How to Use SSD As RAM

By Dan Stone

Computers use free hard drive space to supplement RAM (random access memory) when running programs. The computer uses something called a "Page File," where it stores data on the hard drive -- traditional or solid-state -- that would otherwise be stored in the computer's RAM. It uses the hard drive space as if it were additional system RAM. This technique can see a substantial performance boost by using a SSDD, instead of a traditional hard drive. However, using a SSDD for the page file will not increase performance or additional RAM.

Step 1

Left-click on the "Start Menu" icon on the taskbar, right-click on "Computer" and select "Properties."

Step 2

Click on the "Advanced System Settings" option on the left side of the new window that opens.

Step 3

Click on the "Advanced" tab on the "System Properties" menu.

Step 4

Click the "Settings" option under the "Performance" header.

Step 5

Click on the "Advanced Tab" on the "Performance Options" window. Click on the "Change" button beneath the "Virtual Memory" header.

Step 6

Uncheck the box next to "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives" in the "Virtual Memory" window.

Step 7

Click on the SSDD from the listing under "Paging file size for each drive." If you are unsure which drive is the SSDD, left-click on the "Computer" option on the "Start Menu" and look for the hard drive with the smallest "free of..." capacity. The smaller drive will be the SSDD, if you also have a traditional hard drive installed in the computer.

Step 8

Click the dial next to "System managed size" and click on "Set."

Step 9

Click on "OK" to close the "Virtual Memory," "Performance Options" and "System Properties" windows.

Step 10

Choose the "Yes" option when the computer asks you if you want to restart.

Tips & Warnings

  • It's common to add a SSDD to a computer that already has a traditional hard drive to improve performance. SSDDs sacrifice high-storage capacity in exchange for faster data access. It's common to store the computer's operating system, most-used program, and page file on the SSDD, and use the traditional hard drive to store media and work files. The computer will also be able to access the information on the traditional hard drive faster because it no longer needs to access the drive for operating system related data.
  • You can disable the page file for the traditional hard drive on the "Virtual Memory" window to force the computer to only use the SSDD for paging by highlighting the traditional hard drive, clicking the dial next to the "no page file" option, and pressing "Set."
  • Paging files are the only way to enhance your RAM using an SSD. Turning SSD space into actual RAM is not possible with current PC architecture.