Give your Windows 7 PC a performance boost with ReadyBoost

Looking for a quick and inexpensive way to get more performance out of your PC? Windows 7's ReadyBoost feature, paired with USB flash drive or SD memory card is worth trying before you run out to buy more RAM.

IT Expert Voice, a website sponsored by Dell that provides business analysis of technical issues, has an in-depth explanation of what ReadyBoost is, how it works, and these tips for getting started:

When you first attach a flash drive that's ready for ReadyBoost, AutoPlay should provide ReadyBoost as an option. Even if you don't see that as an option, you may still be in luck.

Try configuring ReadyBoost by right-clicking the device in Windows Explorer, clicking Properties, and then clicking the ReadyBoost tab. The only configuration option is to configure the space reserved for the cache. You must reserve at least 256 MB. Larger caches can improve performance, but the ReadyBoost cache cannot be greater than 4 GB on a FAT32 file system or greater than 32 GB on an NTFS file system.

So how much should you use? Microsoft recommends, "a 1:1 ratio of Flash to system memory at the low end and as high as 2.5:1 flash to system memory." So if you have 4GB of RAM, you should pair it with at least a 4GB USB drive, but a 16GB USB stick would be overkill.

See the full article at the link below for helpful screenshots and analysis of how much of a performance improvement you can expect to see.

ReadyBoost: A Cheap and Easy Way to Improve Windows 7 System Performance

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