We used RAMDisk to create the drive. It allows partitions of up to 8GB for free, and it's simple. Use it to create a FAT32 drive, then add it as a volume in Disk Management (search for it in the Start menu).
Once Windows finds it, you need to tell it where to cache temporary files. Do this in Control Panel by clicking 'System > Advanced System Settings > Advanced', then hit the 'Environmental Variables' button and select your new virtual scratch device.
After a few teething problems allocating just the right amount of RAM to maintain system stability, we're onto something. Our SSD's performance remains the same in synthetic benchmarks, but thanks to the scratch device it'll live longer: each multi-level cell (MLC) in a flash memory device cell is given 10,000 erase/write cycle lifespan before it fails. So, by diverting these to a RAM scratch disk we're increasing SSD longevity.
Article continues below
So when it comes to the world of solid state drives, the more memory you have, the better. Our paging experiment shows it doesn't pay to turn it off, but the fact remains that the more system memory is available, the less your system needs to write to the page file. In systems above 8 GB, you could easily partition 2-4 GB off for use as a virtual scratch device, while also keeping enough memory available to minimise paging.
We put a one-year-old 256 GB samsung SSD 830 through the AS SSD and ATTO benchmarks to determine its sequential read/writer speeds, and stress-tested our system by running Football Manager 2013 and eight tabs running 1080p video in Chrome simultaneously. The idea isn't to look for performance gains, but to determine stability and look for anomalies as we alter system settings.
Football Manager 2013: Time in seconds: Faster is better
NO PAGE FILE: 4:11
2GB RAM DISK: 4:39
Sequential read performance (incompressible)
AS SSD: Megabytes per second: Hiigher is better
NO PAGE FILE: 266
2GB RAM DISK: 296
Sequential write performance (incompressible)
AS SSD: Megabytes per second: Higher is better
NO PAGE FILE: 166
2GB RAM DISK: 164
Sequential read performance (compressible)
ATTO SSD: Megabytes per second: Higher is better
NO PAGE FILE: 298
2GB RAM DISK: 289
Sequential write performance (compressible)
ATTO SSD Megabytes per second: Higher is better
NO PAGE FILE: 172
2GB RAM DISK: 172