Vista RTM Experiences Day 6

Not quite day 6 I know, but more of my latest incarnation of experience:

ReadyBoost… the best way to slow your computer down and waste your laptop battery.

I was excited to read about this feature so promptly went and bought a 2GB SD card rated at 133x.  I plugged it into my Thinkpad’s built in slot that is on a PCI bus and I guess was more curious as to what the effect would be than was expecting miracle speeds.

My PC has 1.5GB RAM so when I plugged the SD card in it offered to boost my PC’s performance.  I selected through and it offered to allocate 1800MB I believe.  An odd number since the slider goes up to 1900MB, but I kept the defaults.

The next oddity was that it spent an age apparently copying data from the hard disk to memory.  During that time about 20% CPU was used and things slowed down.  Fair enough… gotta create some kind of baseline.

So I then continued to use my PC… noticing that the hard drive access speed was now slower, and that the SD card would be sometimes be being written too.   My concept of slower is subjective of course, but the drive light appeared to be on much more and I can definitely say things were not any faster.

I then hibernated my PC and get on a flight.  On un-hibernating it, the next 15 minutes was spent copying data from the hard drive to the SD again.  Great use of battery!

From reading around, it appears that data is always first written to the hard drive and then the most frequently requested page file pages are duplicated to the SD card.  Then if the OS needs those pages, it requests them from SD not the drive, supposedly speeding up access due to the lower latency (Seek time) on flash memory.

All I can say is that the overhead of mirroring all that data appears to outweigh the benefit of a tiny speed up very occasionally.  Now if it wrote straight to the SD and later mirrored to the drive, there would be potentially be a speed up I guess.  I wouldn’t mind not removing the card without doing a ‘safe removal’ but I guess there are a lot of forgetful people that wouldn’t work for hence the current mode of operation.

Perhaps on PCs with a smaller ammount of memory it might have a greater benefit too.  It’s not the easiest system to measure either as there are so many other caching and memory management systems in place that supposedly monitor and tailor things to the way you work that subjective might be the only tests possible.

An annoyance: my power icon has gone missing.  Wonderful.  That little notify icon that shows the power level has vanished.  The option in the toolbar section to show it is grayed out.  But the power management does appear to be following the power schemes.

Other news… Delphi 7 works with a few directory permission tweaks.

That major issue with operations not happening on the expected directory still bugs me.  I’ve almost deleted my C drive several times.

The TCP/IP has changed – XP always assigned a default 169.254.x.x address if no DHCP server was around.  Vista doesn’t.

Anything good to report… umm not that I can think of!

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