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Gigabyte i-RAM - Affordable D.I.Y Solid State Storage

By: Shawn Baker | Editorials in Storage | Posted: Oct 10, 2005 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 7.5%Manufacturer: Gigabyte



Instillation of i-RAM is simple - there really is nothing to it and if you have installed a normal hard drive before, you shouldn't run in to any problems.


After you have plugged the device into a spare PCI slot as well as the SATA cable into a spare SATA port (preferably a SATA controller not hooked into the PCI bus so you are not limited in transfer speeds by the slow PCI bus) and gone back into Windows, I-RAM detects and acts just like a normal SATA/Parallel ATA hard drive. Plug it in and Windows detects it (no drivers need in XP) and you'll just have the initialize the drive and format. No reboots are required, which is a bonus.


If you want to install Windows on i-RAM, you simply setup as you normally would and format the hard drive when it comes time to selecting the install drive. If the SATA port you plug i-RAM into is native, you won't run in to any troubles at all. In the event it isn't on a native SATA port, you will just have to install the SATA controller drivers like you would have to for any normal hard drive.


On the other hand, if you're going to use i-RAM for installing only a few applications or your swap file and is plugging into a system that already has a boot drive then you just have to make your way into Administrative Tools under the Control Panel.


Here you make your way to Computer Management - the Storage section.



You will see i-RAM is not initialized and unallocated.



All you have to do is right click where it says Disk 1 (in our case) and click on Initialize Disk. Follow the step by step prompt and it will be initialized in no time.



Once the disk is initialized you then have to right click on the unallocated area and format the disk. Again follow the step by step prompts and you can do a Quick Format without any problems.



Once this is all done you can see that the drive is healthy.



With that out the way you can make your way to My Computer and see that the drive is up and running and ready for us to benchmark!



(Click here to download i-RAM Chipset Support List PDF)


UPDATE: The recommended chipset list by Gigabyte is only a work in progress and many other future chipsets should be supported.


i-RAM will only work on certain chipsets according to the i-RAM Chipset Support List supplied to us by Gigabyte. It'll work on most new chipsets from Intel, nVidia, SIS, VIA and ULi but make sure you check the PDF first (link above) to make sure it'll work on your motherboard.


We can only assume Gigabyte will release new drivers or BIOS updates for i-RAM for future chipsets to maintain compatibility but we have no official word on that as yet.


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