Windows 8 has a feature called ReadyBoost which can make Windows run faster, and load programs faster after you plug in a USB flash drive, or memory card like SD card into your computer, and turn on ReadyBoost in Windows 8 from the pop-up Window, or your drive properties in Windows’ computer program. Readyboost cache files for faster load times since flash storage is faster than mechanical hard drive cache file also called the swap, and page file.
You can usually use a inexpensive 1GB or bigger USB flash drive which you already own, or buy an affordable high speed USB flash drive designed for Readyboost for a less than 5 dollars online. Plus, you don’t need to use all the storage on the drive for ReadyBoost, so your drive can be a dual use device which speeds up your PC while providing storage for you to backup, and copy your files to other computers.
You also can plug in the USB drive yourself unlike RAM which you install inside of your computer which is more complicated to install because you have to buy the right type and speed of RAM like DDR2 PC-4200 533MHz DIMM insert it in the right way, and make sure your computer has a free RAM slot, and enough power from the power supply to power extra RAM. Although, RAM is faster than any USB Flash drive, and would give you better performance than a USB drive, but it is harder to install, and more costly if you hire a PC technician to buy RAM, or buy highend RAM.
The reason ReadyBoost makes your computer faster at doing tasks like opening files, loading games, and running programs because memory on a USB flash drive has a faster random access time than a mechanical hard drive which needs to spin up, and look for the file to open.
Using Readyboost with a Patriot High Speed USB flash drive make programs load a few seconds faster, and run faster, and when I use the internet, websites load a few seconds faster on my older computer with only 1GB of RAM, and a 1.86GHz CPU with Windows 8 Pro installed on it.
Readyboost will test to see if your USB flash drive or memory card is fast enough for Readyboost. If your drive is not fast enough, Readyboost can’t be used with your USB drive. Most USB 2.0, and newer memory cards which I tested with Readyboost is fast enough for Readyboost. USB 3.0 and eSata flash drives may also improve your performance even more in Windows 8 because both USB 3.0 and eSata flash drives are faster than USB 2.0.
It is simple to use a empty USB flash drive, or memory based drive with 512MBs or more free space to use as a Readyboost drive. Usually, you just plug the drive into the computer, and Windows ask you if you want to use it to “Speed up my System using Windows Readyboost” which make it a Readyboost drive. If your computer or anti-virus disable auto-run USB drives, you can also go to your computer program in Windows explorer by searching for it in Windows 8, or opening the recycle bin in Windows 8 desktop, and clicking on the computer link/button on the left sidebar, and right click on the removable USB drive, memory card, or other memory based storage device installed on your computer then click Properties.
In the Properties program, click on the Readyboost tab to turn it on by picking Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost, or Use this device which will let you choose how much space to use on your drive or memory card for ReadyBoost to speed it up instead of all your space.
Windows also recommended how much space you should use at the bottom of the ReadyBoost tab.
After you are done setting up your drive, click OK or Apply, and Readyboost should be turned on.
Note: Computers which come with SSD hard drives will not need Readyboost because SSD hard drives are already very faster than mechanical hard drives.
ReadyBoost is a cheap or free way to improve the performance of your Windows 8 computer by buying a new high speed USB flash drive, or using your existing USB Flash drives, and Memory cards. You can also use more than one drive and memory card for Readyboost.