Returnil and SSDs

Discussion in 'Returnil releases' started by capatt, Jan 10, 2009.

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  1. capatt

    capatt Registered Member

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    Hello
    Here's a question for the Returnil experts. I have an ASUS eee PC 901 with an upgraded Runcore 32 GB SSD from which I boot. While faster than the stock SSD, the performance bottleneck still comes from the slow disk writes.
    If I use Returnil in memory mode, will all disk writes get intercepted, thus speeding performance? My system has only 2 GB of RAM, so how long before it fills up? I only use the eee for work in the cloud - email, surfing, etc.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

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    Hi,

    Your available RAM will not be "filled" up. Remember, that memory caching is just that: memory = RAM + disk. The critical factor to consider is how large your HDD is and how much available space does it have...

    There is another issue with SSDs to be aware of: life-time writes. Like your USB pen or stick, each sector of a solid state drive has a more limited life cycle than a traditional platter style HDD. If longevity of the drive itself is higher priority, you should be thinking about how to minimize the number of actual writes needed (hint - moving the Windows page file to an alternate drive or secondary platter style drive, etc)...

    As discussed in several places, both caching modes require some form of disk write to accomplish their function. This means that you will be writing to the disk at times using the memory caching method; the difference is in where that writing takes place and how often it happens.

    In practice, using the memory caching should have the least effect on any one specific sector of the drive, but this effect is more pronounced over longer boot sessions. If the system is frequently restarted, this effect becomes either significantly reduced or non-existent (no better than disk caching) depending on how long the session lasts and the number of changes being tracked.

    One of the things we are going to explore in the 3x generation is regarding better SSD support with life-time writes being one of the major considerations in the end design...

    Mike
     
  3. capatt

    capatt Registered Member

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    Thanks for the detailed response. The netbook isn't my primary system and it's used primarily for surfing. By the time there's any significant SSD degradation I will have long moved on to something else.

    My primary interest was in reducing disk writes in order to speed system performance. I currently use Sandboxie, with it's container set to a 96 MB RAM disk. Writes to RAM are significantly faster of course, and this has a huge impact on browsing. Even after hours of surfing the RAM drive is only partially full. I also have the OS temp files written to the RAM drive, which helps in the same manner.

    I was wondering if using Returnil in memory cache mode might have a similar effect, but from your explanation I gather not.

    Thanks again.
     
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