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Seeking a "fully loaded" Ramdisk windows

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have been researching a method of having all of Windows's working files (registry, temp, drivers, user data, and pagefile) to be loaded into memory all at once, sacrificing boot time for the absolute maximum amount of performance once started. My best leads are using some form of PE windows along with a Ramdisk mounting program (like this: http://www.superspeed.com/specialized/ramdisk-winpe.php, or possibly some implementation of Bart's PE) and a gigantic amount of RAM installed. The problem is, I haven't got near enough money to even begin a testing program for one of these strategies (I have 8GB of ddr3 and that's not going to change for a while). Has anyone here attempted to boot from a Ramdisk before, or can report that it has actually been done successfully?

Alternatively, I would implore a programmer to develop a decent Ramdisk utility that runs from a self-booting CD, and from there, one could install windows in a VHD.

Who's down/skeptical?
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The Mad Cow
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post #2 of 5
I have seen it done before but just like any other thing it is a compromise. First and most obvious is that it requires a lot of RAM, but the part that is often overlooked is that since RAM is volatile the RAMdisk must be reloaded and save before every boot and shutdown, respectively. That coupled with RAM's propensity for errors (especially when overclocked), increases your risk of data loss. Additionally unless your RAMdisk utility saves data to the actual drive in real time your chances of losing data go up substantially and if it does save in real time then you are introducing more overhead. Thus you are likely to be slower booting and shutting down. So with that in mind the only real benefit is that explorer might open faster (though that's often because people don't set folder optimization correctly), and games will load faster. All and all if you want things to load faster and have money to burn I would recommend something more like an OCZ revo drive or other PCI-E based SSD.
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Sandy Thunder
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QuickSilver X1
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Ok DSP1. I understand the limited benefits of this implementation, but from a perspective of innovation can you or can you not agree that the ramdisk concept seems to have much unused potential?
The Mad Cow
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The Mad Cow
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post #4 of 5
I just don't see the need for RAM disks when SSDs are finally becoming affordable. There may be several orders of magnitude difference between accessing RAM and SSDs, but you're not going to notice a difference when it takes a few microseconds to load a program from RAM versus a few milliseconds to load from SSD.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I see that also. I'm just still on the fence about SSD's until a comprehensive report on their use life is published (you know one?). I've heard stories about people burning through them so fast that they are essentially paying a lease price every time the warranty expires.

If DDR4 would ever fall out of the golden goose's behind, i think ramdisks are going to be a more cost-effective performance solution, if they can be implemented to their highest potential. They just have to be integrated more thoroughly into the common paradigm. My ideal configuration would be: ramdisk as the primary work area, backed up at regular intervals to an SSD (so wear can be calculated and minimized), and using an HDD only for mass storage. This way you are using the longest lasting equipment most heavily, not relying on more perishable media for performance enhancement, and introducing multiple levels of data security. I fail to see where this is not worth consideration.

I'm not going to accept the milli- vs. micro-second argument when you consider that software will eventually challenge every performance boundary we have. Sure, everything is getting faster and more affordable, but that's what they said last time, right?
The Mad Cow
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The Mad Cow
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Western Digital Caviar Blue Samsung/Hitachi something or other assortment of leftovers from old systems hot-gl... Xubuntu 15.04 
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Sony whatevs Logitech K400 Thermaltake Smart650 Hand-me-down Gateway case 
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