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Dimmdrive

TreyTrey Member Posts: 4,780 @@ - Legendary Achaean
Saw it on Steam's store, was wondering if anyone has used that or anything like it before, and is it worth 29 bucks? I have 32gb ddr3 1600, and my peak usage was only in the 40-50% range.

Comments

  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsAdministrator Posts: 2,507 Admin
    We use ramdrives for a lot of things, they're handy if you need a huge amount of IO throughput - haven't really used them for increasing gaming performance, but I imagine that you'd see a really good boost - one of the traditional downsides is that you're going to lose anything on the drive if there's any form of power outage, so I recommend caution if you're planning on storing anything important there!
    ShirszaeTrey
  • AddamaAddama Member Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Is there a tangible benefit over using SSDs for typical tasks (i.e. running a single game client)?
    ~Kresslack's obsession~
  • TreyTrey Member Posts: 4,780 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Tecton said:
    We use ramdrives for a lot of things, they're handy if you need a huge amount of IO throughput - haven't really used them for increasing gaming performance, but I imagine that you'd see a really good boost - one of the traditional downsides is that you're going to lose anything on the drive if there's any form of power outage, so I recommend caution if you're planning on storing anything important there!
    Thanks for the tips. One of the reasons it intrigued me is that they claim no data loss if you power down your PC, which is one of the things I hadn't liked about ramdisks before.

  • TrevizeTrevize Member Posts: 1,517 @ - Epic Achaean
    Dimmdrives don't move files as much as copy them. And they do a regular sync with the HD space for the game, to minimize data loss. But notice they claim you don't lose anything when powering down a PC - not that you don't on a power outage.
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  • SenaSena Member Posts: 3,957 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Addama said:
    Is there a tangible benefit over using SSDs for typical tasks (i.e. running a single game client)?
    A SSD can reduce load times pretty drastically, which matters a lot for games that need to frequently load resources from the disk (how much this matters varies a lot, for smaller/older games it may not make any difference, for some new games with extremely high resolution graphics that are constantly being loaded it can make a huge difference, a lot of the time it only matters for things like moving between areas and loading the new area), or if it only has a long initial load time (not while actually playing) but you start/load it frequently. Other than disk read/write times, there's basically no difference.

    Outside of games, it normally only matters when loading/saving a file or starting up a program.
  • DaeirDaeir AustraliaMember Posts: 6,285 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    From experience, the reduced file IO overhead from the exorbitantly increased disk r/w speeds usually equates to a noticeable improvement in performance, especially on games with large textures that are preloaded/cached into vram from the disk during loading. 

    Won't do shit otherwise, though.
  • AddamaAddama Member Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Sena said:
    Addama said:
    Is there a tangible benefit over using SSDs for typical tasks (i.e. running a single game client)?
    A SSD can reduce load times pretty drastically, which matters a lot for games that need to frequently load resources from the disk (how much this matters varies a lot, for smaller/older games it may not make any difference, for some new games with extremely high resolution graphics that are constantly being loaded it can make a huge difference, a lot of the time it only matters for things like moving between areas and loading the new area), or if it only has a long initial load time (not while actually playing) but you start/load it frequently. Other than disk read/write times, there's basically no difference.

    Outside of games, it normally only matters when loading/saving a file or starting up a program.
    Good to know, but my question was more like, "Is there a tangible benefit to using HDD + Ramdisk versus just using an SSD?"  

    Because, you know, an SSD is basically non-volatile RAM.  
    ~Kresslack's obsession~
  • SenaSena Member Posts: 3,957 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited February 2015
    Oh, I misread the question then. The answer is basically the same, though.

    Edit: To make that clearer, it will be a lot faster than an SSD in the same way SSD is faster than HDD. The main difference is having to load whatever you need from the disk into RAM, and copy things back and forth as necessary, but a good program (I don't know much about Dimmdrive specifically) should be able to manage that pretty well.
  • TaelTael Member Posts: 1,197 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited February 2015
    An SSD is "basically" non-volatile RAM the way that an L2 cache is "basically" RAM. They're similar in design, but RAM is much faster than an SSD (and the memory in L2 is much faster than RAM).

