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2004/02/24 ramdisk


Some material is very old and may be incorrect today

© February 2004 Tony Lawrence

The idea here is that RAM is tremendously faster than hard drives, so putting heavily accessed files into a ramdisk (a disk created in ram that looks like an ordinary disk drive to the OS) will be faster.

In some cases, it may be. Generally speaking, though, the OS'es virtual memory system is smarter than you are and can make far better decisions about what the best overall use of memory is at any given moment. Frequently accessed disk blocks will very likely be in the buffer cache anyway, so a ramdisk may gain you little there and cause you to suffer elsewhere.

If you are going to essay this, don't base the results solely on immediate response. Watch the system closely with sar and other tools before and after the change; what seems obvious may not be.


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