Using ReadyBoost on a computer with limited RAM

By | June 4, 2011
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Bill asks about ReadyBoost
I have an Compaq Presario, it has two slots for ram. I have read that this computer, only 3 years old, can only take two gig ram because that is all the mother board will allow. I do have three USB ports that are not being used. Now to my question, will the 4QB flash work on this type of computer? It is desk top and I am running Vista Home and not any problems with it. (That’s because I listen to both of you) Thank you for your time. Bill

Our answer
Thanks, Bill. ReadyBoost and installed RAM are two completely different things. If you’re using a 32bit Vista computer you can use ReadyBoost to add an effective 2GB of memory. ReadyBoost is not quite as fast as installed RAM, but it is far, far faster than virtual memory carved from your free hard drive space. What do we mean about carving memory from free hard drive space? Windows creates virtual memory from any available hard drive space – whenever you’ve used up most of your RAM. So ReadyBoost is a much better choice than virtual memory carved from unused hard drive space. Since you cannot install more RAM because of the restrictions of your motherboard, ReadyBoost is viable option for you.

For those whose computer motherboards allow them to install more RAM, a ReadyBoost flash drive allows you to quickly “boost” your installed RAM whenever you need to, without having to order RAM or open your computer case to install it (not that it’s that hard). But you have to be careful if you’re buying a flash drive you want to have handy to add more RAM to your computer. Not all flash drives are ReadyBoost capable. Some, are not marked ReadyBoost Capable, but are, and many flash drives you can buy are not ReadyBoost capable. So make sure when you buy a flash drive that it’s marked ReadyBoost Ready or ReadyBoost compatible, etc. It’s nice if all the flash drives you buy are ReadyBoost capable – though they do cost a little more – you can use the to store data or to boost memory – or both. You can use a ReadyBoost Drive to store data – like any other flash drive – and use that same drive to boost memory. Just make sure that you leave enough free space on the drive to use for ReadyBoost. If you buy a 4GB ReadyBoost drive you can use 2GB of it for data storage, and still use the other 2GB as ReadyBoost memory.

We have 4GB ReadyBoost Capable USB flash drives available at our Donation Station.

2 thoughts on “Using ReadyBoost on a computer with limited RAM

  1. Don Paterson

    Your ready boost works when in one of the two USB outlets on my laptop but will not in a hub attached to one of them (wireless mouse in the other as it is not smooth moving in the hub)
    Are there ready boost compatible hubs>

    1. infoave Post author

      This is always true. Unless you use a power-hub (on that has it’s own power supply) you cannot use hubs for certain applications that use a lot of resources or require a lot of power. We’ve stated this in several articles as well. Powered-hub have their own power supply (they have a adapter that plugs into a wall outlet) and are more expensive. Unpowered hubs are great for plugging in flash drives to transfer data, devices like mice, keyboards and such. I’m not sure why your mouse is not working correctly. It should.


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