Now, it uses a flash drive as an extended swap, but as a lot of people commented, it was really not noticeable, except for systems running live CD's with minimal ram and minimal swap used. Now my idea was a little different, and I've only really scratched the surface, I was looking at purchasing a few 8GB Flash drives and installing the /root partition of my linux installation onto them. My idea was to use the speed of flash to make any access to the /root partition super speedy. The theory being that using flashes exceptional read abilities, booting the system, running programs would be faster then normal HDD. From my understanding, and I could be completely wrong, but /root doesn't have a massive amount of writing, as the program is called for from HDD into ram while your working on it. So if I kept writing to a minimum, the life span of the flash drive would be improved. A periodic check of the health of the flash drives could help determine when to change the flash drives with another drive.
I was thinking about having the flash /root setup backed up daily to a partition in the back of the hard drive in case of failure. Then I started thinking about RAID.... What about setting up 2 x 8GB drives in Raid0 for even more speed? Redundancy if a drive hits its write limits? I've googled a bit and found this: http://www.bigbruin.com/reviews05/thumbraid_1 Which showed some good and bad results. Looks a bit hit and miss with raid.
I'm just wondering who else out there has had similar thoughts and ideas? Anyone else have something to add to the topic? With prices of Flash drives these days, and most computers having a massive amount of USB connectors (Mine came with 12! and I built it 2 years ago...) This seems like a tasty theory of improving some of those sluggish boots and opening of programs..
Newer flash is a lot longer living than flash of old for what I have read and observed. An IDE to compact flash adapter removes much of the USB performance penalty. Looking at the sudden rise of the SATA SDD's you know the spinning discs days are numbered, although not for a good while yet.
Maybe I've made an assumption here that is biting me in the ass, but I assume that the /root partition doesn't have excessive amounts of writing going on with it. I see it as mainly a massive reading partition where it only has to write stuff when you change configs or write new bits to programs.
Probably wrong here, because I don't have much of an understanding of how an OS's kernel works at the core of things.
I like the look of the Gigabyte iRam, I was impressed with the THG review of it, but I was rather disappointed that it only supported 4GB, It would have been much more appealing if it could handle 8GB. I can get the iRam for $209, and 4GB of DDR-400 for $220. I would need two iRams to make a standard /root partition...
Ah well... anyone else got something to contribute to the idea of Flash boosting?
Actually, on the topic of iRam, I notice it just uses a standard PCI slot, would there be any performance benefits if they went to a PCI Express X16 slot instead? A few of us happen to have SLI motherboards but don't use SLI ;-)