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Author Topic: Vista’s ReadyBoost benefits on your Windows XP machine with eBoostr  (Read 17371 times)
a_lunatic
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« on: December 11, 2007, 12:52:24 PM »

Hi all has anyone seen this or willing to try it out looks good if it can support both USB and non-USB removable media devices, as well as additional hard disks & up to 4 devices.

Am going to try it out later once I find some time but hope some of you can put it through some tests as well to find out if its really worth it.

Quote
eBoostr™ allows you to use an additional drive (flash memory or hard disk) as another layer of performance-boosting cache for your Windows XP®. There is no need to purchase a Vista upgrade to get the benefits of the Vista’s ReadyBoost® technology. With the newly developed eBoostr™, the booting of your OS and applications startup get much faster thanks to the smart caching mechanism.

    * Vista’s ReadyBoost benefits on your Windows XP® machine;
    * Smart caches frequently used applications and files for maximum performance speed up;
    * Supports both USB and non-USB removable media devices, as well as additional hard disks;
    * Allows up to 4 devices for simultaneous smart caching;
    * Cache file size of up to 4GB on each device;
    * Compatible with all ReadyBoost® ready devices.

http://www.eboostr.com/

The eBoostr™ trial version has no time expiration and you can evaluate it for as long as you wish. However the product demo is fully functional only for 4 hours after each system boot. This will allow you to evaluate the product and estimate how it performs on your configuration.



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Darwin
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2007, 01:08:29 PM »

Hmm... could be interesting. I'm going to look into this myself as this is one aspect of Vista about which I have been curious.
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Ralf Maximus
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2007, 01:17:46 PM »

My understanding is that the booster technology is of benefit only if you're borderline low on RAM... correct?
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Darwin
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2007, 01:20:56 PM »

I'm reading a couple of reviews (first one says that there is no discrenible change in performance) and some more comprehensive descriptions of what eboostr "does". Can't say that any of it makes much sense to me (ie I can't see how this will work to improve system performance).

At any rate, Ron Schenone is just embarking on a two week trial here: http://www.lockergnome.com/blade/author/blade/
 
I'll be watching that space closely to see how he fares.
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Darwin
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2007, 01:24:45 PM »

Ralf, this is one of the questions that I have about this technology as well... Ron Schenone is testing it with a gig of RAM; the other review I found (they're few and far between) stated was also running a gig...
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Darwin
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2007, 01:25:52 PM »

PS Techspot has this to say about ReadyBoost:

Quote
It has been highly debated whether Vista's ReadyBoost actually works to speed up your system or is it an empty feature with a nice name. During a set of informal tests we performed prior to posting our Windows Vista Memory Tweak Guide we saw a noticeable increase in system response when ReadyBoost was used on systems with 1GB or less RAM, furthermore we saw an advantage of using it on laptops that generally come equipped with slower hard drives.
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Ralf Maximus
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2007, 01:28:42 PM »

My other concern would be that it's raping the USB drive.  Those things really aren't meant to be used for random access storage; the flash memory would wear out pretty quick.  Unless things have changed dramatically in flash RAM technology...?
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Darwin
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2007, 01:31:49 PM »

Here's a thread at neowin that goes into some detail about this. Conclusion? Bogus.
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Lashiec
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2007, 01:36:49 PM »

Most tests I saw say that ReadyBoost only brings advantages (and not that much, mind you) with 1 GB of RAM or less. Considering the price of a 1 GB stick of DDR2 RAM these days, I encourage buying one and call it a day.

Using this method requires: a) A fast USB drive, with enough capacity, and b) A registered version of the program to do something. Considering the cost of both combined, I think you can find cheaper RAM easily.

On a completely different topic, Darwin, congratulations for your 3000 messages Thmbsup
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Darwin
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2007, 01:53:59 PM »

Thanks Lashiec! I've been reading what I can about eboostr and opinions vary dramatically. I get the impression that *if* you have less than a gig of RAM and you've already a fast USB 2 thumbdrive this might be an alternative to increasing your RAM. Beyond that, most people seem to think that it's snake oil. I'd give it a shot but with 2GB of RAM and no complaints whatsoever WRT my system's performance I'd rather wait to see some conclusive results first!

PS I did find this review at OS9user, though, that also recommends Process Tamer  Thmbsup
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Darwin
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2007, 05:16:37 PM »

Alright, alright already... Yes. I agree. Curiosity kills the cat. Consider me a cat with a deathwish!

