According to Microsoft, Windows ReadyBoost is a new featured built in Windows Vista to help ease the stress that the resource-hungry operating system is putting on the hardware available and especially on the RAM. A veritable resource hog, Vista will deliver only the most basic of user experience and performance running under just 512 MB of RAM. In fact the 32-bit versions of the operating system can go as high as the address space limitations permit, which usually means something in the vicinity of 3.5 GB of system memory. Things are a tad different when it comes to 64-bit Vista. In such scenarios Microsoft's latest operating system can address up to 128 GB of RAM.
"Windows ReadyBoost improves system memory and boosts performance," Microsoft revealed. "Windows Vista introduces Windows ReadyBoost, a new concept in adding memory to a system. You can use non-volatile flash memory, such as that on a universal serial bus (USB) flash drive, to improve performance without having to add additional memory "under the hood." The flash memory device serves as an additional memory cache—that is, memory that the computer can access much more quickly than it can access data on the hard drive. Windows ReadyBoost relies on the intelligent memory management of Windows SuperFetch and can significantly improve system responsiveness."
However, a benchmark put together by PCStats underscores the fact that Windows ReadyBoost indeed offers a performance enhancement, but especially for Vista running on just 512 MB of RAM. In terms of boot times, Vista at 512 MB RAM finishes the startup process in 47 seconds. Throwing in a 512 MB USB speeds the boot time to 44 seconds, but a 4 GB USB takes the boot down to just 40 seconds. Still, with just 1 GB of RAM Vista boots in 26 seconds, while the operating system takes only 25 seconds to start with 4 GB of RAM and a 4 GB USB under ReadyBoost. The conclusion is simple, ReadyBoost is nothing but a temporary solution that won't and cannot solve the problem of insufficient RAM.Microsoft, Windows Vista, ReadyBoost, USB, RAM, Performance