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RAM Disk Efficiency


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#1 BearPup

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 04:29 PM

Hello All,

I've been using a RAM Disk on my mainframe computer (AMD 4100FX, Quad Core with 12 GB RAM); of the 12 GB RAM, 4 GB is dedicated to the RAM Disk which handles all the Windows TEMP files. Becasue of the base amount of RAM, I know its fine to split it 1/3 | 2/3, and the computer certainly seems faster, to say nothing of the break my hybrid hard drive gets from not having to thrash files all the time.

 

I've installed this same RAM Disk program on my laptop and netbook. Each has 2 GB of RAM, of which about 1000 MB is free. I've installed a 512 MB RAM Disk with compression, and pointed the temp files there. Now the question: is there a way to measure whether a 512 MB RAM Disk on a 2 GB machine is both effective and helpful to speed up the system? Something similar to the way that ReadyBoost can be measured to see if its effective.

 

All help appreciated.

Regards,

BearPup


Edited by hamluis, 02 September 2014 - 05:18 PM.
Moved from Win 7 to Internal Hardware - Hamluis.


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#2 Willy22

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 02:06 AM

- Try if the ""Resource Monitor" (Disk) provides any clues on the performance of the RAM Disk.

- Compressing files in the RAM Disk actually decreases one's system performance. Because those files have to be compressed and decompressed and that takes precious CPU time. More over, there're not too many files that are written to this folder. If you want use the RAM Disk then I would redirect other truly "temporary files" like the files of Internet Explorer to the RAM Disk.

- Starting with Vista, Windows contains a feature called Superfetch. It uses the free memory to cache A LOT OF files/data the user regularly uses. Installing a RAM Disk reduces the amount of memory Superfetch can use and therefore decreases system performance. In that regard I would recommend installing PcWinTech's Cleanmem. It reduces memory usage every 15 minutes and it also can collapse the filecache. Especially when you've got only 2 GB of memory.


Edited by Willy22, 05 September 2014 - 02:29 AM.


#3 jonuk76

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 07:04 AM

I guess you could bench test overall system performance with and without it enabled and note the results.  Something like PC Mark is available in a basic free version and tests performance with several different types of workload.  I would be interested to hear your results if you try it.


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#4 BearPup

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 07:07 AM

@Willy22: Thank you for responding. I hear what you're saying and I'm still evaluating the performance of each machine. Among the other questions that my question poses are the ones asking, "Why do companies push freeware RAM Disk programs if they don't work / harm the system?", and, "Why do using these program seem to result in less disk thrashing as measured by Performance Monitor?". And I will certainly look at Cleanmem as another approach (the goal here is more efficiency with less thrashing of the disk).

 

As to the Superfetch item, my understanding is that those are non-volitive files, whereas what I'm trying to do is to release from memory those temp files the system no longer needs, as in $$, $bak, *.temp, etc.

 

And again, thanks for responding.



#5 BearPup

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 07:14 AM

@jonuk76:  Thank you for responding. FYI, some preliminary testing using Memory Page Reads as a ratio to Memory Page Faults demonstrates that temp files are being created and shuffled off to the TEMP Disk. I will keep you posted.



#6 Willy22

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 08:42 AM

- If you got a hybrid disk (SSD + conventional disk) then using a RAM Disk certainly does help to reduce the wearing out of the SSD. And it's faster than a SSD. Perhaps other applications can be instructed as well to redirect their temporary files in the RAM Disk.

http://blog.superuser.com/2011/05/10/maximizing-the-lifetime-of-your-ssd/

- Another use for a RAM Disk is to store applications that one uses regularly. Write a script/batch file that copies, upon start up, one or more applications to the RAM Disk and create (a) shortcut(s) to programs in the RAM Disk. But where do these programs store their (changed) settings ? In the RAM Disk ? On the SSD or HDD ? In other words, (including what I wrote above) it's not so simple to provide a clear & good answer. It depends on the precise circumstances on your system.

 

 

- There's another approach possible. Use Piriform's Ccleaner. It can be set up to automatically run upon start up and then clean a number of user defined folders/files. (e.g. for Firefox, Chrome, IE, TEMP folders, ............)


Edited by Willy22, 05 September 2014 - 08:42 AM.


#7 BearPup

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 10:21 AM

@ Willy22: I do indeed have a Hybrid drive for my Boot (System) drive (Seagate 500 GB Hybrid), so that keeping the temp files that Windows creates off of my Hybrid just made sense to me. In doing so, the thought occurred to me that if I placed the Netbook's temp files in memory's volitive environment that got released (dumped, and I hear you about CCleaner)  every time I did a boot-up or log on, the files wouldn't be present taking up residence. And a very quick spot test on the Netbook seem to confirm that the ratio of Page Faults to Page Reads was better / second with the RAM Drive than without. To be fair this test was run over a 4 minute period, and I'm told that isn't a sufficient data set to judge. So it'll have to run longer, but....Perhaps this is a situation where common sense (logic) isn't what drives the answer.






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