Ram Drive comparison to Hard disk drive...

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by Hermescomputers, Oct 25, 2013.

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  1. Hermescomputers

    Hermescomputers Registered Member

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    Location:
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    Well I was bored and stayed up late last night so I did a bit of benchmarking just for fun on my old system...

    Ram Drive comparison to Hard disk drive...
    I performed a basic test...

    The System is my old 8 years old AMD Opteron Work horse
    You can check out the actual specs here: http://valid.canardpc.com/b6f5md

    The configuration:
    3 disks = 2 Hard disk and 1 Ram Drive
    Disk 1 - C:\ 700 Gigabyte (27% load = 190/699 GB)
    Disk 2 - D:\ 500 Gigabyte (47% load = 220/466 GB)
    Disk 3 - R:\ 6 Gigabyte - Ram Drive - (5% load = 295/6000 MB)

    Now keep in mind this is a live production system, running everything and I mean everything while the tests are performed.
    The hard disks are a combination of SATA I and SATA II, both under load.
    The Ram drive is configured to run all temp, and several sandboxes while running test... Most caching is also live on the Ram Drive white being tested... System fully under load... no emptying or closing anything, just real world activity benchmark.

    The Ram Drive is the FREE Softperfect RAM Disk
    I cut a 6 Gigabyte chuck of my 16 Gigabytes of ECC Registered DDR (old and slow 400 Mhz running double data rate from 200 mhz)

    Test suite used is Crystal Disk Mark version 3.0.2f
    http://crystalmark.info

    The old RAM itself:
    This is very old ram, slow DDR 400 (200 x2 = DDR = Double Data Rate)
    I show 2 gig here, but I have 16 Gig installed and used 6 for the RAM Drive.
    This is the performance I got, now imagine on current, DDR3 memory running at 1600 mhz or better instead of 400 mhz... well you get the idea.
    ram 2.png


    Disk 1 - 700 Gigabyte (27% load = 190/699 GB)
    3 Performance Test # 1 C.png
    ST3750330AS ATA Device
    Manufacturer Seagate
    Form Factor 3.5"
    Heads 16
    Cylinders 16,383
    SATA type SATA-I 1.5Gb/s
    Device type Fixed
    ATA Standard ATA8-ACS
    Serial Number -
    LBA Size 48-bit LBA
    Power On Count 1615 times
    Power On Time 320.4 days
    Speed 7200 RPM
    Features S.M.A.R.T., NCQ
    Transfer Mode SATA I
    Interface SATA
    Capacity 699 GB
    Real size 750,156,374,016 bytes
    RAID Type None
    S.M.A.R.T
    Partition 0
    Partition ID Disk #0, Partition #0
    Disk Letter C:
    File System NTFS
    Volume Serial Number DCEB4F13
    Size 699 GB
    Used Space 191 GB (28%)
    Free Space 508 GB (72%)

    Disk 2 - 500 Gigabyte (47% load = 220/466 GB)
    2 Performance Test # 1 D.png
    WDC WD5000AAKS-00YGA0 ATA Device
    Manufacturer Western Digital
    Form Factor GB/3.5-inch
    Business Unit/Brand Desktop/WD Caviar
    Heads 16
    Cylinders 16,383
    SATA type SATA-II 3.0Gb/s
    Device type Fixed
    ATA Standard ATA8-ACS
    Serial Number -
    LBA Size 48-bit LBA
    Power On Count 3941 times
    Power On Time 782.7 days
    Features S.M.A.R.T., AAM, NCQ
    Transfer Mode SATA II
    Interface SATA
    Capacity 466 GB
    Real size 500,107,862,016 bytes
    RAID Type None
    S.M.A.R.T
    Partition 0
    Partition ID Disk #1, Partition #0
    Disk Letter D:
    File System NTFS
    Volume Serial Number 24F840AD
    Size 466 GB
    Used Space 220 GB (48%)
    Free Space 246 GB (52%)

    Disk 3 Ram Drive - 6 Gigabyte (5% load = 295/6000 MB)
    1 Performance Test # 1 R Ram Drive.png

    I used the Free version of
    RAM Disk for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8
    http://www.softperfect.com/products/ramdisk/
    softperfect RAM Disk.png

    Conclusion:
    A Ram drive configuration on an old system with enough ram to do a proper load I used 6 Gig but you really do not need this much and yet you can immensely increase performance...

