RAM disk and Mac OS X

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by FocusAndEarnIt, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. FocusAndEarnIt macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    I just got home from my Dad's friend's house. He is a *complete* computer geek, I mean, seriously. So, he wanted me to use his PC, and it was just extremely, i mean extremely fast at browsing the net. He's never been to Apple.com before and it opened instantly. And then he said, "Fast, huh?" I was like, yeah, it's reallllly fast, what ISP do you use? He said the same one you use. I was like... uhh, yeah... right, mine is slower than mollases. He said, it's because of the RAM disk. I was like, hmmm... I remember those in Classic. And so, I got home, was looking *everywhere* for a RAM disk, but couldn't find it. I looked on the net, and it seems that you have to like hack Mac OS X to get it :eek:.

    I want to do this safely, and I don't want to hurt my iBook. Can someone give me *detailed* instructions on how to do this?

  2. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    why not just get that safari enhancer program that you can find by searching on versiontracker.
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    There are any number of explanations that can explain why your Dad's service is faster than yours. I can assure you that RAM disk would not rank in the Top 10. If your service is slow as molasses and your dad's service is fast, it may be that your geek dad simply subscribes to a higher tier of service than you.
  4. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816


    May 3, 2004
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    Is he wired directly to the modem/router and are you wireless? Wired will always beat wireless.
  5. Norouzi macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    Agreed, After I installed the Safari enhancer I noticed a huge speed increase, Safari for some odd reason waits till everything to be completly loaded before displaying the page. Also different area's can have different internet speeds even from the same service especially if it's a Cable service.
  6. FocusAndEarnIt thread starter macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    Oh, i think you guys misunderstood me. It's not my dad. It's his friend, he uses the same ISP as us and I even asked him (yesterday) to see if he just has basic (what we have) and he said yes. I'm wired. He's wired. Can someone just tell me how I can do this?

    It actually does make a big difference -- writing to the hard drive: miniseconds (or whatever they are called - something along those lines) compared to nano seconds - RAM

    Can someone PLEASE just tell me how the hell I can do this?
  7. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    True, but not when talking about internet speeds (usually). 99% of the time your internet is much slower than your wireless connection. Thus it doesn't matter how you surf the net, it should be about the same speed.
  8. dubbz macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2003
    Alta, Norway
    I really don't see how this should make a difference, unless the site is loaded from disk cache.

    I just tried it now with my Powerbook, running Firefox, loading www.rollingstone.com, and my PC running a LiveCD version of Linux and Firefox. No difference in speed. And the whole of Linux is running directly from RAM!
  9. RGunner macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2002
    Midnight Sun
    hate to say this...

    really truely hate saying this...

    BUT, a top end windows PC will 'browse' the net faster than any.. ANY Mac. (and I have used them all.. along with 'most' browsers).

    Just seems the GUI on X is dragging down the 'browsing' experience on a Mac. Having said that, try running 3 different Movies (at the same time) on a PC and see what happens. (works fine here on our G5!).

    Just a different OS, like it or not....

    Not sure there is a Ram disk for X. Good question tho!
  10. lee1210 macrumors 68040


    Jan 10, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    While I don't think it's a good idea, there are utilities out there to use a ram disk.

    I don't know what you are going to try to put there to speed things up (your browser? If it's safari, i don't think you can trick all of webkit onto a seperate disk). If firefox, perhaps moving the binary there will do something for the initial load of the program.

    Your cache? Unlikely to help either.

    Anyhow, some results per google:

  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Whatever is making it faster, it ain't the RAM disk.

    OSX manages the memory of your Mac, and does a pretty good job of optimizing memory and disk usage. You are unlikely to see any benefit to taking RAM away from the OS and creating a RAM disk.

    The only exception is if you are wanting to eliminate hard disk reads and writes for specific data FILES (as opposed to incoming, constantly changing data). A RAM disk is faster than a hard disk in this scenario - but of course the data goes bye-bye as soon as you dismount the RAM disk.
  12. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    Safari doesn't write the files to cache before it displays them, if that's what you're thinking.

