Now that AMD has entered the RAM business, the company is looking for ways for you to max out your existing memory modules so you have to buy more.
AMD has partnered with Dataram, a developer of memory solutions, to offer a Radeon-branded version of the company's RAMDisk software, which allows PC users to allocate RAM as a virtual RAM drive. That virtual RAM drive acts as a high-speed drive, and can be used in situations where you want read and write speeds that are significantly faster than those offered by hard drives and solid state drives.
What can you do with this high-speed drive? AMD offers some suggestions.
"Using this RAMDisk can help free your hard drive from unnecessary temporary files, limit unwanted writing to your SSD, and when used correctly, can dramatically accelerate the loading and processing times of games, demanding software suites and web browsing," writes Natasha Sampson, AMD product marketing specialist on the AMD Game Blog,
Key benefits of using RAMDisk include:
- Get gaming in as low as four-seconds or up to 1,700 percent faster than an HDD;
- Get significantly faster reading and writing speeds vs. HDDs and SSDs;
- RAMDisk read performance: Up to 25,600 MB/s with DDR3-1600, and even higher with faster RAM;
- Protect your data with load and save features;
The RAMDisk download is described as "a free, no-strings-attached trial," but as usual, there are strings. While anyone can download and install the Radeon-branded RAMDisk and create a 4GB virtual RAM drive -- just as you can with the freeware RAMDisk download that Dataram offer directly -- those with Radeon-branded RAM installed can create 6GB virtual RAM drives. Also, those wanting to make larger virtual RAM drives -- up to 64GB -- will need to buy a license for the software for $18.99.
I've used RAMDisk a number of times, in a number of scenarios. It's a great way to speed up virtualization software or drive intensive processes such as video rendering. However, for these uses you will need virtual RAM drives that are larger than 4GB, so you will need to buy a license.
You'll also need lots of RAM; ideally Windows itself will need 2GB--4GB set aside, plus extra for whatever software you are planning on running alongside RAMDisk. Here are the recommended settings depending on system RAM.
|System RAM||Max RAM drive size|
RAMDisk is compatible with all versions of Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, all editions of Windows Server 2003, and all editions of Windows Server 2008. Mac OS X and Linux are not supported.