I am not using Windows Vista yet, but today I learned that Microsoft did include some pretty neato enhancements to the operation system. One of those enhancements is called “ReadyBoost”. What is that you say? Well, it is the easy and low cost way to upgrade your computer operating RAM without opening your computer up and messing with memory boards (the more RAM you have, the faster Windows will run, as Windows wont have to swap to the hard drive as much). “Impossible!” and “No way!” you say? It is… all you need is a USB flash drive or reader with a SD card plugged into it and of course a USB port.
Right-clicking on the USB flash drive icon and choosing properties from the menu will open a window with several tabs… one of those is ReadyBoost and clicking on that tab will give a view similar to the one in the below pic.
photo courtesy of Microsoft
Based on Microsoft’s information, the USB flash drive will be tested automatically to determine if the access time is fast enough for use with the ReadyBoost feature. If it passes the test, you can choose to enable “use this device” and allocate space per Windows recommendation or choose your own # using the slider.
The best things about ReadyBoost?
- can use part of, or all of the USB flash drive space
- easy to setup, no screw drivers required
- low cost, flash drive prices have dropped a lot recently (some 1 and 2 GB flash drives are now under $50)
Personally, I imagine a Microsoft programmer got upset that his bosses refused to upgrade the internal RAM on his workstation, so he got creative. Then the programmer got high praise by having his brain child included with the final release of Windows Vista.
The Official Windows Vista Features Explained website.
And just in case you need to know which model to buy, look for packaging that says “ReadyBoost” on it or click here “ReadyBoost compatible” to visit one of the many websites that list compatible USB flash drives.