doveman

16GB installed, only 12GB usable in Win7 x64 Ultimate

36 posts in this topic

With a "good" set of chips (8 Gb in total) does the machine work OK?

If yes, then do you have any benefit of any kind that you can actually measure/feel with adding to it the other "spare" 8?

If yes, then do it.

If not, keep the spare ones as "spare" (or give away them, or keep them for another machine you plan to buy).

It seems to me like there is NO actual difference (or at least one that you can actually perceive without using a benchmark) between:

  1. 8 Gb @1333 <- stable and working OK
  2. 8 Gb @1600 <- stable and working OK

but we know that:

  1. 16 Gb @1333 <- possibly stable and working OK but largely unused
  2. 16 Gb @1600 <- found UNstable and NOT working OK besides being largely unused

If you prefer, you have proven that 16 Gb@1600 is NOT good on that motherboard and - at the moment - found that by downclocking the RAM the machine works OK with 16 Gb @1333, but what actual practial advnatages do you have with 16GB@1333 over running 8Gb@1600?

If, as I presume, the answer is "None", the only use of that additional 8 Gb is to be able to tell your friends how powerful is your machine with 16 Gb and have a slightly increased power consumption and have the "spare" be worn out a bit. :w00t:

jaclaz

Well as we've seen, there's so little difference between running @1600 or @1300 that we can ignore that as a consideration. For the benefit of anyone else who reads this in future, it seems worth clarifying the relatively small contribution memory performance makes to overall performance, so even a 6.91% increase in read speeds won't make much practical difference. It also seems unlikely that 16GB @1333, which is the proper supported "non-overclocked" spec of the chipset will be unstable and I'm not worried about wearing them out a bit as they have a limited lifetime warranty, so let's just concentrate on any possible benefits I might find with 16GB.

To expand on what I was saying before about certain games, DCS World has a problem on my system (and others apparently) of stuttering, which is probably caused by not being able to stream the data from HDD quickly enough. The game folder is approx 9.45GB, so by creating a RAMdisk to hold these files and running it from there, I can see if that is indeed the problem and whether it's worth spending £115 on a 256GB SSD (if I get one, I want one big enough to run Windows and several games from). I may in fact decide to just stick with the RAMdisk and the extra 8GB cost me about £35, so I'll avoid spending more money on a SSD if I decide to do that.

Another game that tends to struggle with streaming data fast enough is ArmAII. That's a bit tricker as the Operation Arrowhead data folders are about 7.7GB whilst the ArmAII data folders are about 15GB, so 22-23GB for Combined Ops, which is obviously not practical to put on a RAMdisk (and that's not even including the mods, not all of which necessarily will benefit from running from RAMdisk, but some, like custom islands/terrain (or at least some of their files) of which I have 7.8GB, probably would. However, other people have done lots of test to determine which files get used the most and put only those on a RAMdisk with good results, so I plan to try that sometime and if that works, again it will make it less likely that I buy a SSD.

I also use a 512MB RAMdisk currently for Mediaportal, so that when watching TV it creates the timeshifting files on that rather than constantly writing to the HDD, helping to keep noise/power down and reduce wear and tear on the HDD. I also put some temp files on there but it's impractical to use for all temp files as when installing games it might create several GB of temp files and when downloading with IE it creates a temp file before moving it to the final destination, so if downloading a 4GB file it would take 4GB on the RAMdisk. I actually use Opera or Iron rather than IE most of the time, which don't have this problem and just create a partial file in the actual download folder but for someone who wants to use IE and use a RAMdisk to store both the IE and system temp files, being able to use around 4GB for the RAMdisk would be useful and that wouldn't be practical with only 8GB. For my 512MB RAMdisk I don't really need more than 8GB though. That gives me approx 10mins timeshifting for SD TV and 4mins for HD and I don't currently receive HDTV so I find that plenty but other users of Mediaportal find it far too small and would use at least 2GB for the RAMdisk.

Apart from the RAMdisk, as I mentioned DCS World, being 64-bit, may benefit from more than 8GB and there's a 64-bit version of X-Plane 10 due soon, which it's been suggested will also use as much RAM as is available to increase performance and I believe ArmA3 will also be 64-bit and give better performance with more RAM, although all these need testing to confirm if there's any benefit and if so, how significant.

