AMD releases Radeon-branded RAMDisk software

System RAM is pretty inexpensive these days. Dual-channel kits routinely serve up 8GB for as little as $40, making it easy for just about anyone to load their system full of RAM. 16GB configs aren’t all that unreasonable when one considers the costβ€”and the fact that the extra memory can be put to use in a RAM disk. It seems AMD wants a piece of that action, because it’s partnered with Dataram to offer a Radeon-branded version of that company’s RAMDisk software.

This venture might seem like an odd fit for AMD, but keep in mind the chipmaker started selling Radeon-branded memory modules last year. Fortunately, the Radeon RAMDisk software isn’t limited to folks with AMD memory. Anyone can use the free trial to transform as much as 4GB of system memory into something Windows sees as a standard hard drive. Folks with Radeon modules will be able to push that limit to 6GB. Upgrading to Radeon RAMDisk Xtreme, which costs $19, allows for RAM disk capacities up to 64GB regardless of whose name is on the DIMMs.

Reserving a slice of system memory to act as data storage has some appeal. RAM disks are much faster than NAND-based solid-state drives, and there are no limitations on how much data can be written. However, DRAM’s volatile nature requires a steady stream of power to keep data stored. A simple reboot will wipe the memory, which is why the Dataram software includes an automated imaging system that saves the contents of the RAM disk to traditional storage. The imaging system can be configured to create backups at regular intervals and every time the machine is shut down.

Even at today’s low prices, RAM still runs about $5/GBβ€”many times more than modern solid-state drives. Given the cost and associated limitations, I suspect most consumers will stick with SSDs for their uber-fast storage needs. It’s nice to have an inexpensive solution for people with workloads that can actually take advantage of the extra performance a RAM disk can provide, though. You can download the Radeon RAMDisk software right here.

Comments closed
    • WillBach
    • 7 years ago

    The RAM disk software needs auto-management features, not just automatic backup. If AMD’s Catalyst drivers could automatically cache game resources, such as textures, as the game was being played, that would be awesome. That would give the benefits odizzido mentioned, without manual management. Hell, even a quasi manual mode, where the user could select a directory and have it mirrored to RAM (and replaced with link files), or maybe just the files that Catalyst recommended, would be good.

    • odizzido
    • 7 years ago

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been modding stalker:COP and the load times have gotten huge. I made a 2.5gig ram drive and loaded all the textures and maps and such onto it and it really helped.

    • Umbragen
    • 7 years ago

    Do you suppose this would allow me to utilize memory above 3GB on a 32-bit OS?

      • LocalCitizen
      • 7 years ago

      in fact it does. make the virtual drive your swap space, and you would see system performance benefit

      [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_RAM_drive_software[/url<]

    • Delphis
    • 7 years ago

    RAM Disks were pretty cool when I used my Amiga 500 and loaded things from floppy disk .. πŸ˜€ You could keep a lot of Workbench (the Amiga OS) things in memory so it was pretty quick.

    These days though, yea, just get an SSD.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 7 years ago

    This really shows that AMD is stuck in the 90’s.

      • Delphis
      • 7 years ago

      Exactly! .. Not sure why you were downvoted, but I thought the same thing.

        • Waco
        • 7 years ago

        This.

    • shank15217
    • 7 years ago

    there are many reasons to use ramdisks.. here is one.. ever try to compress a large directory in place? Newer parallel compression utilities like 7-zip, rar and maybe the gpu based winzip may get i/o bound on disk.

      • Sam125
      • 7 years ago

      Yup. Ten times or 1000% higher sequential transfer rates and IOps, seek times in the tens of nanoseconds. If you can afford it and don’t mind making backup images of your RAM disk drive then it is an obvious no-brainer for memory and disk intensive programs. Games, image editing, video editing, 3d rendering, file compression, querying a database and so on and so forth.

    • campdude
    • 7 years ago

    not compatible with windows xp where u would want the pagefile on the ram drive.

    Maybe good for 32-bit versions of Win 7 and Vista.
    Not sure if this software supports a pagefile though.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      If you have the ram, then you wouldn’t need the swap file in the first place.

      • aceuk
      • 7 years ago

      The pagefile isn’t meant to be located on a RAM disk.

      • south side sammy
      • 7 years ago

      Dataram RAMDisk – Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, XP, Server

      Intel or AMD-based system with at least 512MB RAM. Dataram RAMDisk is compatible with all versions of Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista (x86 and x64), Windows XP (x86 and x64), all editions of Windows Server 2003 (x86 and x64), all editions of Windows server 2008 (x86 and x64). Dataram RAMDisk is freeware for personal use (up to 4 GB disk size). Disks larger than 4 GB require registration and a license which can be purchased for $18.99 USD. Registration and license are not required for disks under 4 GB.

