Quantcast

Maximum PC

It is currently Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:43 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Ram a lamma RAMDisk
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:06 am 
Clawhammer
Clawhammer
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:22 pm
Posts: 4406
Location: In the closet
Brand new squeaky clean 4.0.0 has launched. RAMDisk is ideal if you want performance more that 12X that of the fastest SSD. How about 7000 MB/s read or write! If you have a disk I/O bound application that is small enough to fit in main memory. RAMDisk is also great for storing frequently accessed data such as temp files, page files and database index files. RAMDisk is freeware up to 4GB disk sizes. Use the new found drive to
- Speed up internet page load times
- Control what files and programs are stored into memory (loaded at boot time)
- Create temporary disks for added security
- Speed up disk-to-disk activities such as video encryption and audio ripping
- Accelerate databases
- Reduce compile times
- Load game levels instantaneously, truly insane speeds
- The possibilities are limitless


Image


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ram a lamma RAMDisk
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:28 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5391
Because you and I have a history :D

And before people run off to buy oodles of RAM (remember, Windows 7 Home Edition is limited to 16GB!) for this, do some research (and I found a post on the subject here)

- Speed up internet page load times
This is mostly bottlenecked to your network speed, latency, and how fast your processor can render the page. It might help with cached sites, but that's about it.

- Speed up disk-to-disk activities such as video encryption and audio ripping
Well, if you mean encoding, then I can see it. But audio ripping is limited to the CD drive, which is always slower than the hard drive (so you won't see any improvement). And audio files are relatively small, they're probably going to be in RAM anyways when you do something with them.

- Reduce compile times
People say they had reduced compile times when they switched to an SSD, but I guess this depends on how big your project is and how many dependencies you need to grab (meaning, those dependencies need to be on the RAM disk as well if you want to make it useful)

- Load game levels instantaneously, truly insane speeds
There's some notes to this. In the amount of time I cared to spend looking on the subject, I found this post http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2161009, where the user reported "... the RAMdisk was faster as expected, but "only" 28% faster than an SSD, and 35% faster than the F1 1TB. "

Also note that for your day-to-day programs, and perhaps games, Windows is very good about caching commonly used programs in RAM anyway.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ram a lamma RAMDisk
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:11 am 
Clawhammer
Clawhammer
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:22 pm
Posts: 4406
Location: In the closet
The raw speed will set you free. The main point of the pimping is based on the fact that disk I/O is about 200 times slower than the equivalent move/copy of memory pages from memory to memory. Open your mind to the possibilities and set your bytes blistering.

....pssst, that artificial 16GB ceiling in W7HP x64 has a quick and easy unlock. And somehow I give you enough credit to know you already know this.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ram a lamma RAMDisk
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:22 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5391
The point of my post is that yes, you get speeds that are 10-15 times faster, but you don't actually see that performance. i.e., if load times on a hard drive spinning at the most I've seen (150MBps) is 100 seconds, I should see a modern day SSD (~500MBps) load it in 30 seconds and a RAM Disk load it in 5-10 seconds. But I don't see that.

Also the benchmark shows that there's massive overhead somewhere. The raw speed of a single DDR3-1600 module is 12.8GBps. Multiply that for channels. So at dual channel, that would be 25.6GBps, and if 7GBps is the most it'll put out, then it just shows one thing: OS's are not designed to address RAM disks. And I don't it's a hardware thing, the software to make a RAM disk has to emulate a controller, because OS's only know how to address secondary memory via a controller (which was to make programming for hard drive access easier). Not to mention, the more space you have allocated to fill your RAM Disk, the longer your boot time will be, if boot time includes the "settling" period. So instead of the OS moving say maybe a few hundred MB of core program data for caching, your RAM disk will be moving gigabytes of data (a lot of which may not be immediately useful!)

So I'm saying, before you go dump money for more RAM and maybe buying the full version of RAMDisk, think about if you really, really want it.

Or you know, you could never turn your computer off. I keep mine in sleep, but I restart it every few days to refresh it.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ram a lamma RAMDisk
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:59 pm 
Clawhammer
Clawhammer
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:22 pm
Posts: 4406
Location: In the closet
I hear you. But gosh darn it, ram is so cheap it's foolish for almost any newbie not to explore. A lousy stick of 4GB is $20. Double it up and anyone has the overhead to be curious and play with the performance and getting the things they do, done faster. How big is your ram disk? How many are you running?


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ram a lamma RAMDisk
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:22 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5391
Well just remember, computer performance is a cruel mistress. Assuming the same specs across the board and say you have 50% full system utilization, doubling the performance of one thing will may only bring you up to say 75%, then doubling it again will bring you to 87.5% and continuing until you approach 100%... which you won't.

Though I think that only applied to memory.

EDIT: Herp derp, this is Amdahl's Law


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ram a lamma RAMDisk
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:40 am 
8086
8086
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:50 am
Posts: 39
Location: Ypsilanti, MI, USA
So... To sum up... (and this obvious fact never jumped out at me before...)

If you are using a SSD then a RAM drive isn't going to be an advantage?

I just built a new rig and after tackling the icky sticky subject of how to tame Windows 7 from setting your page file to insane sizes when using large amounts of RAM*, I was considering setting up a RAM drive to try with one of my favorite games and video editing/compiling. But is it even worth it now that I have 2 SSDs setup in RAID0?


