of solid state drives (SSDs), of which I do not have one, RAMDisk can help to increase the longevity of a SSD. Because SSDs only have a limited amount of read-write operations compared to a regular platter drive, you can use RAMDisk to take some of the frequent read-writes, such as browser cache and temporary files, thus extending the life of your SSD.

     The downside to using RAMDisk is, it is stored on volatile memory meaning it will lose all of its information when you turn off the computer. Fortunately, RAMDisk does have a feature, not activated by default, which will save a disk image of that drive on shutdown and then restore that disk image on startup so that you can continue to enjoy the benefits of RAMDISK without losing your data completely. I personally chose to use RAMDisk to store my browser cache as well as my temporary windows files.

     With a free version available with 4 gigabytes, you might think that the paid version is not needed at all, but that’s where you would be wrong. If you think of the memory capacities on most modern computers as well as how cheap addition RAM sticks are, the paid version quickly becomes feasible. If you got a computer that supported up to 32 gigabytes of RAM and used 24 gigabytes as a RAMDisk to store some favorite video games, those loading times would be as fast as lightning.

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