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View Full Version : RAM Disks... anyone use 'em?



Bog
05-13-2006, 04:48 AM
Chums and pals,

Swapfile. We all hate it, don't we? And of course, with the 2Gb RAM limit on PeeSeez, there's going to come a time when we're using it.

Has anyone tried using a RAMDisk for a swapfile drive? I've been looking at this:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/cgi-bin/sh000001.pl?REFPAGE=http%3a%2f%2fwww%2eoverclocker s%2eco%2euk%2facatalog%2fsearch%2ehtml&WD=hd%2d000%2dgi&PN=Online_Catalogue_SATA_RAID_424%2ehtml%23aTWOHD_ 2d000_2dGI#aTWOHD_2d000_2dGI

and scratching my chin and thinking geeky thoughts. Does anyone use a RAMDisk professionally? Are they as good as the Amiga one used to be? Or are they buggy, crufty bletch that makes teh Baby Jeebus cry?

I'd love to hear from anyone who uses one of these, or similar devices.

habaņero
05-13-2006, 06:31 AM
Link no worky.. It says something about a raid or what issit?

What is a cheap measure if the swap file is bottleneck is to see if it by any chance is situated at the end of the disk, as well as spread around it in six fragments, giving you a500 floppy speeds reading or writing to it ... I generally have two disks, and I make a dedicated small partition in the start of it containing nothing but the swap file. Its more to keep it from borking than the speed making a big difference to the computer, really.

If I have only one drive or need the space in the first, I at least make sure it aint defragmented. If it is, I move it to another drive, defragment the crap out of the first until it is flat like a pancake, then move it back and it'll be in one piece.

Raid0 doesn't give a lot of general workstation performance for 3D, its video it is affecting and boot times a little. Or if you want to do antivirus checks while working, or esata backup or something. If you render above your memory limit obviously it will be an advantage, but then probably a 64 bit solution would be better $/ performance ...

I think the 3 GB switch on xp does something ram-disk based although I aint too sure about the inner workings of that. Its still a little unclear to me what you want to accomplish how ...

mattclary
05-15-2006, 06:18 AM
Personally, I think RAM disks are a bunch of cr*p. You want to speed up your swap file (which you MAY need due to high RAM usage), so you use up even more valuable RAM by caching data from your disk to your RAM. Seems like a catch 22 to me.

If you need more than 2-3gb of RAM, you are better off using XP 64 and getting more RAM.

habaņero
05-15-2006, 08:21 AM
AmigaOS4.0 Feature Spotlight: The RAM Disk

One of the unique features of the AmigaOS Workbench is the RAM disk. It is a device like any other disk, and appears as a RAM chip icon on your Workbench screen. It acts and reacts exactly like a "normal" disk, with one notable exception: items saved here are lost when the machine resets or powers off.

Why can this be useful?

The system uses the RAM disk for its logical T: volume, a place where all temporary files are stored, and for CLIPS:, the logical volume which contains the clipboard.

RAM disk is a great place to store all those temporary files in. For example, you might want to export some text from your word processor to a PDF to see how it looks; you can save it to your harddisk, in which case you need to delete it later, or you can save it to the RAM disk and forget about it afterwards - it will no longer be taking up valuable disk space after you reboot.

RAM disk will always only use up the amount of RAM that it actually needs - no memory is wasted (which is why the RAM disk always appears to be 100% full - it is resized whenever you need more space), and the size is only limited by the amount of available virtual memory.

Temporary items stored in RAM

RAM disk is also a good place to unpack archives for installation. If you want to install a program, you can easily unpack the archive into RAM, install the program, and reboot. There won't be any leftover files cluttering your harddrive; no TEMP drawer on your harddrive will collect leftover files that can easily add up to hundreds of megabytes of wasted storage space over time.

In addition to the RAM disk, the RAD disk serves a similar purpose. However, unlike RAM the RAD disk content is not lost when you reset your machine! It will be around after reboot, and can still be used normally. It will only vanish when the machine is powered off.

Glossary

Clipboard: This is the place where data such as images or text which you copy to allow it to be pasted later is stored. In AmigaOS this is represented by the CLIPS: logical device, which is stored in the RAM disk.

