Return of the RAM Drive?

Anil Dash has an interesting suggestion for how to improve perceived speed on your PC: cache critical data (bookmarks, My Documents, etc.) to a RAM drive. It’s an “everything old is new again” kind of idea: back when hard drives were slooooow, using a small amount of memory as a kind of virtual disk was appealing, since pulling data from memory is practically instantaneous. Eventually, though, disks got fast enough to make the hassle of maintaining a RAM drive worthwhile, so they kind of disappeared from the scene.

Today, though, memory is so god-awful cheap that one does wonder if a RAM drive couldn’t be of some use. I mean, you can get 256MB of name-brand DDR RAM for $50. Fifty bucks, folks. That’s nothing! And 256MB is probably enough to hold your data (though not your applications) — at least all the data you really care about. It’s an interesting thought.