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Huge performance increase using your extra ram as cache for your SSD/HDDs

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I decided to go ahead and give primocache a try:
https://www.romexsoftware.com/en-us/primo-cache/

It basically lets you utilize your excess ram or drives as lvl 1 or lvl 2 cache for any or all of your drives. Since I have 128gb of ram already, and an a 1tb samsung evo and a 8tb seagate barracuda, I figured why not use some of that extra ram as lvl1 cache for both of my drives.

I went ahead and downloaded the program/it comes with a 60day free trial.

I setup my ssd to have 40gb of read/write lvl 1 cache from my ram, with an 4kb block size, and i setup my hdd to have 20gb of read/write lvl1 cache from my ram, with an 8kb block size. The hdd was also setup with a defer-write of 10 seconds, since its just a storage drive, and not my main, so the possibility of losing data from volatile ram isnt as concerning.


Here are my crystal disk results before and after on each drive.


Samsung 960 Pro 1TB:

Before ram cache:



After ram cache:





Seagate Barracuda 8tb:

Before ram cache:



After ram cache (with 10 second deferred write = big performance increase)






Total before after, with hdd on left, and ssd on right & before on top, after on bottom











Clearly some massive increases to be had from utilizing your extra ram as a cache. I wonder why this isnt discussed more frequently as a way to increase your drive's read/write in addition to raid? If you guys have extra ram that you arent utilizing, I would highly recommend finding software that allows you to use your ram as a cache for your drives!
Edited by happyluckbox - 9/5/17 at 3:38am
post #2 of 9
http://www.pcworld.com/article/3162994/computers/surging-ram-prices-may-get-worse-before-getting-better.html
http://www.pcgamer.com/get-ready-for-another-spike-in-ddr4-memory-pricing/
https://pcpartpicker.com/blog/23/ram-price-increasing (already back in 2013)
etc.

EDIT : also Samsung Rapid already does this, only for one drive and less flexible but it does
(plus a lot of other software)
Edited by chimico9 - 9/5/17 at 7:14am
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
How much of my excess ram should do you guys think I should dedicate to my ssd/hdd? Currently at 40gb ssd, and 20gb to hdd, which still leaves me with 60ish gb of free ram.
post #4 of 9
this doesn't seem really any different than setting up ram drives
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post #5 of 9
No thanks. If your system looses power or crashes data corruption can and will happen.
 
Gsvlip Dudyrm
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Gsvlip Dudyrm
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Oda'maksv
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
There is only a risk of that occuring if you have deferred write enabled. Notice I didnt enable it for my main OS drive (ssd).
As I understand it, Any data sent to the ram cache is instantly wrote to the ssd in parallel, therefore no risk, but also meager gains in ssd write performance, as indicated in my benchmark pics. Where you gain massively, however, is in read performance. You can also set deferred write on your storage drive as I did


Its different from a ram drive, because with a ram drive you have to manually redirect cache, or games to the ram drive.

With the ram cache, software will do this automatically. Its basically like samsung's rapid technology.
Edited by happyluckbox - 9/5/17 at 7:03pm
post #7 of 9
What's the real world results like. Synthetic benchmarks don't mean anything.
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by happyluckbox View Post

There is only a risk of that occuring if you have deferred write enabled. Notice I didnt enable it for my main OS drive (ssd).
As I understand it, Any data sent to the ram cache is instantly wrote to the ssd in parallel, therefore no risk, but also meager gains in ssd write performance, as indicated in my benchmark pics. Where you gain massively, however, is in read performance. You can also set deferred write on your storage drive as I did


Its different from a ram drive, because with a ram drive you have to manually redirect cache, or games to the ram drive.

With the ram cache, software will do this automatically. Its basically like samsung's rapid technology.

There is still risk as an SSD cannot write as quickly as RAM can. So the possibility of something being corrupted is possible. Take it from someone who works in the data recovery field. It does happen. if using as cache then it is fine. But using it as an actual scratch area before writing to a disk is no go. Personally, I see no reason to run it. SSDs are already super fast as is.
 
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Gsvlip Dudyrm
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Oda'maksv
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Bitfelix Prodigy Logitech G400 Razer Goliath AKG A701 
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Core i5 750 3.99 (190x21) 1.376v Load ASUS P7P55d-E Pro GTX 670 FTW <- Poor overclocker :( 8GB (4x2GB) G.Skill DDR3 1600 
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MonitorPowerCaseMouse
Asus 1080P Crap TX 750 HAF 922 G400s 
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Apple Keyboard Xbox One controler 
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C2D 2,26GHz under volted @ .978v 8GB  Crucial M4 64GB SSD 500GB Scorpio Black 
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by happyluckbox View Post

How much of my excess ram should do you guys think I should dedicate to my ssd/hdd? Currently at 40gb ssd, and 20gb to hdd, which still leaves me with 60ish gb of free ram.

I've recently tried out PrimoCache and like the results so far.

Before implementing PrimoCache, the storage setup is SSD for the OS + 2 mechanical HDD for data all on SATA3 interface. One of the mechanical drives also has a few programs. The mechanical drives would constantly be working during start-up and was audible.

Once setting up PrimoCache, noticed the startup is a bit quicker. The mechanical drives activities are way down and overall startup is quieter.thumb.gif Looking at the cache hit rates for the mechanical drives shows between 40% to 60%. The OS has a much lower cache hit rate (7% to 8%) from memory. I'm also using deferred write with a 10s default.

The system has just 16GB of RAM and allocating around 6GB to the Level 1 cache. I'm playing around with small Level 2 cache - currently set to 12GB on the SSD. The SSD capacity is small at 120GB and leaving 100GB for the OS. When partitioning the SSD into another section to implement Level 2 cache, Acronis boot loader is now giving me an error during start-up. Reaching out to Acronis for answers.

Currently the block size is 64k. Noticed that the app needs around 1GB of memory with this block size. Decreasing the block size reduces memory usage and the opposite when increasing block size. Trying to find the right balance of cache allocation, block size, app usage and cache hit rate.

Answering your question on what is the right size of RAM for the SSD/HDD - keep an eye at the Free Cache (L1/ L2) numbers for each drive. If the value drops to 32MB that means most of the cache is used up and PrimoCache will start to discard or move around some cache blocks according to it's cache algorithm. If the number is more than 64MB, you can most likely reduce the cache size.
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