Logical volume: This is a storage location which the operating system treats as a separate storage device, whether it is a physical storage device such as a hard drive, a location on such a storage device, or a purely virtual drive such as the RAM disk. The logical volume name is the tag by which the OS can address information stored in that space, wherever it might actually be.

RAD disk: this is a version of the RAM disk which is preserved from being flushed when the computer is reset. It will disappear when the computer is fully powered down just like a normal RAM disk.

Feature Spotlight: The RAM Disk

One of the unique features of the AmigaOS Workbench is the RAM disk. It is a device like any other disk, and appears as a RAM chip icon on your Workbench screen. It acts and reacts exactly like a "normal" disk, with one notable exception: items saved here are lost when the machine resets or powers off.

Why can this be useful?

The system uses the RAM disk for its logical T: volume, a place where all temporary files are stored, and for CLIPS:, the logical volume which contains the clipboard.

RAM disk is a great place to store all those temporary files in. For example, you might want to export some text from your word processor to a PDF to see how it looks; you can save it to your harddisk, in which case you need to delete it later, or you can save it to the RAM disk and forget about it afterwards - it will no longer be taking up valuable disk space after you reboot.

RAM disk will always only use up the amount of RAM that it actually needs - no memory is wasted (which is why the RAM disk always appears to be 100% full - it is resized whenever you need more space), and the size is only limited by the amount of available virtual memory.

Temporary items stored in RAM

RAM disk is also a good place to unpack archives for installation. If you want to install a program, you can easily unpack the archive into RAM, install the program, and reboot. There won't be any leftover files cluttering your harddrive; no TEMP drawer on your harddrive will collect leftover files that can easily add up to hundreds of megabytes of wasted storage space over time.

In addition to the RAM disk, the RAD disk serves a similar purpose. However, unlike RAM the RAD disk content is not lost when you reset your machine! It will be around after reboot, and can still be used normally. It will only vanish when the machine is powered off.

Glossary

Clipboard: This is the place where data such as images or text which you copy to allow it to be pasted later is stored. In AmigaOS this is represented by the CLIPS: logical device, which is stored in the RAM disk.

Logical volume: This is a storage location which the operating system treats as a separate storage device, whether it is a physical storage device such as a hard drive, a location on such a storage device, or a purely virtual drive such as the RAM disk. The logical volume name is the tag by which the OS can address information stored in that space, wherever it might actually be.

RAD disk: this is a version of the RAM disk which is preserved from being flushed when the computer is reset. It will disappear when the computer is fully powered down just like a normal RAM disk.


http://os4.hyperion-entertainment.biz/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=8&Itemid=

Ratboy
05-15-2006, 09:03 AM
The last time I had a ramdisk up and running, I was using it to store temporary internet files. It made IE a little zippier.

Cageman
05-17-2006, 06:50 AM
http://os4.hyperion-entertainment.biz/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=8&Itemid=

I would love to have that kind of functionality in Windows. Lets say you are going to comp 13 passes, and you have 4 GB of ram and all those passes takes up 2.4GB ram. The playback could be almost realtime because all images are already avaliable in RAM, right?

Lottmedia
05-17-2006, 12:16 PM
Check out the ReadyBoost feature of Vista
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/features/foreveryone/performance.mspx
Looks really wonderful for systems maxed out on ram or (as mine) using RDRAM. Just priced a 2G usb drive at 69$. Now I have to wait for LW 9 and Vista. Great.....



Casey :cat:

prospector
05-17-2006, 12:27 PM
looking at the speed of the USB thumbdrives and the best I can find is 25MB/s.
Just pure Sata drives gives better performance than that, so what would be the upside? And 2 small Satas in raid will up that even faster.

So wouldn't a swap file set up on a dedicated Sata raid of merely 40 gigs be faster?

And there IS a ramdisk setup for WinXP or Win 2000 where you can set up what size of ram you want to dedicate for a true ramdisk.
Which are 'only' $35.00

Lottmedia
05-17-2006, 12:33 PM
USB 2.0 is (technically) faster than firewire400, though I've only seen speeds of about 370-80 in real life. Plus, it's not using the drive as a swapfile like you would a HD, it's a completely different technology, apples and oranges.

