What is Readyboost?

As I connected my new 2 GB flash drive into the computer, I was asked if I’d like to use it to speed up my computer using ReadyBoost. ReadyBoost? What is this? And how will it make my computer run faster, after all, I’ve only connected a flash drive? It was first introduced with Microsoft Windows Vista in 2006. This caching system lets Windows read from the flash drive rather than using the hard drive which speeds up the CPU by anywhere from 80-100 times faster than normal.

Using It

To utilize ReadyBoost, a user must have a USB 2.0 port because consistency between both the computer and the flash drive is crucial to its success. 4GB is the largest flash drive ReadyBoost can handle and its important to note that only one device can be used at a time in order for it to work at all. That is, no other USB port may be used while ReadyBoost is in use.

The Need For Speed

Many test cases have seen significant gains in CPU speed when utilizing ReadyBoost. Flash drives inherently are faster than hard drives as they have a much faster seek time. On average there is a 1 to 8 ms ratio. That is, flash drives generally have a wait time of 1 ms to a hard drives 8 ms. ReadyBoost is more effective with laptops than with desktops as laptops generally run a slower flash memory. Newer PCs don’t generally see a boost in processing speed, however, because they have quicker hard drives which negates the need of Readyboost.

To take advantage of the ReadyBoost technology, flash drive owners should be aware that its only effective when they are using a laptop or older PC. Users can only use one USB port and must make sure all other ports are empty for ReadyBoost to work.