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I know actual, physical RAM drives are rare, but where are they?

Just to be clear, I'm talking about hard drives composed of several RAM slots and a controller acting as an HDD (or more realistically, like an SSD).

I'm aware you have to keep them powered to not lose your data and even if they were SRAM, you could still fit quite a bit on there.


I'm asking: where have all the volatile RAM drives gone? Why are they gone?

@Daniel R Hicks, you answered my question. I would upvote but I have no karma.

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Are you asking why are they rare, or their physical location? If it is the first one, you should rephrase your question to "Why are RAM drives not more commonly used?" – Scott Chamberlain Mar 3 '13 at 4:23
If you're asking why you can't purchase such a thing, it's because there's no point in making them -- modern computers buffer hard drives very well, so there's no real performance advantage, and SSDs fill in where there's a need to avoid mechanical devices. – Daniel R Hicks Mar 3 '13 at 4:34
SSDs are RAM drives. Flash is a type of RAM. – David Schwartz Mar 3 '13 at 6:27

They are no longer common because they are not often required any more.

Now that OS's are able to easily run 64bit address spaces, you can give masses amounts of RAM to the host OS to use natively. Further, the host OS will make great use of this for caching files and all other manner of things - you don't need to set aside a RAM drive.

In addition, the speed of HDD's and, of course, SDD's means that you get rather less benefit.

So volatile RAM drives are reduced to a highly specialist role. They are expensive and cause problems if they do not have sufficient power backup so they are only used in special cases.

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Viking Technology has a product called ArxCis-NV It's a DDR3 Dimm that acts as a drive. You can read more about it at its product page

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