      [url<]http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmemory.dataram.com%2Fproducts-and-services%2Fsoftware%2Framdisk&ei=Ykp2UNPMCqT40gH0mYDAAQ&usg=AFQjCNEe4v9bDVLpsX9VKqqTxKNfAC-P5g&cad=rja[/url<] [url<]http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CEMQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pcworld.com%2Farticle%2F260918%2Fhow_to_supercharge_your_pc_with_a_ram_disk.html&ei=Ykp2UNPMCqT40gH0mYDAAQ&usg=AFQjCNF5666JmXq6IdqCV0e27ruHBiowwg&cad=rja[/url<]

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Caching is where it’s at, not ramdisks. At least still not at these capacities, also taking into account almost no one has 32GB let alone 64GB of memory. Having your computer automatically cache files that are used more often is infinitely more useful then caching entire folders. If the cache works properly, it will automatically cache those files that you need to load programs fast.

    I suppose two years or so of hoarding is long enough… only because the neigh-sayers about caching/ramdisk software are douchebags. Fancycache is an amazing piece of software if you have 8+GB of memory or more. They also make Ramdisk software.

    • JosiahBradley
    • 7 years ago

    On Linux:

    > sudo mkdir /mnt/RAM
    > sudo chmod 775 /mnt/RAM
    > sudo mount -t tmpfs -o noexec,noatime,sync,size=1G,nr_inodes=10k,mode=0770 tmpfs /mnt/RAM

    A quick 1GB ram device that can not execute files for safety. Remove noexec and install a game for some serious epicness.

    Edit: Not bashing AMD or any software to make things easier here. Just wanted to inform everyone. Enjoy!

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      Game. Linux. Funny joke.

        • TheBob!
        • 7 years ago

        Getting better every day. Between the coming Steam and the mountains of games from the Humble Bundle.

          • diable
          • 7 years ago

          Steam isn’t out yet and the Humble Bundle games are crap (imo). So game+linux still equals joke.

        • JosiahBradley
        • 7 years ago

        I guess my steam installation isn’t really there then… Or those Humble Bundles I bought. Or right, all those open source games that work amazingly on low end hardware like nexiuz. Or Tetris, or the list goes on…

        I provide a tiny bit of knowledge and you retort by being an ass. Good job! And I’m glad two others agree with you, because I’d hate to be bashing on a lone individual without their little army.

      • Buzzard44
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, I was kinda shocked by this article, as I assumed there would be some sort of Windows equivalent to the linux way to make a RAM mountpoint.

        • Waco
        • 7 years ago

        There are a few free alternatives…and Windows Vista and 7 already do fairly aggressive caching as well.

        I played with RAM disk software a few years ago and felt no real improvement for the massive hassle that it affords over using an SSD or an SSD-cached HDD.

      • Ringofett
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]> sudo mkdir /mnt/RAM > sudo chmod 775 /mnt/RAM > sudo mount -t tmpfs -o noexec,noatime,sync,size=1G,nr_inodes=10k,mode=0770 tmpfs /mnt/RAM[/quote<] Annnnd all that to accomplish something free GUI apps in Windows accomplish easily is why I try out but never stick to linux.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        FYI, there are plenty of gui apps to do this in linux as well.

        • Joe Miller
        • 7 years ago

        “All this” is a copy-paste the three lines to command line in a couple of seconds, and you are done.
        Much faster than looking around for free Windowes software, downloading, installing together with the bundled browsers and search bars and what not, then tweaking, then…

          • willmore
          • 7 years ago

          Better yet, the first two commands only ever need to be done *once* and the last one can be added to the fstab so that it gets done automatically on boot. Heck, the F17 I have on this laptop uses four different tmpfs’es for various things. I didn’t have to type anything to get them setup, it’s just part of the system.

    • Sahrin
    • 7 years ago

    What modern game (ie one that taxes the system) can fit in less than 8GB? I play Civ V and SWTOR regularly…neither of those games can be installed to a RAM disk in a 16GB system (most consumer/non-prothusiast boards limit you to 16GB). SWTOR is 20GB +.

