How to Set up a RAM Disk for Free

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Many people confuse the difference between Hard Drive space, and RAM. A Hard Drive is where the data sits, and is stored. RAM is what the data uses when it is actually running. RAM has no moving parts, therefore it is faster. Therefore, you may find yourself in need of a RAM Disk. This will allow you some extra storage. In layman’s terms, it takes a section of the RAM and makes it act as though it is a hard Disk.

Reb suggested a free tool to help you set this up, called RamDisk. A RAMDisk acts as a virtual drive on your system.

It allows you to create directories, copy files to and from it, etc…. The data however is not written onto a hard disk, but remains purely stored into a particular part of the RAM memory. Hard disks have mechanical parts that are needed to seek to a particular position on the magnetic storage media and to read/write data. This makes them relative lazy. A RAMDisk does not need to seek , and by this , it can read and write the same data to upon 30-60 times faster than a hard disk ! However, the data stored in RAM is “volatile” : it disappears when you cut off the power to the RAM memory, in other words, if you turn off your system. This applies to the content of the RAMDisk too !

Do you know of other tools or programs that can help you create a RAM Disk? What other tips do you have for us regarding memory usage? Leave me a follow-up comment on this video, or drop me an email to [email protected]

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David Weston submits the following addendum:

What Reb says is true, but only if the amount of available physical RAM is more than the space you need for your RAM Disk.

Windows uses RAM for data that is immediately required for active program storage, intermediate calculation storage, etc. If you are running a lot of programs, or some large programs, the physical memory can become full. In these cases, Windows shunts the least important stuff off to disk to free up some space. This is called “paging”.

Paging files are optimised for this purpose, so the seek time that Reb mentions is less of an issue, but you still have the time required to read and write from the paging file. Also, if memory is heavily used, you can end up reading and writing the same data multiple times, as Windows tries to optimise the use of memory. This is called “thrashing”. Thrashing really slows a machine down, so there are times when RAM disk should be avoided.

RAM disk can be good, but only if you have large quantities of free memory available, and you only need to hold small amounts of data.

40 thoughts on “How to Set up a RAM Disk for Free”

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  4. I would not but the software i use decompresses the mp3s to waves just as it analyzes them. (just like all other audio editing etc programs does)

  5. chris turn the background noise eliminator down a bit,

    the noise reduction is chopping your speech a bit.

    can’t remember if it’s in the samson softpre or your hd audio program though

  6. because mp3 is already a compressed audio which means it’s lost some of it’s quality originated from the original format that un-coincidentally was probably a wav file. WAVs are uncompressed music formats. nobody gets that?

  7. Dude! You are right about the lossy format BUT! If you are doing something with music files (mp3s…)not just listening you can’t mess with them while they are compressed. Wavs are not compressed that’s why every editing etc software decompresses them to wave. It’s just like when Photoshop opens jpgs….you can see that it takes much more ram than it’s real size.

  8. thanks for clearing that up. i guess sometimes people need a wave file regardless of its original format. but your still saying wav files are being decompressed with editing software. it has to be uncompressed (wav) which it is anyway so that you can edit it with software.
    i think of MP3s like Zip files with loss.

  9. A SATA hard disk that claims to be “3.0 GBps” simply means that the bandwidth of the connection to the head drive, meaning that the data transfer rate is capped at 3 GBps. However, most hard drives only transfer data at about 60MBps in perfect conditions, however memory is around 1-2 GBps.

  10. Its EVEN FASTER, it is possible to work at around the speeds a processor uses, because it only has 1-3 chips between it and the processor, but yes ram can only go up to 8gb of storage (TOTAL-not counting the running programs) in a 64 bit environment, or 4gb in 32bit- so it cant hold much.

  11. I have been doing a lot of research on solid state storage. It seems to me that as long as storage bus speed is a limiting factor, nothing will be as good an option as a ram-disk. I would think booting an image (of your os and applications) into ram would be the absolute ideal situation for performance computing.

  12. The trick is having enough ram and an operating system capable of using all that ram. As far as i know, vista is capable of 128gb ram. All i would really need for a gaming PC is a good 28gb. Abit has a 32gb Motherboard out as well.

  13. I remember back on the apple 2e and Nintendo; you would put your disk or cartridge into your PC or entertainment system, and boom, the information went into the ram and the program was run. Modern computers and applications simply do not take advantage of the sheer speed of ram.

  14. We obviously need disk drives to hold massive amounts of information, but the fact that we run our operating systems and applications from them is just crazy to me, at least until we get much higher storage bus speeds.

  15. no, you’re retarded. the whole POINT of 64bit computing is to get away from the 3GB limit imposed by 32bit operating systems. 8GB is simply what most desktop motherboards are physically limited to (ie. 4 slots with 2GB sticks of RAM). I run vista x64 with 16GB of RAM.

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