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And what happens to the virtual memory in the RAM stick? nothing seems to happen on the computer

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Isn't readyboost just a prefetch cache? If so, nothing bad should happen. –  Mechanical snail Aug 5 '11 at 3:06
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

ReadyBoost is not virtual memory, it is a harddisk drive cache. Windows would rather use your RAM as a cache, but if that's low, solid-state memory is a decent second option.

Reading and writing small files in solid-state memory is faster than on a harddisk drive. Windows copies regularly used files to the ReadyBoost drive so it can load them faster in future. If Windows can't find what it wants on the ReadyBoost drive, it goes back to the harddisk drive.

Everything is always saved on the harddisk drive, so removing the ReadBoost drive does not cause any problems. Removing the ReadyBoost drive only increases the time taken to access cached files in future.

ReadyBoost Q&A

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Oh okay I see. So does ReadyBoost not reduce the use of virtual memory? –  InquilineKea Aug 5 '11 at 3:27
    
When I monitor my hard drive with HD Sentinel, it does seem that HD usage is lower when I do have USB drives acting as ReadyBoost. Also - does the additional benefit conferred by each additional GB of readyboost decrease as you increase the amount of RAM you allocate for ReadyBoost? –  InquilineKea Aug 5 '11 at 3:28
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To answer one of those, your HD usage will still be hgih, but probably for less time. Measure how long it takes to run applications with and without ReadyBoost. Reboot and measure how long it takes to open a Word document. Remove ReadyBoost, reboot, and measure it again. –  Hand-E-Food Aug 5 '11 at 3:54
    
ReadyBoost doesn't affect virtual memory. It may (and I'm guessing here) reduce memory usage because the cache is moved elsewhere, or it may be that you're computer now uses cache where it didn't previously. –  Hand-E-Food Aug 5 '11 at 3:57
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Just think of ReadyBoost as a read only cache. Since everything written is also written to disk. . . –  surfasb Aug 5 '11 at 4:11
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I have done it several times without any noticeable problems.

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