      • WaltC
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]What modern game (ie one that taxes the system) can fit in less than 8GB? I play Civ V and SWTOR regularly...neither of those games can be installed to a RAM disk in a 16GB system (most consumer/non-prothusiast boards limit you to 16GB). SWTOR is 20GB +.[/quote<] Well, Torchlight II was just released and occupies a whopping 1.53G on my system. T1 was just 533Mb. Either would run nicely out of a ram drive. Two Worlds II takes up all of 3.35GB on my drive. I mean, guy, the games are out there, so let's not pretend they aren't...;) And sure, I wouldn't do it *anyway*--which is what I recall saying. Sure, games with gigs & tens of gigs of mods aren't going to fit--but that doesn't dilute the fact that if you want to do it there are plenty of games that'll fit even inside a 16GB Win7 ram limit. Most games, indeed, are not 20GB in installed size (although my Skyrim installation is ~37GBs!--mostly mods, though.) What was your point?

        • Action.de.Parsnip
        • 7 years ago

        How the flip can your Skyrim be 37gbs!?!?! :O

          • lilbuddhaman
          • 7 years ago

          High resolution textures. 4096×4096 (even for tiny objects like a bottle), plus the alternate versions, plus the default ones still in another folder, plus the billions upon billions of addons.

    • WaltC
    • 7 years ago

    Long ago I first played around with Ramdisks by installing Amiga games to them and playing from them. It was especially notable with floppy Amigas–huge difference, but, oh, man, it took awhile to install those HD floppies (880k) to ram….;) Pay off was generally worth it in snappy gameplay. Back then ram was very expensive (not to mention comparatively slow.) My last Amiga, an A4000, I am proud to say, ran loaded-up with the amazing amount of 32 MEGAbytes of “fast ram” on board (system ram)…;)

    Things got a little better with hard drives–in that I could copy stuff to the ram drive a lot faster…;) (My first hard drive was a whopping 50 megabyte scsi1 drive from Great Valley Products which I purchased new for the low, low price of $499…:D The original file system for it sucked (Amiga FAT)–errors all the time, almost unusable–and then came the Amiga’s “NTFS” the “FFS” for “Fast File System”. Much better–errors gone, for the most part. Ever notice how much old stuff is labeled “Fast…”?…;) It’d be really slow, today.)

    Heck, even with the Win7 HP limit of 16GB, most games are ~3-5GBs installed, so you could still install *a* game to a ram drive and play the game from there–but I don’t think it’d be worth it in terms of perceived performance gains–they just wouldn’t be that noticeable, imo. Not really worth it these days because HDs & ram are so cheap and so much faster than they were way back when. I still like RAID 0, though…;)

      • Rand
      • 7 years ago

      I love hearing stories like this, sometimes I wish I’d gotten into computers before 1994. I missed out on so much.
      I will never be able to partake in the joys of Amiga and Commodore memories πŸ™

        • WaltC
        • 7 years ago

        The chief value in having lived through those days is that it gives one a marvelous sense of perspective–because you have a much clearer view of the way things were, it allows you a pretty robust view of the way things probably will be, too…;) But…

        it can also prejudice you in ways you don’t realize so that when someone projects a new device which might seem ridiculous and nutty to you–and you laugh at the idea–the last laugh is on you, when that particular device is invented after all and sells well…;)

        I think today is the “Golden Age” of personal computing and games. The hardware has never been less expensive or better, the software is great, too, and even that is finally showing signs of dropping MSRPs that are commensurate with how much larger the market is today than it was when somebody, somewhere, decades ago, thought “a computer game ought to cost $50.” Heh…;) Even that is finally changing for the better. You’ve got a lot to look forward to as I believe the best is yet to come!

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 7 years ago

        I think it’s hard coming from a point today where on board sound (and in some cases video) are the norm to a time when it was all a bit of a kludge, GUIs were relatively new and CGA then EGA were the height of PC graphics power. I doubt most people would want to go back to Windows 3.1 days but we loved our computers back then – especially Amiga and Atari owners.

        It’s like imagining that Dell has come out with new features for only their computers I think. We’re so used to the mixing and matching on the PC side and that pretty much any OS and computing device can do the same tasks it would have to seem like some prehistoric age to someone not around at that time.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 7 years ago

      Only computers I ever loved. Those were good times.

      I used to always laugh when one of the UHF or cable stations went down and you either saw the 1.3 workbench or a guru meditation.

      Those things had a sort of personality (something I also felt was there in the Sega Dreamcast and Saturn). I always felt a bit sad that utilitarianism won in the end even if the things that came with it included greater functionality.

      32 megs of 32 bit RAM was a beast in those days! I remember when adding a whopping 8 megs of 16 bit RAM was revelatory. πŸ™‚

      Introduced the family to the joys of computing with my bone stock CDTV.

