Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I received a new laptop at work not too long ago. It came with Windows Vista. I may be slightly biased because I am a .NET developer, but I think Vista is actually pretty good. Since the release of Vista I have been hearing about Readyboost and the laptop came with a built in SDHC slot so I figured, what the heck! From what I understand Readyboost is basically using flash memory as a cache for your hard drive. The benefit is that flash memory has a really low seek time, so it should be able to retrieve frequently used files very quickly. Some USB drives are rated as Readyboost capable, however any memory that is fast enough will work. I decided to go with the SanDisk Ultra II which supposedly transfers at 15 MB/s. Somewhere I remember reading that Readyboost requires 5 MB/s. At first I was looking at the Ultra III (which is 20 MB/s) online, but it felt just a little too pricey compared to other cards with similar capacity. I finally pulled the trigger when I saw the 4GB Ultra II on sale at Circuit City for 20$ (Although it is slightly cheaper on Newegg). 4GB is the maximum size supported by Readyboost.
All in all I am impressed with Readyboost. My computer feels more responsive. After booting into Windows, it feels like I can start running programs and doing work right away, whereas before there was more of a pause as the computer got going. I also like that I can basically forget about it because of the internal SD slot. It wouldn't be as convenient if I had to remember to keep track of a USB Thumbdrive.