Now, I'm building a PC for my brother and I decided I'd put 8GB in that to somewhat future-proof it and was going to buy that 8GB when prices come down, as they're predicted to do soon. However, if I determine that there's no point having 16GB in my PC and I'd be better off buying a 256GB SSD for £115 than trying to use £35 worth of 8GB RAM for a RAMDisk, then I'll just put the extra 8GB in my brother's PC, which is one of the reasons why I wasn't too concerned about having to buy it to use my PC whilst I was waiting for the original kit to be replaced. If I didn't have the option of putting it in his PC if it turned out the running games from RAMdisk idea didn't work out for me, I probably would have been more hesitant to buy it. Then again, if the RAMdisk doesn't make my games work better, I can't be sure that a SSD will either (although many people have told me that both DCS World and ArmaII perform a lot better since they got a SSD to run them from).

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there's so little difference between running @1600 or @1300

And that's just a memory-intensive benchmark, which is very unlike most software people will use. For example, since you mention games, here's the real-life performance gains you can expect:

thEdn.png

The biggest improvement, from DDR3 2133 CL9 vs DDR3 1333 CL9 in Metro 2033 is 1% gained. In your case it would be far less. There's essentially zero gains to be made here.

But 16GB vs 8GB is a decent boost for many. If you use any memory hungry apps (vmware workstation, most CAD apps, photoshop on large images, etc) and especially if you heavily multitask, and keep in mind things like superfetch still benefit from it quite a lot too. And sure, why not ramdisks as well...

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So I installed RAMdisk Enterprise http://ramdisk.tekcities.com/RAMDisk/ramdiskent.htm

and created a 10GB RAMdisk, copied the DCS World folder to it and updated the shortcuts and registry to point to the RAMdisk (S:\Games\DCS World).

I'm not sure if it loads any quicker, maybe a bit but the stuttering/freezing is even worse, which doesn't seem to make much sense. In Cold Start in Mozdok, if I rotate the view at the start in the cockpit by holding down Num4, it sticks at one point (the point varies) every one or two rotations and when flying along it keeps freezing constantly.

I thought when running from HDD this was being caused by not being able to stream the data from the HDD quickly enough but this obviously shouldn't be an issue with the data on the RAMdrive. I've still got about 3GB free even with the 10GB RAMdrive and Black Shark loaded, so it's hasn't run out of RAM.

This is what my RAmdisk Enterprise settings are (most of them are default as I don't understand them!)

ramdiskenterprise.png

On the Image File Processing sub-page, I've just pointed it to F:\DCSW.img, clicked Save RamDisk content and ticked Load RAMdisk content from Image at Driver Start, although I've unticked this now as it made Windows take about 10mins to start! I prefer DataRAM RAMdisk as it lets you easily load and save different images. stop/start the RAMdisk but that's limited to 4GB RAMdisks so I can't use that for DCSW.

With my browser open, which does have 34 tabs open at the moment, there seems to be a lot more HDD activity than before I installed the RAMdisk, even though I've still got 3GB free so it shouldn't be needing to use the swapfile any more than before.

I've changed the RAMdisk from FAT32 to NTFS now so I'll see if that's helped but I'd like to find a program to benchmark it first. HDTunePro recognises my 512MB DataRAM RAMdisk and let's me bench that but the 10GB RAMdisk Enterprise drive isn't listed at all. Also, is there a program to test the RAM in Windows? I've done a memtest from boot which was fine but as we've already seen, Windows can be a bit particular about RAM settings, so I'd like to check that it's all working fine in Windows as well.

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I've changed the RAMdisk from FAT32 to NTFS now so I'll see if that's helped but I'd like to find a program to benchmark it first. HDTunePro recognises my 512MB DataRAM RAMdisk and let's me bench that but the 10GB RAMdisk Enterprise drive isn't listed at all.

