The RAMDISK technology on the new Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra lets you use it’s RAM as internal memory

by Mayank
Mi 10 Ultra

Xiaomi announced it’s latest flagship device: the Mi 10 Ultra (called the Mi 10 Extreme Commemorative Edition in China), last month. The phone looks promising and has everything a flagship device needs to have. The curved 6.67-inch 120Hz OLED display, the superior cameras and the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC make the Mi 10 Ultra look very promising. There’s an unusual and new feature on this device that Xiaomi hasn’t highlighted until now, which I believe will be a key feature of the upcoming Xiaomi phones. This new feature is actually a technology called RAMDISK and it is integrated inside the Mi 10 Ultra.

The RAMDISK technology

If you’re on your computers, you might already know what this technology actually does. In fact, RAMDISK (also called RAMDrive) has been used in desktops and laptops for decades now. The PC that you might be using to read this article is also using this technology. Essentially, RAMDISK is a fusion of RAM and disk drive that explains what it does: It uses RAM as a disk drive.

RAMDISK technology is based on the principle that Random Access Memory ( RAM) is much faster than secondary storage, such as hard drives and SSDs. This is because RAM is a solid state device, which means that it has no moving or mechanical parts unlike hard drives.

Hard disks and SSDs are much slower compared to RAMs. Photo by Laura Balbarde on Unsplash

Note: We can’t use system RAM to store things because RAM is a volatile memory, which means that RAM cells lose their data in power loss, computer shutdown, and restart events.

The RAMDISK technology works in the following way:

The operating system kernel on your computer treats a part or block of the total RAM installed on your computer as if it were a secondary storage. This memory block is called a virtual drive or a RAMDrive. This virtual drive can now be used by the OS to store some things for faster access. For example, you can see the contents of a compressed file directly without going through the slow process of decompressing it.

How has Xiaomi implemented RAMDRIVE on their Mi 10 Ultra

As you might know, Xiaomi has used the fast LPDDR5 RAM and a high-speed UFS 3.1 storage on their flagship Mi 10 Ultra. The LPDDR5 technology on smartphones can offer RAM speeds of upto 44GB/s. Although, in terms of read and write speeds, the UFS 3.1 storage is very fast, it is still a secondary storage and much slower than the RAM (about 44 times slower than the RAM).

The Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra incorporates a fast UFS 3.1 storage

Xiaomi has implemented RAMDISK on Mi 10 Ultra in the same way this technology is implemented on desktop PCs and laptops as I explained above. This technology greatly improves the read and write speeds on the Mi 10 Ultra. But the buzz isn’t just ending there.

When you install an app on your smartphone, it will be downloaded and installed in the internal memory. With RAMDISK technology, the download and installation speed will increase by 40 to 60 percent. The opening and closing times of the application will also be reduced by a significant amount. Half of your RAM will be used as a RAMDISK in exchange (lsay your phone has 12GB of RAM then 6GB will be used as RAMDISK, likewise 8GB will be dedicated to RAMDISK if your phone has 16GB of RAM). This may not be a big problem considering that the Mi 10 Ultra has up to 16 GB of RAM. If you feel this might be a problem for you though, you can simply not use the RAMDISK technology and use your device normally.

Where can I use the RAMDISK feature on the Mi 10 Ultra?

You can experience the RAMDISK feature in the Game Center inside the Mi 10 Ultra. When you launch the Game Center, you will find a topic named “Speed Installation” inside it. Here you will find an option called “Game Trial Mode.” If you proceed to install a game in the Game trial mode, you will notice that the game will be installed instantly and also will be loaded quickly. A chinese site called Weibo reported that the Chinese version of PUBG Mobile called Peace Elite was installed in just 10 seconds where it would usually take 19 seconds with normal installation.

Game Trial mode inside the Game Center of the Mi 10 Ultra. Image Credits: Weibo

Another amazing quirk here is that you don’t need to reload your game after you switch to another app. Just launch the game from Recent Apps and play it instantly. The feature that most intrigued me is that if you don’t like it, you can delete a game that you’ve installed on your RAM using trial mode. This way, you ‘re not going to face the problem of deleting it from your internal storage and dealing with residual files. This feature correctly stipulates the name “Game Trial Mode.”

With these cool features, though, there’s a caveat. As you might know, and as I mentioned earlier in this article, RAM is a volatile memory. So, you ‘re going to lose your game completely from RAMDISK if your phone’s battery drains out or when you restart your phone.

Conclusion

The implementation of the RAMDISK technology by Xiaomi is a wise idea. Other smartphone manufacturers should also implement this technology on their smartphones. The Mi 10 Ultra is currently only available in China, so let’s wait for it to reach other markets to see how it actually feels to use this technology in the real-world.

Are you using the Mi 10 Ultra? How is your experience with it? Comment below and let me know.

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