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RamDisk test

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Whit the comest of X79 we also getting more dimm slots, and with RAM prices so low, think it would be interesting to see for many how cool a RamDisk is

I, myself, have a heavy water cooled P6TD with a i7 970, 48GB ram, 3x HD5870 2GB Matrix cards and a 240GB x2 RevoDrive 3, and yes i am literately using all 36 chipsets PCIe lanes.

Still, i am very interested in the S2011 platform to replace my S1366 system, for two reasons, and yes, i am not one of the standard users.

1. more PCIe lanes, for crazy gaming sh*t

Like for Quad CF, for the use of 5 monitor Eyfinty, for 6000x1920.

2. more dimm slots, for a RamDisk

The extra dimm slots is actually one of the main reason for me, why i am interested in S2011!, to be able to use 64GB of system memory, to make a RAMDrive (HowTo Video)

So, whats so fraking interesting about a RAMDisk some may ask.

Well you all noticed by now the difference between a HDD and a SSD, now you will notice the same again, or more, between a SSD and a RAMDisk!

And yeah 50GB/s is a hell of a lot faster then the 1.5/1.2GB/s R/W of my X2 RevoDrive 3!, and still even 33% faster then a S1366 ramdisk

Tho that are not real world Nr's, and even tho i have a the theoretic bandwidth of 38GB/s on my PC, I still get 4~6GB/s real world transfer rates, and that's still about 10~15x faster then the Nr's i get from my 600 euro / 800 dollar 240GB PCIe SSD

Now with only 40GB of ram of the 48GB, for use as a ramdisk, ware also a portion is used for the swapfile(*), i have to often swap directories from HDD to RAM to HDD, with 64GB there will be no, or at least, a lot less need to do that.

(*)seriously i don't get why windows still needs one even if you have plenty of memory >_<

But even no its not perfect, its still a lot faster then any SSD, it just takes a bit of work making batch files for the programs you wane run on the RAMDisk.

But once you make a proper batch file, you can use it as a template for other programs.

And Robocopy is really your friend if you want to make batch files, to swap files between RAM and storage and visa versa.

Think its about time to get a review of a RamDisk, as its now a actual real option now.

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This is pretty funny timing, we're about to do some work around RAM Disks right now.

Great minds, .... LOL :rolleyes:

Then for some test criteria suggestions, the following ware the tings i was thinking as most important.

  • Memory tested at 1066, 1333 and 1600MHz, and 1866MHz if possible , if you can get your hands on 2 sets of Corsair Vengeance CMZ32GX3M4X1866C10R
  • What is the impact of CAS on the rest of the performance, because I do not know how data blocks are copied into memory. (1)
  • What is the effect of L3 cache CPU, I assume that the CPU reads blocks from the section RamDisk, temporarily stores it in the L3 cache, and then by copying to the work memory.
  • Does using a RamDisk also have a disadvantages impact on FPS and the like. (2)

(1) Is it moved in large blocks or small, as for large blocks the impact of CAS is less important

(2) I have on my own system no negative impact, but maybe there are scenarios ware saturation of the memory bus can happen.

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40-56GB Ram Disk sure sound like fun. I experimented with a measly 128mb ram disk for my XP notebook, but that was just for Internet browsing(besides speed,ram disks are good for people concerned with privacy).

Reminds me that I need to pick up some memory during Black Friday/Cyber Monday to max out my desktop, so I can maybe play with with a 2-3GB ram disk. :(

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This is pretty funny timing, we're about to do some work around RAM Disks right now.

Hey Brian how is the testing coming along ?

Just wondering how its going and when to expect a review online.

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We're working with both Patriot's and Corsair's latest gen RAM right now, really just trying to figure out what data is relevant and what tests we can run. This is on a brand new Intel board as well, with a new CPU as well, so it's about as high end as it gets.

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Yeah thanks...we should have linked there from here. Thoughts and feedback on testing are welcome though, we have a couple more reviews like this queued up.

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the performance numbers are impressive looking

it would be neat to see how they stack up to the current set of SSD drives (be sure to include price per GB)

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We are going to be expanding on these in the next week or so and the results even among RAM groups is pretty surprising. Comparing them to SSD solutions though is a bit hard. They are way over the price per GB and working in different segments.

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Comparing them to SSD solutions though is a bit hard. They are way over the price per GB and working in different segments.