I couldn't help myself and have installed eboostr on my aging first generation centrino notebook (1.4Ghz, 2GB DDR PC2100 RAM, 120GB 5400 rpm harddrive) and am giving it a go. I set up three different caches on three different USB devices - two thumbdrives (394MB and 987MB respectively) and on my new USB 3.5" HD (4GB cache). So far I am not sure if I am experiencing the placebo effect or not... Certainly boot times are not affected as far as I can tell (though I *think* my desktop icons paint a wee bit qucker, but I need more observations) but general operation does *seem* brisker. Currently, I am runnig Word (all Office apps are 2003 Sp-3) with 5 documents open, Excel with 1 spreadsheet open, Endnote X, Maxthon 2.06 with 12 tabs open, Dopus 9.1 with two panes showing, no preveiws and no additional tabs loaded, Outlook and Powerpoint with three presentation open, one of which is 17MB (haven't optimized the graphics yet). I should stress that I was able to do this with minimal drama WITHOUT eboostr installed and set up, but I am certain that my machine bogged down a bit more than it is at the moment.

It's early days yet, but I think I'll give this a couple of days. I AM concerned about wear on my thumbdrives and on the external HD, though... Will report back when I have more to tell you all.

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Darwin
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2007, 11:31:25 PM »

Update: it's gone. I spent the afternoon and evening playing around with eboostr doing its thing and, er, not doing its thing (that's a LOT of rebooting!) and concluded that my boot times were actually longer with it installed - explorer.exe goes nuts and all but freezes up for quite a while after my desktop loads rendering my taskbar, system tray, and start menu inaccessble - and there is no real difference in terms of stability or "peppiness" that I can perceive when loading and running applications. YMMV - I'm running 2GB of RAM, if you have 1GB or less this may well be the electronic equivalent of sliced bread.
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lanux128
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2007, 11:57:00 PM »

just noticed this but as i read about this program. i'm reminded of Ram-boosting programs of yesteryears, which took advantage of high prices of RAM sticks.. anyway, the program claims to have "smart caching mechanism" which seems to be a euphemism for swap-disk/virtual ram kind of technology.
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lanux128
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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2007, 12:04:49 AM »

this is the program i had in mind, check out this article.


http://www.ddj.com/184409937?pgno=3

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f0dder
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2007, 05:43:44 AM »

The site does look like the typical snake oil site, offering very little information of what it really does. If it simply does a "disk cache on disk", well, who cares. You'd need a really fast disk to store the cache on, and then you'd be better off putting that disk in your system instead. But it sure does have pretty icons.
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Darwin
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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2007, 07:24:46 AM »

It reminds me of Autopilot - anyone remember that? Sunbelt was selling it for awhile. Here's a short thread that sound quite familar: http://my.opera.com/loung...forums/topic.dml?id=90094
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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2007, 12:28:27 PM »

I too remember when these "RAM boosters" came on the scene.

I think their appeal was not just that RAM prices were high, but that disk compression was a hot technology at the time. Stacker, et al had made a splash, and eventually MS even bundled disk compression into Windows 95.

So consumers knew that disk compression worked and were comfortable with using it. RAM boosters were based on the idea that if you can compress data on the fly and effectively double the capacity of your hard disk, why shouldn't you be able to do the same with your RAM? This seems like a logical conclusion, even to a fairly savvy consumer. The technical barriers to this working were probably lost on most computer users, and perhaps even on some of the people who developed this kind of software.

This does seem like a similar situation, although to me the answer is "it's the bus, stupid!" The flash memory used in USB Drives may be faster than (some) hard drives in the abstract, but the speed of the USB2 bus ultimately limits their performance. So it's probably unlikely that flash RAM caching is faster or better than plain ol' disk caching in most modern machines, even leaving aside the wear and tear on the flash drive.

I think the appeal of this feature is actually simplicity. Most computer owners are still ignorant (or even deathly afraid) of the insides of their PC. Sticking a "RAM stick" into an external port must seem like a far safer and easier way to "upgrade your RAM" than opening up the box and dealing with all those scary circuit-board thingies.
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Darwin
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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2007, 12:36:18 PM »

Another attraction has been highlighted elsewhere, but bears repeating: if you have a notebook and have maxed out the RAM and are unable to update the CPU, ezboostr seems to be promising a performance increase. My experience, as highlighted above, is that once you get over the "placebo effect" the performance gains, if any, are negligible and may in fact represent a net loss. Still, I am curious to read more commentary from users more savvy than me. I'll be following developments out of curiousity and bloody-mindedness (READ: my notebook is maxed out with RAM and I can't update the CPU...  Grin).

