just a nice thought, how about getting rid of seek-time and low speed, those and other bottle neck's whitch comes with hard drives. I'm talking about SSD e.i. Solid State Disk or known as "RamDrives". seek time at ZERO! Nill! NONE... you get my point ....and data transfer at burst-speed!
RamDrives or Solid State Drive do work as a typical Hard drive (can be formatted for an example... but that task just takes a cuple of 3 minutes or so!). It uses RAM, thats its key benefit. pc133 (SDRAM) has a bandwidth of 1GB/s.... heck... here's a list:
PC66 (SDRAM) - - - - - - - - - - 0,528GB/s
PC100 (SDRAM) - - - - - - - - - - 0,800GB/s
PC133 (SDRAM) - - - - - - - - - - 1,064GB/s
PC1600 (DDR SDRAM 200MHz) - - - - 1,600GB/s
PC2100 (DDR SDRAM 266MHz) - - - - 2,128GB/s
PC2700 (DDR SDRAM 333MHz) - - - - 2,664GB/s
PC3000 (DDR SDRAM 370MHz) - - - - 2,960GB/s
PC3200 (DDR SDRAM 400MHz) - - - - 3,200GB/s
PC3500 (DDR SDRAM 434MHz) - - - - 3,472GB/s
RIMM1600 (RDRAM 16bit RSL 800MHz) 1,600GB/S
RIMM3200 (RDRAM 32bit RSL 800MHz) 3,200GB/S
RIMM6400 (RDRAM 64bit RSL 800MHz) 6,400GB/S
RIMM2100 (RDRAM 16bit RSL 1066MHz) 2,132GB/S
RIMM4200 (RDRAM 32bit RSL 1066MHz) 4,264GB/S
RIMM8500 (RDRAM 64bit RSL 1066MHz) 8,528GB/S
RIMM2400 (RDRAM 16bit RSL 1200MHz) 2,400GB/S
RIMM4800 (RDRAM 32bit RSL 1200MHz) 4,800GB/S
RIMM9600 (RDRAM 64bit RSL 1200MHz) 9,600GB/S
phew..... list for those who need to know... :S As you can see, the signal for the rambus RIMM's are "RSL", and there is a "QRSL" on it's way, long story short: example, RIMM9600 in QRSL will do twice the job RSL does! in other words, RIMM9600 in QRSL mode will give us 19,200GB/S! now that's fast! but still.. It won't come next year, I can say that for sure =)
ANYWAY! seek time at bottom and speed at skyhigh, no hard drive can match that, never! but... (always a BUT) there is a IDE solution and PCI solution for ramdisk's, but the bottle neck is that the IDE and the PCI runs at max 133MB/S (ATA133) or ~150MB/s (sATA). since the hard drive, nothing could boost the computer, as a upgrade for the hard drive! been like that since the stoneage.... i think =) you know, fred flintstone =D there is a better solution, firewire and usb, both at the speed above 400MB/s yet under 500MB/s, keep in mind that the USB2 is faster than FireWire, about 50MB/s or so... THAT would make an EXTERNAL ramdisk.
SO... when Infiniband comes, if I got it right, it can deliver up to 60GB/s in I/O's e.i. PCI-X (the next PCI slot), the hard drives, Ethernet, next USB (USB3?), next FireWire ect... THEN we will be able to use the high bandwith of ram from Rambus and DDR SDRAM2 and 3.
the MOST IMPORTANT is the economy of it, the COST/PRICE/TOKENS... :S hell look at this comparisment:
$Dollar$ per MegaByte of memory:
for a Hard drive $0.0013/MB (Western Digital 80GB)
for a Ram (pc133) $0.0918/MB
for a Ram (pc2100) $0.2422/MB
for a Ram (pc2700) $0.2480/MB
so... if a 80gig hard drive cost $104... a RamDrive with 80gig drive will cost (pc133) $7344!!
a pc2100 ddr sdram $19376 and pc2100 ddr sdram $19840.... just for a lousy, still fast... verry fast, ramdisk
IF your considering a RDRAM RamDisk solution...(RIMM4800) =D let me laugh first and then tell you to cough up $65695.94!!! + a heck of a lot shipping!!! lol...
*details: prices from googlegear.com and pc-memory-upgrade.co.uk*
to be serious, it's highly impossible to get 80gig out of 256- and 512-mb ram modules (~150pices 512mb modules and ~300pices 256mb modules) talk about RAID =D
The future technology will drop the price and increase the density for sure! so... today, it's not a good idea to have a larger ramdisk, (maybe smaller.. just maybe) and it's hard to get over 150mb/s internally, unless you use PCI-X slot, and there we are again... $$$$$ and more of it...
my adice, stick to regular e-ide, RAID mode 0 if you must
short sum: one day when marsh is a planet to walks on, when bin ladin is gone and when broadband internet will be free for everyone... that day, there will be RamDisk right and harddisk wrong
Yes. Ramdrives have been around for quite some time now, however they ave allways had the usual advantages and disadvantages of great speed and high reliability versus great cost and the "allways has to be on" factor.
Ramdrives with flashram are also possible, but even more costly and quite a bit slower.
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The problem with most solid state drives (IE RAMdrives) are that they don't really use RAM, but ROM. As in flash memory. So that when you loose power, your data doesn't go away. That makes them very reliable but very slow compared to todays high speed disk drives.
So the OTHER alternative, like you pointed out, is a TRUE RAMDRIVE, but that would require a battery backup as well as all that money. And your battery better live!
A good alternative would be a "Virtual" drive made up of say, 2GB of RAM, used to store only the files you are working with. Applications would still take time to load of the hard drive, but once all their files were cached to RAM, would run superfast.
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In Win XP pro I have set up a 32MB (max allowed) Ramdrive that does exactly that, it costs nothing to setup and runs on the system installed memory modules and is just like another drive in the list, although I am still trying to find a good use for it?
I am not sure if this can be setup on other operating systems.