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Exclusive Natasha Sampson interview reveals Radeon RAMDisk secrets

Most of the noise around the AMD brand recently has focused on the low share price, the redundancies and the company's overall prospects for the future. Today, we're taking a look at one of its recent technology launches, Radeon RAMDisk.

KitGuru gets up close and personal with AMD memory guru, Natasha Sampson. What she don't know about memory… forget about it.

We kicked off by asking her what this technology is all about?
“It’s a storage solution that delivers maximum security, extreme performance and great user experience.  It’s about leveraging your unused system RAM to get more performance out of your PC for very little cost”.

Does it only use system memory to improve disk performance – or can it also use graphics card memory?
“At this time it only uses system memory but that’s not to say future builds won’t have this capability”.
What kind of performance benefits do you get?
“You can expect to see extremely fast read and write speeds.  With faster memory your RAMDisk would essentially be faster than an SSD since your files applications are by-passing your HDD or SSD.  You could see read speeds up to 25.6GB/secs if you’re running memory at 1600MHz and even faster with higher frequency.  With recent game testing, we've seen increased load times as low as 4 secs depending on which parts of the game are being loading”.
On the desktop, there are some very cheap SSDs around – but this could give you a killer advantage in a laptop?
“In laptops there is a definite benefit.  For those who are not so keen to tear open their laptops and upgrade memory or hard drives unless they have to, they can see immediate performance enhancements, especially with notebooks only running hard drives.  Some testing has shown a definite boost in performance from a notebook utilizing Microsoft ReadyBoost.  For systems that are inherently slow, using your RAMDisk is a great performance enhancement for zero cost”.
Could AMD mount a serious challenge in the laptop space – combining APUs with RAMDisk?
“Most mainstream notebooks probably aren't running any more than 8GB of RAM and the 4GB version is great for boosting your notebook which is good for APU users.  Add in AMD Radeon Memory with the up to 6GB option then I think it is definitely win for AMD as well as the user.  The same could be said for adding RAMDisk to notebooks with discrete graphics”.
Would we be right in assuming that it will work with AMD or Intel in the desktop space – but is better suited to AMD for mobile devices?
“AMD Radeon RAMDisk was built just as much for a desktop as it was for a notebook.  I think for notebook users it is a great and easy upgrade without having to buy new hardware to increase  system performance.  This is just as great for desktop users, who are able to get 16GB or more enabling them to do more – whether it be for loading entire games or software suites that require more than 8GB of memory to run”.
What else do KitGuru readers need to know?
“AMD Radeon RAMDisk is a great complimentary software for all system memory on AMD and Intel-based platforms.  We know memory is volatile but with special load and save features, users can be reassured that their data will be safe even if it is running off RAM”.

So, there you have it. Memory prices have plummeted – SSD drives are very attractive, but more than 10x the cost of a regular HDD on a ‘per GB basis' – and we all have systems that we wish were faster.

From what Natasha told us: If your system has plenty of RAM, but a slow hard drive, then this technology will definitely offer benefits.

You can get started with a hands-on session today by clicking here. Intel users can set up a RAMDisk up to 4GB while AMD users can set up to 6GB for HDD acceleration.


Use spare memory on your PC to cache up the useful stuff on your slow, old hard drive


KitGuru says: Anything that can enhance and improve the performance of a system – easily and safely – has to be a good thing, right?  Watch this space for an update which could bring unused graphics RAM into play. Big THANK YOU to Natasha for taking the time to speak with KitGuru, much appreciated.

Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.

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