[Windows] Increase drive speed by creating superfast temporary RAM disks with RAMDisk

Your computer’s hard drive is slow. It’s even slow if you’ve upgraded to the next generation of disk drive technology, a solid state drive. What’s faster? Your computer’s RAM. That’s right–there’s technology that exists to temporarily create a storage space on your RAM, making for lightning speed access speeds with little input lag. RAMDisk is one free program that can get you there.

RAM drives are temporary data partitions created on your RAM. Since they reside in RAM, they don’t get saved when you shut down your computer, so be sure that autosave is enabled. After that, you can select sizes, formats, and more, allowing you to make your RAM drive all your own.

The free version of RAMDisk only lets you create RAM drives of up to 4GB (less if your memory doesn’t support it). However, since most people won’t be running their image distribution websites off of their free RAM drive,  RAMDisk is probably perfect for things like small servers, high-speed applications, and more. It costs $18.99 for a license to get rid of the 4GB limit.

RAMDisk is a great program. Do note that, if you have a limited amount of RAM like I do, your computer will get almost unbearably slow while it’s running, as you’ll have almost no free RAM. It’s meant to run on much more powerful machines. For those with the powerful machines and a server to run, there’s almost no better speed increase you can get than switching to RAM drives like those created with RAMDisk.

Price: Free with $18.99 upgrade

Version discovered: v4.0.0

Supported OS: Windows XP+

Download size: 6.8MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 1/41

Portability: Requires installation

RAMDisk homepage

[via Ghacks]

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  • Mihai

    Locutus, I just wanna know if I could use a USB drive for pointing my browser (or other programs) to put its temporary files on. Could this improve my laptop performance? ‘Cause I have but 1 GB physical RAM… :( (2GB with windows virtual memory on a quasi 2-core engine Intel Atom, it’s a minilaptop at 10″)
    Thank you so much for providing me with an answer,

  • @Frank D: Driveception! :D

    RAM disks are awesome. Unfortunately, my AMAZING computer has but 2GB of RAM to play with… so creating one is a bad, bad idea for me. It increased disk speed but destroyed my performance otherwise. Glad to see it could really help!

  • Frank D

    @Locutus: I thought as much, but I wanted to have some reason to put the crazy thought to rest. Thanks!

  • Frank D

    Good news: My disk data transfer rate rose from 5.9 to 7.3 due to the creation of a 500 MB ramdisk (with installed RAM = 4 GB) using the Windows Experience Index re-assessment.

  • @Frank D: You want to use a program that sucks away free RAM to create a fake USB drive… to use the fake USB drive as free RAM? :P

    In all seriousness, it’s better to use the RAM as RAM rather than RAM-as-USB-as-RAM. But clever thinking!

  • Frank D

    Idle question: Is there any potential benefit to creating a ramdisk and using it for readyboost? Or would taking away installed RAM to use in place of a USB drive negate the benefit?

  • Frank D

    @chas: @chas: Thanks for the suggestions.

  • chas

    and for the overall PC:

    Win Experience Index in Control Panel
    NovaBench (my favorite)
    SiSoftware Sandra

  • chas

    Try one of these:

    Disk Bench
    ATTO Disk Benchmark

  • Frank D

    Thank you for this tip.

    Is there a way to practically benchmark the PC to see how much or even _if_ the ramdisk improves operations?

  • chas

    There’s a test of 12 Ramdisk programs (freeware & shareware) on Raymond cc’s website.


  • Royce

    RAMDisk seems like a great solution to a slow hard drive problem.

  • Eric

    Another free option is OSFMount and if you find this type of program useful, Bitsdujour is selling SoftPerfect Ram Disk (different product and brand than what Locutus wrote about) for $9 today only. Its regular price is $29 and as of this posting there is less than 22 hours to go in the sale, although they are occasionally extended. You can find it here.
    I have never used a ram disk so I can make no recommendations.