Showing posts with label ssd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ssd. Show all posts

9/5/13

Optimizing your system with a RAM disk and SSD

RAM and SSD disks, how to use them?

Installing an SSD disk in your system is probably the best thing you can do to upgrade your PC, except for installing more memory into a system with rather little of it.

If you have 8 or more gigabytes of memory or more; adding a RAM disk to your system can increase performance quite a lot, as well as decreasing the wear and tear on your SSD(s) and other drives.

In addition to the raw speed of the SSD it self, the RAM disk boosts you another 200-300 megabytes per second, on top of the SSD speedup if you configure Windows and other cache-heavy appsto host it's temporary files on your RAM disk.

Host the RAM-disk image on the SSD for optimal speed when loading and saving the RAM disk on system restart. The RAM disk loads very early in the boot sequence so any apps depending on your file structure on the RAM disk will not have any problems starting up or shutting down.

My setup:

  • 80 GB Intel 320 Series - With Windows 7 x64 installed. User directory not moved.
  • 120 GB Kingston SV300 Series - Installed 2 years after
  • The free version of AMD Radeon RAM Disk. (4 GB limit). This RAM disk is loaded and saved to the second SSD on each boot and shutdown.
  • System memory is a comfy 4x4 GB DDR3 at 1600 MHz, so 16 gigabytes of RAM.
  • A Lexar USB 3.0 stick. Doesn't perform any better than USB1.0! Shame on Lexar!
  • 160 and 320 gigabyte SATA 2.0 disks. These are used for non-system critical applications, like painting and music programs
  • Two 500 GB Hitachi SATA 2.0 disks, 5 Gbps in RAID 0 configuration on onboard Marvell controller. This RAID was my earlier 'fast' drive.

Checklist:

Steps to take assuming you have a pretty full primary SSD, a second SSD to use, and a RAM disk:
The Java control panel shows you where it loads the JRE or JDK from.

Other Programs

This is programs where I have confirmed that you can configure custom paths for one thing or another.
 I will grow a list here of apps that you can re-configure:
  1. WinMerge - Difff temp folders
  2. PSPad - Backup files directory
  3. uTorrent - Torrent files.
  4. VLC - Encoder temporary files
  5. Locate32 - The database file 'files.dbs' database can be moved.
  6. ImgBurn - Log, project files, misc.
  7. SeaMonkey - Cache
  8. 7-Zip - Temp folder
  9. Putty - Log files
  10. GIMP - Temp files
  11. WinRAR - Temp files, also for non-removable drives
  12. Audacity - Temp files

5/3/13

USB3.0 vs USB.2.0

[Updated Aug. 26 2013]

I had bought a new Seagate 2TB USB3.0 disk and gave it a spin. Here's some results that I wrote at the time; and some updates.

This was done on the Gigabyte FX990-UD7 mainboard which has an Eltron USB3.0 controller and I have it set up with two 250GB 3Gbit SATA2 disks on the Marvell RAID controller on the board, and an Intel 80 GB SSD disk.

USB2.0 is mostly limited to around 20-25MB second, depending on your controller. Remember, if you want network speeds over 10MB/sec you will have want to upgrade to a Gigabit home network. Then you can achieve speeds around 100 MB/sec.

So, it would be pretty clear that the days of 100 MBit networks are over. To accommodate these now ubiqous technologies as RAID, SSD and USB3, I expect gigabit switches to sell good the coming year.

Update:

Added one Kingston 120 GB SSD SATA3.0 drive.
From the USB3.0 to the new SATA3.0, I achieved around 310 MB per second accoring to the Resource Monitor, but the file dialog claimed substantially less.

One of the reasons I had to get the new SSD was ofcourse that the 3 year old 80 GB Intel drive was full, as it is the main system drive, so I have had no SSD to actually put stuff I use. The first thing I did was to move everything Java-related onto the new disk: JRE, JDK, Eclipse and the Android SDK. I noticed an immidiate 2x speedup, and before this, the software was located on the RAID0 drive in this test'

Also 'added' was a 4 GB ' AMD Radeon RAM disk'. This disk is used for Chrome and Windows temporary files. The disk is loaded very early in the boot sequence, and can probably host more interesting things.

Using a single test file of ~4 GB, except for when testing the 4 GB RAM disk, I used a 2.3 GB file.
These values are the observed max values under the Windows transfer dialog.

RAID0 2x3Gbit to USB3: 150MB/sec
USB to RAID0 2x3Gbit: 190MB/sec
SSD SATA2 to USB3: 180MB/sec
USB3 to SSD SATA2: 190MB/sec
SSD SATA2 to RAID0 2x3Gbit: 225MB/sec
RAID0 2x3Gbit to SSD SATA2: 135MB/sec


USB3 to SSD SATA3: 210MB/sec
SSD SATA3 to USB3: 215MB/sec
SSD SATA3 to SSD SATA 2: 266MB/sec
SSD SATA2 to SSD SATA 3: 180MB/sec
SSD SATA3 to RAMDISK: 506MB/sec <--- font="">
SSD SATA2 to RAMDISK: 220MB/sec

The Kingston SSD packaging claimed max 450 read speed, so caching probably caused those 506 :)