    Under testing, I amused myself opening 300 web sites per each clicks, and watched as they opened without a hitch, and loaded configured themselves in milliseconds....

    it's just amazing to watch. No matter how hard I tried to trip this thing I just could not...

    It is a natural fit for old system with slow hard drives like mine. However given that even the fastest SSD maxes out in the low 500 megabytes per seconds, you can easily see that 832/818 megabytes sequential read /write is well over 300 megabytes faster than the best SSD available and so proves to be the best choice to improve over all system performance.

    If you need input in customizing for this type of operations I'm available here to help...

    Guy Deschênes
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  2. tomazyk

    tomazyk Guest

    Hi!

    I did a little test with all three (HDD, SSD and RamDisk) to see the difference. Here are the results:

    HDD (used mostly for data and system backup):

    [​IMG]


    SSD (my system is installed on this one):

    [​IMG]


    RamDisk (2GB out of 8GB is dedicated for RamDisk which is used as Sandboxie container):

    [​IMG]


    RamDisk is much faster and it protects my SSD from wearing out. It is also flushed at each reboot.
     
  3. Hermescomputers

    Hermescomputers Registered Member

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    Yes... I'm wondering what type of RAM you are using?
    Those stats look incongruous, as your write is substantially faster than your read stats you would normally experience the opposite.

    Interesting! :)
     
  4. tomazyk

    tomazyk Guest

    Hi! I'm using 2 4GB DDR3 RAM sticks with 800 MHz frequency.
    I re-run those tests and got similar results. Write speed is faster then read speed. It looks like this is possible with RAM :)
     
  5. genieautravail

    genieautravail Registered Member

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  6. tomazyk

    tomazyk Guest

  7. Hermescomputers

    Hermescomputers Registered Member

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    Location:
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    Here are a few tidbits about RAM Drive advantages...

    Firefox Ram Disk Configuration (performance Improvement)

    For Firefox: Type in about:config in the Firefox address bar then Right-click and select New - String from the menu, then enter browser.cache.disk.parent_directory as the preference name, press enter and then type in the RAM drive letter. This saves a lot of wear on your hard drive, especially SSD.

    Note: with this configuration you can still run the whole Firefox session within Sandboxie in the Ram Drive even though you can also push the temp/cache to the ramdrive as well. You just need to make sure the Ram Drive is running proper prior to starting Firefox.

    How to overcome the 32 bit version of Windows 2 Gig limitation circumvent by Ram Drive

    As per Microsoft Developer Network
    Windows X86 client versions with Physical Address Extension (PAE) enabled do have a usable 37-bit (128 GB) physical address space. The limit that these versions impose is the highest permitted physical RAM address, not the size of the IO space.

    That means PAE-aware drivers can actually use physical space above 4 GB if they want. For example, drivers could map the "lost" memory regions located above 4 GB and expose this memory as a RAM disk.

    PAE is supported only on the following 32-bit versions of Windows running on x86-based systems:
    •Windows 7 (32 bit only)
    •Windows Server 2008 (32-bit only)
    •Windows Vista (32-bit only)
    •Windows Server 2003 (32-bit only)
    •Windows XP (32-bit only)

    ----------------------------------------
    How to enable PAE on XP:

    To enable PAE in Windows XP you have to edit the boot.ini file. Open boot.ini file. It will be there in your system drive. Suppose your OS is installed in C drive then go to run and type c:\boot.ini and hit enter.Add “/ PAE” at the end of the file.

