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Published on February 19, 2012 By BigDogBigFeet In Personal Computing

Okay so I saw an 8GB Kingston memory stick USB 2.0 for sale and picked one up.  I also discovered Ready Boost so I reformatted the thumb drive to NTFS and got the 7.4 or so GBs useable and plugged it in.

Then I began looking at what else is available especially as this would make decent storage for music files and the like. 

So now I've come across faster thumb drives for USB 3.0.  Mushkin has some nice offerings but they cost more.

So, my question is does it make any sense to plug in a 16GB or 32GB USB 3.0 thumb drive and use it for Ready Boost?

I currently have Win 7 Home 64bit with 8GB of ram.  Will the larger faster thumb drive make the system faster or is it overkill?


Comments (Page 1)
on Feb 19, 2012

Depends what you're doing with the RAM....

on Feb 19, 2012

I did find this which seems to indicate it could help a good deal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReadyBoost

As to the 8GB ram I'm not doing anything with it other than letting Win 7 use it. 

on Feb 19, 2012

Ah.... what you're referring to is disk cache... not RAM per se. Speed is increased that way similarly to a ssd (which in this case is flash) or the same way the hybrid drives increase speed, I believe.

So, what happens is that the cache is more quickly available than in the case of a spinning disk. The Ready Boost allows the OS to choose short/small reads to be available on the flash memory, and long reads/sequential reads to be from the disk.

So, say you're going to do a Photoshop involving lots of layers. The flash can really help with that... hope I explained?

Give it a try. W7 will ask you how you wish to use the flash when you plug it in. If you have a USB 3.o socket, I'd use that... it's significantly faster than 2.0 .

on Feb 19, 2012

I used a flash drive for ready boost on my first laptop. It does speed things up a bit. Here's a thought. My external drive is 1 TB. Ready boost is available for that too. Now that's overkill. I'm not using it for that though.

on Feb 22, 2012

Okay so I now have the Mushkin Ventura Pro 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive dedicated as ReadyBoost.  Huge improvement in Windows 7, Internet Browsing,  Program load times etc.  Note this is a high performance flash drive hence the significant improvement.  Wasn't getting this much improvement from the USB 2.0 drive.

on Feb 23, 2012

Readyboost is not as fast as ram. Even in USB3. I have a hard time believing you were using up the 8GB you started with to make adding readyboost worthwhile. I run 8GB ram and rarely see it in the 50% usage area. Most of the time I have more than 5GB unused. I run AutoCAD which is a memory hog if there ever was one and it's the only program that will get it up to 50% mark. I can't see a browser using anywhere near that much unless you have a boatload of extensions running all the time.

If you do a lot of rendering or video editing I can see you using a bit more, but you'd be better off investing in more ram.

on Feb 23, 2012

 

It is recommended to not use NTFS for USB flash drives.  If you feel you must change from the FAT16 or FAT32 format that most lower capacity USB flash drives ship with (and for readyboost you do need to change the format) exFAT is the recommended format.

Because of the way it works NTFS should really only be used on physical HD's.

 

I don't have my fingers on articles that support my statements at the moment but I'm sure a quick google search will confirm my statements.

on Feb 23, 2012

The articles I read on it state that NTFS is fine.

Lantec Readyboost does an intelligent cache of the HD.  The flash memory has minimal seek time and hence for small files it is much faster to read from the cache than it is from the HD.  ReadyBoost does not do anything to relieve RAM bottlenecks.  It is solely an HD cache and yes it does work. 

However, if you have an SSD then never try to use ReadyBoost(it will be disabled).

This article should suffice:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReadyBoost

on Feb 23, 2012

BigDogBigFeet
The articles I read on it state that NTFS is fine.

Fine may be fine, I just thought I'd make a suggesting for possibly improving on fine.

I suggested exFAT as the format best suited for USB flash drives because it is a format sort of designed for removable media.  It has less 'features' than NTFS but also therefore less resource usage and performs less 'writes' to the media (which goes to the longevity of your removable device).

 

on Feb 23, 2012

BigDogBigFeet
Okay so I now have the Mushkin Ventura Pro 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive dedicated as ReadyBoost.  Huge improvement in Windows 7, Internet Browsing,  Program load times etc.  Note this is a high performance flash drive hence the significant improvement.  Wasn't getting this much improvement from the USB 2.0 drive.

How is the USB 3 working for you?

I have some older PC's and laptops and when I run a USB 2 flashdrive, I always get the pop-up that it would work better if I had a USB hub/port. Are you getting that with the USB 3?

I use ReadyBoost but have honestly never noticed an improvement or a noticeable improvement.

on Feb 23, 2012

PoSmedley
How is the USB 3 working for you?
I have some older PC's and laptops and when I run a USB 2 flashdrive, I always get the pop-up that it would work better if I had a USB hub/port. Are you getting that with the USB 3?
I use ReadyBoost but have honestly never noticed an improvement or a noticeable improvement.

The USB 3 works great.  I have an external USB 3 HD for backups now and of course the Flash Drive.  My main HD is an internal Sata III with fast large file/sequential file response but it still has the random read seek time slowness of Sata II drives.  I was only getting a 5.9 on my WEI score with it.

With the Flash Drive ReadyBoost Cache (this USB 3 flash drive is fast up to 120MB/sec read compared to a standard USB 2 flash drive at 25MB/sec read)  I have noticed much less HD activity and faster response times.  I think the improvement I'm seeing is due to the faster Mushkin USB 3 flash drive.

the_Monk
I suggested exFAT as the format best suited for USB flash drives because it is a format sort of designed for removable media. It has less 'features' than NTFS but also therefore less resource usage and performs less 'writes' to the media (which goes to the longevity of your removable device).

I'll try to research this further thanks for the suggestion and clarification.

 

on Feb 23, 2012

Okay here is what I read on exFAT vs NTFS.  exFAT use a small cluster size and will slow writes of small files.  However, it is considered safer because it does not cache writes.  The only downside I could find regading NTFS is it does cache writes and if sudden shutdown or inadvertent removal of the thumb drive occurs it could result in data corruption.  I've read nothing to indicate NTFS can cause premature failure of flash memory.

on Feb 23, 2012

Since the lifespan of flash memory is limited by number of writes and NTFS does in fact write many times more often than other file formats (including exFAT) it does contribute to the sooner rather than later failure of same.

on Feb 23, 2012

PoSmedley
I use ReadyBoost but have honestly never noticed an improvement or a noticeable improvement.

I have the Ready Boost service disabled because I have never seen any noticeable improvement using it. Since I see no improvement, I don't see the point in one more service running in the background.

 

 

 

the_Monk
Quoting BigDogBigFeet, reply 8The articles I read on it state that NTFS is fine.


Fine may be fine, I just thought I'd make a suggesting for possibly improving on fine.

I suggested exFAT as the format best suited for USB flash drives because it is a format sort of designed for removable media.  It has less 'features' than NTFS but also therefore less resource usage and performs less 'writes' to the media (which goes to the longevity of your removable device).

 

 

Does exFAT support .iso files, and other large files?

 I know that fat 32 does not. I use my 16 GB flash drive as NTFS without problems so it will support large files, like Acronis backups, etc.

on Feb 23, 2012

the_Monk
Since the lifespan of flash memory is limited by number of writes and NTFS does in fact write many times more often than other file formats (including exFAT) it does contribute to the sooner rather than later failure of same.

I only have your assertion as to writes more often do you have anything to substantiate what you are saying?

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