      • Sam125
      • 7 years ago

      I started using computers around the IBM PS/2 which was around when the i386 and i486 were in use so I never got to use the Amiga and Commodore 64 systems although it would’ve been educational to have tinkered around with one of the pre-IBM PCs. Oh well, I don’t really see it as a loss as I’m not especially attached to old hardware. (The horror, I know!) But I guess if one [b<]really[/b<] wants to, there are plenty of emulators to at least get a sense of the bygone days. :p Edit: Which I think was DOS 6.0 and Windows 3.11 for me. Man, nostalgic but DOS was a PITA and I consider those the "bad old days". Stupid 640k of conventional memory and EMA and extended memory BS.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 7 years ago

        There were 386 (and later 486SLC) bridgeboards for the Amigas that were contemporaneous. It was at least as much about the OS which included pre-emptive multitasking in a ridiculously small amount of RAM at a time when it was unheard of outside of Unix based systems (often so-called mini computers) and mainframes. It wasn’t just the hardware wars it was the OS wars – which basically ended when IBM ceded the space to Microsoft (although OS/2 never got the widespread adoption it could have). SGI was a titan, Sun was a common workstation vendor and Next had the sexiest workstations and OS.

        It was also a time when you could see Jurassic Park and a kid could hop onto an SGI box and say “It’s Unix! I know this!” to a few titters in the audience in the same way we joke about people on shows like NCIS and whatnot saying “Enhance!”.

        It’s good to know where things came from – but the affordability and capability today dwarfs all of that. However there was a camaraderie then I think that is largely lacking now among people using computers.

          • Sam125
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, I remember those events. It’s kind of a shame that OS/2 didn’t become the defacto standard as it really was much better designed than the kludgy Windows 3.x and 95. If the technology industry has proven anything to me though, it’s that the technically superior product doesn’t mean anything if your decision makers and business side are rubbish. Although I think it would’ve been really educational to have played with a Sun workstation or have had some exposure to HP-UX or something similar.

          Oh well, I can just go back to ignoring Windows 8 and continue to root for the underdog, although that’s becoming more difficult to do these days.

            • yuhong
            • 7 years ago

            Ah, OS/2. Anyone remember the old MS OS/2 2.0 SDKs from 1990? And the unethical tactics MS used to attack OS/2 later on like “Microsoft Munchkins”? And my favorite thing about Win95 is how its dependency on DOS help Caldera continue its lawsuit against MS.

            • Sam125
            • 7 years ago

            Yeah, there were a lot of sketchy people, both old hands and relative new comers. It was a kind of new frontier type of environment that fostered that type of attitude though. Although it seemed to have stopped after Microsoft gained a monopoly on the desktop.

        • ColeLT1
        • 7 years ago

        Ah… the PS/2. My first pc was a IBM PS/2 “consultant” with a 486SX 25mhz, 4mb (upgraded to 8) ram, and a 170mb HD. We added a soundcard/cd-rom combo after a year or so, I was amazed with the video on the encyclopedia, I remember watching the moon landing, at like 50×50 pixels lol.

      • FubbHead
      • 7 years ago

      RAM:… ’nuff said… πŸ™‚

      Oh, they joy of assigns, by the way..

      • jihadjoe
      • 7 years ago

      Man you are l337!

      Back in those days I was running a 286 with 1MB of RAM. Since DOS programs wouldn’t use much the memory between 640k and 1MB. After using loadhigh on some drivers, i’d put the rest into a ramdrive to hold system files like command.com.

      My first hard drive was a 20MB CHS unit from Seagate. I believe it actually still works to this day, and yeah it felt FAST back then. Like SSD fast today, or more even, considering 90%+ of load times back then was waiting on those furiously slow 5.25″ floppies to load up stuff.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 7 years ago

    FYI for those considering buying Asrock mobos there’s a ramdisk program in the box. I’m not sure which other vendors also do this.

    • The Egg
    • 7 years ago

    Don’t forget that Windows 7/Vista Home Premium has a 16GB limitation. I think that’s really worth mentioning here.

    • tootercomputer
    • 7 years ago

    This is nothing new, and goes back many years to DOS and even before that. I remember this from way back when, and it had an obvious appeal as a way-fast alternative to a 4300RPM 4G hdd. As for this AMD software, it would help if there was an actual real-life example of how this is awesome.

      • hansmuff
      • 7 years ago

      In particular, a RAM disk has to be populated first. Let us quickly think about what other existing Windows facility puts things that were loaded before into a RAM buffer, only it does so much more elegantly.. ah yes, the Windows System Cache.

      RAM disks were great when we were using floppy disk drives or really, really slow hard drives (not modern ones, I’m talking 20MB (yes, MB!) clunkers.) Back then, a 512K – 1MB or so RAM disk was very, very helpful.

      Windows caching makes this completely obsolete, uses any available system memory to the fullest and does not suffer the problem a RAM disk does; cache size is dynamic, RAM disks fuse off RAM that one could use for other purposes in a multitasking environment.

