Vista and the Rise of the Flash Drives

There is an windows service in vista called Software Licensing. Description: Enables the download, installation and enforcement of digital licenses for Windows and Windows Applications.

I didn’t like the sound of that so I tried to stop disable it. Then got a dialog saying that ReadyBoost service depends on it!


Funny you post this article today. Just last night I bought my first memory stick where I assumed the differences in speed couldn’t be that huge, well they are! I think the stick I purchased has a transfer rate of less than 1Mb/sec if that’s possible…

Anyways, great article. I’m glad you pointed out the differences. Being in the industry so long, it’s easy to forget some of these things.

In the same order of idea, I’ve just found out about a pretty interesting product called a “MojoPac”: dead link

If it’s useful to anyone, I’ve been building a list of ReadyBoost compatible devices on my site at:


XP just wasn’t designed to be used without a page file, with 4GB of memory and several GB free, programs sometimes run out of memory and the OS acts weird. When enabled and over 2GB of free memory the OS still dumps stuff to the pagefile. I hope in vista you can really disable the stupid thing.

Two things: MojoPac was mentioned above…has anyone actually gotten it to work? I bought it, and it would not start even once. Just says it failed. I contacted support, with no reply at all.

Anyway, let’s say I have a Windows Vista 64-bit installation and 4 GB RAM system. Will there be any benefit for me using the ReadyBoost? Even if it is a little or only under certain conditions, I am interested to understand the specifics.

Thanks much.

Good article on ReadyBoost performance at Tom’s Hardware:

Summary: big performance boost for 512mb RAM machines, minor bump on 1gb RAM and 2gb RAM configurations.


USB Flash Drives and Flash memory cards may not be as fast as hard drives, but the new generation of SSDs are currently roasting hard drives alive.

A-data has a 128GB SSD that has a sustained read of 65MB/sec. Due to the incredibly low latency, they can handle many, many times the I/O of a hard drive.

Slow, 2-3MB/sec Flash Media used for ReadyBoost is calculated to be 10x faster at I/O for smaller files. You can imagine how much faster an A-Data SSD would be than even the fastest SCSI hard drive overall.

A top of the line SCSI drive may see 80MB/sec on the outside of the platter, but the latency is 10x greater or more than an SSD.

Heya Jeff!

I’ve just noticed that over at Tech Crater, they’ve hosted a list of the actual speed rating numbers for many flash devices. This way everyone can get the best performance boost out of ReadyBoost. You can see it at


Jeff, Most if not all of what I read in the article and comments section were correct from what I have found so far in the HDD, HHD and SSD markets. Yes smaller devices like notebooks and tablets will defiantly benefit from the HHD’s and SSD’s alike. HOWEVER, the limited read/write times of SSD’s puts a cramp in me actually using them currently, well that and the price per gig is still way too high. Perhaps when they offer “instant on” like my old HP palmtop does when you power it up AND it will reboot back into an original state when both batteries are removed. Its slow, old and cannot be upgraded but its still useful. The ASUS Eee 900 has alot of those features with a modern Linux OS. I’m not a “power-user” “programmer” or “coder” but I know what I want my machine to do and what sort of environment it will be expected to perform in (high heat and high vibration) so I choose products to fit that need best. Keep up the good work and keep the rest of us informed as new products are released.

I have a similar setup, WD Raptor 74gig (primary), but have recently purchased Hitatchi P7K500 500 gig 7200rpm with 16 meg cache. I got a surprise when I ran the test against it.

Just like your Raptor (mine is WD740GD-00FLC0) I got similar results in performance numbers. For the a Multisector read test line, one sample for here:

(HD) (blocks) (Repititions) (time) (Speed mb/s)
WD740GD-00FLC0: 147 4000 4187 68.571620
P7K500: 147 4000 3187 90.087661

Hmmmm, the 90 and the 68 where times for both drives that were representational of their top speed; hitting it multiple times for different blocks consistently!

Here are the differences:

  1. Hitatchi was formated with 8K blocks, where Raptor took the default.
  2. Hitachi has an 16meg cache where the raptor only has 8mb.
  3. Raptor is running the system OS (XP)…

Motherboard (P4P800-E Deluxe) only to my knowledge supports SATA 1 (150).

Either the cache is coming into play heavily, or the program has a quirk which formatting 8kb sectors comes into play boosting the Hitachi…

Running a 4GB Desktop at home with an 8GB Paging File. My 2GB Flash Drive does make a difference in normal applications speed and response times.

FLASH is a half-way house to what we all really want which is something that behaves exactly like SRAM (none of those nasty DRAM refresh cycles) yet retains its state in the absence of power.

It used to be caleed CORE memory and it is on its way back if this ( article is anything to go by. Yes the densitiy is nowhere near high enough but it is a sign of things to come.

If MRAM takes off, FLASH will become an interesting footnote in the textbooks.