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Without the funds to buy a SSD for my soon to arrive laptop, and the knowledge that Visual Studio 2010 can be quite slow at times on a normal hard disk, I was trying to come up with possible solutions to improve performance. The laptop will have a 5400rpm drive and 8GB RAM.

ReadyBoost was one option that I was looking at as the laptop has a SD card slot which I don't intend on using, so could leave a large card in there and allocate it to ReadyBoost. However, as the machine will have 8GB RAM, I'm not certain ReadyBoost would do a huge amount as there should be plenty of RAM left of disk cache.

Then I remembered old Netbooks which used SD cards as their main storage, and wondered whether I could just install Visual Studio onto the SD card (or move it, and mount the SD card into Program Files?). Would that likely give better performance than loading from a hard drive? Kind of a poor man's hybrid drive?

Is this likely to:

  1. work

  2. give any noticeable benefit

  3. cause any problems?

  4. work better with a USB drive instead of SD card?

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On a humorous note, I just about choked when you mentioned netbooks as a potential model for increased performance. – horatio Feb 8 '12 at 14:45

One issue would be moving the card. It would not just "mount" on the second system. There could be a number of files in folders like windews or windows/system32 (for example) that would be missing and there would be registry entries missing

You would need a Class 10 card but not sure if there would be a big performacne boost as some files would remain on the 5400 RPM drive

Using a 7200RPM drive with a larger cache could help( WD Black for example)

Is there a reason you do not want to install VS2010 and check performance and address issues?

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I wouldn't intend on removing the SD card at all from this machine - certainly wouldn't put the SD card into another device. There wasn't an option for a 7200rpm drive when specifying the laptop, and I don't really want to spend anything significant on it (e.g. 7200rpm or SSD etc) - however £10 for an SD card would be fine. I haven't received the laptop yet, so can't try it myself yet. – Swampie Feb 8 '12 at 15:37
In this case where it is just in the one machine, it might be worth a try. Be sure to get the Class 10 card as some slower cards have very poor performance. Interested to hear the result – Dave M Feb 9 '12 at 13:55

This isn't going to help much at all. You'd get more of a performance boost by using the thumb drive as a ReadyBoost drive. For the price of the thumb drive you'd want for this you could probably find a used SSD that is bigger, faster, and made for exactly this purpose. I'd use that.

I'd say be patient and make sure that is the first thing you want to upgrade.

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