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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Oakville, ON
    Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts

    Gigabyte i-RAM....The Swap Disc Solution for Photoshop?

    From Hardwarezone:

    Gigabyte I-RAM

    If there are any geeks here, you'll be familiar with the theoretical use of RAM as a permanent storage device. We already have flash RAMs today in use with our digital cameras, ipods and USB RAM keys so the possibility isn't exactly remote.

    I remember having many conversations with a bunk mate of mine back when I was in the army. He explained the possibilities of a RAM drive that would hold data as long as the computer is powered. The accessibility of that data would be near instant because there are no moving parts required to extract data from HDDs or other optical storage. However the trick is to create a mainboard that can handle a RAM drive, or create an add on board or an external device which could contain RAM...whether directly or as a device to hold currently available sticks of RAM.

    So today I was surfing another forum and I saw this.

    My first thought was...HOLY SHIT! 3 years ago I was discussing the I'm looking at a product made for the mass market.

    To be honest I can't see this product gaining mass market popularity. First of all RAMs are still more expensive per byte compared to optical or magnetic storage devices like HDDs and DVDs. Also it consumes a lot of power and you will need a pretty stable PSU on your computer to handle the huge amount of RAM in your system. Last but not least the running costs may not be a huge payoff when you consider how much power you need to run 20GB of RAM.

    What I can see is however, that digital artwork taking advantage of this. Imagine instead of having a swap disc partition set on your HDD for Photoshop. Now replace that swap disc partition with RAM. Meaning on top of your on board RAM, you now have another 4-8GB of RAM acting as a Swap Disc Partition. That would speed up a lot of the loading and unloading issues that Photoshop faces when handling bigger files with multiple layers and effects.

    Another use would of course be for digital video editing where vast amounts of information are move around in a non-linear fashion and that requires a lot of RAM and swap disc space for it to work smoothly. Besides the added requirement of dual CPUs, a RAM drive would even things out making for real time addition of effects.

    Of course the final use I can think of would be for consoles. With consoles moving into bigger media formats like Blu Ray....we can assume that the console games will get bigger in capacity. With a RAM drive built into a console, the machine can load the initial bits of the game from the disc into the on board RAM for immediate execution...then transfer the rest of the program slowly into the RAM drive while you're playing, hence reducing load times overall for the system.

    None of the above scenarios come cheap (at this point of time) but heck I'd love to install one on my system just to see how much faster Photoshop would be. I'm not a Geek.
    There are 3 sides to every story. Yours, mine and THE TRUTH.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Southern CT, USA
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    My common sense tells me that a storage device with no moving parts has a tremendous advantage over a device that spins at a high speed every second the computer is running. I don't know what the reliability of chip-based storage is but I do know that anything that spins generates friction and anyting that generates friction is constantly in the process of wearing itself out.
    Mark Hannon
    Art Direction & Design
    Online Portfolio

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    CA, USA
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    dear lord...this is awesome

    if only there was a way that the battery pack would last longer...i'd be afraid to leave my computer for a few days only to come back and find i forgot to save something to my HDD off my RAM drive

    too cool though

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    CT, USA
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    freaking amazing.
    only two gripes.
    They'd have to have a very high capacity battery, im sure the battery they've got wont last prolonged periods. In power outages, id be chewing my nails down to my wrists, praying that i dont lose my data. Also, even though its instantaneous acess, its still only 4gb (atm). 4gb, by todays standards, aint really that much. Truth, you could hold your OS installation on there for super fast bootup, but at the risk of losing it quite easily. Im gonna watch this for a while and see where it goes before considering one. Its freaking awesome though...

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