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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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SSDs and disk bottlenecking

Some years ago I learned to have my virtual machines on a separate HDD because when on the same disk as the main OS there where performance issues. The reason: because it was a mechanical drive, with moving parts, when there were many requests for reads it had to prioritize.
From then on I always distributed things amongst as many disks as possible.
But what about SSDs? without moving parts would there be a performance penalty all the same? Even if minimal? Is it feasible to have, say, a 2 TB SSD with everything on it (OS, VMs, games) with several apps running simultaneously?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 05:37 PM
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No need to worry about that on most SSDs these days, especially the NVMe ones. HDDs can only service a few hundred IOPS at a time, which is why you have to do that with them. SSD can service hundreds of thousands at once and at much lower latency profile.

No moving parts slowing it it down, random performance is near instant. In testing even high end CPUs like the i7 9700K bottleneck my storage speeds with some SSDs, not the other way around!

I split my data onto multiple drives cause I don’t have a single one large enough. I have multiple VMs, downloads, video streams and constantly edit my photo library off of the same SSD without any issue.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 02:38 AM - Thread Starter
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@Sean Webster

Thanks.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 02:23 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post
No need to worry about that on most SSDs these days, especially the NVMe ones. HDDs can only service a few hundred IOPS at a time, which is why you have to do that with them. SSD can service hundreds of thousands at once and at much lower latency profile.

No moving parts slowing it it down, random performance is near instant. In testing even high end CPUs like the i7 9700K bottleneck my storage speeds with some SSDs, not the other way around!

I split my data onto multiple drives cause I don’t have a single one large enough. I have multiple VMs, downloads, video streams and constantly edit my photo library off of the same SSD without any issue.
How is it possible for any modern CPU to bottleneck an SSD? A CPU at 4 Ghz. can internally process at the very least [8-bytes (internal register width) * 4 Ghz. = 32 GiB/sec]. A PCIe 3.0 4-lane connection to the CPU has a theoretical bandwidth of 4 GiB/sec (bidirectional). The fastest NVME SSD only tops out at 3.5 GiB/sec.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 12:50 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by 8051 View Post
How is it possible for any modern CPU to bottleneck an SSD? A CPU at 4 Ghz. can internally process at the very least [8-bytes (internal register width) * 4 Ghz. = 32 GiB/sec]. A PCIe 3.0 4-lane connection to the CPU has a theoretical bandwidth of 4 GiB/sec (bidirectional). The fastest NVME SSD only tops out at 3.5 GiB/sec.
Testing an Intel Optane 905P:
i7 9700K @ Stock = 456/418K IOPS read/write
i7 9700K @ 5GHz all cores = 593/545K IOPS read/write

CPU usage is at 100% in Crystal Disk Mark's QD8T8 test. By overclocking I could hit rated specs that I could not hit at stock. Toy around with an entry-level Celeron type of CPU and you won't even be able to hit rated sequential speeds without maxing out the CPU usage in real life transfers too.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 01:52 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post
Testing an Intel Optane 905P:
i7 9700K @ Stock = 456/418K IOPS read/write
i7 9700K @ 5GHz all cores = 593/545K IOPS read/write

CPU usage is at 100% in Crystal Disk Mark's QD8T8 test. By overclocking I could hit rated specs that I could not hit at stock. Toy around with an entry-level Celeron type of CPU and you won't even be able to hit rated sequential speeds without maxing out the CPU usage in real life transfers too.
Um, if the i7 9700k can only read 593/545K IOPS read/write then how do you explain away it's memory bandwidth of 40 GiB/s or more?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 02:15 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post
Testing an Intel Optane 905P:
i7 9700K @ Stock = 456/418K IOPS read/write
i7 9700K @ 5GHz all cores = 593/545K IOPS read/write

CPU usage is at 100% in Crystal Disk Mark's QD8T8 test. By overclocking I could hit rated specs that I could not hit at stock. Toy around with an entry-level Celeron type of CPU and you won't even be able to hit rated sequential speeds without maxing out the CPU usage in real life transfers too.
Same story here with a 5950hq (same as a 5775c) and a 900p pcie version. In this pic I run CDM, open Intel XTU, change the clocks and run CDM again. Seems to be a single core process for me.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 07:13 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by 8051 View Post
Um, if the i7 9700k can only read 593/545K IOPS read/write then how do you explain away it's memory bandwidth of 40 GiB/s or more?
The real question is, how do YOU explain these results? Since I'm simply sharing real-world results from multiple storage benching programs on an actual i7 9700K and Z390 system. All you're stating is theoretical. The poster before me has even noted the same results. Overclocking helped increase his storage IOPS capability. It's not just about the CPU, but the chipset and software and firmware mixed in too. SATA 3 is theoretically 750MB/s, but due to 8/10b encoding it is 600MB/s and in testing, it is actually limited to ~565MB/s at most in the real world.

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Last edited by Sean Webster; 06-10-2019 at 07:17 AM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:44 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post
The real question is, how do YOU explain these results? Since I'm simply sharing real-world results from multiple storage benching programs on an actual i7 9700K and Z390 system. All you're stating is theoretical. The poster before me has even noted the same results. Overclocking helped increase his storage IOPS capability. It's not just about the CPU, but the chipset and software and firmware mixed in too. SATA 3 is theoretically 750MB/s, but due to 8/10b encoding it is 600MB/s and in testing, it is actually limited to ~565MB/s at most in the real world.
R U kidding me? Memtest measures the memory bandwidth of my 5820 at 16 GiB/sec at a paltry 2800+Mhz., that's not theoretical. Then there's the small matter of L1, L2, L3 cache speeds which are much, much faster.

It could be driver overhead is reduced when you increase CPU clock speed.

It would be interesting to see if changing the uncore speed would make any diff in SSD xfer speeds, since I believe that is where the PCIe bus connects to.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 05:33 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by 8051 View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post
The real question is, how do YOU explain these results? Since I'm simply sharing real-world results from multiple storage benching programs on an actual i7 9700K and Z390 system. All you're stating is theoretical. The poster before me has even noted the same results. Overclocking helped increase his storage IOPS capability. It's not just about the CPU, but the chipset and software and firmware mixed in too. SATA 3 is theoretically 750MB/s, but due to 8/10b encoding it is 600MB/s and in testing, it is actually limited to ~565MB/s at most in the real world.
R U kidding me? Memtest measures the memory bandwidth of my 5820 at 16 GiB/sec at a paltry 2800+Mhz., that's not theoretical. Then there's the small matter of L1, L2, L3 cache speeds which are much, much faster.

It could be driver overhead is reduced when you increase CPU clock speed.

It would be interesting to see if changing the uncore speed would make any diff in SSD xfer speeds, since I believe that is where the PCIe bus connects to.
I’m not all that smart, actually I’m quite slow lol, but I just sat back and realized we’re talking about two separate things...at least I think we are. The CPUs memory bandwidth is just that. Memory bandwidth. Storage bandwidth is separate from it, they connect to the CPU at different points. While memory speed can influence latency in the system a bit, that’s only because it influences everything a little bit. But the bulk speed/bandwidth come from separate interconnects that have different links and protocols. I’m specifically benching the storage io over the PCIe bus while you’re talking about specifically benching your RAM over the memory bus. Both have separate capabilities. What are your thoughts?

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Last edited by Sean Webster; 06-17-2019 at 05:43 AM.
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