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AMD Teams Up With Dataram To Give You 4GB RAMDisk For Free, 6GB If You Have Radeon Memory

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News Posted: Wed, Oct 10 2012 11:51 AM

When AMD launched its Radeon-branded memory last fall, it came as a bit of a surprise. In fact, in some ways it felt like AMD was trying anything in order to not keep all of its eggs in one basket, given the company's obvious struggles these past few years. Some thought that launch would be the end of it, that we'd never hear of AMD memory again - but we've been proven wrong this morning.

In a blog post entitled, Give your PC a boost with AMD Radeon RAMDisk, AMD offers us a free version of Dataram's RAMDisk software that will allow you to utilize up to 4GB of your memory for the cause, or up to 6GB if you happen to own AMD's branded sticks. Why would you want a RAMDisk? To speed up processes that constantly read and write to the disk. While SSD users might not see a major performance advantage, using a RAMDisk means that these read / writes hit your RAM, not your SSD, potentially prolonging its life.

AMD notes these perks when using a RAMDisk:

  • Get gaming in as low as 4 secs or up to 1700% faster than an HDD
  • Get significantly faster reading and writing speeds vs HDDs and SSDs
  • RAMDisk read performance: Up to 25600 MB/s with DDR3-1600, and even higher with faster RAM!
  • Protect your data with load and save features

Admittedly, it's going to be difficult to see advantages with the first bullet-point if you can only allocate 4GB or 6GB of RAM, and that's where the full-blown "AMD Radeon RAMDisk Xtreme" for $18.99 comes in. As mentioned above, this version allows you to use up to 64GB of memory. Generally speaking though, your RAMDisk shouldn't hog too high a percentage of your system memory if you want to actually use the rest for regular RAM purposes, so to help you with that math, AMD lays out suggestions on its purchase page.

I admit that while I've long considered using a RAMDisk day-to-day, I've only ever dabbled with it briefly. Do you use a RAMDisk? If so, would you consider it to be genuinely useful - perhaps even something you wouldn't want to go without?

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lipe123 replied on Wed, Oct 10 2012 1:18 PM

Why would you pay money for a program that creates a ramdisk for you? There are plenty commands or free programs that already does this.

Also "Get gaming in as low as 4 secs or up to 1700% faster than an HDD" is totally BS, doesn't ramdisks wipe when you restart the machine?

So you have to reinstall/copy the game to the ramdisk each reboot and pray it doesnt store save files in the game folder.

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ECouts replied on Wed, Oct 10 2012 1:33 PM

I believe what AMD appears to be doing is allowing data to be sent to and from the ramdisk via the load and save feature. The data from your HDD can be sent to RAM all at once instead of having to make multiple reads to and from.

Windows offers a built-in driver for RAMDRIVE, but doesn't offer any software (go figure that Windows would be missing features). Linux at least has a program available which will allow you to compress your ram drive on-the-fly for use with things such as a page partition. This effectively allows for in increase in memory without adding too much overhead as long as the CPU can handle it.

The problem is, as lipe123 said, that RAM is volatile. Unless you don't intend on performing a full shutdown of your PC, it's not that great of an option. The 64 GB option of the program is pretty useless to most people since the only AMD processor I know of that would support that much RAM is the Opteron. It's one of the features that leaves AMD in the dust--lack of adoption of decent CPU features like triple channel memory and 64 GB memory options.

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Actually good RAM drive programs store everything on the ram drive to disk, so you don't loose anything when you reboot. Since my desktop has 24GB of ram, I have been using a ram drive for several years on it to handle swap file duties. It saves a lot of wear and tear on the SSDs.

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RTietjens replied on Wed, Oct 10 2012 9:14 PM

Reading an SSD does not cause "wear." It's writes and erases that eventually do; and current SSDs have about the same MTBF as spinning hard drives.

For me to gain a significant advantage for playing World of Warcraft (for example; most modern games will need similar, or more, resources), I would need a RAMdisk of about 20GB, or larger. It's less expensive and (figuring RAMdisk reload time) faster to buy a small SSD and move the game there. 32GB SSDs are available now for under $50. 32GB or DDR3 RAM is close to $140, and losing 20GB of that to a RAMdisk would seriously impact performance of everything else.

It's a typical Marketing move - sell your product to the tech-ignorant by lying to them about what it can do for them.

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karanm replied on Wed, Oct 10 2012 9:54 PM

Yea I played around with creating a 2Gb ram disk out of my 8Gb of ram. Tried it for paging files, as a Firefox temp folder and tried a few games as well. Didn't really see a performance difference for those options. Using it as a scratch disk for adobe is apparently one of the best uses, however one would need to spend quite a bit of money to get enough extra ram in order to effectively use it. Like RTietjens said, an SSD would be cheaper but probably not faster. You don't need a ramdisk for day to day computing (including gaming) an SSD IMHO is a better option. For workstations it might be a good addition on top of an SSD.

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BReschke replied on Wed, Oct 10 2012 10:15 PM

The only reason I purchased a Ram Disk software is because the "free" versions did not properly support the Paging File in windows XP. It is important to note that this (Radeon) software is not compatible in XP also.

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acarzt replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 11:11 AM

You'll barely even notice a difference in gaming... if at all... most of the important stuff is loaded to RAM anyway...

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SmogHog replied on Sun, Oct 14 2012 8:50 PM

The link below is the best info I've seen on RamDisk creation.

http://thessdreview.com/Forums/software/1834.htm

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