... With Windows ReadyBoost, if you have a flash drive (like a USB thumb drive or an SD card) you can just use this to make your computer run better with Windows Vista. You simply plug in a flash drive and Windows Vista will use Windows ReadyBoost to utilize the flash memory to improve performance.
I should be clear that while flash drives do contain memory, Windows ReadyBoost isn’t really using that memory to increase the main system RAM in your computer. Instead, ReadyBoost uses the flash drive to store information that is being used by the memory manager. If you are running a lot of applications on a system that has limited memory, Windows ReadyBoost will use the flash drive to create a copy of virtual memory that is not quite as fast as RAM, but a whole lot faster than going to the hard disk. What is very cool here is that there is nothing stored on this flash disk that isn’t also on the hard disk, so if you remove the flash drive, the memory manager sees the change and automatically goes to the hard disk...
There are some articles on microsoft site that talk about ReadyBoost but they do not mention specifics.
As USB drives are very common these days, I think Microsoft had the right idea. Vista also supports Hybrid drives (HHD = regular HD + integrated NVRAM) via a technology called ReadyDrive.
These are welcome changes. What I understand from Allchin's message though is that Vista does not perform considerably better compared XP if you do not have a high-end system, which is a bit disappointing. Would not it be nice to see a lightning fast OS after so many years of development.
[Update - 12/05/2006]
On the comment section, somebody left me a message with a link to Tom Archer's blog. The link was not working but I was able to read the article when I hit the home page of the blog.
I am not sure what is the problem with my USB stick even after reading some of the requirements as it they did not mention a tool to measure the specs of usb stick but a few people suggested that they got their usb stick working when they formatted it with ntfs.
There was a link to another useful article at DvNation. Check it out.