    It's true that browsing is simply a bit slower on the Mac, not sure why. It's not a big thing but it just feels snappier on a PC. Well, assuming the PC isn't loaded with spyware, which it probably is, statistically speaking. It's gotten better- this is a lot of the reason Apple came out with Safari. There simply wasn't a decent browser for OS X (you shoulda seen IE! it was painful) and they've been trying to bridge that gap themselves.
  13. FocusAndEarnIt thread starter macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    Ok, but what should I use to speed up my internet?

    Any programs?
  14. FocusAndEarnIt thread starter macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    I was there when the good 'ol 10.1 or was it 10.0 that used IE?

    I remember those days!

    Like your signature rainman::|:|!
  15. FocusAndEarnIt thread starter macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    Well here is that Safari Enhancer program thingy --

    if anyone wants it go here
  16. D3LM3L macrumors regular


    Mar 31, 2005
  17. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    This is a little off topic, but you got me curious so I walked around after work today running a few very simple non-scientific tests with a variety of computers and a stopwatch to see how things look in my corner of the real world.

    The following are all on exactly the same fast network (10MBit feed from a fat university pipe, low latency all around) during a low-traffic period.

    My randomly-selected test sites (typed in exactly as shown) were abc.com (embedded video, redirects to abc.go.com, so that's an additional layer of speed hit), cnn.com (relatively complex but media light), MacNN.com (same), and cbsnews.com (a whole mess of embedded flash, video, and other junk). Cleared all browser caches, and in most cases the sites had never been visited anyway.

    Results (times in seconds until all loading/drawing activity stops for sites in order listed above):

    G4 800 (QS), 384MB RAM, 10.4.2
    Safari 2.0.1: 5.0, 6.2, 6.5, [froze]
    Firefox 1.0.6: 5.8, 6.0, 6.7, 15 (? - visually seemed to be finished much sooner)
    Opera 8.5: 4.2, 8.0, 8.8, 5.4

    G5 1.6 (iMac), 512MB RAM, 10.3.8
    Safari 1.3.1: 3.4, 6.7, 7.1 (different ads?), 6.6
    Firefox 1.0.6: 5.4, 5.0, 5.6, 4.3
    Opera 8.5: 7.6, 8.6, 4.3, 5.1
    Camino 0.8.4: 5.0, 2.0(?), 4.8, 4.0

    Pentium III 866 (Micron), 384MB RAM, W2K Pro SP4
    Firefox 1.0.6: 10.0, 6.9, 6.0, 17.1
    IE 6: 4.2, 6.6, 5.5, 10.0 (seemed to be finished sooner)

    Pentium4 3GHz (IBM), 512MB RAM, XP Pro SP2
    Opera 8.5: 2.0, 6.0, 4.4, 3.6
    IE 6: 11.0, 4.2, 5.2, 6.6

    I also ran through the sites at home on my DP G5 2.0, 2.5GB RAM, on a slower 3MBit DSL connection, and the times came out on the low end of the above.

    That's a lot of numbers, but basically it's a wash; a similarly equipped 800MHz-ish Wintel box and G4 Mac perform similarly, a similarly equipped G5 iMac and 3GHz P4 box also perform similarly except that Opera seems to be somewhat faster on Windows (and also generally bests IE), and no browser seems to make a huge difference across the board, though some did better on certain sites than others. I also re-ran a few tests, and there was some variability (whether due to network traffic, different random ads, or dumb luck I don't know).

    It's also worth noting that in all but two cases the sites were mostly loaded and readable within a second or two, so there was no sense of "slowness" anywhere. The two exceptions were a roughly 1 second initial delay loading MacNN on pretty much every browser while some sort of slow response happened, and IE on windows for some reason took a long time to start displaying CNN.com--it displayed the banner, then paused noticably before drawing the rest of the page, while every other browser pretty much had it up immediately.

    Make of all this what you will, but it sounds to me like it's something to do with the way your Mac is integrated with your network, not a RAMDisk.
  18. FocusAndEarnIt thread starter macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    Wow! Thanks for all that! Learn something new here everyday...

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