Dimmdrive: Steam optimized RAM Drive launches

Dimmdrive is a new application available on the gaming platform Steam. It is a RAM drive that has been created specifically for Steam games.

Games benefit a lot from better hardware. Solid State Drives are better than platter-based drives. More RAM is better than less RAM. A faster cpu and video card produce higher fps on the screen, and a fast Internet connection ensures that you can connect to game servers faster.

Using a Ram Drive to speed up applications or games is not a new concept. It refers to using part of the computer's RAM as a simulated hard drive that you can copy files to and run them from there. Since RAM is faster than hard drives, these programs should benefit from it by loading faster and by offering better performance.

Dimmdrive is a Steam optimized Ram Disk. This means that it has been created specifically to speed up games on Steam by moving some or all of the games' files to the Ram Disk.

The application installs a service on first run and requires a restart before it can be launched on Steam. When it does, it displays all installed games in its interface with options to move the game files to the Ram Drive.

dimmdrive

Before you make any changes here, you may want to open the general settings first as it enables you to change the size of the RAM drive among other things.

The default size is set to 2 Gigabyte which you can change depending on the RAM installed on your system.

Customization options are provided for each game. This can be useful if you don't have enough RAM available to copy all files of the game to RAM, or want only part of your RAM used for that and not the largest amount.

game options steam ram drive

The More RAM option selects as many files as possible, the Less RAM option only the files that you select. This is useful if you don't want some files to be stored in RAM. It does not make sense to store the game intro there for example, and this is also the best option if the RAM disk is smaller than the total size of the game files.

The other options that you have are to auto-load this game onto DimmDrive. If you select the option, files will be copied to the drive on start of the application.

When you enable the drive for an application, a copy dialog is displayed on the screen. Files will be copied to the RAM disk which can take some time depending on the size of the selected files and the speed of the hard drive.

While it is understandable that this is happening, it may delay the launch of the game. You need to launch the game on Steam once the operation completes.

The games that I have tested loaded noticeably faster even on a system with a fast Solid State Drive. This included first load but also while in game.

DimmDrive has been created with Steam games in mind but you can load other programs or non-Steam games to it as well.  You can drag and drop any file, folder or shortcut into the interface of the program to display it there. If you drop a Firefox shortcut for example, it will pick up the Firefox folder and all files it contains automatically.

Video Demo

Closing Words

Reviews on Steam are mixed at the time of writing. Some users noticed issues with games while others did not.

Probably the biggest issue of DimmDrive is that files need to be moved to the drive before you can play the game. This can take a while so that you could say that you don't gain a lot by using the application.

This is not totally correct though as you will notice faster load times and maybe responsiveness improvements as well.

DimmDrive can also be useful if you keep the PC on for a long period of time and start the game multiple times in that period.

Summary
Author Rating
2.5 based on 2 votes
Software Name
DimmDrive
Operating System
Windows
Price
USD 29
Landing Page
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Responses to Dimmdrive: Steam optimized RAM Drive launches

  1. Womble January 3, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    RAM Drives work by caching frequently accessed data, it's a swap drive in RAM basically. Although I've never used this program I'm confused as to how it can speed up access to data that has never been accessed before, especially considering how much of a games data is only accessed once.

    Some of the reviewer reported game crashes.

    • Martin Brinkmann January 3, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

      By moving files to RAM, loading speed is increased for these files. The trade-off is that you need to move them to RAM first which may take longer than the benefits you get unless you play that game a lot and restart it regularly.

  2. lainiwaku January 3, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

    i don't understand
    does this put the game directely on real RAM
    or
    it's create virtual ram on ssd ?

    because my game are already on ssd and it's enoughly farly better than HDD

  3. Hej January 3, 2015 at 9:33 pm #

    What's the point of selling programs like this through steam?

    I've now lost the ability to have a steam overlay on my games and the social element of steam as it shows me
    "playing" dimmdrive the entire time to my friends. Furthermore, if I want to run the ram drive on startup, it runs steam on startup.

    I haven't been upset with a purchase for years like I have been with dimmdrive. And it isn't due to software faults, it is due to the utter shit that is steam DRM.

    • Patrick January 4, 2015 at 4:01 am #

      ya if you done right, Hej its not a problem with dong it for free.

      https://vikingvpn.com/blogs/off-topic/how-to-run-steam-games-on-ram-drive

      Sorry you feel like you got taken for a ride. I knew that this product was going to cause issues. I'm sure Tim not Valve will offer you a refund. : (

      You know showing someone that you are playing DimmDrive benefits Tim, I agree I'd rather still show the games I'm playing not a paid way to VRAM.
      I wonder with Steam Broadcasting dose it shows the games being played with DimmDrive too? lol wow.

      • Hej January 4, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

        Hey Patrick, I was able to get a stand-alone version from Tim in the forum after voicing my complaints with Steam DRM. I've also known of Ram drives and that there are free alternatives around for quite some time but I have no issue paying money for something that will save me time in the long run. All in all, its a great program, but I'll never buy a program from the Steam store, or a program with Steam DRM, ever again.

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