Looking for RAMDisk Program Suggestions

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  1. Posts : 4,164
    Windows 11 Pro, 22H2
       #1

    Looking for RAMDisk Program Suggestions


    I wonder if anyone has suggestions on RAMdisk programs that they like. I'm about to start putting together a new system but before I spend the money for 128GB of RAM I want to test some RAMDisk programs to make sure that they work as I need. If anyone has any suggestions for RAMDisk programs that they especially like, I would appreciate hearing from you.

    Maybe a brief summary of what you especially like might be helpful as well.
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  2. Posts : 1,204
    11 Home
       #2

    Romex Software Primo Ramdisk with the Dynamic Memory Management option set to enabled. The free ImDisk also gives options to allocate memory dynamically, and, I like it because it's a free alternative choice in that department─and I can't see myself using any Ramdisk that does NOT allocate memory dynamically─but unfortunately there's still also the performance factor to consider, even though that isn't necessarily always a problem to me... it depends.
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  3. Posts : 11,247
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #3

    Hi there
    I think you'll have a problem creating a RAMDISK that will boot a Windows system itself unless you have some sort of OS that can create a RAMDISK at start up and then load whatever OS you want.

    In a decent RAMDISK type program I'd imagine you need it to be "Persistent" so that any data created / changed on it can be saved to HDD and restored on next boot.

    The only easy way to do this AFAIK (and I'm aware that this is a Windows Forum) is to use some sort of Linux system as they can create a RAMDISK and do what you want -- for exmple a load of so called "Live Linux distros" do just that so no changes are written to the (usally) USB boot device.

    I'm not sure exactly what you need though -- if it's just for creating say another "Virtual device" like an HDD from within the Windows system itself then I'm sure there are "Virtual Drive" type solutions around (again though remember you might need to save any data on these types of devices before shutting down the system).

    The Linux solution enables you to run the whole OS entirely in RAM - I don't think there's a Windows solution for that -- but we all learn stuff every day so if people find out if the software exsits I'd also like to know about it too !!!!

    You might be able to get some sort of basic DOS command processor to create and load a RAMDISK but I don't know of or even think whether any DOS system would be able to address anything like 128GB RAM.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  4. Posts : 2,068
    Windows 10 Pro
       #4

    hsehestedt said:
    I wonder if anyone has suggestions on RAMdisk programs that they like. I'm about to start putting together a new system but before I spend the money for 128GB of RAM I want to test some RAMDisk programs to make sure that they work as I need.
    What is it that you want the RAM disk to do for you? With super fast PCIE Gen 4 M2 SSD's on the market, i'm trying to understand what a RAM disk would provide to you or how it would improve performance enough to justify cost or the hassle.
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  5. Posts : 5,430
    Windows 11 Home
       #5

    pparks1 said:
    With super fast PCIE Gen 4 M2 SSD's on the market, i'm trying to understand what a RAM disk would provide to you or how it would improve performance enough to justify cost or the hassle.
    Because it is still several times faster? That is like 200-500%, depending on the type (M2/DDR4).
    People buy the most expensive RAM just to gain ~5%, so that can not be even compared to.

    The cheapest DDR4 vs PCIE Gen 3 M2:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Looking for RAMDisk Program Suggestions-capture_03042021_160504.jpg  
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  6. Posts : 1,204
    11 Home
       #6

    jimbo45 said:
    Hi there
    I think you'll have a problem creating a RAMDISK that will boot a Windows system itself unless you have some sort of OS that can create a RAMDISK at start up and then load whatever OS you want.

    In a decent RAMDISK type program I'd imagine you need it to be "Persistent" so that any data created / changed on it can be saved to HDD and restored on next boot.

    The only easy way to do this AFAIK (and I'm aware that this is a Windows Forum) is to use some sort of Linux system as they can create a RAMDISK and do what you want -- for exmple a load of so called "Live Linux distros" do just that so no changes are written to the (usally) USB boot device.

    I'm not sure exactly what you need though -- if it's just for creating say another "Virtual device" like an HDD from within the Windows system itself then I'm sure there are "Virtual Drive" type solutions around (again though remember you might need to save any data on these types of devices before shutting down the system).

    The Linux solution enables you to run the whole OS entirely in RAM - I don't think there's a Windows solution for that -- but we all learn stuff every day so if people find out if the software exsits I'd also like to know about it too !!!!