    I wouldn't really consider using a ramdisk for normal personal use. For most games, you'd theoretically notice faster load times, but load times with an SSD already tend to be very fast and actual performance after loading is usually not much affected by I/O operations (since developers know that disk access is extraordinarily slow, they're not going to write a game where realtime performance is dependent on it).

    Ramdisks can be great for servers though. When I was managing a Minecraft server, we put the (pretty gigantic) map files into RAM and it was a very noticeable improvement, particularly when people were moving quickly and chunks had to be loaded faster than the developers really accounted for in the game's design.

    If you're not using the RAM though, I guess it couldn't hurt. No point in wasting RAM. I'm somewhat surprised though that you would have so much unused ram - modern OSes use RAM to cache files and, while 32GB is a lot, I would imagine it would still fill up so long as you don't reboot too often. And, actually, this very advance in memory management makes ramdisks less useful: a lot of the time things are already being stored in RAM anyway.
  • ElyseElyse Member Posts: 5
    Tael said:
    An SSD is "basically" non-volatile RAM the way that an L2 cache is "basically" RAM. They're similar in design, but RAM is much faster than an SSD (and the memory in L2 is much faster than RAM).

    I wouldn't really consider using a ramdisk for normal personal use. For most games, you'd theoretically notice faster load times, but load times with an SSD already tend to be very fast and actual performance after loading is usually not much affected by I/O operations (since developers know that disk access is extraordinarily slow, they're not going to write a game where realtime performance is dependent on it).

    Ramdisks can be great for servers though. When I was managing a Minecraft server, we put the (pretty gigantic) map files into RAM and it was a very noticeable improvement, particularly when people were moving quickly and chunks had to be loaded faster than the developers really accounted for in the game's design.

    If you're not using the RAM though, I guess it couldn't hurt. No point in wasting RAM. I'm somewhat surprised though that you would have so much unused ram - modern OSes use RAM to cache files and, while 32GB is a lot, I would imagine it would still fill up so long as you don't reboot too often. And, actually, this very advance in memory management makes ramdisks less useful: a lot of the time things are already being stored in RAM anyway.
    Keep in mind windows does superfetching (windows Vista and later).  I assume this technology also takes into account things that aren't just executables and pre-loads them into RAM.  I imagine you'd have to disable this for Mudlet and subsequent files to make the RAMDISK work properly (for MUDs)

  • ErnamErnam Member Posts: 2,416 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited March 2015

    I don't think anything of this nature would benefit playing Achaea.

    I would also say that a SSD hard drive is by far the better option here, and you'll get roughly the same space per $, without having to worry about not having access to it without Internet.

    its a cool tool, I just wouldn't recommend it for gaming or most personal uses.

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      1. ElyseElyse Member Posts: 5
        Ernam said:

        I don't think anything of this nature would benefit playing Achaea.

        I would also say that a SSD hard drive is by far the better option here, and you'll get roughly the same space per $, without having to worry about not having access to it without Internet.

        its a cool tool, I just wouldn't recommend it for gaming or most personal uses.
        I'd have to completely agree on this one.  I don't see modern computers being the limited factor here.  It's more about latency at this point.

      2. TreyTrey Member Posts: 4,780 @@ - Legendary Achaean
        Ernam said:

        I don't think anything of this nature would benefit playing Achaea.

        I would also say that a SSD hard drive is by far the better option here, and you'll get roughly the same space per $, without having to worry about not having access to it without Internet.

        its a cool tool, I just wouldn't recommend it for gaming or most personal uses.
        I definitely wouldn't use it for Achaea, would be pretty pointless client-side. I ended up getting it, and now use it for games like Alien: Isolation and Skyrim with custom HR texture packs and load times are ridiculously short now, which was pretty much the point. I agree that an SSD would be better, but for what I paid for it, the utility works just fine.

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