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FAQsWhat is Windows ReadyBoost?

ReadyBoost® Basics

  • Windows® ReadyBoost® is a feature available if you have a Microsoft® Windows® 7, 8 or Vista Operating System.
  • When enabled, the flash memory in products such as memory sticks, flash drives and SD cards is used by the computer as a cache.
  • Because most flash memory devices have a higher random read/write speed than hard drives, a performance gain is obtained by using Readyboost®.
  • Although Readyboost® improves the speed of random read/write operations, it doesn't get involved in sequential read/write operations, as the computer's own hard drive can do this best. ReadyBoost® therefore uses logic to recognize large sequential read requests and reads from the hard drive for these.

ReadyBoost Requirements

For ReadyBoost to improve your computers performance the following requirements need to be met:
  • The memory stick, flash drive or SD card must have a capacity greater than 256mb.
  • The memory should have a 2.5MB/sec throughput for 4K random reads and 1.75MB/sec throughput for 512K random writes.
  • The memory stick, flash drive or SD card should be 1-3 times the size of the RAM on your computer.
  • Note that if you have a flash drive with more capacity than 4GB, this excess will not be used by ReadyBoost® due to limitations of the FAT32 file system

Initiating Windows® ReadyBoost® with a Flash Drive

Windows® ReadyBoost® is only available with Windows® 7, 8 and Vista, using it is very simple.
  • Plug in your flash drive into the USB Port on your Windows® 7, 8 or Vista PC.
  • The following window should then appear:
  • Select 'Speed up my system'

Setting a Flash Drive up for ReadyBoost®

  • Assuming that you have plugged the flash drive in, and initiated Readyboost as above, go to 'My Computer', right click your flash drive icon and select 'properties'
  • The following menu should appear, click on the 'ReadyBoost' tab
  • 'Use this device' should be selected, and you can scale the amount of memory the computer can use for ReadyBoost®

Examples of when Windows ReadyBoost is Effective

  • Readyboost® is especially useful when seeking performance gains from a computer lacking free expansions slots for RAM. Note however that if your computer has free RAM slots and you consistently find a lack of computer performance, there is no substitute for installing more RAM.
  • ReadyBoost® is most effective for aiding RAM intensive programs

Operations where Windows® ReadyBoost® gives noticeable speed gains.
  • Opening and closing of applications such as Adobe® Photoshop® and Microsoft® Word.
  • Computer Games
  • Heavy Internet Browsing (e.g. streaming content or multi-tabs browsing)

Resources on Windows® ReadyBoost® Performance:

http://www.anandtech.com/systems/showdoc.aspx?i=2917&p=6
http://blogs.msdn.com/tomarcher/archive/2006/06/02/readyboost-q-a.aspx
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows7/products/features/readyboost