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Excuse me, but is it possible to make an external ram supply? Just out of curiosity.

If this is possible, then would it also be possible to use an external ram source that connected by USB? yes, I realize this would require programming a chip to change the data type to/from USB.

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Last Post by Hiroshe
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well, is there an other medium that could be used, other than usb? Would it be possible to modify a motherboard to have an external RAM storage unit?

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There is no sense in trying. External storage on RAM base exists for decades - it's called solid-state-disc and besides special server applications, this technology is now obsolete. Modern solid state FlashROM devices (your USB stick) can be seen as sort of RAM based storage, too.
I understood that you wanted to have mass storage that has the speed of RAM (the only meaningful purpose of external RAM), but this will always be limited by the RAM prizes and the needed high speed interface that can compete with memory placed next to the controller. Or you think of a completely different type of computer, where work memory and mass storage would be the same. Since this would only speed up loading times beyond a reasonable amount, there is not much sense in such a concept. Fire up a RAID 0 with some affordable high end harddisks and load the monstergame of your choice - I guess you won't see much need for something ten times faster but 1000 times more pricy, too.

But I've got an idea: Just remove your case and place the mainboard and all the stuff on your desktop. This way, everything becomes external...:mrgreen: (I know some guys who actually run their rigs this way)

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There is no sense in trying. External storage on RAM base exists for decades - it's called solid-state-disc and besides special server applications, this technology is now obsolete. Modern solid state FlashROM devices (your USB stick) can be seen as sort of RAM based storage, too.
I understood that you wanted to have mass storage that has the speed of RAM (the only meaningful purpose of external RAM), but this will always be limited by the RAM prizes and the needed high speed interface that can compete with memory placed next to the controller. Or you think of a completely different type of computer, where work memory and mass storage would be the same. Since this would only speed up loading times beyond a reasonable amount, there is not much sense in such a concept. Fire up a RAID 0 with some affordable high end harddisks and load the monstergame of your choice - I guess you won't see much need for something ten times faster but 1000 times more pricy, too.

But I've got an idea: Just remove your case and place the mainboard and all the stuff on your desktop. This way, everything becomes external...:mrgreen: (I know some guys who actually run their rigs this way)

Am I to understand that the feature of xternal RAM provided by Vista is a waste of time? My whole query was based on the assumption that what was provided in Vista was desirable and therefore wanted to know if it would work in XP.

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I understand your curiosity. I wish there was an external RAM. I have a laptop that the RAM is not accessible. I would literally have to take off keyboard and flip over the motherboard. So it would be nice an easy just to plug into the side :)

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there is a feature in vista that will use a usb jump drive as a sort of ram but this is very slow. maybe a better way would to use an esata connection to some flash based memory. just a thought

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there is a feature in vista that will use a usb jump drive as a sort of ram but this is very slow. maybe a better way would to use an esata connection to some flash based memory. just a thought

thumb drive is flash based memory is it not ,for best usb to use make sure its marked Redyboost compatible.as most aren't

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I understand your curiosity. I wish there was an external RAM. I have a laptop that the RAM is not accessible. I would literally have to take off keyboard and flip over the motherboard. So it would be nice an easy just to plug into the side :)

what model laptop. make a model # post it

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Hmmm, I'm not sure about external ram, but ready-boost is similar if you have vista. thinking about it there's a possibility you could just move the page file in xp to a flash drive essentially creating a ready-boost drive in xp. just don't remove the flash drive.

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wats the use of an external ram when double slots are provided to ur motherboard better move to 4 or 8 gb rams instead of ext rams

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external RAM.. I thought of that for long too.. i wanted to have one but seems our modern world doesn't have it yet.. i have read one comment that says "usb is so slow", something like that and i do agree, the speed of usb is just 2.0, how can a ram possibly transfer data at that speed when your main purpose of having external ram is to power/speed up your laptop.. however, if they have made external HDD into existence and so with external graphics cards, why cant they make it with external RAM? i know someday that will come into existence..

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I agree, 6 GB would be good enough. But why post in such an old thread:)

Edited by jingda: n/a

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why reply ? because is an interesting subject

nice link ,good read ,it is a interesting subject,discussion/opinion type threads have no timeline ,me thinks , thanks for the reply

Edited by caperjack: n/a

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IF you are connecting an external RAM through USB option then it is useless as USB is detected by the computer on least

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IF you are connecting an external RAM through USB option then it is useless as USB is detected by the computer on least

what !?

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Ram extenders actually existed in the 386 world but havn't seen any new ones in years.
They would take 4 small sticks of small [4 meg or so] into 1 slot for 16 meg.

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This is an interesting question, and I understand the thread is old, but I do have some insights on the topic.

1a. I'm amazed no one has mentioned this:
Some operating systems are limited to the max ram they can see. 32bit OS's can only see a theoretical maximum of around 3.5 GB of RAM, so adding more VIA any means is a pointless excersize.

1b. even some x64 bit OS are limited.
Some OS, such as Win7Home, are purposly limited by M$ to max out at 8gb RAm, even if you have all the RAM in the world, the software refuses to use it.

1c. Motherboard limitations;
Many chipsets, although x64bit are limited to a maximum of 8gb RAM. I have seen motherboards that have 4x ram slots, and can accept 4gb RAM cards in each slot, but can only run a maximum of eithr 4x2gb cards or 2x4gb cards, so a maximum of 8gb of RAM, even though you can install 4x4gb cards (16gb) and the mobo can support a 4gb card. I hope that one makes sense.