I'm particularly keen to read the results of Ron Schenone's two week trial.
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Ralf Maximus
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« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2007, 01:54:29 PM »

Just outta perverse curiosity, has anyone tried yanking out the USB drive when Vista's using it to ReadyBoost?  What happens to Windows?
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Darwin
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« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2007, 02:46:36 PM »

Perverse, but compelling, Ralf! I'd be interested as well. If it wasn't for the twin facts that I no longer have ezboostr installed and that the USB drives that I was using all contained additional data (probably not a smart move, in hindsight), I'd be up for giving this a shot... Hopefully someone using either Vista or ezboostr will post with a "result". I can't imagine that it would be a very pleasant result, though - something bad's gotta happen!
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f0dder
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« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2007, 06:22:58 PM »

This does seem like a similar situation, although to me the answer is "it's the bus, stupid!" The flash memory used in USB Drives may be faster than (some) hard drives in the abstract, but the speed of the USB2 bus ultimately limits their performance. So it's probably unlikely that flash RAM caching is faster or better than plain ol' disk caching in most modern machines, even leaving aside the wear and tear on the flash drive.

Negative, USB2 has 480mbit/s bandwidth, and while you cannot get it all dedicated to a single device, I've been able to pull at least 35mbyte/s to an external usb2 drive. The flash pendrives are slow compared to harddrives, and even their random access time isn't that hot, unless you buy the slightly more expensive models.

Dunno if it's the controller chips they use on the pendrives, or the memory itself... but I guess there's a reason an 8gig pendrive is cheaper than an 8gig solid-state disk smiley
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« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2007, 06:30:03 PM »

My other concern would be that it's raping the USB drive.  Those things really aren't meant to be used for random access storage; the flash memory would wear out pretty quick.  Unless things have changed dramatically in flash RAM technology...?
yeah they have modern flash ram can keep running for a very long time, wikipedia concurs:

Quote
With these mechanisms in place, some industry analysts[1] have calculated that flash memory can be written to at full speed continuously for 51 years before exceeding its write endurance, even if such writes frequently cause the entire memory to be overwritten. This figure (51 years) involved a worst-case scenario using specific data parameters and should not be confused with a particular "shelf life" for a flash memory device. The bottom line is that a typical user using a commercial device, such as a camera, with a flash drive will probably not wear out the memory for the effective life of the camera.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory
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« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2007, 10:46:21 PM »

  I have tried many many "boosters" over the years but with poor success.  Mostly they're a bunch of hype.  Then I discovered MemTurbo 4.  It's a very configurable cache manager, RAMbooster, and process handler program that has considerably improved performance on my 2.8 ghz XP computer.  But it isn't freeware, it's commercial.  $19.95

MemTurbo™ 4 for Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP and 2003
http://www.memturbo.com/?...amp;btnsource=M4-memw1-mt
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f0dder
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« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2007, 02:13:01 AM »

I have tried many many "boosters" over the years but with poor success.  Mostly they're a bunch of hype.  Then I discovered MemTurbo 4.  It's a very configurable cache manager, RAMbooster, and process handler program that has considerably improved performance on my 2.8 ghz XP computer.  But it isn't freeware, it's commercial.  $19.95

It's cache tuning might work, but I suspect all that does is tweak registry settings (some of which only worked on Win9x), and which there are freeware apps for doing anyway. it's "memory boosting technology" aka RAM freeing is snake oil, discussed many times before.
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« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2007, 07:33:55 AM »

And the verdict:

Quote from: Ron Schenone
One of the things that is mentioned on the eBoostr site is how the software may improve performance for those using a laptop system, which I used to perform my testing on. However, my system has 1G of RAM using Windows XP and I really didn’t notice much of a performance boost. This does not indicate that eBoostr didn’t work. But as mentioned in the comments, eBoostr may be used best on systems with either 256MB or 512MB of RAM, running programs such as Photoshop that tax the system.

Guess what? I have such a system. My wife’s laptop has 512MB and she also runs Photoshop at times. So I gave eBoostr a try on her system. I noted that there was a marked improvement using a 2G USB stick when running Photoshop. The system rendered changes to photo’s she was working with much quicker and there was less hard disk activity. In fact most of the time there was no hard disk activity. :-)

So what does this prove?

eBoostr does work on systems with low on board RAM using taxing programs such as Photoshop.

It also provides an easy way to increase performance without having to open the case. This is particularly attractive for laptop users.

So what is better? Using eBoostr or actually installing more physical RAM?

I’d personal recommend adding more physical RAM. But if cracking open the case, especially a laptop intimates you, than eBoostr is a definite alternative.

http://www.lockergnome.co...-for-xp-eboostr-reviewed/

It seems this program may be the thing for me and my 448 MB available RAM...  thumbs up
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