Casually (today's topic):

http://reboot.pro/17610/

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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Casually (today's topic):

http://reboot.pro/17610/

Thanks, there's a co-incidence ;)

So I tested with ATTO then CDM and had rather disappointing results compared to Raymond's http://www.raymond.cc/blog/12-ram-disk-software-benchmarked-for-fastest-read-and-write-speed/

This is my 10GB NTFS RAMDisk Enterprise disk in ATTO:

ramdiskenterpriseatto.png

and this is my 512MB FAT32 DataRAM RAMdisk:

dataramramdisk512mbfat3.png

This is the 10GB NTFS RAMdisk Enterprise disk in CDM:

ramdiskenterprise10gbnt.png

and this is the 512MB FAT32 DataRAM RAMdisk:

dataramramdisk512mbfat3.png

and lastly I made a 512MB FAT disk with Bond Disc (which did very well in Raymond's tests):

bonddisc512mbfatcdm.png

As you can see, the Seq and 512k results are about half what Raymond got and only on the 4K and 4K QD32 figures do I match, or in some cases exceed his results. In fact, on the 4K QD32 Write I exceeded his best result (324MB/s) quite considerably but that's not much consolation when I want to use a RAMdisk for loading games (i.e. only reading) and I'm getting such poor Seq and 512k results.

I also tried the SoftPerfect RAMdisk and was able to create a 10GB NTFS RAMdisk but whilst copying the DCSW files to it, it said it was unable to continue as the files were corrupt. Checking the RAMdisk showed that that the DCSW folder was now inaccessible or and non delete-able and so I had to unmount the RAMdisk and re-mount it (now empty) to clear that problem. Trying again gave the same result so I gave up on that software.

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It seems to me that Softperfect is probably trying to use part of the RAM it shouldn't as although I can copy the files to it OK as FAT32, they then don't work properly (game crashes on loading) and if I create an image and try to mount it, it BSOD my PC. As you can see from the RAMdisk Enterprise screenshot in my first post, the default settings make it avoid using some of the RAM, so perhaps that's what Softperfect needs to do.

Gavotte_RAMDisk_1.0.4096.5_200811130 looked promising but I can't seem to get it working under W7 x64 as it just showed error code 19 in Device Manager (missing registry entries apparently). It comes with a 64bit driver and ram4g.reg which contains

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\RRamdisk\Parameters]

"UsePAE"=dword:00000001

which I merged and there are other settings in that key. Has anyone else got this working under W7 x64?

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Why don't you try IMDISK, which is:

  1. supported
  2. continuously updated

? :unsure:

BTW, the results of the test with the Softperfect one seem to me like (possibly :ph34r:) indicating that your RAM isn't really-really "stable" :} .

The gavotte .reg is ONLY for 32 bit (to add PAE access).

Still, at least on 32 bit XP, you simply install it running ramdisk.exe, most probably on 7 you will need every trick of the trade +1 (Administrator/UAC/driversigning).

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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Why don't you try IMDISK, which is:

  1. supported
  2. continuously updated

? :unsure:

BTW, the results of the test with the Softperfect one seem to me like (possibly :ph34r:) indicating that your RAM isn't really-really "stable" :} .

jaclaz

Thanks, I overlooked that so I'll give it a go.

I don't think my RAM's unstable or else I'd have expected problems with RAMdisk Enterprise. Seems more likely that SoftPerfect just needs some work. If you know of some software that can test my RAM in Windows (as opposed to outside, which I've already done with memtest) I'll do that though.

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"pure" RAM testing?

http://hcidesign.com/memtest/

jaclaz

Thanks, that should do the trick ;)

I've just tested playing DCS World from an IMDisk and that worked fine, although to be honest I didn't notice it made much difference to loading times and I still get the occasional stutter, so that's obviously not being caused by the HDD being unable to stream the data fast enough and it would be a waste of money buying an SSD to run it from. I double-checked straight after by loading it from my 3.5" HDD and the experience was much the same.

I did a CDM on the IMDisk, my 2TB Samsung drive, which contains W7, the swapfile and all my data (plus my games) and my 2.5" 500GB Samsung drive, which I thought I might use just for games to keep them separate from my WIndows/swapfile drive. Clearly the 2.5" drive is a lot slower than the 3.5" one and they're both massively slower than the IMDisk but as I say, the IMDisk didn't seem to benefit DCSW over the 3.5", so it seems the latter provides as much bandwidth as DCSW can use, at the moment at least. Last time I tried it from the 2.5" it wasn't great but there's daily updates coming out for DCSW at the moment and I haven't tried the latest one on the 2.5" drive, so I need to do that to see if it's fixed the problem.

imdisk10gbntfscdm.png

samsung2tbntfscdm.png

samsung500gbntfscdm.png

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Still,it remains a mistery (at least to me) why all your Crystal Diskmark benchmark reports show roughly half the speed Raymond got :unsure: .

jaclaz

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Still,it remains a mistery (at least to me) why all your Crystal Diskmark benchmark reports show roughly half the speed Raymond got :unsure: .

jaclaz

Well I've been told it's because he's probably running Intel and I'm running AMD, which has a crappy memory controller :unsure: That sounds like it could be right actually, as I've seen RAM benchmarks on Intel systems that are much higher than I could ever hope to achieve with my system.

