Assign RAM as Temp file

Hi aGaiN,

Have recently bought an i7 PC with 16GB of RAM, and would like to have Audacity USE more RAM, and less hard drive to speed things up. That being when “undoing” functions, or zooming “back out” after focusing on a short segment, or when multiple Audacity windows in use.

Generally take advantage of 16 GB.


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You would have to make the memory “look like” a hard drive with its own name like e:. And then you could tell Audacity to use that “drive” for production.

However. If you had a computer with 16GB hard drive, the first words out of our mouths would be that’s not enough for serious production. People look at MP3 files and extrapolate from that, but they don’t extrapolate far enough. The first thing Audacity does is decompress the MP3 and re-encode it in its own very high quality uncompressed format for editing. So suddenly, your tiny, convenient MP3 isn’t so tiny any more. Every time you edit, Audacity has to save that version of the show for UNDO. That piles up very quickly.

If you said you had 500GB of memory, then we’d be talking. But instead of that, invest in an SSD. Convenient and Very Serious speed bump.


A quick “napkin calculation”:

One 30 minute stereo track, 44100 Hz sample rate, 32-bit float sample format = (approx) 600 MB
10 levels of “undo” for the track = approx 6 GB.

Yes it’s possible, but if for any reason you run out of space on the RAM disk, the project will crash or freeze with absolutely no hope of recovering any of the data.
As koz wrote, an SSD is a much better idea.

So do you want to “vote” for a 64-bit version of Audacity on Windows?

That’s the only way Audacity will address more than 2 GB to 3 GB of RAM and have Windows manage the RAM.


“RamDisk Plus” is commercial ($80 US) software that claims to be able to exceed the OS memory limitations on 32-bit Windows. There may be other applications that can also do this, but I’m not aware of any free ones for Windows that can.

Wikipedia notes the following points:
(List of RAM drive software - Wikipedia)

  • Some RAM drives when used with 32-bit operating systems (particularly 32-bit Microsoft Windows) on computers with IBM PC architecture allow memory above the 4 GB point in the memory map, if present, to be used; this memory is unmanaged and not normally accessible.[2] Software using unmanaged memory can cause stability problems.
  • Some RAM drives are able to use any ‘unmanaged’ or ‘invisible’ RAM below 4 GB in the memory map (known as the 3 GB barrier) i.e. RAM in the ‘PCI hole’. Note: Do not assume that RAM drives supporting ‘AWE’ (or Address Windowing Extensions) memory above 4 GB will also support unmanaged PAE (or Physical Address Extension) memory below 4 GB—most don’t.

Am I right in guessing that usb storage would be even slower than hdd?

The only way I know of to get a speed bump with spinning metal is shared array, but that usually takes a special controller. Then you need matching drives, interleaving standards, etc. Far easier to use an SSD.

I tell the parable of two laptops. One of the guys at work and I had sister laptops and the only significant difference between us was he had spinning metal and I had an SSD. I had to do some common task on his and it didn’t come back instantly. I thought it was broken. “No,” he said, “That’s normal response.”



From fast to slow:

RAM → SSD → Internal HD → (External HD ↔ USB3 thumb drive) → USB2 thumb drive → Optical drive (CD/DVD) → Pen and paper.

Pen and paper.

What about using a really fast pen? I know Gregg shorthand. That can double writing speed or better right there although interchangeability can suffer. Nobody uses Pitman.

Use coated paper stock/glossy or photo/glossy to cut down on paper friction, although if you’re not careful, you can smear it because some coated stocks take longer to dry. Sinister (left-handed) writers need not apply, even if they do that arching over the top of the sheet thing.

Avoid matte and pearlescent finishes. They’re slower. Cheap “Xerox” stock can be troublesome because of the tendency to buckle and shift at higher speeds. The finish may not be consistent from page to page, either, but you won’t know that until you wreck a page and destroy your throughput.

Not recommended.


The reason for the question is… looking in Task Manager [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc], it says Audacity is using 10 MB with a 2 hr stereo FLAC open. 10 MB?? That’s nothing! And on the Performance tab of TM, only 2 GB of the 16 GB is being used!!! WTF Why doesn’t the OS or Audacity use more RAM?

Is there a way to tell Audacity to USE MORE RAM? or would that be FLOODED real quick?

An SSD sounds like a good idea. 500 GB would be a good size? Could be pricey.


Hmm yes… I vote for a 64-bit build. Reason being, the NEW PC is an i7-4790 CPU @3.6 GHz running Win 7, 64-bit SP1 on 16 GB of RAM. It took my previous PC 1:20 min to export a FLAC to HD, and the new i7 tales 10 -15 sec to crunch and save the same (or similar) file. Yes it’s ~10x faster.


For a 32-bit app like Audacity, the Windows memory limitation is the same on 64-bit Windows - the app gets 2 GB (up to about 3 GB if the user compiles Audacity with IMAGE_FILE_LARGE_ADDRESS_AWARE set).

That was basically what I meant in that Windows may not have full control of the slice of RAM that the RAM disk takes.

But in any case edwinn has a 64-bit system, so the 32-bit specifics are not relevant.


I added your vote to Missing features - Audacity Support.


Earlier Audacity had an option to store audio data in RAM for faster access. The option tended to crash before Audacity’s allocation of 2 GB was used up, or before the computer’s RAM was used up.