Windows Vista introduced a new feature called ReadyBoost. ReadyBoost uses high speed flash memory (usually thumbdrives) to speed up the computer’s performance.
Though experts argue over the actual performance improvement seen by ReadyBoost, it is a simple and inexpensive way to add memory to a computer. With 4GB “ReadyBoost Ready” flash drives advertised for $10, even the smallest performance increase is worth the investment.
While I have considered a ReadyBoost drive essential equipment for any Windows Vista desktop, I have never incorporated it into a laptop computer. For portability purposes, having a thumbdrive constantly connected to my laptop seemed impractical.
Luckily, flash memory comes in other shapes and sizes.
Many laptops are now coming equipped with flash card readers. While these can be handy, many people don’t use them. In my case, my Dell laptop has an SD card reader, but I don’t own a device that uses SD cards. Hence, the card reader has remained unused, that is until recently.
To squeeze a bit more performance out of my laptop, I picked up a high-speed SD card to use as a ReadyBoost drive. With the way prices on flash memory has fallen, a 2GB SanDisk Ultra II on sale cost only $15.
Configuring the drive was a breeze. When the card was inserted, Windows gave me the option to use it for ReadyBoost and literally 3 clicks later, the set-up was complete. It took longer to get the card out of the packaging than to install it as a ReadyBoost drive.
Now, my laptop has an extra 2GB of high-speed memory to draw upon and it only cost $15 and a few minutes of time.
Here are a few requirements to consider before adding a ReadyBoost flash drive to your laptop computer:
- Your computer must be running Windows Vista
- The card reader in your laptop must be fast enough to support ReadyBoost. A quick Google search with the make and model of your laptop and the word “ReadyBoost” should answer that question for you.
- The flash memory needs to be high-speed. Many manufacturers will use terms like “100X” or “133X” instead of actually coming the card “high-speed”.
Not much real estate technology can be had for a mere $15 and little time investment. Collect all of the change in your couch cushions and the bottom of the washer machine. You should come up with enough money to pick up a quick laptop performance booster.