  1. How-TO
    If you overcome al of the above limitations, and you have something like this:
    which has 32gb of RAM in a LAPTOP!!!!!!
    http://www.asus.com/Notebooks/Gaming_Powerhouse/G75VW/

(I bought one of these for a friend of mine)

You can't use all that RAM at once, generally. Top end games might use up to 12gb at the most. So you can use software that "partitions off" a section, and then mounts it as a virtual HDD, so you can use it during your logged on session. Upon log-off, it saves the VHDD to the real HDD, and on log-on, it restores it back into RAM. This actually gives you a HDD that runs at RAM speeds, and it's EPIC when you are messing with photoshop and other stuff that likes scratch disks. I have my %Temp% in a volotile Scratch disk (doesn't save on exit) and it's awsome when installing new harware and things, because you are extracting to and running from RAM, not the HDD.

check this out:
http://www.softperfect.com/products/ramdisk/
or
http://www.superspeed.com/desktop/ramdisk.php

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This is indeed an interesting discussion.

There's a lot of talk about "speed" here, but that is rather vague and inaccurate. What makes RAM "fast" is the low CAS latency. It is not so much a matter of bandwidth (bytes per second), it is a matter of response time or latency, i.e., the time it takes to obtain a read-out of memory at a particular random address, from the request to the reply. In a computer, different interfaces (i.e., connectors) are designed for different purposes, with very different requirements. The memory controller and the system bus are designed for very low latency (i.e., very responsive) exchange of raw memory between cache and RAM. Things like PCI buses are designed for extensible and convenient communication between peripheral devices, which is not very efficient at data transfer, it's more for commands (issued by drivers) to operate the hardware. And SATA or other HDD interfaces are tailored for bulk high-bandwidth data transfers, which also comes with a lot of latency (e.g., software, firmware and hardware caches, buffers, etc..), in other words, you can transfer a lot of data very fast, but transfering a very small chunk of data takes a very long time (relatively-speaking). USB connections are somewhat in between, as they were originally just an upgrade of serial ports (or TTL) which were mostly for sending commands to devices, not for data throughput, but they have now been bumped up to higher throughput (with versions 2.0 and 3.0) to accomodate external storage and other high-bandwidth devices (e.g., HD webcams). But the USB ports remains, like HDD interfaces, high latency connections, at least compared to RAM.

That said, it wouldn't be impossible to expose a low-latency interface such that you could externally put it some extra RAM. But I'm not sure it would really be worth the trouble. Many laptops already have a special panel on the bottom to be opened specifically if you want access to the RAM slots such that you can upgrade / add RAM sticks to the computer. And for desktops, you just open the cover, stick in the RAM sticks, and you're done, it takes 2 minutes.

And even if you did create a connector for external RAM, it would probably have to look a lot like existing DDR(2-3-4) connectors, i.e., a long slot with hundreds of pins, because that's what you need for SDRAM access, because anything that adds multiplexing, encoding, a serial communication protocol (e.g., SATA, USB, Serial/TTL, etc.), or any kind of buffering or caching, will always add latency, and when you have to compete with RAM latency, which is a few nano-seconds, there isn't much room for too many layers between the system bus and actual memory (currently, only the memory controller chip stands between RAM and system bus).

If you consider state of the art HyperDrive stuff, which is just RAM sticks that are made to collectively look like a hard-drive and connect through a SATA connection, that is pretty much as close as you could get to an external RAM today. And that would still give you a latency in the tens of micro-seconds, i.e., thousands of times slower than RAM. It's a great piece of technology for giving you a very high-speed substitute for a hard-drive, but it's not gonna cut it as additional RAM, it's still too slow, and it's only due to the connection that isn't direct enough.

The other aspect that was discussed a bit in this thread is the whole "using HDD as RAM" feature. Most OSes today have a feature to use the HDD as RAM for either backup (hibernation), extension (paging), or last-resort replacement (virtual memory / swap space). Using a HyperDrive or similar RAMdisk technology is definitely a good technology for those purposes. But again, that doesn't really expand RAM, it only makes hard-drive intensive tasks faster.

I also think that with the progress in some SSD technology (especially memristors), the whole paradigm of fast volatile RAM and slow non-volatile memory (hard-drive) is eventually going to be replaced with a single fast non-volatile memory. And at that point, there won't be any issue of not having enough RAM. And also, at that point, there will definitely be a need for some low-latency port that would allow the plugging in of external memory, but such a port is definitely going to be a real challenge to design.

That was my 2 cents.

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I agree that eventually eventually non-volatile momory will eventually become as fast as ram, removing the need for ram all togeather (in that case, shutting down would become a case of stopping the scheduler and powering down, leaving the programs still "running". Starting up would just be powering up and starting the scheduler).

As far as extending ram externally, I beleive you can have DMA through IEEE 1394 for example. Theoretically, you might be able to use this to create some kind of special high speed paging mechanism. Or, if you're the author of the program that uses a lot of ram, you might be able to make it use some DMA mechanism that doesn't involve paging (thus allows it to be more randomly accessable).

I've never used more then 128gb of randomly accessable ram when programming carefully however - Usually when you're given such a computation, your also given a really big computer to play with. ;)

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