Can I turn SSD into RAM disk

Started by KBConcepts

Can I turn SSD into RAM disk   09 October 2018, 10:10

Can SoftPerfect RAM Disk application use an SSD as a RAM disk?

Can I use SSD drive for a Windows Temp Files or Cache for my Internet Browser location?
If so, can I run programs like MS Office or any Adobe applications?
If so, what is the best way to use RamDisk to make that happen?

I would like to see Step by Step instructions or perhaps a video tutorial.
Thank you for help. smile
SoftPerfect Support forum - Ann avatar image
Ann

Re: Can I turn SSD into RAM disk   09 October 2018, 14:56

You appear to be confused by two different concepts: hard disks (SSD in your case) and RAM disks.

1. Any computer disk (SSD, HDD, etc) can be used for Windows temp files, browser cache, or any other data. You can install any applications on your SSD, including MS Office and Adobe. This is how most computers work. You do not need the RAM Disk for that.

2. RAM Disk has nothing to do with SDD or any other physical disk. In fact, the point of the RAM Disk software is to create a segment in computer memory (RAM) that would function like a disk without actually involving the disk. The main advantage here is that RAM is much faster than hard disks and has a much better life span.

The data on a RAM disk is accessible while the computer is turned on. On shut down, the memory is wiped out, so all the data on a RAM disk is temporary by default. There are ways to preserve RAM disk data between sessions via using disk images, but for your needs (installing MS Office and Adobe) this is not the correct approach.

In your case, it is best to install your applications on your SDD normally, without the RAM Disk. And then, if you want to make things faster and prolong the life of your SSD, use the RAM Disk for temporary data, such as temp files and browser cache. Here is an article with detailed instructions on how to use our RAM Disk for these purposes.

Re: Can I turn SSD into RAM disk   09 October 2018, 17:38

Thank you, Ann, for getting back to me so quickly.
I was hoping to use RAM disk like it was RAM. Is that not possible?
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Re: Can I turn SSD into RAM disk   09 October 2018, 19:48

If you wanted to use some of your SSD as if it were RAM, Windows already comes with this feature built-in. It is called a page file or swap file, and it is automatically used by Windows when more RAM is needed.

You can read more in this article or just google for "page file".

Re: Can I turn SSD into RAM disk   10 October 2018, 02:29

Thanks, Andrew
That was an interesting article. It sounds like even though I have a 100 GB or more I can only set up a Pagefile or Virtual memory of 1.5 times to 4 times of the physical memory that my computer has. Wow, so no one has come up with a way to turn an entire SSD into RAM? I assume there is no software or tweaking that can make that happen.
What is the purpose of RAM Disk app? What are the benefits of using it?
SoftPerfect Support forum - Ann avatar image
Ann

Re: Can I turn SSD into RAM disk   10 October 2018, 11:51

The Page File limitations are determined by the OS, in this case Windows. Tweaking it, even when possible, usually not a good idea: it may lead to severe instability of the system, unless the user really, really knows what they are doing.

Whereas turning the entire SSD into RAM, as you are suggesting, would be totally pointless. Here are a few good reasons why:
  • Enormous difference in speed. Typical SSDs have a transfer rate of 50MB-200 MB/s, while typical DRAM has a transfer rate of approximately 2-20 GB/s, i.e. tens to hundreds times faster.
    So, by turning SDD into RAM you will get more RAM, but that will be very slow RAM. That is why it should be done by the system via Page File sparingly and only when necessary.
  • Physical and operational differences. DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) is far more flexible and is truly random access -- any segment, any time, read or write. By comparison, disk writing process has to erase an entire block at a time before writing to it. There are other downsides of disks, such as the need for wear leveling, dealing with bad blocks, and a limited life span as a result. All are the price for the ability of being able to keep the data when power is turned off.
    So, by turning SDD into RAM you will get error-prone and wear-prone RAM.
  • Different purposes. Disks and RAM are used for cardinally different purposes: RAM contents are fast but volatile, while disks are slow but persistent. If a computer had RAM only, everything would disappear every time it is switched off: all your files, all installed software and the system itself would be gone every single time you restart your computer. So each time you switched your computer on, you would have had to install Windows, install all the software you need, transfer all your files from somewhere... and then lose it all again on the next shut down. Nobody would want to do that, and that is why nobody wants to turn all SDD into RAM.
    So, by turning all SDD into RAM you will not not be able to store any data on your computer between power-offs, at all.

Regarding the purpose and benefits of the RAM Disk, please see my message above (point 2) and the Beginner's Guide link also given there. In a handful of words: RAM Disk does the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve. You want to use a disk as RAM, while RAM Disk software uses RAM as a disk.

Re: Can I turn SSD into RAM disk   10 October 2018, 13:26

Wow, Ann that is a very clear answer to my questions and concerns. Thank you for taking the time to answer. smile

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