AMD Radeon RAMDisk is a free and commercial application for Windows to create a RAM disk -- read memory drive -- from system memory.
Softperfect announced recently that its Ramdisk was no longer available for free. While it is still possible to use version 3.4.8 and earlier for free, it is probably a good idea to look for an alternative unless you want to purchase a commercial license.
A ram disk can be quite useful for certain tasks as it simulates hard drive storage during sessions but is significantly faster than hard drive storage.
This makes it ideal for applications that benefit from faster loading and saving processes. A ram disk stores data temporarily by default, which means it can also be used to store temporary files.
AMD Radeon RAMDisk is offered as a free version and several commercial versions. The free version is limited in several regards; most notably that it supports ram disks of up to 4096 Megabytes only.
The four commercial versions support the same feature set. In fact, the only difference between the four versions are the price and the maximum size of the ram disk.
The free version installs fine and without any issues. It attempts to connect to the Internet on start but it is unclear why. The most likely explanation is that it tries to retrieve a banner ad from company servers as it displays ads in the program interface.
The tab-driven interface lists the basic settings in the first tab on load. You can use them to set the size of the ram disk, to pick a drive letter for it on the computer, and to set a disk label for it as well to make identification easier.
You may start the ram disk right then and there, or check out the options page first. Options provided there enable you to set the program to clear memory used by the ram disk on exit, to block the start of the ram disk during Windows start, and to disable compression of the image file on NTFS file systems.
The content of the ram disk won't be saved by default when the system is shut down. This means that any data stored by it is deleted when that happens.
You can enable the saving of a disk image under load/save in the program. This loads and save the ram disk each time the computer starts or is shut down so that data remains accessible across sessions.
When you start the ram disk for the first time you are asked to install a driver. This is necessary, and denying this will block the whole process.
The ram disk is then available as another drive letter on the system. You can use it for all tasks that are reserved normally for hard drives: save files to it, make it the location for temporary files or the browser cache, or use it to install programs or games to.
While most modern games won't install because of the 4 Gigabyte limitation, most apps and some games will so that you can benefit from faster loading and saving times.
AMD Radeon RAMDisk is a handy program for Windows devices. The free version is limited to a ram disk size of 4 Gigabyte and ad driven. Pricing of the commercial versions is reasonable, it starts at $9.99 for up to 12 Gigabyte and ends at $18.99 for the Pro version that supports up to 64 Gigabyte.
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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.