USB Drives For Ready Boost
By Gabriel Torres on May 9, 2007 - 11:38 PM

Last time we visited Super Talent they showed us some “special” USB drives for Ready Boost, Windows Vista caching mechanism that at least in theory improves the PC performance. So what is special about them as any USB drive or memory card can be used for Ready Boost? What is different about them is the fact that instead of using the standard 4-pin USB connector, they use the 10-pin motherboard header connector and thus are targeted to be installed inside the PC (and not outside), directly on the motherboard.

Ready Boost USB Drive
click to enlarge
Figure 1: USB Drives from Super Talent that are installed directly on the USB header on the motherboard – a.k.a. “Ready Boot USB Drives”.

It is very likely that other manufacturers will copy this idea pretty soon.

At least in theory this idea is really good, since if you are really interested in installing a USB drive for increasing the performance of your Vista-based PC the best way would be putting it inside the computer, for three reasons: One, you free one of your external USB ports; two, the motherboards nowadays usually have 10 or more USB ports and even if your case has frontal USB ports and you install all USB brackets that come with the motherboard at least one or two USB headers on the motherboard will be left over; and three, it will prevent breaking your USB drive by accident – for example, by hitting it with a chair, as has already happened to us.

Whether Ready Boost really improves the system performance or not is a totally different story. We didn’t see any performance improvement here and other websites (and even manufacturers) that are posting results showing performance increase with Ready Boost are using 256 MB systems for the performance boost to be measurable. Honestly, who will have Windows Vista with less than 1 GB anyway?

By the way, one of our users (thanks Utics!) sent us a very good link with several technical details about Ready Boost, written by Matt Ayers, one of the creators of this technology. A must-read if you want to study Ready Boost more in depth.

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