Will extending my RAM by using a USB flash drive improve the speed of my PC?

Sachin N May 7, 2014

If I use 8GB usb drive to extend the RAM in my computer, does that increases the speed of how my computer works ? I currently have 1 GB RAM.

  1. Matthew
    May 13, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    If the flash drive is fast enough to do readyboost, then it may make a difference.

    If you want to use more than 4GB as readyboost, have to reformat the flash drive as NTFS or exfat (compatible with readyboost in Win7).

    Since Windows 7 also seems to use readyboost as a general disk cache, it may be useful for it to be larger than was commonly suggested for the "swapfile accelerator" that is was in Vista

  2. Dalsan M
    May 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    There is a way to get "Ready Boost" functionality in Windows XP through software called eBoostr. Otherwise, ReadyBoost comes ready to use in later versions of Windows. It only caches data to the flash drive, but does not extend memory. It helps speed up the load times of applications, much like SuperFetch does. It should help speed up program load times in almost any computer, but sometimes it is not that noticeable. I would look into reducing memory usage by disabling unused and unnecessary features and functions. There are plenty of tweaks, tips, and tricks to try in order to speed up your system, but as far as gaining more memory, only adding RAM would help.

    One thing you could try is CleanMem by PC WinTech. It creates a scheduled task to automatically clean up used memory at 15 minute intervals (you can adjust the time and other settings, but the default is recommended). Once downloaded and installed, click on Start, All Programs, CleanMem, and select CleanMem Settings. Once opened, click on the Start button in the program window, click Next, Next, Next, and then Install CleanMem Task Schedule. Follow the prompts (if any), and then click on Finish. If you would like to change the Task Schedule, click on Edit instead, and then install the task schedule (default works fine and is recommended). You should notice a little to possibly moderate boost in performance, but it can only do so much, so don't expect turbo boost in a low performing computer.

    If you would like more suggestions to getting more performance (at a cost of visual appearance and some functionality), let us know. If possible, though, you would want at least 3GB memory.

  3. Hovsep A
    May 7, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Understand ReadyBoost and whether it will Speed Up your System
    External storage must meet the following requirements:
    -Capacity of at least 256 MB, with at least 64 kilobytes (KB) of free space.The 4-GB limit of Windows Vista has been removed.
    -At least a 2.5 MB/sec throughput for 4-KB random reads
    -At least a 1.75 MB/sec throughput for 1-MB random writes

  4. Oron J
    May 7, 2014 at 11:47 am

    The technology you're probably thinking about is called ReadyBoost (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows7/products/features/readyboost) and it can help, but only up to a point. However, the answer depends on which operating system you have.
    Windows XP does not have ReadyBoost, but later versions of Windows do. ReadyBoost is good for squeezing a little more performance out of PCs (it's essentially a more efficient version of the "virtual memory" which usually runs on the hard drive), but 1GB isn't really enough to run Vista or later versions of Windows, so while it will help, your machine will still be extraordinarily slow. It would be much better to upgrade your computer to 2 or 3GB RAM and and then consider using ReadyBoost.

  5. dragonmouth
    May 7, 2014 at 11:21 am

    The USB drive is seen by the computer as a hard drive (SSD), not as memory (RAM). The only way you can increase the amount of RAM is to install more memory. Having said that, because the USB drive acts as an SSD, your computer will perform somewhat faster.