Hey, 2965MB/s is still 25x faster than my HDD and 5.93x faster than a SSD and that's just the Seq speeds B) Sucks that it doesn't make much difference to loading/playing DCSW though. I'll have to test some other games, including ArmAII, when I get a chance.

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Just wanted to mention that the author of SoftPerfect tells me he's identified the problem and is looking into it, so hopefully that will be an option in the near future.

IMDisk is OK and I tested ArmAIIOA running from it yesterday and it did load a lot quicker (unlike DCS World) although I haven't had time to test whether it makes gameplay/streaming smoother. The only issues I have with IMDisk is that it seems to take a lot longer to load images than the other programs I tested (it doesn't show a progress bar either, making it hard to know how long it's going to take) and that the 4k and 4k QD32 scores were quite a bit slower than some of the other RAMdisks, although I don't know if those or the Seq and 512k speeds are the most important for my games. It's great being able to easily load/save images with IMdisk though, unlike RAMdisk Enterprise which also didn't appear to provide any way to unmount the RAMdisk to release the memory, whcih IMDisk does :thumbup

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Just wanted to mention that the author of SoftPerfect tells me he's identified the problem and is looking into it, so hopefully that will be an option in the near future.

IMDisk is OK and I tested ArmAIIOA running from it yesterday and it did load a lot quicker (unlike DCS World) although I haven't had time to test whether it makes gameplay/streaming smoother. The only issues I have with IMDisk is that it seems to take a lot longer to load images than the other programs I tested (it doesn't show a progress bar either, making it hard to know how long it's going to take) and that the 4k and 4k QD32 scores were quite a bit slower than some of the other RAMdisks, although I don't know if those or the Seq and 512k speeds are the most important for my games. It's great being able to easily load/save images with IMdisk though, unlike RAMdisk Enterprise which also didn't appear to provide any way to unmount the RAMdisk to release the memory, whcih IMDisk does :thumbup

You can try with IMDISK to load a small image, extend it and then copy to it the files, it may be quicker :unsure:

A 2x factor between Intel based and AMD "sounds" still a lot, possibly some of the guys with more specific hardware experience might want to comment.

jaclaz

P.S.: Also, since your disk is biggish, you should try awealloc, compare with the reply that Olof in the meantime posted on the previously referenced thread:

http://reboot.pro/17610/

Edited by jaclaz
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You can try with IMDISK to load a small image, extend it and then copy to it the files, it may be quicker :unsure.

Yeah, I could but that's too much hassle. I just want to load an image and play ;)

A 2x factor between Intel based and AMD "sounds" still a lot, possibly some of the guys with more specific hardware experience might want to comment

It does but when you look at the RAM benchmark Raymond's just given me, which is pretty typical for Intel RAM benchmarks I've seen, it's more understandable

Copy 21168 MB/s

Read 19418 MB/s

Write 18784 MB/s

Score 18.10 GB/s

Latency 52.4 ns

compared to my

Copy 10466 MB/s

Read 8107 MB/s

Write 6831 MB/s

Score 7.47GB/s

Latency 66.9 ns

P.S.: Also, since your disk is biggish, you should try awealloc, compare with the reply that Olof in the meantime posted on the previously referenced thread:

http://reboot.pro/17610/

I'm not sure that would help. It seems that's mostly for use on 32-bit systems to be able to use the RAM above 4GB and both the thread you reference and this one suggest that awealloc will just make things slower :unsure: Then again, that thread suggests that the method used to allocate RAM for IMDisk could allow it to then be paged out to the swapfile back on the HDD :wacko: whereas the method used for awealloc prevents this, so maybe it's better to use that even if it is slower.

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