    It would look something like this:

    multi (0) disk (0) rdisk (1) partition (1) \ WINDOWS = “Microsoft Windows XP Professional” / noexecute = OptIn / fastdetect / PAE

    Don’t change anything else in boot.ini or your PC will not boot.Just add / PAE at the end of the line.

    Now restart your PC and check if your computer is showing 4 GB RAM. To do this right click on My computer and select properties.Click on general tab and see if it is showing 4GB or not. If it shows then it means that you have done everything correctly and you can use complete 4Gb of your RAM.


    Enable PAE under Vista:

    It is very easy to enable PAE under Vista. Open cmd and type

    BCDEdit / set PAE forceenable

    Now it should show 4GB of RAM in Vista.

    Warning:
    Use PAE only if you really have 4GB of RAM or your PC may not work properly.

    For more information:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_Address_Extension
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc757347(v=WS.10).aspx
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc758228(v=ws.10).aspx

    RAM, Virtual Memory, PageFile and all that stuff
    http://windows-in.com/
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  8. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    I use RAM Drives for browser disk cache (different from memory cache that disappears after closing tab or long back history), temporary folder, downloads (especially those archives/installers), Sandboxie, and scratch disk (conversion, preview, etc.)

    Also let’s me do things when HDD is busy (like watching videos or playing [portable] games after copying them). Overall, it’s a great use for extra RAM and helps lower SSD writes (not to mention faster).
     
  9. Keatah

    Keatah Registered Member

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    I've been using RAMdrives since the Apple II era. In thinking back to the BBS days I remember we'd put our user-log and some frequently accessed text files on a 16K ramdisk. And the performance was phenomenal!

    Today it is the same thing.
     
  10. ZERO ACCESS

    ZERO ACCESS Registered Member

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    @Hermescomputers
    Thanks for the info really good post :)

    I have only 2gb ram win7 so i think it is not good idea to dedicate ram to Ramdisk as due to 2gb ram ?
    Please suggest me
    Thanks
     
  11. tomazyk

    tomazyk Guest

    With 2 GB of RAM and Windows 7 system I would not use any RAM for RAMDisk. I think that your system would become slower if you take away some of the RAM that system would otherwise be using.
     
  12. newbino

    newbino Registered Member

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    Please confirm: if I have FF forced to open in SB, which in turn runs in a RAM drive, I should not need resetting the browser cache directory location, as it by default it will be running in RAM.
     
  13. sukarof

    sukarof Registered Member

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    Stockholm Sweden
    I have 13GB of RAM (after windows 8 is loaded) that most of the time just sits there for no use so I thought I might give this RAMdisk a try.
    I Have Windows 8 Pro 64bit and used the Crystal Diskmark 64bit.
    Now, there is a biiig diference but to be honest, I do not feel this drastic difference when using my computer :(
    Maybe if I made a 8GB Ramdisk and installed Firefox and stuff? Is there other things you can do other than move browser cache and TEMP folder to Ramdisk?

    This is the result from my 2 year old OCZ Agility 120GB and the 4GB ramdisk (Softperfect Ramdisk):
     

    Attached Files:

  14. ZERO ACCESS

    ZERO ACCESS Registered Member

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    @tomazyk
    yes i agree, thanks for share your knowledge :)
     
  15. SLE

    SLE Registered Member

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    On my system there is only a little performance gain with ramdisk which I relize while working.
    But the negative side effect: shutdown and boot time is much longer (cause of ramdisk creation)...
     
  16. chris1341

    chris1341 Guest

    Yes, that's right. Sandboxie is a very easy way to run things in a RAM disc. For me it has the added advantage of running the full session in RAM rather than just cache/temp etc.

    Cheers
     
  17. Hermescomputers

    Hermescomputers Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I would use a different approach if it's possible for you to do so....
    if you have an old hard disk, say 20 or 40 gigabyte lying around unused... Or one that is still inside an old system you no longer use and have lying around...

