If you want a high speed Mac, you could buy the latest quad core iMac with plenty of RAM, you could speed it up even further with a SSD drive , this allows really fast read and write speeds, allowing a speed increase. However, these tend to be a bit expensive. The solution to this is build a RAM Disk.
This is a temporary solution which allows you to use a part of your RAM as a virtual disk. Excellent if you have a program that takes ages to write to disk and you need to output right away. Its also a fun to mess around with. A RAM disk is a method in which we use a portion of the available memory on our system as a virtual hard drive.
In our case a disk image. We can then place data into this disk image, like a normal disk, except it is actually in RAM. RAM is very fast and if some apps use a lot of disk access we can then move it into RAM and get a speed increase.
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There are problems with a RAM disk. We also have some problem with paging. This negates any speed savings. The quickest method is to use Terminal. The size is determined by the number in this case which is in terms of the block size. One block is about 5.
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Adjust the number until you get the size you want. You can now put data into this disk image as normal, you can treat it like a normal hard drive.
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If this is a bit complicated, you can use an app. There is plenty out there on the Mac App Store, however there is a cool one from Boredzo. When you download and unpackage the app you can create a RAM disk using the interface. To get the options settings up, hold option when you double click on the app.
Its quick and simple. The advantage of this app is that it creates a disk when you double click on the app.
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Plus if you put the app as one of your login items it will automatically create a RAM disk when you login. The results of creating a RAM disk with an app or command line is the same.
So we have created this cool high speed disk. How fast does it actually go?
We can use a tool such as Xbench or any of you favourite bench mark testing app to get a speed difference. If you set the app initally to use your hard drive, then repeat the test using the RAM disk you will notice a speed difference. The speed increase is pretty much solely down to the RAM disk. The increase does from Replace the X characters with a number that represents the block size for the total capacity of your RAM Disk. Calculate this number by multiplying your desired size of disk in megabytes by Input this number in place of the X characters in the command above:.
After a brief moment, the system will create and mount your RAM Disk.
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You can now read and write to it as you would with any other drive, as long as you remember that any data stored on the disk will be lost after a reboot or power loss. For an even easier method, you can use a third party app to create a RAM Disk.
Download the app and launch it on your Mac. With both methods, you can get rid of the RAM Disk by ejecting it or rebooting. Again, make sure that all data on the disk is backed up before doing this; the data will be irrevocably lost once you reboot or lose power.
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