Hi, does anyone know if it's possible to use a RAM disk / drive as a boot drive? This might be a noob question considering RAM is volatile, but I'm just wondering if their is a way. I googled this, but I got no results. So, I doubt it is possible.
It is possible but not typically with whats on your motherbd since, as you know, its volitile. The did make a ram drive board called the iram that had a battery backup on it for just such thing. Sadly Gigabyte never followed up with more of this kind of product.
I was just about to discuss this very thing.
A company http://www.hyperossystems.co.uk/ makes physical ram drives.
This beast can be made bootable, but to what point and purpose.
Well average ddr3 1600 RAM can tranfer data at 12.8GB/S, sounds promising right?
The above ram drive is underclocked to
reads 175 MB/S Write 145 MB/S
Has 0 internal memory (you buy the ram yourself)
It cost 300 pounds.
OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 PCI-Express SSD
reads 1300 MB/s writes 1000 MB/s
100 GB storage.
About the same price.
Also bear in mind a ram drive will need to be powered all the time and backed up frequently to avoid loosing data.
Start up and shut down will be EXTREMELY slow as you need to load an entire os image from back up every time.
Its not that the concept of a ram drive is flawed it's just that the technology hasn't been researched nearly as much as standard SSDs. Theoretically a ram drive in PCIe 3.0 could operate up to 32 GB/second.
But, for now physical ram drives seem to be dead in the water.
The other option is virtual ram drives.
While you must boot windows first to make the ram drive operational it may be possible to boot first from a minimal install of windows then run a second virtual OS from the virtual ram drive at the same time. http://reboot.pro/topic/10234-windows-7-rc-x86-in-475-g... (I said it may be possible, not easy)
Also bear in mind the limit of your ram drive size will be how much ram your chip set will allow-enough ram for the primary os-enough ram for the secondary os.
A more realistic use for virtual ram drives is of course moving internet temp files folder there for speeding up browsing. It has more uses in a 32 bit operating system where the system can only handle 4GB ram but chip set can handle more. In this case you could make the extra ram into a scratch space for photoshop and possibly move the paging file there. (note in 64 bit it is best to let photoshop have access to a large amount of ram in the first place and leave the paging file alone)
Another thing that may be interesting to try is installing games/frequently accessed files to the ram drive.It should boost loading times significantly, but remember to back up as whatever is there will dissapear when the power is off!
Tho, not very easy to keep updated and secure and possibly will take it down several times before you get it running, and even then it will be a lot of maintenance.
There are Linux distros like Puppy Linux that load the system into a RAM drive that you can checkout.
As far as toarranre's reply, RAM Disks have been around a long long time. Going as far back as the PCMCIA SRAM cards... The hyperossystems drive, I have two ANS-9010b drives on my server, boots up perfectly and runs like a champ. Tho, in RAID 0 the speed is roughly 700MB/S continously, and 1.4GB/S burst with cache from my acera raid card (ARC-1210 4GB RAM). With access times around 9ms, would be a great database drive, tho I boot to it with Debian for my web server. System RAM is much faster then *MOST flash or RAM drives. I say most, cause of the Kove I mention later with link.
Also on both Linux and MS Windows, you can create a RAM drive.. On the Windows software versions you can format and install whatever you wish on it, but can't boot since it loads up with the OS. On linux you can script it to load it from your hard drive, and then use it. Which is what many people do to their MySQL databases, if you had enough RAM.
The OCZ RevoDrive shouldn't qualify or even be considered as a RAM disk tho, its flash..
But, if you wanna compared the TOP of the TOP, with RAM vs Flash, you should look at http://kove.com/xpress, which is the record keeper last I checked. The Kove Xpress should be the top RAM Drive compared to the OCZ RevoDrives... There is a obvious differece, and dollar price. Tho, both out of the reach of most people.