NTDEV has demonstrated that Tiny11, the slimmed-down version of Windows 11, is capable of running solely on a GPU’s VRAM.Although Windows 11 offers a plethora of features and functionalities, most consumers would hardly use all of them at the same time. Some features may be considered unnecessary by users, and a more streamlined version of the OS, called Tiny11, is available to address this issue. Tiny11 not only reduces the system requirements, enabling it to run on older machines, but it also eliminates the clutter and unnecessary features associated with the standard version of Windows 11.
Many users have been attempting to run the Tiny11 OS on different hardware due to its small size. Some time ago, NTDEV successfully ran the entire OS on only 384 MB of RAM, and another user even managed to run it on a mere 200 MB of RAM.
Even though the OS was able to boot on limited resources, there wasn’t much you could do besides admiring the achievement in the task manager. However, NTDEV continued to experiment by loading the OS off of the RAM, which allowed for further exploration.
This led to their next project, utilizing the GPU’s VRAM with the GpuRamDrive project. The demo was conducted on an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Laptop, which has 4 GB VRAM. It was quite impressive to see the OS running smoothly on the limited VRAM while utilizing the system RAM. While Tiny11 OS only requires 2 GB of memory, storing and loading it from VRAM puts a strain on the VRAM pool.
For better performance using the same tool, you can opt for a higher-end GPU with a wider bus interface. Modern GPUs typically have over 10 GB of VRAM, which should be sufficient for running lightweight tasks. However, running games may prove challenging if your VRAM is less than 20 GB since you would have to install them on the same available space as the OS on the VRAM.
That said, 4 GB of GPU VRAM is much faster than RAM and storage devices as it operates at significantly faster bandwidths. As the primary storage device for the Tiny11 OS, the storage performance was outstanding, with sequential reads of up to 1960 MB/s and writes of up to 2497 MB/s. Once again, it’s worth noting that the OS was in use on the same pool, so performance could have been even better.
This demonstrates that the Tiny11 OS could be a good alternative for users who lack the necessary PC hardware to run the standard OS but still want to enjoy the new Windows 11 interface and certain features.
Via Tom’s Hardware