        • Sam125
        • 7 years ago

        Nonsense, a RAM disk would always be useful as there are programs out there that would benefit from being loaded in RAM. Games with large maps, photo editing programs when dealing with file sizes ranging in the hundreds of megabytes, etc. Remember, the weakest link in a modern computer is the storage due to needing to access it in terms of milliseconds. Using a RAM disk would cut down access times into nanoseconds.

          • hansmuff
          • 7 years ago

          So does a cache after first load. Think before you call things non-sense. I started out saying a RAM disk needs to be populated first. If you read all the game files once, they are in cache (RAM!) as well.

            • Sam125
            • 7 years ago

            What kind of a person do you really think takes the time to go through game files and load them to a cache? Populate the disk once and enjoy those benefits for as long as you have uptime. Problem solved. :p I agree that reloading an image every boot up isn’t a good solution if you turn your computer off every night, but then why would you need to?

            It simply comes down to your usage needs. If you turn off your computer often then loading an entire image to RAM isn’t a good idea, but if you can maintain any type of uptime with your computer, then there are seconds to be shaved off! Loading files into a cache still needs to load from a drive which is [b<]exactly[/b<] what a RAM disk is seeking to avoid!

            • Jason181
            • 7 years ago

            Windows superfetch does a lot of this for you behind the scenes without the need for a RAM drive.

        • Action.de.Parsnip
        • 7 years ago

        Actually using ram disks is fairly well known means of making Arma 2 run better, to the extent that it supposedly suffers less loading hitches than just having the game installed on an SSD.

        The idea is you load some (quite large) folders onto the ramdisk and the game reads them alot faster than even from an SSD.

        In short ramdisks do have their uses, although sometimes you do have to go digging around to find these instances.

        • Faiakes
        • 7 years ago

        Would a RAMdisk benefit Firefox then?
        Moving the cache on it, etc.

    • ZGradt
    • 7 years ago

    Holy crap. I ran the Doom shareware off a 4 meg ramdisk back in the 90s. DOS 6 had built-in support for that if I remember right. It’s also pretty trivial to do in Linux. Didn’t realize that Windows requires 3rd party software to do it.

      • tootercomputer
      • 7 years ago

      ha, you got in there just ahead of me. πŸ™‚

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    Not that I’d be building a new PC any time soon but this actually sounds perfect for someone like me. A 32, 48 or even a 64GB RAM disk coupled with a secondary mechanical drive or SSD would pretty much be an ideal solution. Load the OS, demanding games and other more RAM intensive programs on your RAM disk and store everything else on your larger drive.

    There might be some long term reliability issues due to disruptions in power supply or the disk storing the image file failing, but considering that people seem to be okay with the relative instability of SSDs, one might as well go with something that’s much faster than an SSD.

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      It’s a shame that win7 home premium limits you to `16GB of RAM, i have 16GB and rarely use anywhere close to it, But i’d almost consider sticking 32GB in there if i could and using half of it for uber fast access, especially with software like this that can image the ramdrive into conventional storage before shutting down.

        • Sam125
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah, you really need Windows 7 Professional to really fully utilize a RAM disk that’s any kind of a usable size (Win7 Pro has a maximum physical memory limit of 192GB).

        There’s also the issue that consumer memory modules seem to have topped out at 8GB per stick but there should be some 16GB and 32GB memory modules coming out soon enough.

    • ClickClick5
    • 7 years ago

    So….this is nothing new. I wrote a forum thread about ImDisk and the boost of game load times long ago.

    Same bloody thing.

    EDIT: [url<]https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=79246[/url<]

    • Morris
    • 7 years ago

    Until SSDs get properly sorted out so they are very compatible and reliable, don’t lose capacity, don’t lose data, don’t need weekly firmware updates, etc. I’ll stick with a traditional HDD.

    I’m not particularly interested in the RAM disk idea either. Maybe it meets the needs of some folks but I don’t have any “slowness” issues with any of my desktop PCs. A RAM disk might be useful on my old laptop however.

      • bcronce
      • 7 years ago

      SSD reliability issues are almost exclusively limited to specific brands and/or models. Just wait a few months before purchasing and read reviews.

        • Ringofett
        • 7 years ago

        Exactly. I waited just a bit, not even months, saw the m4’s were received well, and at this point I’ve accumulated 3 of them in various systems. Rock solid. And not as if traditional hard drives don’t have problems; Deskstar series had the Deathstar nickname for well-deserved reasons for a while.

