Experiment - Ram Drive + F@H

Discussion in 'Distributed Computing' started by EvilAlchemist, May 28, 2009.

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  1. EvilAlchemist

    EvilAlchemist 2[H]4U

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    Back a few months ago, my girlfriend kept telling me my laptop made a clicking sound at night when I was at work. I tried shutting down F@H for a night, and she no longer heard the noise.

    I figured out it was the hard drive spinning up every so often for work units.
    I tired to think of a way to keep the hard drive spun down and still run F@H.

    Create a RAM hard drive. Seems Simple .. and it was...

    Software --> Dataram's RamDiskVE (http://www.dataram.com/products-and-services/ramdisk)
    (Software is free for Ram Drives under 4GB in size)

    Image 1) I launched the application and created a Drive 500 MB in size.
    [​IMG]

    Image 2) I set the application to save the drive contents on closure of the app and to restore from the same image on the start.
    (There is an option to save at a specified interval but that kinda defeats the RAMDrive function)
    -- ( A second option would be to create a .bat file to backup and a second .bat file to load the drive on a reboot if you so desired)
    [​IMG]

    Image 3) You can see my 500MB drive in Explorer.
    [​IMG]

    I then moved my two F@H folders ( 2 x Uni-processor Client) to the Ram Drive and fired them up ....

    I also did the same thing on my Main System ( 1 x GPU & 1 Uni-processor Client) to help test this setup.

    Now, some results

    Project : 4749 -- Core : GPU2 ATI Dev
    Frames : 100 -- Credit : 548

    -- Main -- (Pre-Ram Drive)

    Cur. Time / Frame : 2mn 19s - 3406.27 ppd

    -- Main -- (On Ram Drive)

    Cur. Time / Frame : 2mn 14s - 3533.37 ppd

    Project : 2446
    Core : Gromacs
    Frames : 100
    Credit : 2435

    -- Main -- (Pre-Ram Drive)

    Cur. Time / Frame : 1h 01mn 36s - 569.22 ppd

    -- Main -- (On Ram Drive)

    Cur. Time / Frame : 55mn 36s - 630.65 ppd

    Project : 0000 -- Core : Gromacs
    Frames : 100 -- Credit : 100

    -- Laptop -- (Pre Ram Drive)

    Cur. Time / Frame : 2mn 26s - 591.78 ppd

    -- Laptop -- (Pre Ram Drive)

    Cur. Time / Frame : 2mn 33s - 564.71 ppd

    -- Laptop -- (On Ram Drive)

    Cur. Time / Frame : 2mn 33s - 564.71 ppd

    -- Laptop -- (On Ram Drive)

    Cur. Time / Frame : 2mn 34s - 561.04 ppd


    Conclusion:
    I did notice a small increase in PPD from my Main system.
    I did notice a small decrease in PPD from my Laptop.
    Since the Laptop CPU usage is at 100%, i think the few ppd loss is from the cpu usage needed for the Ram Drive, while my Main system has about 15% cpu free.

    I can't say weather this will increase your ppd or not.
    I know it did make her happy for the hard drive not to spin up all night.

    I can only assume there will be a small amount of power saving from F@H not needed the physical hard drive spun up and writing files all the time.

    Just thought I would share my experiment with the group .....
     
  2. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

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    you could of also just boughten a cheap CF drive.. and the converter.. basicly the same thing and will never die..
     
  3. Axdrenalin

    Axdrenalin [H]ard|DCer of the Month - Nov. 2009

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    Interesting... Thx for the results of your test.
     
  4. EvilAlchemist

    EvilAlchemist 2[H]4U

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    I tired this a while back, and a flash drive is very slow.
    The write times was very low and dropped SMP units by 400 PPD or more.
    This was due to the times it takes to write each checkpoint to the drive.

    This method is free , provided you have enough free ram in the system, and I am only using 500MB (only about 200MB being used)

    Update on the Laptop PPD.

    I took those reading after a reboot, and now that 4 hours has passed, the PPD has gone up to 576.00 PPD , so a gain of about 12PPD.

    Granted it is not much, but any PPD increase it awesome.

    So, it appears there is a very slight increase in F@H speed.
     
