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RAM Management: IMdisk, Dataram RAMdisk, and Other Thoughts

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:52 am
by grande
So I'm an amateur/pro technologist at times... always tinkering and I came across a technology that's already a few years old: using RAM as a virtual HDD/SDD but it's much faster.

My experience with MM/RomBot has been positive but loading screens can still be slow so I'm trying to understand what's still going on to make it so slow. Addons are apparently a slow down so I'll have to tinker with those some more to see what I can live without. Graphics settings and login location (house vs cities) seem to be another cause of the dreaded sluggish load screens. But more on the topic of IMdisk and Dataram.

IMdisk is free but seems more difficult to configure. Dataram is free up to 4GB which wouldn't work for ROM at about 12GG. I heard there's a GUI for IMdisk but can't find it. I was in a hurry to see this technology work so spent the $19 for the paid version of Dataram which goes up to 64GB ram (I have 32GB). I put all my ROM and MM files in there. Both seemed a bit snappier but there were also still delays. I've only monitored actual performance for about an hour or two so we'll see how it develops.

Problem with IMdisk for me was just getting it to save the image file at shutdown and then automatically recall it on startup. I followed the instructions here but it didn't work. There's actually some follow up on page 7 of that thread that may help me so I'll try it out again on my laptop and maybe save a little money later on. I was just in a hurry to get something working and to see the impact. Like I said, seems snappier but I need to watch it longer and so far the load screens are still quite dreadful so the dataram solution alone didn't seem to immediately give the relief I was expecting.

The other thing to note is that saving the image file and reloading it on startup so that your RAM disk gains more persistency is that THIS TAKES TIME. It's a good 5 minutes on either end (shutdown/startup). Since I dont' reboot often I wouldn't mind this in the interest of quicker loading screens over the course of several hours of running the games. Again, I'm interested to monitor the shutdown/load times over time to see if they remain persistent or get faster/slower.

Of course, I'm also interested to see how it may affect performance of the MM/rombot. I read in some other forums there is a guy that uses the ram disk technology to host a Minecraft server and has done so reliably for several months. Just interested to see how this may affect bot crashes/errors.

But this all comes back around to a more pointed concern over bottlenecks and where to best focus management efforts. The most apparent bottleneck I see is CPU usage spike up and clipping at 100% when I run 4 client/MMs. when I minimize all windows the spikes go away and hum along around 60-80% cpu usage with an occassional spike to 90+. This is AMD Phenom X4... think it's 3.2Ghz Black edition. Not a terrible CPU but not the best.

So, just wanted to share a bit on the whole ram disk thing. I think it's pretty sweet technology with a lot of promise. But am also interested in anything someone else may have in regards to slowdowns which seem to center around: best addons to disable, best graphics alterations (Rock5 has a good models load fro rombot), CPU management software, and maybe more on storage management (RAM/cache/etc).

Re: RAM Management: IMdisk, Dataram RAMdisk, and Other Thoug

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:29 pm
by grande
I've also come to the realization that I have untapped resources in regards to my video cards. Not all that flashy, just a couple of ATI 4850's in crossfire. But the thing is tha they hardly get touched but my CPU is frequently pegged.

So there's a thing called "folding" intended to harvest computer power also known as grid computing and has been compared to supercomputing (though not the same). So I'm hoping this will lighten the load on my CPU for better multitasking. Haven't got to try it out yet but will when I get home tonight: (to know what you need “For ATI”)