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 Post subject: What Effect Does HDD/SSD/RAM Disk have on load times?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:25 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5305
I nuked my previous topic prematurely as I found out my old computer didn't like the RAM. But I realized I had a good enough sample of games that could fit in a 10GB envelope.

I have this up on Google (https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8iCA4FiGl8rVldVMWRwNHdnZ0k/edit?pli=1) but for the tl;dr read version...

What's this testing?
It's not really if HDD/SSD/RAM Disks are faster (in that order), but it's to shed light that memory performance has a logarithmic decay.

This also is to do some testing on whether or not programs that use secondary memory a lot (video converting in this case) has an impact on performance depending on the storage media

Test Setup
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K (Turbo can go up to 4.0GHz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87E-ITX
RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP 2x8GB DDR3-1600
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB (7200RPM with 64MB cache) & Samsung Spinpoint 1TB (5400RPM with 8MB cache)
SSD: Samsung 840 series 250GB
RAM Disk software: ImDisk (http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/#ImDisk)
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro x64

How the test is done
  • Run each program and game on one device (HDD, SSD, RAM, etc.)
  • Restart the computer
  • Run each game from another device.

Games/Programs
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Company of Heroes (New Steam Edition)
Crysis Warhead
F1 2013
Fallout: New Vegas
Half-Life 2: Episode 2
Sid Meier’s Civilization V
Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion
STALKER – Call of Pripyat
Train Simulator 2014
3D Mark
Freemake Video Converter to convert some videos

The games were chosen because they were varied enough and could fit in a 10GB capacity I set for the RAM disk.

CrystalMark benchmarks (Seq read only)
  • Caviar Black: 121 MB/s
  • Spinpoint: 101 MB/s
  • 840 SSD: 509 MB/s
  • RAM Disk: 6743 MB/s

Results

All values are in seconds, unless noted.
Code:
                                  Caviar Black HDD  Spinpoint HDD Samsung 840 SSD RAM Disk
Call of Duty: Black Ops           34.97             32.45         8.15             7.08
Company of Heroes                 16.02             19.51         11.50           11.51
Crysis Warhead                    68.05             77.08         57.94           56.41
F1 2013                           14.54             15.39          9.28            8.59
Fallout: New Vegas                 6.27             8.04           2.86            2.45
Half Life 2: Episode 2             9.44             14.00          3.21            2.35
Sid Meier’s Civilization V           
      Loading to menu             29.68             30.70         15.00           13.40
      Starting new game           13.63             13.88          6.12            4.88
Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion  13.95             15.31          6.60            6.92
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat    69.96             83.80         44.30           39.00
Train Simulator 2014              68.34             67.33         54.65           50.89

Total                            345.45            377.49        219.61          203.48
% diff vs Caviar Black             100%            91.51%       157.30%         169.77%



The 3DMark and video tests were inconclusive in the sense that the 3DMark runs had little difference to matter and the video conversion ran out of space on the RAM disk portion... but exhibited a similar run time anyway indicating a processing bottleneck.

Conclusions
Storage performance does not scale linearly in every case, only very few.

What can you take from this though? Well, some games do receive a nice performance boost in loading with an SSD over an HDD. Other games do see it, but not to a great effect.

However, RAM Disks I can conclusively say are not worth it. i.e., don't get a lot more RAM than you need and create a RAM disk. Either way the point is every program has some minimum amount of loading time.

Also excuse my paper, it's also written half-assedly :3


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 Post subject: Re: What Effect Does HDD/SSD/RAM Disk have on load times?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:22 pm 
Thunderbird
Thunderbird
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Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:17 pm
Posts: 862
Location: Phoenix, AZ
It is just load times. I don't think people use RAM drives primarily for load.

I would not say I am surprised by any of the results.


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 Post subject: Re: What Effect Does HDD/SSD/RAM Disk have on load times?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:30 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5305
FascistNation wrote:
It is just load times. I don't think people use RAM drives primarily for load.

There was a phase last year when RAM was really cheap that people should get as much RAM as they can afford, because making a RAM disk would significantly reduce load times with programs and games.

Well, it does, but not much better than an SSD.


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