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I have 12GB of RAM on my Windows 7 computer, and it's completely going to waste, I use only around 2GB and only once managed to get up to 3GB used.

I read about how some software can turn a chunk of RAM into a 'ramdisk' that will function like a normal drive that you can store files and install programs on. It'll then iamge the ramdisk so it is restored in same state after reboot.

Has anyone tried this kind of thing and should I bother? I thought about installing something like Photoshop on it...

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related… – Sathya Jul 4 '11 at 8:06
It would only make sense if you keep your computer on all the time, otherwise you still need to transfer that data to-and-from a hard drive on reboot. While I can see your need for a RAM disk with all the extra memory, I would create one about 3 GB in size, and use it primarily for application cache (e.g. internet browsing, temporary storage). – Breakthrough Jul 4 '11 at 16:22
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I use Dataram Ramdisk to create my ramdisk. It's free up to 4 gb ramdrive size and tt saves the ramdisk to the hard drive when you shut down your computer. That way the contents of the ramdisk are saved for your next session. I use it for the Firefox cache and windows search indexer, speeds up FF quite a bit I think. One thing to consider though is that if the computer crashes the content of the ramdisk will not be saved and the work stored there since the last save will be lost. There is however an option to save the contents on regular intervals.

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It's hardly useful. You would have to decide which files you put on the RAMdisk. You don't have complete freedom, as many programs expect all their files to be in the same directory.

In comparison, Windows Vista will use available RAM as a file cache. In that way, only the actually used files will end up in RAM. Even better, Vista can decide to keep only the parts of a file that you actually use in RAM. For instance, if you don't print, the "print" parts of Photoshop don't end in in the cache.

Now, where does the "2GB used" come from? if Windows uses 8GB of RAM for a file cache, how should it be reported? That memory can quickly be recycled for general use. After all, the bytes in the cache are just a copy of the bytes on disk. So perhaps it should not be counted against the "used" memory, even if it's in use - it's still available for other, more pressing use.

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"...many programs expect all their files to be in the same directory" Could be solved with junctions and symbolic links though. – CGA Jul 5 '11 at 16:22

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