USB RAM increase?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by tysontabs, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. tysontabs macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2007
    Hello all, I have heard that it is possible to increase a mac's or any computers ram by adding a high capacity USB memory drive to a open port. With special software the OS would write large infrequently used files to the stick and keep the most frequently used ones in the systems on board ram for greater speed.

    Has anyone heard of this being done?

  2. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    first time I read about this...but I'm not the guy who knows it I am just subscribing to your thread to see its outcome.
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Can't do it on a Mac. You can get some effect on Windows Vista although most tests show it doesn't really make any difference if you have a sensible amount of real RAM to start with.
  4. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    You cannot add RAM to any computer using USB. The CPU -> Memory Bus is not on that system.

    Many modern OS's allow you to use high speed USB devices to improve caching and buffering (to make the system a little more responsive), but this only has a noticable benefit if you already have a system that has less RAM than it should.

    Only way to get more RAM is to buy it I am afraid.
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    While you might think that the USB drives are RAM like and thus a good medium to speed things up.

    You might find that their performance might be worse than a decent HD, actually slowing things down.

    What would be the point of using a flash drive as a scratch disk, when it performs worse than the HD.

    A write to flash will likely suck compared to simply filling the HD's cache at the maximum rated speed of the bus, then downshifting to the mechanical limit of the drive.


    Since the OS, is already using the drive to increase the available RAM of the machine -- speed it up by putting in a faster drive instead. Something that has decent mechanical read/write speeds and a large cache (since these can matter more than, it spins faster).

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