* From what I have gathered from scrounging the Intertubes, if your system crashes, Windows wants to be able to dump everything you have in volatile memory onto disk via the page file which is why it sets its size to equal to or more than the amount of RAM you have installed. After piecing together bits and pieces from whispered rumors, hearsay, and inane mumbling, I decided that to determine what would be a good size to manually set the PF to you should run a bunch of apps or, what I've been telling people, run your favorite game minimized and then open a web browser and an email program. Check your Task Manager, see how much RAM you're using, add a gig or two and then adjust your PF size accordingly. It seems to be working well without a hitch for me so far. I know with terabyte+ size drives out there on the market that some say this is a moot issue. However, when you are trying to save a little scratch, saving 22 gigs of space on your system drives matters quite a bit! I have two OCZ Tech 128GB Agility 4 drives setup in RAID0 which leaves me with 226GB real world space. Any other input so we here at the Maximum PC forum can lay claim to finally putting this thorny subject to rest?

What say ye, oh, gurus of maximum tech? :D


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ram a lamma RAMDisk
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:39 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5391
And page file is there so that Windows can transfer the contents of stuff in RAM that hasn't been used to secondary storage. If you aren't using at least... We'll say 75% of your RAM most of the time, you should reduce your page file size to about a quarter of your RAM.

I run 8GB of RAM with a 2GB page file and the system is just fine.

Of course if you are using most of your RAM, you should just add more since it's so cheap.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ram a lamma RAMDisk
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:50 pm 
8086
8086
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:50 am
Posts: 39
Location: Ypsilanti, MI, USA
Yeah, I should have mentioned that I'm using 32gig. I've got my PF set at 10gig now but I'm certainly going to reduce it. :)


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ram a lamma RAMDisk
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:27 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5391
Just go to 1GB-2GB. Don't turn it off though, some programs go "why the hell you have no page file?" if you turn it off.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ram a lamma RAMDisk
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:42 pm 
8086
8086
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:50 am
Posts: 39
Location: Ypsilanti, MI, USA
Yep, I'll keep dropping it down. But anyhoo...

So, once again...with the advent of SSDs, RAM drives are little more than oddities now? I guess it would depend on what kind of drive you have versus what kind of mainboard/RAM you are running?


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ram a lamma RAMDisk
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:25 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5391
It depends on your application. Until we come up with some universal memory solution, computers will always load the program into RAM, then run from there. If the total amount of data you need can be loaded into RAM at a speed that's "fast enough", then perhaps upgrading would be a waste of resources. For instance, a lot of programs on my SSD open up instantly. I don't know if this is the result of it loading from the SSD, or because Windows cached it. Either way, I don't see a real benefit moving any of these on a RAM disk. Now if it were a game, that might be a different story.

Aside from the inherent problems of RAM disks (they need power at all times, unless you're willing to recreate it and transfer the data to it on every boot), I've noticed there's overhead somewhere. All the benchmarks in the world will tell you RAM disks are orders of magnitude faster than the best SSD. But for some reason you never get that performance. Last I did any semi-serious research, boot times for Windows 7 was about 60 seconds, 30 seconds, and 20 seconds from an HDD, SSD, and RAM disk respectively. HDD and SSDs are somewhat understandable. The best HDD topped out at 150MB/s, the best SSD tops out at about 550MB/s. RAM should top out at 10GB/s for DDR3-1333 RAM. So why did performance only improve by 33%?

On another note to think about, I'm writing a software updater/downloader. Since this is an embedded application, the software size is small and we're using a 16MHz part. When I did some benchmarking, after I found a solution to write to program space as fast as possible, it took about 15 seconds to download 60KB of data at a rate of 57.6kbit/s. This only went down to 10 seconds when I increased it to 115.2Kbits. The logical conclusion here is I have about 5 seconds of overhead that I probably can't get rid of.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ram a lamma RAMDisk
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:27 am 
8086
8086
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:50 am
Posts: 39
Location: Ypsilanti, MI, USA
Very cool, LatiosXT. I didn't even think about having to reload the data into a RAM drive every time. (It's so obvious. Doh!) I would like to try a RAM drive with a game, though. Can anybody recommend a good app for creating such a beast? I saw there were some free ones out there but I wouldn't be adverse to purchasing something especially if I used it regularly...


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ram a lamma RAMDisk
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:05 am 
Clawhammer
Clawhammer
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:22 pm
Posts: 4406
Location: In the closet
In no particular order, here are a dozen...
1. Gizmo Drive, part of Gizmo Central (Freeware)
2. Bond Disc (Free for personal use)
3. Gilisoft RAMDisk (Shareware $40)
4. Primo Ramdisk Standard Edition (Shareware $30)
5. SuperSpeed RamDisk Shareware $60)
6. Dataram RAMDisk (Freeware)
7. VSuite Ramdisk Free Edition (Freeware)
8. ImDisk (Freeware)
9. Gavotte Ramdisk (Freeware)
10. SoftPerfect RAM Disk (Freeware)
11. Passmark OSFMount (Freeware)
12. StarWind Software Virtual RAM Drive Emulator (Freeware)


Top
  Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

© 2014 Future US, Inc. All rights reserved.