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SSD vs Ramdisk?

Last response: in Storage
April 24, 2011 12:14:54 AM

I currently have a 7200 rpm hard drive, 6gb of ram, and an i7-740qm cpu. My question is, which would improve the performance of my laptop more, upgrading to an ssd, or adding 2gb of ram to be used as a ramdisk? The ramdisk would be cheaper and faster, but 2gb isn't going to hold the whole os, just key programs.

More about : ssd ramdisk

a c 256 G Storage
April 24, 2011 12:45:18 AM

A ramdisk will definitely perform much better than a solid state drive. In fact a ramdisk will smoke a ssd. Ramdisk benchmarks are insane. Unfortunately there are enormous problems. First, as you already know the amount of ram available for a ramdisk is severely limited - big time in a typical user's system. Second, the amount of memory allocated to the ramdisk is no longer available to Windows. That might hamper Windows performance. Third, when you are finished you lose all data in the ramdisk. You'd have to set up automatic backup and redirect files.

If you want to experiment and see what its like, then try the freebie:

Personally I'd recommend getting a solid state drive.
April 24, 2011 12:49:00 AM

I have used a ramdisk before, and I had no problems backing it up, and I am certain that I do not need the 2gb ram to be used as normal ram. So, would an ssd still improve overall performance more than placing just the programs I use most on a ramdisk and running the os of a 7200 rpm drive?
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a b G Storage
April 25, 2011 4:32:33 PM

SSD will be the biggest gain across the board in all usage, whereas the ramdisks impact will be limited and much smaller, especially due to size.

Could also get both and use Fancycache by Romex to get the best of all worlds combined.
a c 256 G Storage
April 25, 2011 5:04:14 PM

A solid state drive will improve overall performance. However, do not expect miracles.
April 25, 2011 7:56:33 PM

I ended up buying a 500gb 7200rpm hybrid ssd with 4gb of ssd cache. I will also use a 2gb ramdisk for some programs.
a b G Storage
April 25, 2011 8:16:25 PM

The first time you start your machine it still has to read everything from the mechanical hard drive to put it into the ram disk. Subsequent accesses to those programs will see the benefits of the faster ram disk. It just depends on how frequently you need to access the stuff that is in the ram disk. Everybody's situation will be a little bit different.

My machine with 32 bit windows does a lot of paging, and reading and re-reading DLL's from the hard drive. A ram disk would not help me because it would reduce my available memory and make it page to the hard drive even more. I would have to go to a 64 bit OS and add a bunch of ram to get things to work, and I have too many apps that won't work under a 64-bit OS to make that worthwhile.