Why, sure a big ramdisk cost more.

But you get what you pay for, and €500 or $600 for 8x 8GB is certainly not out of reach of a lot of enthusiast, they even sell sets of 8x8 for enthusiast, i clearly remember paying something like around $600 for a UW SCSI card and one 4.5GB 7200rpm Quantum Atlas, and that was when money was still worth something!

So i think that's imho sort of a non argument, as anyone willing to build a real high end system can afford to get 32 or 64 GB of memory.

Sure it cost about 3x per GB as my 240GB RevoDrive 3 X2, but then its also way over 3x as fast.

And i not sure (dont know how hard it is to get review samples), but i think that there is a good chance that companies like Corsair or G.Skill cant waiting to send you a set for testing, as i think that they cant wait to sell these big kit's to enthusiast for RAMdisk use.

Because they are the only one's greasy enough to buy sets like these. :wacko:

And a good review from SR will certainly help them to consider it more.

I just got my self a 3930K system with 64GB of memory.

Now with 58GB of ram, of the 64GB, for use as a ramdisk, ware also a portion is used for the swapfile (usually around 2~5GB), i still have to often swap directories from HDD to RAM to HDD, even now with 64GB. (from the 48GB in a i7 970 system)

But even do its not perfect, its still a lot faster then any SSD, it just takes a bit of work making batch files for the programs you wane run on the RAMDisk.

But once you make a proper batch file, you can use it as a template for other programs.

I now have Fire Fox and Anti virus(200MB) always on and WoW (31GB) semi-permanently on the ramdisk, and i still have 27GB free for swapfile and other programs.

And Robocopy is really your friend if you want to make batch files, to swap files between RAM and storage and visa versa.

Why do i hope more users are getting ramdisk?

As with the more users, the better the ramdisk software becomes, and hope one day i dont hav eto make my own batch files anymore, And that there comes a ramdisk catch software solution, as i see that as the next step in faster storage systems.

like you now have with SSDs for hot data and HDD for cold data, as in the OCZ Hybrid and the LSI MegaRAID CacheCade

Are there disadvantages for using a RAMdisk, sure, you really like a UPS, if you live somewhere ware whit so so stable electricity like me, and also, you real don't like to turn off your PC anymore, but then, mine looks great, and has pretty lights in him. pompom.gif

529x700px-LL-f5c3decf_inside.png

Edited by player-x

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In our next 8x8GB ram disk review or the one after, we'll try to toss in benchmarks for a few 60GB SSDs we have on hand.

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Could CPU usage be discussed as well? That's a main disadvantage I see with RAMdisks vs. harddisks and SSDs that instead can go over DMA.

For desktop apps I wouldn't see much difference but for server applications, the CPU hit could be significant.

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This whole idea of RAM disk makes no sense professionally speaking. Calm yourself down boys and girls - let me explain why before you jump at me :)

Think about it, what's the purpose of RAM disk? To speed up your slow file system.

Obviously RAM disk is volatile so system has to be on otherwise you lose the files.

If you look at the Operating System design (say since the times of linux kernel 2.6+), Linux will cache the file system for you anyway. If you look at the free RAM under top/htop - you will see close to 0 bytes available. This is by design because memory that is not being "used" is seen as a waste of resources. So may as well cache some files there.

Windows has a similar strategy - look under resource monitor. Have you ever thought what the "Standby" memory is all about? It's cached memory for your file system. Hence, really any modern operating system WILL cache your file system anyway. And if you think you can manually put stuff in a RAM disk (which you can) and do a better job at it, you'd be surprised because an LRU (Least Recently Used) algorithm can do a much better job than you can in caching your hot data. This is ofcourse as long as your computer stays on - but the same goes for RAM disk anyway.

<_<

I will note that the credit to this knowledge does not entirely belong to me, most of it was provided in notes for our Operating System course at the Uni by our instructor/prof.

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That computer looks yummy, I am open to trading

Edited by cppguru

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Yeah well...for most consumer users the RAM Disk thing is more of a fun experiment, and it does work well for certain activities. In the enterprise though getting storage in the memory bus is definitely happening. While there are a variety of different approaches, for a very small segment of the market, the idea is pretty alluring. Life sciences and financial industries are both pretty excited about shaving off latency, even when compared to PCIe storage.

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