      • UberGerbil
      • 7 years ago

      The 830 Samsungs I own (and have installed in others’ computers) have zero compatibility or reliability issues, have lost no capacity, have lost no data, and have not needed a firmware update in 6 months (the first one I bought needed an update in February; the ones since then have arrived with that update already installed). As with anything else (eg the “Deathstar” traditional HDDs) there are brands or models to steer clear of, but that shouldn’t cause you to reflexively write off the entire technology altogether. One of the 830s replaced an HD in a very compact, hot case, and the SMART data was showing that HD could be on its last legs; the SSD is reporting temps that are several degrees cooler (as is the entire system without an HD contributing heat) and so far looks to be more reliable than the traditional HDD it replaced.

        • jihadjoe
        • 7 years ago

        Damn you own a LOT of Samsungs! 830 of them?

      • xeridea
      • 7 years ago

      SSD reliably issues are mostly a thing of the past as long as you go with a well known brand and don’t get bottom of the barrel model. I have had an OCZ Vertex 2 for a couple years no never had any issues, or updated firmware. I would say they are at least as reliable as HDD. I have had several HDD crashes in past so I wouldn’t say they are particularly reliable.

        • Rand
        • 7 years ago

        Ironically many people would consider OCZ to be bottom of the barrel.

      • Sam125
      • 7 years ago

      For me, it’s not so much that SSDs are reliable or not, it’s that they have a limited lifespan and that NAND modules begin to become very unreliable toward the tail end of their usable life. Couple that with the fact that if you begin to fill up an SSD with data, the performance becomes rather subpar and I’d rather not go with SSDs.

      Not to say that a RAM disk is any better, as with one of those you’re just one blackout or brownout away from complete data loss but at least you’re not using a RAM disk under any false sense of reliability. πŸ˜‰

        • UberGerbil
        • 7 years ago

        HDs do not have an unlimited lifespan, and have a tendency fail abruptly and catastrophically. SSDs tend to fail in a more graduated way with more warning.

          • Sam125
          • 7 years ago

          I’ve only had one hard drive ever fail on me and it was making a metal on metal grinding noise for weeks before it finally gave up the ghost which made it my fault for not replacing it sooner. I’ve also had hard drives that have probably come close to or blown past the manufacturers’ MTBF numbers. SSDs OTOH are pre-destined to fail as the firmware won’t allow more read/write operations on a NAND module past a certain amount of cycles.

          Most people who buy SSDs probably upgrade their computers or drives every few years which doesn’t really make it a problem for them. I OTOH try to extract as much usage out of my hardware before I replace it which would make an SSD wholly unsuitable for someone like me. I’m kind of a cheap bastard in a sense. πŸ˜‰

            • Joe Miller
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<] I'm kind of a cheap bastard in a sense. ;)[/quote<] So am I, thus postponing buying SSD as longer as possible πŸ™‚

            • rrr
            • 7 years ago

            Every piece of consumer electronics is pre-destined to fail.

            And apparently, so is your comment.

            • UberGerbil
            • 7 years ago

            There are no SSD firmware limits on reads. That would be bizarre and stupid. AFAIK there are no limits on writes either; what the firmware does is watch for failures during the block erase stage (which must precede a write unless the block has never been written to before). If the erase fails, the block is retired (and the write is re-tried with a different block). There’s no hard limit in the firmware: blocks are used until they fail (and wear leveling ensures they’re all used fairly evenly, though NAND irregularities mean some will have longer lives than others). And in some designs, the retired block is replaced by a fresh one from a reserve.

            I just looked at my 830’s SMART stats. Right now it shows 3% wear-levelling, after 9 months of use. So: (100/3) * 9 = 300 = 25 years still to go. Oh noes! My SSD is pre-destined to fail in 2037!

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      Enjoy having slow PC then.

      • Proxicon
      • 7 years ago

      Obviously you dont own a SSD…

    • tbone8ty
    • 7 years ago

    How it saves yur ram drive to a hardrive so you dont constantly have to make a new one every time is a neat idea.

    Now I wish I had 32gb to play with it!

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    Yeah.. it’s called /tmpfs and I’ve been using it for a whole lot longer than AMD has been selling “Radeon” branded memory.

    Considering the financial situation that AMD is in, I think they would be much better served by focusing on their hardware execution than playing games with slapping the word “Radeon” all over generic software packages that have exactly zero to do with what Radeon is supposed to mean (i.e. graphics cards).

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Ya I snickered and thought of tmpfs when I looked at the headline. Older versions of windows and even DOS even included a ramdrive as part of the OS but like everything else in windows they are slowly removing more and more functionality.

