Haven’t used RAM Disks since the golden floppy days, but maybe they are still viable… the traditional RAM Disks were simply a way to map a drive (like F: or some other letter), which was in RAM, rather than an actual disk. So for example what some people did, was to copy the content on the DOS floppy to the RAM disk and when you executed DOS commands they executed faster, because the were not loaded from the floppy, but from the RAM Disk (which is way faster).
The concept may have expanded from those days, of course.
Also, a note, if your computer were to crash, your RAM Disk was in RAM.
In my opinion RAM disks are suitable only for very few tasks. You have to remember:
RAM disk does not survive OS crash or power blackout
RAM disk needs to be saved into hard drive before system shutdown (SuperSpeed’s Plus version seems to do this automatically)
Now, what it may be good for in DAW computer? I can only find one usage: sample libraries. You can copy your sample libreries to RAM disk at system startup. But you’ll probably need quite a huge RAM disk for this.
UPS doesn’t help if you OS crashes. RAM disk is lost.
These are totally different beasts. Their benefit is that they are usually battery-backed which makes them survivable from crashes and blackouts and even hold data for days when your computer is off. (At least they were when I studied them few years ago)
I think it really does just this. Use RAM in your motherboard. You may have for example 32G of RAM (because your processor supports it), but 32-bit windows sees only 3G. RamDisk doesn’t use Windows to allocate memory and use rest 29G for your RAM disk.
It was the same in those days Elektrobolt told you about: Depending on your processor, you could have 1M, 16M or 4G RAM. MS-DOS used only 640k, because it was designed for i8086 with 1M RAM limit and IBM in their great wishdom decided to use last 384k for memory-mapped I/O (yes, it was IBM who thought 640k is enough for everyone, not Bill Gates). Now, RAM-disk software didn’t care about OS (MS-DOS), but allocated this “unseen” memory for your RAM-disk.
I think that even IF the situation were like you sort of hoped, the money (for the extra RAM, interface, etc.) would be better spent on a SSD or a faster SATA drive, if you wanted a fast “work” disk. This would also be less volatile, because frankly a RD would be risking it, to say the least. Especially as a “rigged” workaround.
I think you are absolutely right. The only thing that is a drawback with your scenario, is the cost and in some fashion, logistics. The software required on each machine, Windows and applications with dongle requirements, etc.
Many truths there, Steve.
It is so hard to drop the old MIDI machines. Some of the ones I have are so old, I am afraid to play too rough on them. It is also getting harder and harder to find replacement parts for some of them.
Absolutely! I just cannot let go because I have so much “knowledge” about them and the way the make sounds (after all these years of tweaking, I sure hope I learned something). The VSTi’s are much more advanced (generally) and for some reason it’s harder to invest time in ONE of them, because there are so many.
E.g. one of my more used synthesizers is a Roland Jupiter 6 and I am taking better care of it than my kids at times, I think. Nah, but you get the point. I also have a Juno 106 which is not near as good a quality, but very useful (to me) and because it’s prone to age breakdown, mine has worked for a long time without any problems (knock knock), I actually acquired a couple of already broken ones, a few years back.
Lately I’ve been using Roland V-Synth as my main (I switch every once in a while, so I don’t stagnate), and it’s awesome, BUT even though it has a VA synth built-in, the sampling capabilities are the main attraction. It’s making me do things I am not familiar with, which is awesome. Downside is that even though sampling is cool, it’s a bit more cumbersome than just using good ol’oscillators. AND it requires a whole lot more RAM!!!