StupidOS Strikes Again

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. The August issue of Australian PC User magazine has an unbelievable winner
    of its "Letter of the Month" prize. The writer suggests you can "Speed up
    Vista" by buying more RAM, setting part of it up as a RAM disk, and putting
    your page file in it!

    A more pointless idea, it is hard to imagine. Is the magazine completely
    barmy? Or does this really work with Dimdows? Is the Microsoft OS really so
    brain-damaged that paging to RAM can improve performance, compared to not
    paging at all?
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jul 24, 2009
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  2. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Alan Guest

    Alan, Jul 24, 2009
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  3. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Dave Doe Guest

    LOL not - although there is little need to do as the writer suggests -
    as Vista (and Windows 7) already supports and utilizes such

    In my own experience, across many PC's running Vista, I've found you'll
    only get decent speed improvement if you use quality (qv fast) memory

    I'd dare say (though I've not tested it) that using Readyboost would
    provide much greater overall performance gain than just putting the swap
    file to RAM disk - which, on face value, sounds pretty pointless and a
    waste of RAM (it's the swapfile after all!) - isn't it better to *use*
    RAM? :) vs having it full of swapped out, unused "stuff".

    Thanks for replying though, I'd not have spotted the OP's (another
    stupid) post otherwise.
    Dave Doe, Jul 24, 2009
  4. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Alan Guest

    ReadBoost != On Board RAM

    Are you saying that something accessing memory across the USB
    interface will be comparable to accessing it from RAM?

    Your speed of access to RAM will depend on your bus and memory types,
    but USB2.0 is less than 500 Mb/s I believe?

    Even writing and reading from a modern HDD is faster than USB2.0.

    Alan, Jul 25, 2009
  5. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    impossible Guest

    That was Larry D'Loser's troll-spin. No sense wasting your time with that.

    ReadyBoost is a flash memeory disk cache specifically intended to faciliate
    Vista's SuperFetch function. SuperFetch pre-fetches frequenetly used system
    and application libraries at boot time to speed application loading, and on
    its own it works brilliantly. But with a ReadyBoost disk cache available,
    applications can often load those same pre-fetched libraries much faster
    than they otherwise would from a standard hard disk.

    I wouldn't want to do without SuperFetch -- it's much smarter than the XP
    prefetcher. But I'm none too fussed myself about the difference a ReadyBoost
    cache makes, at least on a desktop machione -- with a quick hard drive,
    you're down to differences in load times that you'd have to measure in
    milliseconds, and I'd sooner take that kind of performance hit than give up
    a spare USB port. With a 5400-rpm laptop hard drive, on the other hand,
    ReadyBoost is likely to make a mych more noticeable improvement in load
    Only for sequential i/o. Random access to a hard drive is slower than from a
    flash drive, and that's what you're typically doing when you fetch system
    and application libraries.
    impossible, Jul 25, 2009
  6. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    Why not just buy more RAM?


    Enkidu, Jul 26, 2009
  7. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    impossible Guest

    Why not just leave my original post intact rather than deleting the
    information you need to get answer.

    impossible, Jul 26, 2009
  8. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Dave Doe Guest

    Didn't say it was.
    Yes. Better even, given OP article's use of RAM.
    For sustained read/write operations. Please find out what you're
    talking about before putting foot in mouth. Access time for quality USB
    memory is very low, much quicker than HDD access.
    Dave Doe, Jul 26, 2009
  9. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    In what way does that answer the question?

    Enkidu, Jul 26, 2009
  10. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    Specifically, if you buy more RAM it will use SuperFetch in RAM, and you
    won't need ReadyBoost. Wikipedia says this on the subject "A system with
    512 MB of RAM (the bare minimum for Windows Vista) can see significant
    gains from ReadyBoost.[7] In one test case, ReadyBoost sped up an
    operation from 11.7 seconds to 2 seconds (increasing physical memory
    from 512 MB to 1 GB reduced it to 0.8 seconds)[8]." Notice the bit in
    brackets. Doubling the memory meant that ReadyBoost was not used, and
    SuperFetch (which is simply prefetch on steroids) sped up the
    unidentified operation from 11.7 seconds to 2 seconds. Incidentally
    prefetch or superfetch has been around a long time - back to Windows 98
    I believe, but I'd have to check.

    Prefetch can slow things down. One thing that is sometimes recommended
    is that you clear your prefetch cache periodically.

    So I ask, once again, why not just buy more RAM?
    Enkidu, Jul 26, 2009
  11. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    impossible Guest

    As you say, "notice the bit in brackets". I don't suppose you bothered to
    follow up and actually check the source data for the "one test" you're using
    to dispute my comments? No, of course you didn't. So let's see now....

    As it turns out, AnandTech never once benchmarked load times for system and
    application libraries using ReadyBoost as a pre-load storage medium for
    Superfetch. That wasn't its goal. AnandTech benchmarked render times
    (Windows Movie Maker), the time to do a Word document compare, the time to
    open Adobe Photoshop with 14 images, the time to close Photoshop, and the
    time to close four other applications. None of these tests have a single
    thing to do with what we're discussing.

    Any more bogus "evidence" you'd like to share.
    Incidentally, you have never used Vista and have absolutely zero knowledge
    about the relative merits of SuperFetch.
    Just how ignorant are you trying to portary yourself here? XP != Vista.
    While you're at it, perhaps you'd also like to pass along some Win3.x tips
    for managing virtual memory -- that's always good for a laugh.
    impossible, Jul 26, 2009
  12. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    From the reference you are so fond of:

    "There's a pretty sizable performance impact due to ReadyBoost, but once
    again, you can't beat simply having more system memory".

