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FAQsWhat is Windows ReadyBoost?

ReadyBoost® Basics

  • Windows® ReadyBoost® is a feature available if you have a Microsoft Windows® Vista or Windows® 7 Operating System.
  • When enabled, the flash memory in products such as memory sticks, Flash Drives and SD cards is used by the computer as a cache.
  • Because most flash memory devices have a higher random read/write speed than hard drives, a performance gain is obtained by using ReadyBoost®.
  • Although ReadyBoost® improves the speed of random read/write operations, it doesn't get involved in sequential read/write operations, as the computer's own hard drive can do this best. ReadyBoost® therefore uses logic to recognise large sequential read requests and reads from the hard drive for these.

ReadyBoost® Requirements

For ReadyBoost® to improve your computers performance the following requirements need to be met:
  • The memory stick, Flash Drive or SD card must have a capacity greater than 256mb.
  • The memory should have a 2.5MB/sec throughput for 4K random reads and 1.75MB/sec throughput for 512K random writes.
  • The memory stick, Flash Drive or SD card should be 1-3 times the size of the RAM on your computer.
  • Note that if you have a Flash Drive with more capacity than 4GB, this excess will not be used by ReadyBoost® due to limitations of the FAT32 file system

Initiating Windows® ReadyBoost® with a Flash Drive

Windows® ReadyBoost® is only available with Windows® Vista and Windows® 7, using it is very simple.
  • Plug in your Flash Drive into the USB Port on your Windows® Vista or Windows® 7 PC.
  • The following window should then appear:
  • Select 'Speed up my system'

Setting a Flash Drive up for ReadyBoost®

  • Assuming that you have plugged the Flash Drive in, and initiated ReadyBoost® as above, go to 'My Computer', right click your Flash Drive icon and select 'properties'
  • The following menu should appear, click on the 'ReadyBoost' tab
  • 'Use this device' should be selected, and you can scale the amount of memory the computer can use for ReadyBoost®

Examples of when Windows® ReadyBoost® is Effective

  • ReadyBoost® is especially useful when seeking performance gains from a computer lacking free expansions slots for RAM. Note however that if your computer has free RAM slots and you consistently find a lack of computer performance, there is no substitute for installing more RAM.
  • ReadyBoost® is most effective for aiding RAM intensive programs

Operations where Windows® ReadyBoost® gives noticeable speed gains.
  • Opening and closing of applications such as Adobe® Photoshop® and Microsoft Word.
  • Computer Games
  • Heavy Internet Browsing (e.g. streaming content or multi-tabs browsing)

Resources on Windows® ReadyBoost® Performance:

http://www.anandtech.com/systems/showdoc.aspx?i=2917&p=6
http://blogs.msdn.com/tomarcher/archive/2006/06/02/ReadyBoost-q-a.aspx