      • Sam125
      • 7 years ago

      There’s nothing new about the concept of a RAM disk. It’s been around since at least the Amiga days — see WaltC’s post. It was just never really practical or even affordable until rather recently…although whether creating one today being practical and affordable would be up for debate.

      Also, Windows for the home never had a utility to create a RAM disk so your point is moot.

      HDDs and SSDs are boring. Dozens of gigabytes of pure volatile random access memory to store your files is not only novel but also offers a lot of bragging rights. πŸ™‚

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]Also, Windows for the home never had a utility to create a RAM disk so your point is moot.[/quote<] ramdrive.sys was present in the Win9x era.

    • Sahrin
    • 7 years ago

    What would be better is an inexpensive PCIe 3.0 x16 card with a PCIe-DDR3 bridge and 10-20 DIMM slots (less than $100…ideally less than $50).

    Or an HT3.x connection using a PCIe slot, that connects to the CPU directly, that goes to a 256-bit DDR3 controller. I would pay $100+ for that card, imagine a pool of 80GB DDR3 RAM that could be accessed at 74 GB/s (or faster if they add more DDR3 channels or faster DIMMs).

      • Scrotos
      • 7 years ago

      What, like this?

      [url<]https://techreport.com/review/9312/gigabyte-i-ram-storage-device[/url<] [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-RAM[/url<] I don't know that it ever took off. Yeah, neat idea, but I don't think the market is there.

    • south side sammy
    • 7 years ago

    doesn’t AsRock already have something similar to this on their “555” boards ?

    • indeego
    • 7 years ago

    Yeah because when I see “Radeon” I can only think of software stability. Give me a break….

      • xeridea
      • 7 years ago

      I have never really had an issue with their drivers in the last 10 years….

      • flip-mode
      • 7 years ago

      No stability problems during my years of Radeon driver usage. But you’ll never stop saying it just because it’s not true, will you…

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 7 years ago

        Run crossfire then get back to me.

          • brucethemoose
          • 7 years ago

          ^^

          SLI too.

          • Jason181
          • 7 years ago

          I’ve had graphical corruption (almost exclusively in games for which driver updates haven’t yet been released), but no real stability problems. 6970×2.

          • anubis44
          • 7 years ago

          Run 3 monitors off of a single nVidia Kepler Card, and then use a friend’s computer to get back to me, because your perfectly-funcitonal-with-AMD-eyefinity monitors won’t display an image.

          Stop the misinformation, Jsen Hsun-lover. nVidia’s just as bad, if not worse, at ironing out driver bugs.

            • lilbuddhaman
            • 7 years ago

            you’re misinterpreting my loathing of ATI drivers (for which drive my 6870×2, and previously just a 6870, and previously a 4870) with love for nvidia. I’m going to TRY nvidia next purchase,part because of my past experiences but also because Nvidia looks to have more robust AA solutions (whether by patent or actual innovation I don’t care).

      • 5150
      • 7 years ago

      It’s been so long since I’ve seen an indeego-Radeon-driver rant, this makes me feel at home again.

      For you my friend: [url<]http://i.imgur.com/RJnTl.jpg[/url<]

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      Uh, where have you been since [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_Catalyst<]2002[/url<]?

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      I can give you a break. Of your hand or leg. Interested?

    • Hattig
    • 7 years ago

    I think even the most rabid AMD fan would have failed to even register a faint stirring of interest in this story!
    Should have been something that let you use GPU RAM as a cache when you’re not using all the GPU RAM (e.g., normal desktop use).

      • Meadows
      • 7 years ago

      That’s ridiculous. You don’t have enough VRAM for things like that, and the amount of free VRAM is volatile enough as it is.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        Not really, there is a ton of free vram during regular desktop use especially when you have cards that are exceeding a gig or more. Still it would not be worth it as the ramdisk would be fairly small in capacity and with regular ram being so cheap.

          • Meadows
          • 7 years ago

          And start up a videogame or Photoshop session [i<]just once[/i<] to use up most of that amount (especially if you have a videocard with 1 GiB, but it could endanger drives mounted on 2 GiB cards as well), and you'll end up either handicapping your game, or ejecting a drive out of your system without any prior warning. You're not going to explain this one. The nearest sensible option is using cards with 3 or 4 GiB of VRAM, but they're prohibitively expensive compared to just regular RAM of the same amount. The link to the rest of the system is shared between the GPU as well (PCIe), which may in some cases increase RAMdrive latency, too.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Did you completely miss his [quote<](e.g., normal desktop use).[/quote<] BTW, Photoshop is not vram intensive. Neither is gimp and the likes. It is system ram intensive. I could run benchmarks all day with background instances of Gimp running in the background loaded with tiffs and it makes no difference in gaming performance.

