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Old 11-02-2017, 08:56 AM   #1
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external RAM

Is there such a thing as external Ram?

I have a notebook of modest power.
Old 11-02-2017, 09:18 AM   #2
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The short answer is no.

The problem is that in a modern computer, the connection between the processor and the RAM is among the fastest in the machine, and any external connections are far slower. In principle you could have an external RAM pack connected via a Firewire, USB3, or PCMCIA port, and it would work perfectly well for temporary storage, but as the read/write speed would be limited by the connection it would behave more like a very volatile hard disc. You'd be better off using a large part of the notebook's own drive for swap (which is what typical Linux installations do, especially on machines that are short of RAM), and using an external drive if you need more storage.
Old 11-02-2017, 12:11 PM   #3
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If your notebook has a USB3 port, then a USB thumbdrive can easily outperform an internal spinning hard drive. It's typically not as fast as a typical SSD, but it could still be a useful performance boost. It can't be used as RAM, but you can put a swap partition or file on it, and it'll...well, swap just isn't as good as RAM but it might help a bit. The big performance benefit over an internal spinning hard drive would be using a fast USB thumbdrive for the OS instead of the internal drive.

I have a mediocre Acer Aspire 15 with 2GB of RAM and a spinning internal hard drive. A compact USB3.0 thumbdrive was an awesome upgrade that only cost me about $13 (pretty cheap compared to an SSD). I put the OS and swap partition on it (Debian 9, normal install).
Old 11-02-2017, 12:18 PM   #4
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The modestly powered notebook probably has a modest CPU, which would slow down swap processing.
Old 11-02-2017, 12:33 PM   #5
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external RAM

Thank you for your advice.

The answer must be a machine that isn't 10 years old.

George Warburton
Old 11-02-2017, 03:16 PM   #6
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maybe you can add more physical RAM?
i did that recently on a 2010 netbook; i had to disassemble it to some degree(*), but everything still works and it now has 2GB instead of 1.

(*) one of the rare occasions when i recommend youtube videos
Old 11-02-2017, 07:01 PM   #7
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Windows used a deal to assist I think they called ramboost. Some user out there did somewhat similar script for linux.
There is no real substitute for ram, more = better always .

In some odd servers a long time ago they did have a way to access ram in a sort of external way but you won't see any common x86 sort of way other than industrial slot systems.
Old 11-02-2017, 09:03 PM   #8
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Close... ReadyBoost which is disk caching software versus swap.


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