    You might be able to get some sort of basic DOS command processor to create and load a RAMDISK but I don't know of or even think whether any DOS system would be able to address anything like 128GB RAM.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    It most certainly is possible.
    SVBus_V1.2 signed - reboot.pro

    But IMO putting a whole installation of Windows 10 on a Ramdisk is kind of pointless, as the vast majority of files will never get accessed anyway in the first place, and, typically in almost every case, a better approach would be do a bit more research on the subject of caching. Here's a good place to start:
    Prefetch + superfetch + sysmain + ready boost + levels of cache | TechPowerUp Forums
    That said, I use a Ramdisk only for those specific files that would otherwise slow me down too much. File access monitoring and analysis, performance monitoring (i.e., 'profiling'), and the use of NTFS hard links and junctions, all come with the territory.

    As for the volatility of Ramdisks, Primo Ramdisk does offer multiple options to make the contents of Ramdisks persistent for when you need to reboot. But it goes without saying that, from a usability standpoint, before you can start to even talk about Ramdisks, you want to use a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) or use a laptop with a charged battery, which part explains why I'm always on a laptop these days, and, the sleep mode on it is getting used one heck of a lot, you gotta love that slow-blinking power LED, I digress...
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  7. Posts : 4,164
    Windows 11 Pro, 22H2
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Thanks for the suggestions. For those asking for more info on what I'm doing....

    I have a program that I wrote which is forever evolving. In general, this program maintains and updates Windows images and can do things such as inject updates, drivers, etc. into my Windows images.

    When I modify my code and run a test, it can take a good half hour sometimes even on a single Windows image. When I run my actual updates with monthly Windows updates (not just a test run), I apply updates to 25+ images at a time and that will take many hours.

    A great deal of that time is time spent reading to and writing from the disk. Because there is so much disk activity, even an SSD is a bottleneck.

    Thus, the desire to do this on a RAMdisk to help speed things along, especially when I have made code changes and I'm running a test pass. It's painful to wait so long for a test pass especially if I have to change the code multiple times before I get everything just right.

    EDIT: When I'm debugging new code, I may write several hundred GB at a time to the SSD. Doing this with a RAMdisk would remove a lot of stress on the SSD so that's another good reason for using a RAMdisk.
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  8. Posts : 2,068
    Windows 10 Pro
       #8

    Ah.... hsehestedt.

    I see what you are doing and totally understand using a RAM disk for this reason. The wear and tear savings on the SSD could be very well a solid reason for doing this alone.

    How much disk space do you need, or want, for your process. With 128GB of RAM, you could probably get away with 24GB of RAM dedicated to your Windows 10 machine, and use the remaining 100GB for temp space.
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  9. Posts : 11,247
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #9

    Hi folks

    @hsehestedt

    @pparks1

    I don't think after looking at what you want to do whether a RAM disk is really worth it -- just get a faster / bigger SSD / NVme Disk.

    If you really want mega performance out of Windows then one way is to install W2K16 or W2K19 server and convert to a workstation - otherwise the only sensible reason is for you needing that much RAM on a domestic computer is to run a whole slew of VM's.

    There's almost zero gain in having > 16 GB RAM on consumer grade OS'es especially things like Windows HOME which limits nr of CPU threads etc etc -- However using Servers as "desktop OS'es" -- M/s will hate me for this but it's eminently possible and works brilliantly too -- needs a bit of work though then it's a totally different ballgame.

    Of course if you run things like Photoshop then using RAM space as "Scratch file space" then that's also a different issue - with modern digital cameras having a huge amount of Mega pixels and using layers then you can easily find your application slows down dramatically if using even SSD hard disk space -- having this scratch space in memory avoids the problem.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  10. Posts : 4,164
    Windows 11 Pro, 22H2
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Jimbo45, I ran benchmarks. A RAMDisk would be WAY faster than even the fastest of SSDs and again there is simply the wear factor as well. While I do have an SSD with a 1,600 TBW rated life, at the rate I'm going lately, I could use that up fairly quickly

    The new system that I am building - every cent of that new system is coming from bitcoin mining that I did specifically for the purpose of funding this system, so the price of the RAM is not as great a deal as it would be normally. Heck, if the motherboard / CPU I'm picking out could accommodate 256GB I would go probably do that .

    Also, jimbo45, judging from your posts, I know that you seem to do a lot with VMs. I have a tendency to run a lot of VMs simultaneously and having the additional RAM would allow me some greater flexibility in that regard.
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