            • Meadows
            • 7 years ago

            Photoshop can use anywhere between 200 to 900 MiB of VRAM on the system I’ve tested (based on the project at hand).

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        Tell that to my 386SX!

      • xeridea
      • 7 years ago

      GPU RAM is much more limited, and would be slower since it would have to go across PCI-e bus. With RAM being so cheap, many people buy extra just because, and you could actually make a sizeable RAMdisk. Also using GPU RAM would likely be more complex to manage, without needing to debug for different vendors, and possibly less stable.

      For most, SSD of sufficient size is plenty fast for system/program files, or apps that need quick disk access (like PhotoShop cache). For those who have extra RAM they aren’t using, or wouldn’t mind buying a few extra GB, this is a good solution.

      I usually am using around 7GB, but I always have a TON of stuff open. (right now its 30 browser tabs between Chrome and FF, netbeans, filezilla, 5 spreadsheets, spotify, winamp, a database tunnel, 2 instances of HeidiSQL, bitcoin and litecoin clients and miners, 4 explorer windows, 7-zip, skype, dropbox, and handbrake encoding. Most people won’t have this much open.

        • DarkUltra
        • 7 years ago

        Screenshot or it didn’t happen.

          • xeridea
          • 7 years ago

          [url<]http://oi50.tinypic.com/2rh2x3d.jpg[/url<]

        • Joe Miller
        • 7 years ago

        Am I too old-fashioned, tending to work with no more than three programs/windows/tabs at a time?
        I just feel overwhelmed when so much programs and windows are open.

      • tbone8ty
      • 7 years ago

      I just wasted my time reading your boring comment

        • setaG_lliB
        • 7 years ago

        …and then wasted more time typing that useless comment.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 7 years ago

    Would it make sense to use a ramdisk as Window’s virtual memory?

      • xeridea
      • 7 years ago

      Umm………… no. Virtual memory is swapping to HD/SSD when you run low on system RAM. That would be using RAM as a disk, that could be used as swap RAM, instead of just being used the normal way. It would slow down system because of extra overhead of transferring data around for no reason.

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        No, a demand page-cache (still named “swap” for historical reasons) handles memory pages that are evicted from RAM and then returned to RAM when needed.

        The term “virtual memory” actually refers to any memory address space that a user-level program sees in any modern OS. Each applications sees its own “virtual” copy of the address space as if it were the only program running on the machine. The operating system + MMU hardware in your processor is responsible for converting between virtual addresses that programs see and the actual physical addresses that exist in memory and for managing the memory accesses for the different processes that are running in your system.

        Of course, MS mislabels “virtual” memory in the task manager, but it should more accurately be labelled as the “page cache”. Additionally, in a modern Windows setup your files are already cached into unused RAM dynamically, which makes the benefits (if any) of a manual RAM disk program a lot less obvious despite AMD’s marketing. For example, if you fill up the RAM disk with files that you don’t actually need to have cached, then there is less physical memory available for your programs and the likelihood of important data ending up being paged out to disk.. goes up!

    • 5150
    • 7 years ago

    FancyCache is worth a look.

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago
    • shaurz
    • 7 years ago

    Does Windows need special software to do this? I remember setting up a RAM disk in MS-DOS.

      • internetsandman
      • 7 years ago

      No, but people uncomfortable with the command line do

    • mkk
    • 7 years ago

    That Dataram RAMDisk software has been working really well here, using the free version for a couple of months. The practical gain can be debated, but serving up temporary files of various sorts onto a RAM disk that automatically clears itself on shutdown/reboot (if not set to save) can be nice enough if a system has more RAM than it can typically use up over a day. There are also programs like Photoshop that write extra temporary data to a drive even when it could easily fit everything into RAM, and stuff like that.

      • JdL
      • 7 years ago

      Seems ideal for virtualization / virtual machines. I don’t see much value to gamers.

    • brucethemoose
    • 7 years ago

    Nothing special, really. It’s just RAMDisk with an AMD sticker on it, so it’s still hard to set up a RAMdisk to speed up your system.

    But for those of you who still have spinning platters and 8GB+ RAM, this is far, far more interesting.
    [url<]http://www.romexsoftware.com/en-us/fancy-cache/index.html[/url<] Thanks to this, I put off my SSD purchase for about a year. FancyCache is something AMD should stick their sticker on. EDIT: Also, whats with the Radeon branding? I clicked the article thinking I could use a GPU VRAM as a RAMdisk (which would be pretty cool), but it has nothing to do with graphics.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      amd sells RAM, branded as Radeon Memory

      • odizzido
      • 7 years ago

      The Radeon brand has a better reputation I imagine.

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