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I have a spare 4GB SD Card that I'd like to test for ReadyBoost so I'm not going to use it for anything else (format portability here is not an issue). As I've read, exFat is a very nice format because it's fast with deletes and free space allocations which I guess could help a bit with RB since it's cache and I suppose it does a lot of deleting/free space allocating.

I can see that default format is FAT32. But would it be better to either format it as NTFS or exFAT?

What would you suggest and what's your experience?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The main advantages of using NTFS or exFAT is that the ReadyBoost file on the SD card can be larger than 4GiB, which is the maximum possible file size when using FAT32.

If you use FAT32 the maximum allocation for a single flash device is 4GiB - so a 8GiB SD card would be limited to 4GiB of cache space ReadyBoost, it won't create two 4GiB files to try and use up more space.

Obviously, since your card isn't larger than this it doesn't really matter, and the advantages of exFAT in terms of deletions, free space allocation, etc will probably be irrelevant because the cache file will be a single static file on the card, and the filesystem will have little overhead work to do.

That said, in general if your card is only being used for ReadyBoost then I'd recommend exFAT, as this is kind of what it was designed for.

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Readyboost will create one cache file. So it will not delete then recreate the file as it is a single file allocation. However ntfs is not really designed for removable meeds.

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