    You would do much better to have this old hard drive in the new windows 7 machine, and simply move your swap file to that drive, and do so using a different bus channel than your primary hard disk. Do not use that drive for anything else than the swap and cache / Temp activities.
    Also make sure you either empty the drive prior to dedicating it, or simply format it then dedicate it to the swap (allowing windows to configure it for whatever size it wants for swapping is fine).

    You can use another cable hookup if possible. For example the HD controller for SATA is different than for IDE, this is ideal for partitioning the load and offloading channel throughput...

    This will offload some of your disk IO and split the load between two pipes (channel) substantially increasing system performance and disk read write time...

    Also if you allocate a ramdrive, you must pay close attention to how much ram is free when the system is loaded. Then you need to average this as much as possible. (You should use only 50 % of that amount) and only ramdrive what is most cache intensive like your web browser...

    Having low memory is not an impediment for a ram drive. Historically Ram Drive have been as small as 640 K or even less. The main point is not to impede upon the normal memory utilization of windows... Also one of the side effect of Ram Drive is lower memory required to manage the swap file control buffers (Disk IO) as Memory IO will be substantially faster and release/load faster. This usually translate into an apparent decrease in perceptual memory utilization...
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  18. Hermescomputers

    Hermescomputers Registered Member

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    You are correct. You can simply push the cache to Ram Drive or run the full implementation into Ram Drive or do both...
    However whatever location the cache is configured to operate is where the files will be located... and run.

    So you need to specify every cache logical addresses if you wish to control them. SBIE is not in control of the cache (in this case) Firefox and windows is...
    Although SBIe wipes it's own writes, it's good policy to configure your applications, and move all your applications temporary activities to the Ram Drive. You need to to this internally to each programs...

    Similarly just running a ram drive is useless unless you configure all caching and temp activity, including swapp to the Ram Drive.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  19. Hermescomputers

    Hermescomputers Registered Member

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    The minuscule performance gain is probably due to the single tasking load you are performing. If you try and setup multitasking for testing you will notice a far superior performance. For example, the innitial load of Firefox with an open tab takes almost the same amount of time since the application is invoked from the hard disk and requests the same IO latencies as regular.

    This is true until you try and load multiple tabs, I tested this using 300 pre configured web sites. What you do is you bookmark 3 or 4 directories of bookmarks and pack them with as many web site url's as possible.

    Then open all of them at once and time the event. Do so in the RAM Drive session and outside and you will see that the outside event may choke and crap out firefox... but the RAM drive session will just breeze through it at high speed. (I did this @ 3 am so I did not have any problem with bandwidth...)

    blash.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  20. tomazyk

    tomazyk Guest

    @sukarof

    Wow, you RAMDrive is really fast. May I ask, what kind of RAM are you using?
     
  21. sukarof

    sukarof Registered Member

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    Corsair Vengeance DD3 RAM
     
  22. tomazyk

    tomazyk Guest

    With that difference in speed I would guess it's one with speed 2400 Mghz?
    Nice :thumb:
     
  23. Hermescomputers

    Hermescomputers Registered Member

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  24. Dragon1952

    Dragon1952 Registered Member

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    Last year i installed DataRam Ramdisk and did not check or uncheck anything. Just set the size at 1024 MB and left the unformatted setting alone. Then added --disk-cache-dir="/tmp/ram/" to the Chrome Target of..... "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" --disk-cache-dir="/tmp/ram/". I have a lot of Extensions so wanted to speed things up and reduce the work the HD had to do.
     
  25. ZERO ACCESS

    ZERO ACCESS Registered Member

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    @Hermescomputers
    yes one i have(SATA HD) but honestly i have no hardware knowledge but some time i am looking into old computers but i will try as you suggested in your valuable post.
    Would you please suggest me how to move my temp folder into ram drive or What is swapping and how to done it.I am only able to move my download folder,document folder and desktop Folder to another Drive.I am try to install sandboxie in ram drive before but sandboxie doesn't recognize Ram drive letter.

    OR give me a link for this.
    Thanks a ton for giving me your time and info :)
     
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