> The claim is always made that if computers didn't need to refresh
> their memory, they wold be magnitudes faster.

Nope... There once was a tool for relatively old PCs which
reduced refresh frequency a lot and still only gave you far
less than 10 percent of extra RAM speed.

> You could of course implement some sort of a sleep mode
> (I.E. dump the contents of memory to a flash drive or
> nvram or something)

I have a compactflash (can be used as IDE disk with a simple
mechanical adapter, no extra controller chips in there) with
lifetime (in Germany: 30 years) warranty and quite acceptable
access speed in the 10s of megabytes per second, maybe I can
use that for swapfiles in Linux, now that you say it :-).
Downside: Harddisk is even faster, so CF swap means slower
entering of hibernate mode and also a bit slower wakeup. The
hibernate mode (suspend to disk) of Linux also uses the swap.

Note that hibernate in DOS makes little sense: It boot in
seconds anyway, faster than the power on self test of some
mainboard BIOSes after all ;-).


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