Need to Speed up your VPC?
So we just went through a normal hardware refresh and as a result, I am the proud owner of two new HP nc8430 machines. One of the coolest features that these machines have is a built in SD Card Reader. With that SC Card Reader and a 4 GB SD Card, I have been able to speed up demo's using VPC in a HUGE way.
Windows Vista has two new features that help in this. They are SuperFetch and ReadyBoost. If you want a more indepth look at these features, Tom's Hardware Guide has a great review on them. http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/31/windows-vista-superfetch-and-readyboostanalyzed/
SuperFetch does more than caching. Windows Vista runs a SuperFetch service that analyzes your application behavior and usage patterns, meaning that it tracks which applications you request the most. SuperFetch tries to relocate application data from the slow hard drive into all available memory. It utilizes the available capacity to create a so-called warm memory state for the single purpose of making applications available almost instantaneously.
ReadyBoost is a memory extension for Windows Vista. It works very much like the swap file on the hard drive, but it is not used as an active extension to the main memory. Instead, Windows uses it to pre-cache application data for popular programs.
You can read a Q&A on ReadyBoost on Tom Archer's Blog. It is a very slick read. http://blogs.msdn.com/tomarcher/archive/2006/06/02/615199.aspx
It has made a HUGE difference in my demo laptop in the performance of VPC's. If you are running Vista, I would recommend looking into a USB Device that can run ReadyBoost. You will not be disappointed. :-) (Or at least I wasn't...) This and VPC 2007 made my demo machine run as fast as a "real" machine. (and in reading the articles, I know it wasn't so much VPC, rather the rest of the machine's programs I start, but it made a difference in how VPC runs....)