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.
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.
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.
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.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.