A RAMDisk acts as a virtual drive on your system. It allows you to create directories, copy files to and from it, etc…. However , the data is not written onto a hard disk, but remains purely stored into a particular part of the physical RAM memory. Hard disks have mechanical parts that are needed to seek to a particular position on the magnetic storage media and to read/write data. This makes them relative lazy. A RAMDisk does not need to seek , and by this , it can read and write the same data to upon 30-60 times faster than a hard disk ! However, the data stored in RAM is “volatile” : it disappears when you cut off the power to the RAM memory, in other words, if you turn off your system. This applies to the content of the RAMDisk too !
A ramdisk can perfectly be used to store :
– web content of web servers.
– temporary index files and tables of database servers ( MS-SQL-Server , MySQL , …).
– temporary files ( TEMP and TMP environment variable ) and “Temporary Internet Files”.
– the scratch disk for Adobe (R) Photoshop (R).
– games and installed programs (1). The startup times of programs may decrease drastically !
– audio and video capture / editing.
– creation and playback of slide shows.
– the printer spool folder.
– data that has to be written to CD , to prevent underrun during the burn process.
– as storage of the “ReadyBoost” cache on Vista.
– all kinds of data that may be lost ( or MUST be lost for security reasons ) at shutdown.
(1) The software may be installed directly to the ramdisk , or an existing installation may be remapped using a “junction” ( with means of , for example , linkd.exe ) to a copy on the ramdisk. In both cases , the content of the ramdisk must reload automatically at boot time from an image file , or by means of a backup program.
These are only a few examples. There will certainly be many more tasks for which a ramdisk can be used, depending on people’s “inventivity” .
The “GiliSoft RAMDisk” is conceived to support a RAMDisk size of maximally 64 GB. The maximum obtainable RAMDisk size depends on the available physical amount of RAM that the OS allows to allocate within its own addressable RAM space (*). This RAMDisk has the capability to automatically reload an image file at boot time ( and before other services / programs are started ) and to save the ramdisk content at shutdown and/or at regular intervals. Home users, small and large business users, may experience this RAMDisk as a state-of-the-art solution. Be aware that the GiliSoft RAMDisk can install and run on both 64-bit and 32-bit version of the OS.
(*) The 32 bit versions of XP , Vista and Windows 7 do not allow the RAMDisk to allocate memory above a particular 3.x GB boundery. A RAMDisk should not use this so called “unmanaged memory” for reasons that are described ( copy and paste links ) here http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2008/07/21/3092070.aspx and here http://www.osronline.com/showthread.cfm?link=178074 .
For more details about the ramdisk , to download and purchase , go : GiliSoft RAMDisk Version (32 and 64)