a few words about web development

Is there any disk faster than SSD?

Does Betteridge's law of headlines apply here?
While traditional HDD drives are capacious and cheap they aren't very fast. Usually 100 MB/s is what you get and only when working with huge files, preferably over 1 GB.
So while SSD are about 10 times more expensive per GB than HDD today, they get more and more popular thanks to their impressive speed- offering over 500 MB/s when working with huge files.
While it surely is a vast speed-up when compared to HDDs, we can ask ourselves- is this all we can get right now?

Well, it's not! And what's best- you don't have to spend a dime on it!

RAM Disk Software

A RAM disk (or drive) is a piece of software which "steals" a bit of your RAM memory and creates there a new partition. The partition is of course both readable and writable and is visible to the operating system and all of your installed programs as a normal partition.

Why is it great? It offers you 10 times better performance than any SSD- 5000 MB/s or even more!
ImDisk RAM drive 2 GB

Pros and cons of a RAM disk

The pros, amongst other, are:
  • insane speed- you can expect 5 GB/s or more, depending on how fast your RAM is
  • free- lots of RAM disk software is free, and some are even open source
  • simple to use- a few clicks to install a program and then you have a new partition

But to be fair, here are the cons:
  • it takes it's storage space from your RAM. You want 4 GB RAM disk? You will have 4 GB less of RAM available for your programs. Of course you can always remove RAM disk partition to get that 4 GB back. Size of partition is configurable. It can be 100 MB, it can be 10 GB, it's up to you
  • your data is not permanently stored on a RAM disk. You turn off your computer and the files stored there just vanish. There is a solution- every RAM disk software offers a way to save RAM partition back to your regular HDD/SSD/pendrive on system shutdown and load it back in booting. But if your system freezes or there is a power outage your partition may not have a chance to save itself
So what is a RAM disk best for? Storing temporary and cache files of your system and programs, especially web browsers. It is also a good idea to store there a copy of files you don't need to modify. And since it's only a copy you can always load it back after starting your system.

ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver

ImDisk is not the only RAM disk drive software out there but it's free and open source, so it's truly free and not some trial version, with no strings attached.

I was not paid to advertise it. It's just a sincere recommendation. I am not saying it is as good as it gets, but it is very decent and surely does the job.

Requirements: Windows NT/2000/XP/2003

After installing open system's Control Panel and find ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver. Run it and create a new RAM drive: