RAM hard drive

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by SteveC, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. SteveC

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    Ok this might be a stupid question, but could you make a hard drive from SDRAM or DDR memory? Nothing huge but maybe 1 or 2 gig. Wouldn't it be faster if you were able to load an entire application (like a game) onto a drive like that? Or would the drive (SATA/IDE) interface slow it down to a point where no real benefit would be seen?

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  2. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    Why not just make a virtual drive? Allocate system memory as a drive. There are a number of software tools that can accomplish the task.
     
  3. horvendile

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    Well, I assume you're not talking about a ramdisk? In fact, in the days when 16 Mb was so much it was cool but not so much it was outright ridiculous, I tried making a ramdisk of about 11 Mb and put Doom on it. Well, it sure loaded fast! :)

    On another note, around -97 there was a disc of (I think) 540 Mb that consisted of, well, a 540 Mb harddrive and the same amount of RAM. IIRC, at startup it loaded its contents into the RAM, and the other way around at shutdown. It wasn't very cheap... :roll:
     
  4. arjan de lumens

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    What you are asking for is commonly known as 'solid state' drives. They exist in capacities of a few megabytes up to a few hundred gigabytes with IDE, SATA, SCSI, or USB interfaces. They are much faster than standard hard disks (access times of a few microseconds, rather than the 5-10 milliseconds seen with hard disks; also unlike harddisks, they easily max out their interfaces' bandwidth), tend to have very long lifetimes and much better resistance to shocks etc than harddisks but are usually very expensive (IIRC about 100x the cost per megabyte compared to standard IDE harddisks).
     
  5. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    Quantum was selling them several years ago. Just like hard drives, but full of fast memory instead of spinning disk, and a much faster interface. They cost a lot though, the cheapest I remember started at several thousand pounds per drive.
     
  6. RussSchultz

    RussSchultz Professional Malcontent
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    *ponder*

    Solid state disks would also encompass CF flash cards, Smart media, and MMC/SD cards (all implemented with flash memory of some sort). These generally are about .25-.50$ a meg.

    The read speeds are generally pretty quick, but the write speeds are pretty slow compared to rotating media (mostly due to the large erase block structures).

    You could make a device that was built from SDRAM chips, though rotating media would beat the pants off of it in price. (SDRAM is about $40 a gig, whereas HD are about $1 a gig)
     
  7. zsouthboy

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    I know i've seen a device exactly like he describes.

    Its a PCI card with 4-8 PC133 slots in it.

    Has an external powersupply for backup.

    IIRC it wasn't too expensive without the mem.. $500? I can't remember. It was at least a year ago.
     
  8. keegdsb

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  9. SteveC

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    keegdsb,

    That's pretty much what I was looking for. Unfortunately you can't buy just the rocketdrive PCI card from Cenatek. SPCR said that the card without memory was $399 (back in 2002), but I can't find anyone that sells the cards except Cenatek and then you have to get them with their ultra expensive memory installed.

    It looks like it was a pretty simple device ( I guess the market wasn't there). Too bad other companies didn't offer similar products.

    I guess the cheap way to go would be 2 gig of system memory and then buy their Ramdisk software.

    Steve
     
  10. zsouthboy

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    That's the one.

    I saw it on The Screensavers, back when techtv was zdtv if i'm not mistaken.
     
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