  5. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

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    ahh.. didnt know that.. ive never bothered to run F@H on my laptop.. i just run W@H and freehal on it which dont really require much of the hard drive to run it.. just using a cheap 10 gig CF drive on it..
     
  6. capreppy

    capreppy [H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2009

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    Very very interesting stuff. I wonder if you could do that with VMs?
     
  7. Vaulter98c

    Vaulter98c [H]ard|DCer of the Month - October 2009

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    you could I guess, but youd need alot of upfront memory, probly 6-8 gigs minimum
     
  8. EvilAlchemist

    EvilAlchemist 2[H]4U

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    You can. (Using VMWare Server 2.x & Notfred ISO)

    Log into the web interface --> On the right column, go to Edit Host Settings ..

    Under the Additional Memory Options, select " Fit all Virtual Machines into reserved ram"
     
  9. EvilAlchemist

    EvilAlchemist 2[H]4U

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    A small update:

    After 3 days of running a Ram Drive on all my system, I am seeing a 1-3% increase in PPD.
    I can only assume that I am saving a few seconds at each checkpoint and it is adding up.

    I have been very pleased with the performance so far.
    I have not had time to measure to power savings but I do know that having all my hard drives not spin up every 30 min is saving *some* wattage ...
     
  10. EvilAlchemist

    EvilAlchemist 2[H]4U

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    I am now about 1 week into this little experment.

    All is running great and I now have all my F@H clients running on ramdrives on various systems (excluding vm smp clients).

    All have had no issues running, or with reboots with drive image backups and restores handeled by the app.

    The 1-3% increase in PPD combined with the hard drive power savings is wonderful.

    I am going to keep them on this due to the benefits I have observed.
     
  11. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

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    Just a side question...How does this program like the Ready Boost feature of Vista? The user manual said that Windows had issues with it being used for Swap files and Virtual Memory...but I use Superspeed Ram Disk and it runs Ready Boost just fine. I have my Ram Disk set up for Ready Boost to use the left over Ram that Windows doesn't allocate.
     
  12. Zero82z

    Zero82z [H]ard as it Gets

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    I would recommend that you don't bother with Readyboost altogether, since it doesn't help at all for systems that have 2GB of RAM or more. And using Readyboost with leftover RAM is pointless anyway, since it essentially acts like extra RAM, so you're basically just using your RAM as RAM while going through a few extra hoops :).
     
  13. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

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    That's kinda the point. To use the Ram Windows doesn't normally allocate due to restrictions. You are virtually bi-passing the 3.2GB limit on the 32bit OS. I didn't have the 64bit key, so gotta take advantage of the full 4GB somehow.
     
  14. Zero82z

    Zero82z [H]ard as it Gets

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    Ah, I didn't realize you were running 32-bit. You don't need a specific 64-bit key though; you can use your existing key with a 64-bit installation disk and install the x64 version of the OS with no problems.
     
  15. nitrobass24

    nitrobass24 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009

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    QFT
     
  16. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

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    I'm not running retail...tried 64bit install and rejected the key. I actually have a total of 4 keys. 2 Home Basic and 2 Premium and all four were 32bit from preloaded systems. All keys were rejected during 64bit installs. Either way, you can also use the technique to get past the 7.2GB limit for 64bit Windows as well.
     
  17. Zero82z

    Zero82z [H]ard as it Gets

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    There is no 7.2GB limit for 64-bit Windows.
     
  18. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

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  19. cp454

    cp454 [H]Lite

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    Go to Win7 64-bit its good till june 2010 i think.
     
  20. alan2308

    alan2308 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - October 2008

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    QFT. I've always hated Windows, but Windows 7 isn't bad at all. I've been running it on 2 systems for a while now.
     
  21. IronBits

    IronBits Limp Gawd

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    Will not work on Vista 64 with SP2. Perpetual reboot loop...
    Thankfully I have a dual boot to Win 7 setup so I could get at that driver and remove it.
     
  22. Gilthanis

    Gilthanis [H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014

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    Did you try SP3? Might be worth the shot. I have a copy of Windows 7, but just haven't had the time to really mess with it yet. I may switch on my backup system, but not my primary.
     
  23. EvilAlchemist

    EvilAlchemist 2[H]4U

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    That is odd. I am running it on 2 Vista x64 SP2 sytems, and 1 Server 2008 x64 system without issues.
     
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