What is Readyboost?
The best way to improve your PC’s performance is to add additional RAM (System Memory). However, adding additional RAM is costly and can be difficult as you need to open up your PC, make sure you purchase the correct type of RAM, as well as making sure you have enough empty memory slots to place the RAM into.
To bypass all this Microsoft have introduced a new feature in Windows Vista called ReadyBoost. ReadyBoost allows you to simply plug a USB flash memory device into a high speed USB port (USB 2.0) and use it as a cache or virtual memory. Although not as fast as RAM it still delivers a performance increase as it is much faster to cache to the USB device than caching to your hard disk, speeding up your system and enhancing overall performance. The USB flash memory device acts as a fast store for frequently accessed data, the average random 4K read from a flash device is about ten times faster than accessing the same information from the hard drive.
What do I need to use Ready Boost?
Using ReadyBoost is easy, all you need is a PC running Windows Vista, a free high speed USB port (USB 2.0) and a compatible USB flash memory device. When you plug-in the USB flash memory device, Windows Vista will check to see if it is compatible. Once it has confirmed the memory device is compatible with ReadyBoost, Windows Vista will ask if you want to use the device to speed up system performance.
You can also use high speed SD memory Cards instead of a USB drive if you have a SD memory card reader, SD Memory Card Is Faster For Windows Vista And 7.
How to use ReadyBoost
Plug-in your USB flash memory device to a free high speed USB port on your PC or Laptop.
Windows Vista will now check to see if your USB flash memory device is fast enough to be used for ReadyBoost. Once it has checked, AutoPlay will ask whether to enable ReadyBoost, click on Speed up my system. If this doesnt show up as an option, the USB flash memory device is not fast enough to be used with ReadyBoost. You will need to buy a ReadyBoost compatible USB device.
Windows Vista will display the storage properties dialog box. Select Use this device and then choose the amount of space you want to use (‘Space to Reserve for System Speed’) with ReadyBoost. Use as much space as possible for optimal results, then click on OK
Original Articles (geckoandfly.com and readyboostmemory.com)