RAM Drives

Okay, so your old SATA hard drives are big and slow. It takes a long time to write and read data to those.

Then there’s these new solid state drives (SSD). Lots of chips on those. They’re fast. Newer than the SSD are NVMe. And there’s even faster storage options than those.

But you know what’s really fast? Your RAM memory.

If only there was a way to store your Second Life cache on that.

Set up a RAM drive

A RAM drive allows you to use system memory like a hard drive.

It’s extremely fast. But it vanishes when you restart your system. Thankfully, you can save it or load it at system restart.

The one I use is SoftPerfect RAM Disk. But there’s others out there, so check their reputations and support pages.

Because I have so much memory on my system, I created an 8GB RAM Drive for my Second Life cache and an 8GB RAM Drive for temporarily saving photos and videos. Because Second Life can save photos and videos faster, my system doesn’t stall as long between snapshots and captures.

  1. In the menu bar, click Image.
  2. Then click Create Image.
  3. Set a directory location and name it something sensible.
  4. Give it a size in MB.
  5. Change type to FAT32.
  6. Click OK
  7. Click the plus button.
  8. Give it the same size as the image in MB.
  9. Select the drive image’s location and name.
  10. Select a drive letter.
  11. Select the Save drive contents to image checkbox.
  12. Click OK.

The R drive stores photos, and the S drive is for Second Life cache.

  1. Open Preferences (Control-P).
  2. Click the Network & Files tab, then click the Directories tab.
  3. For Cache location, click Set.
  4. Select the drive you set for the cache and click OK.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Restart your viewer.

When I am done capturing photos and video, I move it to my old hard drive for long-term storage.

Memory Speed

(This is somewhat related to RAMDrives.)

Yes, your system memory is faster than your SATA and M2 and other SSD hard drives. But is it as fast as it should be?

A lot of memory manufacturers advertise speeds like 3200 and 3600 and 4000 and such. And the memory has been tested and rated to handle that speed of data reliably. But when you put them in a motherboard that’s supposed to be able to handle that speed, it actually slows the memory down to a speed like 2400.

XMP (Extreme Memory Profiles) was created by Intel and now has been adopted by a lot of manufacturers, and it allows you to set a profile in your motherboard’s BIOS to run your memory at the rated speed. Some of them call it memory overclocking, but it’s not really overclocking if it’s running at the speed on the label, is it?

When you go into the setup for your motherboard’s BIOS (F2 on boot usually) or look at some diagnostic within Windows, you’ll see the speed of your memory. Compare it to what’s on the package. If it’s less than what it should be, look for XMP in the motherboard settings and you can turn it on.

Is it safe? Well, it’s supposed to be safe, but with everything there is risk. If your memory is old or cheap or there’s something wrong with it or you’re already running really hot, yeah, something might glitch and lock up and slow down. But for the most part, things will be okay, and you’ll get the full speed of the memory you paid for.

The newer the motherboard (with an updated BIOS) and the newer the memory, the newer the generation of XMP they will use, so the more reliable it will be.

And I suppose it goes without saying that keeping your drivers updated to stable versions/releases is usually a good thing, too (Good developers and QA testers tend to introduce more fixes and patches and features than bugs).