My HTPC has an empty PCI-E x1 slot, to which I'm going to add a StarTech 2-port USB 3.0 adapter. Partly to use ReadyBoost with, and partly to have the option of a 3TB USB 3.0 extrenal HDD.
What I'm wondering is that since the device needs a driver to be installed on the OS (Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate) before it will work, will a fast USB 3.0 flash drive dedicated to ReadyBoost be operational when the OS boots? Perhaps I should use one of the six USB 2.0 slots and work withing the 60MB ceiling limit... More specifically, what I want to know is if the device drivers are loaded before the OS and the RB / Superfetch service?
I plan to format a 16gb Transcend Jetflash 700 to "exFat" and set the unit allocation size to 4kb, which should match the NTFS local disk format.
OK, I've installed the PCI-E card successfully (this machine was a cheap Q1 2007 Dell C521, so there was some doubt as to whether the mobo would 'wear' USB 3.0... although it runs Skyrim smoothly on High settings) and benchmarked the flash drive with CrystalDiskMark and HDTunePro 5.0. Are these figures good for ReadyBoost?
I'm hoping that having two parallel streams will speed up boot time a bit and help with launching frequently used applications. So far so good.
Transcend Jetflash 700 16gb USB 3.0. Formatted to Exfat, 4096 bytes cluster size.