The PC Card Compact Flash Virtual Memory trick...can it work on OS X?

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http://lowendmac.com/macdan/02/1114dk.html

That details how you could map virtual memory to a compact-flash drive for uber-speed. But does this nifty trick still exist in OS X which seems to have taken virtual memory control out of the end-user's mischievous little hands?

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dankephoto's picture
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why?

Nifty . . . perhaps . . . but exactly why would you want to do this? OS X does a pretty damn good job with VM right out of the box, why would you want to F with success?

dan k

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Because Compact flash cards a

Because Compact flash cards are cheaper than actual RAM upgrades.

Much.

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madmax_2069's picture
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and not to mention a flash ca

and not to mention a flash card the last time i seen is faster than a hdd. wich in tern would speed up the proformance if vm was on the flash card. there has to be a way to force it to use the card like the hdd. cause it hast to have a varible to tell the OS to use the hdd in the first place so can be changed if its found wich i have no idea where its at.

i wached the screen savers a wile ago and they use a flash card as a hdd to test if it was more faster than the hdd so they installed a game on it and it was much faster then the hdd when loading. so if its like that for a game it should be the same for VM

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Yeah. It was easy to do this

Yeah. It was easy to do this trick in OS 9. but now...um...i imagine it would take some clever program to do it

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aladds's picture
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Yes!

If you can mount the card in OSX as a drive it IS possible to put the Swap file on it, but it needs to be a really big card and it isn't easy to move the file over, here: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20001215021440138 are the instructions to do it.

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dankephoto's picture
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re: a flash card the last time i seen is faster than a hdd.

"madmax_2069" wrote:

and not to mention a flash card the last time i seen is faster than a hdd.

Betcha yer wrong. A modern HD in an OSX-capable Mac is gonna be faster than a flashRAM-based disk for any op you care to test. BTW, Janus doesn't mention their 'Book's model (you are talking about a PowerBook, yes?) and config, info which would help shape any recommendations we might give.

I remain unconvinced flash cards are good for a RAM substitute, though I can see using them as a solid-state drive replacing a disk drive. But then I've always been able to max my 'Books' RAM . . .

dan k

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madmax_2069's picture
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this site talks about subsatu

this site talks about subsatuting the hdd that came in with some arcade units. The real reason is the connectors on down the page and on the right side of the page that allows you to hook them up to the ide cable and use them as a normal hdd

a site talking about subsatuting a hdd with a flash card in a arcade unit

the same connector can be also used in a computer but it might be faster to use a card reader or the ide i dunno

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Flash v. drive
madmax_2069's picture
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i wouldent get the thumb drve

i wouldent get the thumb drves tho. they are slow and only work on a usb port. the cards i was thinking of are the sd cards like the ones that require a reader if you hook then to the usb or firewire port. there are converters for some so you can hook them to the ide like a real drive. I wasnt talking about the thumb drives lol sorry if i confused any one

here is the converter i was talking about so you can hook it on the ide chain

SD card ide hookup

heh its only for $15 and it plugs directly in the ide port on the mobo but can easly be modifyed to hook on a ide cable

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Ex-parrot's picture
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It's been debated to death ar

It's been debated to death around here, and the general consensus I believe was that a CF card will "wear out" altogether too fast to be used as a decent place for a swap file.

The problem is that they have a finite number of write cycles before they become unrealiable....

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dankephoto's picture
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OK wise guys/gals, so how to test?

I'd test this, but A) I haven't any fast flash cards and B) I have only a rough idea how one would go about performing the tests.

A) is easy to remedy, but B) . . .

I'd want to test a flash drive used as a VM swap volume, the flash drive attached via a PCcard adapter in (appropriately enough) a PCcard slot in a PowerBook. I'd want to be able to measure differences (if any) in overall machine performance between using the flash ram and using the HD. This the area where I'm not quite sure how you quantify any differences.

One could also run some basic drive I/O performance tests, that could at least give a raw measure of overall drive performance. Under classic Mac OS, I can do the raw drive perf. tests, but I've got no experience doing this stuff under X.

Well, so that's my challenge . . . y'all can wait for me to get around to doing it (might be months already!) or instead someone can beat me to the punch to discover the value (if any) of using flash ram as VM space.

dan k

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