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  • Alyx - Thursday, June 21, 2007 - link

    It seems readyboost only helps with subsequent reads rather than the initial read, so it makes no sense as to why it would help in the case of watching a movie because the data is never repeated. I guess it just keeps the drive from idling because its farther between reads.

    I think this would help a lot for students, when I sit in class for an hour or two taking notes I'm only using one program so theoretically it would never have to access the hard drive for the whole class time. If a student had classes back to back without a way to charge (which is often the case) this technology could make a noticeable difference.
  • BigLan - Thursday, June 21, 2007 - link

    It could help with movies if it's used as a read-ahead cache. Once the OS sees that the movie file has been read, it loads the whole of the movie into flash (or as much as would fit.)

    Also, if you're working in class with just word (or onenote) open, your hard drive should be pretty inactive anyway. Once the program is loaded into ram then the drive isn't read from. If you have an autosave feature turned on then that would hit the HD, but having the file on an external flash drive would get around that anyway.
  • xanderman - Saturday, November 07, 2009 - link

    I have a 4GB Turbo Memory card installed, $65.
    I think the article could use a little update to reflect on the availability of faster and larger Turbo Memory cards at lower prices, to examine their overall effectiveness in this (newer?) format and pricing.
    I don't know if there was any performance boost, never did any benchmarks and all I've been doing is setting up this new computer, then install i-ram and continue customizations.
    I can tell you, however, that the installation was easy, one reboot, so the article is definitely way off in regards to installation, OUTDATED and UNRELIABLE.
    Glad I never beleived them n the first place and bought the card despite their opinion.
  • casket - Thursday, June 21, 2007 - link

    "However, adding 1GB of actual RAM won't improve battery life at all, and in fact it should reduce it slightly."
    -- What are the power requirements of Flash vs. Ram vs. Hard Drive?

    I would have liked to have seen Anand test the power benchmarks on the additional 1 GB ram as well.
  • burnley - Thursday, June 21, 2007 - link

    Wouldn't it be cool if the manufacturers could load safe drivers on something like this so when your mum gets a virus and you have to reload everything you don't have to either hunt for the driver disk, or hunt for the drivers online, just access them from an internal read-only drive?
    On-board network is great unless you don't have the motherboard driver disk and a fresh boot, then that loverly external USB flash drive is a godsend.
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, June 21, 2007 - link

    Isn't that the point of these "hidden" hard drive partitions that so many computers have these days? Reply
  • burnley - Thursday, June 21, 2007 - link

    Unless the hard drive fails, or you want to upgrade it, etc. Also that is only applicable on pre-built machines.
    A simple flash device with drivers could be put on add-in cards like graphics, etc.

    Only an idea...
  • xsilver - Thursday, June 21, 2007 - link


    Obviously adding another GB of memory is more expensive than adding ReadyBoost, and in this case ReadyBoost can give you close to the same performance as adding the extra memory.


    dditional cost of adding Turbo Memory to a notebook (expected to be at least $100 USD).

    1gb of ram can be had for a lot less than $100
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, June 21, 2007 - link

    ReadyBoost capable USB Flash sticks are available for something like $15 for 1GB, $24 for 2GB, or a whopping $40 for 4GB. Turbo Memory modules on the other hand are not merely a USB device that you plug in, so they currently cost more. Of course, there seems to be a healthy price premium for the technology right now....

    Adding a 1GB ReadyBoost device is cheap and easy. Adding 1GB of Turbo Memory seems pointless as it will cost more than 1GB of actual RAM. However, adding 1GB of actual RAM won't improve battery life at all, and in fact it should reduce it slightly. So, you're paying $100 for slightly improved performance along with potentially better battery life.
  • BigLan - Thursday, June 21, 2007 - link

    It seems like an extra $100 for this stuff would be better spent on an extra battery for your laptop which would double the battery life (though you have to switch them out and recharge them.) You could probably also afford a 1 gig flash drive for readyboost. Reply
  • casket - Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - link

    "If you add more memory to laptop, you use more power, emit more heat, etc"
    -- Using this logic... adding ReadyBoost (which is memory) would also use more power, emit more heat, etc...

    The key here is that either readyboost or memory uses less power than a spinning hard drive. I would suspect you get the same power savings with more memory as well.
  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - link

    I dont know about anyone else, but I am starting to resent Intel using town names of the area I grew up in as a kid. You would think they could be a little more original. Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - link


    The only issue with WorldBench is that each test has a reboot before and after it runs, which makes the benchmark less real world since you don't normally reboot your notebook every 6 minutes; that being said, it's still worth a look.

