Lightweight Windows 11 Runs Entirely in GPU’s VRAM
If running Windows 11 with just 200MB of memory sounds impressive, why not run the operating system from your graphics card’s VRAM? please don’t They have VRAM that can be turned into a RAM drive. NTDev (opens in new tab)A stripped-down version of Windows 11, the developers behind Tiny11 made it to run on modest GeForce RTX 3050 laptop GPUs.
RAM drives, also known as RAM disks, were used in the days before high-speed, high-capacity storage devices existed. Converting the remaining memory to virtual disks can significantly improve I/O performance. Logically, instead of storing the operating system on a RAM drive, we used virtual disks for certain software that required intensive read and write operations. RAM drives have lost their appeal over the years and are now used for fun, such as running. Crisis 3 From 24 GB of VRAM on the GeForce RTX 3090.
Instead of using traditional RAM like regular users, NTDev’s latest project utilizes VRAM from a GeForce RTX 3050 laptop GPU to create a RAM drive.The magic behind the experiment is GPU RAM drives (opens in new tab)A utility that creates a memory buffer in the graphics card’s VRAM that acts as a RAM drive.
The GeForce RTX 3050 laptop GPU will come in two variants. One is 4 GB GDDR6 and the other is 6 GB GDDR6. Regardless of SKU, GDDR6 memory runs at 12 Gbps. NTDev’s test laptop has the 4GB variant. He created his 3,550MB RAM drive to run a Tiny11 virtual machine (VM). The sequential performance of his GDDR6 chip in the GeForce RTX 3050 laptop GPU was no less.
According to CrystalDiskMark results, the graphics card’s VRAM delivered up to 1,960 MB/s and 2,497 MB/s sequential reads and writes, respectively. However, the performance numbers are slightly lower than the typical PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD, so it’s no match for the best SSDs.
Jokes and fun aside, Tiny11 is a great option for older systems with legacy hardware. The lightweight operating system can run on a PC with as little as 2GB of RAM and requires around 8GB of space, as opposed to standard Windows 11 which consumes up to 20GB of hard drive or SSD. NTDev also offers an Arm version of Tiny11 for non-Windows users who want to try out the operating system on Arm64 devices such as Raspberry Pi 4 and Apple devices with M1 or M2 chips via VM.
In addition to maintaining Tiny11, NTDev clearly likes unconventional experimentation. Remember when the developer got Windows 7 running on a system with a 5 MHz processor and 128 MB of RAM, it took him 28 minutes to fully boot, but still impressive It was a feat. We can’t wait to see what other wacky challenges NTDev has in store for us.