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RAM Drives, the New Trend in Storage

Written by IT News on 10:09 AM

This year marked a milestone in terms of computer sales. It was the first time when notebook PCs have sold better than desktop machines, and that says a lot about users going mobile.

Solid-state drives arrived just in time to store the laptop users' data. Various notebook vendors have already included them in their configuration so it would not be too far-fetched to say the SSDs are pretty much going mainstream.

The new frenzy in the storage business are RAM drives. The performance factor would easily qualify them as favorites in the storage world, but their major shortcoming is (still) their price. Even so, recent prices of the DDR2 memory can contribute very much to setting the new trend. Intel is already committed to switching to newer and faster DDR3 until 2009, and DDR2 would be too good to dispose of.

If we consider that DRAM memory speeds are much higher than any flash-based storage and 8 GB of memory is worth around $200, then it would be extremely easy to get a PCI-Express enabled RAM disk with a battery supply to keep them on. There was some gadget produced by Gygabyte to offer such functionality, but it only worked on a PCI-Express x1 lane to offer 2 x 4 GB/s, which voided all the advantaged given by DRAM's wide-bandwidth.

The controller can easily be built to use the PCI-E x16 in order to map the RAM memory like a normal storage drive. Mass production would easily drop the costs down to a final $60 per card. Add the RAM cost and we get a $260 per 8 Gigabytes of ultra-fast storage. If you just migrate from DDR2 to newer DDR3, then it only takes the card and controller cost. For this price, you can make your computer load the operating system in sub-second time.

Source by Bogdan Botezatu, Hardware Editor , softpedia.com Search Perform an advanced search querySOFTPEDIA


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  1. 3 comments: Responses to “ RAM Drives, the New Trend in Storage ”

  2. By Steve on December 15, 2007 at 3:44 PM

    This may be good for a temporary or swap drive, but I wouldn't be loading an OS or store anything important on it. Once the power goes out and run out of battery you lose everything.

  3. By Danish on December 16, 2007 at 6:49 AM

    Steve,
    I agree with you, but may be they already know about that and already know the answer too...

    Anyone use this device should have a prover backup power (UPS), may be like that..

    Danish

  4. By Samrat on February 15, 2008 at 8:40 PM

    Nice article... Technology rules

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