    I'd say that if it reboots every 6 minutes or so to re-run the test, it isn't worth a look and is totally useless as a notebook baterry-life benchmark as it in now ay reflects real-world usage, and all results using it should be discarded. Surely a better benchmark could be found than that. Unfortunately, removing the WorldBench results make Turbo Memory seem next to useless, which is understandable as it is likely to have been mainly the reduced HD activity when rebooting that the Turbo Memory was helping with.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - link

    And yet, the mocked up WorldBench 6 test shows a rather impressive 12% increase in battery life. It seems that the startup/shutdown process at the very least gets a decent benefit (in terms of battery life) from Turbo Memory. That indicates that the power savings from putting the hard drive to sleep are definitely tangible. Reply
  • redly1 - Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - link

    I would like to buy this and test it out with my tablet PC. Anyone know where I can buy one of these mini-PCIe cards? Reply
  • skaaman - Monday, June 25, 2007 - link

    Here is the part# NVCPEMWR001G110

    You can pick them up for under $35
  • BD2003 - Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - link

    The problem I have with the article is that in general, they are still running benchmarks that do not reflect how an actual user interacts with their laptop, and do not really reflect the benefits that turbo memory/readydrive/readyboost would have.

    PCMark is supposed to give a number as to how fast your computer can run a barrage of application tests - but looping it over and over does not even come close to reflecting an actual usage pattern.

    Now granted, they need a *repeatable* test to have numbers that are comparable, but that does not necessarily speak of the validity of the numbers.

    For the average office laptop, you'll be running outlook, word, excel etc - the amount of data actually being loaded and saved is VERY small vs. large amounts from a benchmark, and in that very common scenario, the drive would rarely have to spin up, and the battery savings would probably be much closer to the ideal of 30 mins than what their benches showed.

    I do agree with them on their final conclusion - 1gb is just not enough for more than basic office tasks. In order for this to really take off, to be able to cache an entire movie, they're going to need cache on the order of 4gb. Then I think it'll really make a difference battery/performance wise.

    And they really, really need to fix the driver issues.
  • BikeDude - Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - link

    If the movie is 4GB, a 1GB cache means (ideally) you will spin up the hard drive four times to load the next GB. I doubt you'll see much benefit from a 4GB cache in such a scenario.

    That said, the test didn't do any read ahead tests. All the descriptions so far seem to say the technology caches stuff already read. I.e. if streaming a movie from the hard disk there's nothing that will suck it all into a cache... (grrrr, this reminds me that my Hauppague TV tuner streams everything to a 7MB file which it then plays back -- works fine as long as I don't hit the same drive with heavy IO)
  • sorr - Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - link

    i'd just use another Gigabyte of memory i.e, 2 GB in total and hybrid drive for now, then after 2~3 years just use the SSD when it comes down in price and goes up in capacity Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - link

    Page 4 mentions Windows XP. I thought I read the article, but maybe I am missing something. I thought it was purely for Vista, but XP is mentioned several times.

    Please explain, because I am confused. Thanks.
  • SilthDraeth - Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - link

    NVM. I think I understand. The "Windows XP startup" is a test that "PCMark '05" runs.

  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - link

    They really should have dedicated the entire 1GB to ReadyDrive instead of splitting it. Reply
  • Nighteye2 - Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - link

    I miss the test of readyboost at 2GB of memory. Does the technology still improve performance even when you have a lot of memory?
  • Azsen - Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - link

    It does sound like Microsoft need to rework the code for Readyboost and Turbo memory to make use of the extra flash memory more. From the benchmarks it doesn't look like it's being used to its full potential at all. They also need to rework the code so it's enabled after one reboot, not a whole lot of reboots. That's shocking. Reply
  • androticus - Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - link

    A technology so persnickety, complicated, and without any significant real world benefits and often just more slowdowns is a total loser!

    And 512M of cache supposed to in any way adequately cover the huge hard disks of today? Including swap file?
  • yzkbug - Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - link

    My take is to go with a flash-based hard-drive (when prices come down). It should give all benefits that the Turbo Memory was supposed to bring: drain less power and have quick random seeks. Reply
  • Roy2001 - Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - link

    Agree. Reply
  • Pirks - Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - link

    this poor soul together with his lover beenthere would just jump from joy reading this article. expect usual assortment of MICROSUCKS and INTEL SCAM and shit like that.

    what's the most funny here is that this is the only case where he would be pretty close to truth, ain't that amusing huh
  • pnyffeler - Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - link

    While I may agree that the impact is minimal, you still have to tip your hat to Intel. Power saving in laptops is probably not going to see revolutionary changes. While 5-10% may not seem like much, it's better than not having it.

    Besides, what's to say that the impact might be much larger with a larger cache. You could argue that at the extreme end, the longest the battery life could be extended to would be if there was no hard drive at all, just the flash drive. If that were true, then the max the battery life could be under this scheme is the battery life with only a flash drive. How does that compare to these numbers?

    And finally, what gives with only 1 GB of flash? If an iPod with 8GB of flash costs $250, I'd pay that much for 8 GB in my laptop if it would make a big enough difference.
  • TA152H - Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - link


    You're missing something quite significant on ReadyBoost. You talk about adding another gigabyte of memory like there is only a financial cost involved, but this isn't so. If you add more memory to laptop, you use more power, emit more heat, etc... If you can get similar performance for a part that uses less power (it would be interested to know how much power it does use), you extend battery life as well as save money, and don't suffer a huge performance penalty. So, it's actually quite useful.
  • tuteja1986 - Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - link

    Gigabyte i-ram now that was revoltionary in speed wise :) . I have it and i love it but it ain't cheap :( $120 for the i-ram and $200 for 4x 4GB DDR 1 PC3200. Reply

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