Tip #6: Extend Memory Using ReadyBoost
Often, a slow, sluggish computer is a symptom of insufficient memory resources. Windows Vista comes with a cool, built-in utility called ReadyBoost, which enables you to increase your memory capacity and speed up your system without having to install more RAM. Coupled with non-volatile flash memory such as a USB 2.0 flash Drive, Secure Digital (SD) card or Compact Flash cards, you can use this utility to significantly increase system performance.
Once ReadyBoost is set up, Windows Vista basically uses the flash drive as an additional memory cache. It takes advantage of the faster seek time of the flash drive to cache data for speedy retrieval. When accessed via ReadyBoost, cached data will typically load much faster. This is because hard drives, which utilize rotational motion, are a much slower medium in comparison than the latest USB drives, which are designed for direct access. And with the expanded memory capacity, the fewer applications will need to access the hard drive. This makes ReadyBoost an especially convenient and inexpensive way to expand your system's available memory and, in effect, speed up its performance.