    Windows with 1GB RAM goes more than twice as fast as Windows with 512MB
    and 1GB Readyboost (Closing apps that is, open apps is about one third
    faster). Who would be so silly as to run Windows with only 512MB on anyway.
    Yeah right. Readyboost is what I was asking about.
    Enkidu, Jul 26, 2009
  13. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Max Burke Guest

    I cant believe anyone still believes that myth!

    Clearing Out Windows Prefetch for Faster Startup
    The Prefetch feature in Windows XP caches parts of applications that you
    frequently use and tries to optimize the loading process to speed up
    application start time, so when a number of sites started suggesting
    that you clean it out regularly to speed up boot time it seemed like
    good advice... but sadly that's not the case, as pointed out by many
    Lifehacker commenters.

    The Prefetch feature is actually used as a sort of index, to tell
    Windows which parts of an application should be loaded into memory in
    which order to speed up application load time, but Windows doesn't use
    the information unless it's actually starting an application.

    There's also a limit of 128 files that can be stored in the prefetch
    folder at any point, and Windows cleans out the folder automatically,
    removing information for applications that haven't been run as
    frequently. Not only that, but a well-written defrag utility will use
    the prefetch information to optimize the position of the files on the
    disk, speeding up access even further. Windows expert Ed Bott explains it:
    The .pf files don’t get used at all until you run a program. What
    actually happens when you click an icon is that Windows uses the
    information in the Prefetch folder to decide which program segments to
    load and in what order to load those pages.

    Yet another Web site posted yet another “tip” today recommending that
    you clean out your Prefetch folder to improve performance of Windows.
    Arrrggghhh! I’ve written about this repeatedly (here and here and here,
    for instance), but the message doesn’t seem to be spreading very fast.
    Maybe this quote from “Misinformation and the Prefetch Flag” by Ryan
    Myers, a developer on Microsoft’s Windows Client Performance Team, will

    XP systems have a Prefetch directory underneath the windows root
    directory, full of .pf files — these are lists of pages to load. The
    file names are generated from hashing the EXE to load — whenever you
    load the EXE, we hash, see if there’s a matching (exename)-(hash).pf
    file in the prefetch directory, and if so we load those pages. (If it
    doesn’t exist, we track what pages it loads, create that file, and pick
    a handful of them to save to it.) So, first off, it is a bad idea to
    periodically clean out that folder as some tech sites suggest. For one
    thing, XP will just re-create that data anyways; secondly, it trims the
    files anyways if there’s ever more than 128 of them so that it doesn’t
    needlessly consume space. So not only is deleting the directory totally
    unnecessary, but you’re also putting a temporary dent in your PC’s
    performance. [emphasis in original]

    Bottom line: You will not improve Windows performance by cleaning out
    the Prefetch folder. You will, in fact, degrade Windows performance by
    cleaning out the Prefetch folder. I’ve done performance testing that
    establishes this definitively. In all the many sites that offer this
    bogus tip, I have yet to see a single piece of actual performance testing.
    Google "clear prefetch data/folder to improve performance." [myth]
    Why not save your money and use what you've already got?
    Max Burke, Jul 26, 2009
  14. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    impossible Guest

    It's your bogus reference, not mine.
    Quoting out of context is fun for you, isn't it?
    Blah, blah. All completely irrelevant to the issue at hand, which is whether
    or not ReadyBoost can improve load times for system and application
    libraries. Yes, it can, because random access to flash memory is mnany times
    quicker than random access to a disk drive.

    Indeed. Which begs the question: What are you on about?
    Asked and answered.
    impossible, Jul 27, 2009
  15. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    If you have only 512MB of RAM and you run Vista you are already using
    what you have and need more. If you run XP in 512MB you are already
    using what you have and need more. If you have a Flash Memory stick, by
    all means try it but you'll never approach the extra speed you'd get
    from an extra 1/2 GB of RAM.


    Enkidu, Jul 27, 2009
  16. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    Eh? I never referenced the AnandTech reference - you did.
    In any context that statement is true. The best way of speeding up a
    Windows system is to add memory,
    That Anandtech article which you mentioned shows that it a low memory
    system it can. It also shows that increasing memory increases it a lot
    more than using ReadyBoost and Superfetch.
    Your Anandtech reference. They used a severely memory constrained system
    and got *some* improvement.

    Enkidu, Jul 27, 2009
  17. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Max Burke Guest

    I'm planning to upgrade my hardware in October (when Win 7 is available)
    I've been previewing the possibilities...

    Most/all computers I've looked at so far (brand name, generic, assemble
    your own kits, tiny form factor, laptops, notebooks, etc) have anything
    from 1 - 4 GB ram. The most common is 2 GB.

    I haven't seen any that have only 512MB ram, especially ones with Vista
    Max Burke, Jul 27, 2009
  18. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    impossible Guest

    No, you just blindly quoted Wikopedia, which based the remarks you quoted on
    a test by AnadTech that was completely irrelevant but which you never
    bothered to investigate. Do you beleive everythign you read in Wikopedia? Or
    just the stuff that jives with your preconceived notions, true or falso as
    the case may be?
    impossible, Jul 28, 2009
  19. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    Yes, but the tests that 'impossible' posted were done on a machine with
    512MB. On such a machine you'd need all the help you could get. On a
    machine with 1GB or more the benefits of ReadyBoost and Superfetch are
    negligable, as shown by the results in the link posted by 'impossible'.


    Enkidu, Jul 28, 2009
  20. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    Go read the report by AnandTech.


    Enkidu, Jul 28, 2009
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