Casey :cat:

prospector
05-17-2006, 12:48 PM
my view...forgot earlier

prospector
05-17-2006, 12:53 PM
this is what link says:

Windows Vista introduces a new concept in adding memory to a system. Windows ReadyBoost lets users use a removable flash memory device, such as a USB thumb drive, to improve system performance without opening the box.
says thumbdrive to me......or is that LIKE a thumbdrive but with memory like a camera?

seems that system memory directly on the mem bus is still better

As soon as my Dual CPU system is ready then I will give that a ramdisk of 800 megs
which is WinXP 32 and also Win64

the above is on my Win2000 box that only has 1 gig ram to start.

prospector
05-17-2006, 03:04 PM
there is a free one too tho it's limited to 64 megs

google 'ramdisk'

Lightwolf
05-17-2006, 03:09 PM
looking at the speed of the USB thumbdrives and the best I can find is 25MB/s.

Access time is the key here. For small files, where HDs would need to seek, Flash memory can be a lot faster.

Cheers,
Mike

prospector
05-17-2006, 03:13 PM
and both above have 'Rad' disks too.
which may be interesting for Newtek to maby offload some often used commands or routines for either LW OR VT for the speed increase in the programs. Also may be good place to store temp video files for background rendering. Like the Temp folder on the Amiga.
The more I read, the more interesting it becomes...Now WHY can't Win XP see 400 GIGS RAM ??!!!! :argue:
I NEED a 300 gig ram HD !!!!!

Bog
05-18-2006, 01:47 AM
Gawd, 300GB of RAM. Having everything - OS, LW, scene, objects, everything in memory. No loading times (well, milliseconds for LightWave to load)... oh boy.

Lottmedia
05-18-2006, 07:29 AM
Gawd, 300GB of RAM. Having everything - OS, LW, scene, objects, everything in memory. No loading times (well, milliseconds for LightWave to load)... oh boy.


I don't think you quite understand the concept.....

Casey :cat:

Bog
05-18-2006, 07:55 AM
Oh, I do. That last post was just be fantasizing.

No, the reason I'm thinking a RAMDisk is in terms of having a fast swap partition, or something uber-speedy to (eg) put video or other high-res footage sequences onto. Using RAM where normally I have to use hard drives, basically.

habaņero
05-18-2006, 09:14 AM
Got the link to work now, if you check the test at

http://www.hothardware.com/viewarticle.aspx?articleid=792&cid=4

you can see that for long reads a rather low level raid will be faster. Eg working with video files or 2 GB xp swap disks. You can get a 15K disk as well for the same price, it has low access times and 10 times the storage although noise and heat is different.

For what I can gather you probably could stick with pc2100 in there if it could be found cheap, although I am not intrisic in how it is implemented. At least for reads and writes, it shouldn't mean much of a difference.

Main benefit is both fast and silent/ low power consumption as well as simple installation, as well as zero access times. For a minor database server, it is perfect.

Main problems is crazy $/gb, just 15 hours without power, slow read/writes of large files for what it is (133 mb/s vs 3000 mb/s for the system memory), and no data redundancy. Also it takes a split second to make all your data go completely and forever poof at a hw (battery) crash, while a hard drive can often be recovered.

For video (sustained transfer) I'd say go with a good and real raid solution on pci-X or pci-e. You can check the model first at Storagereview.com. For access times though this could be neat although I personally probably would pay the same for a 15K sataII drive myself, or 4 normal ones in a simple raid5 on a pci e silicon image controller as an example, it'd offer probably faster video transfer and 1 TB of it at the same price.

I would expect an sata II version soon, it probably would be a far better performer and so it might not be the best time to buy this technology now. An esata version as well could be interesting, external both power and heat would be an advantage.

prospector
05-18-2006, 11:24 AM
they aren't using on memory bus tho. If 133 bus is best that it does then yea raid array is probably better.

but main ram is too sweet to pass up with a ram or rad drive.
So maby with Win64 and 16 gigs memory, a 10 gig ram and 4 gig rad drive leaving 2 gigs for main compy could really help LW and massive texture files and for LW to put all the program used files into a Rad drive then LW and ther VT would see a great increase in speed.

But I'm sure someone will up the amount of memory on some plugin card and get it to go on a faster bus.

habaņero
05-20-2006, 06:57 AM
If you register, there's some interesting and learned discussion on it at :

http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?showtopic=19867