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Thread: FancyCache - software RAM based disk cache

  1. #1
    I am Xtreme F@32's Avatar
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    Thumbs up FancyCache - software RAM based disk cache

    Well, finally there's a poor man's software disk cache. Note that this is not a RAM drive. You simply enable portion of your RAM as a disk cache.

    It's beta right now and is 90 day free trial.

    Homepage: http://www.romexsoftware.com/en-us/f...che/index.html
    Benchmarks: http://www.romexsoftware.com/en-us/f...use-cases.html
    How-to: http://www.romexsoftware.com/en-us/f...ache/help.html

    Features:
    * Supports LRU (Least Recently Used) and LFU (Least Frequently Used) cache algorithms
    * Supports caching strategies: Read/Write Caching, Read-Only Caching and Write-Only Caching
    * Supports Write-Through and Write-Deferred modes
    * Supports OS Invisible Memory and SSD (Solid-state Drive) as Level-II cache
    * Supports caching for volumes or entire disks
    * Supports TRIM command for SSD
    * Supports visual performance monitor
    * Supports cache plug and play
    * Supports basic and dynamic disks
    * Supports NTFS junction point
    * Supports volume/disk with proprietary file system




    All runs below are on P67 with 2R0 X18-M G1 on SATA2 ports...

    My fast and dirty C:\ CDM run (<Cache Size).


    CDM 2Gb > cache size. Need some tweaking to do since I also have Write Caching enabled in Windows.


    AS SSD


    Winsat


    My set-up
    Last edited by F@32; 03-10-2011 at 07:00 PM.

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  2. #2
    Moderator Anvil's Avatar
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    I've tried it on my laptop

    as-ssd-bench OCZ-VERTEX2 09.03.2011 20-45-35.png

    I'll keep an eye on this, it looks promising.

    Not tempting at all on any of my workstations though, should be great for HDDs.
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  3. #3
    I am Xtreme F@32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anvil View Post
    I've tried it on my laptop

    as-ssd-bench OCZ-VERTEX2 09.03.2011 20-45-35.png

    I'll keep an eye on this, it looks promising.

    Not tempting at all on any of my workstations though, should be great for HDDs.
    Good Lord! Please share your FC settings, mate!

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    Moderator Anvil's Avatar
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    I'll have to get to that laptop, won't be until tomorrow, you'll probably be able to reproduce quite easily.
    From what I recall I used a 2GB cache, Enabled the Invisible memory and Deferred writes @ 30seconds.

    I wouldn't use such settings at all but for testing it's OK
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    There's programs like that already out. Check out www.superspeed.com. Caching programs like FancyCache are great...in theory. However, the performance increase you actually see isn't all that much, except for a few scenarios, and the potential risk of corrupting your OS if your write-cache doesn't get written to the drive is MUCH higher. The crappy part is that the write cache provides the greatest performance benefit, but also provides the highest risk. It'll be a fun program to play with, and for certain SQL servers that have a read-only database, large performance increases are possible.

    Why do you think Intel is slapping on 256MB of RAM(I think that's the correct quantity) to it's G3 SSD drives? It's also putting a "super-capacitor" on the hard drive so that on a loss of power the drive will still be able to write the data in it's memory to the drive without losing data.

  6. #6
    Moderator Anvil's Avatar
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    Great points Josh
    I still would not use this on any of my workstations.
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    Xtreme Member Halk's Avatar
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    Anyone know if there's something like this I could use on my Debian server?

    It's all very well doing it on our SSDs, but if you think about it they're the drives that need it the least. Where it would really make a big difference would be my 8 drive RAID6 array Debian server which has 8GB of memory and never uses more than 300MB There's no reason at all I couldn't fire 6GB of memory at it and it should speed up things on the network rather greatly.

    I do think I'l run it on my SSDs though, all the same

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    Memory Addict eva2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh1980 View Post
    There's programs like that already out. Check out www.superspeed.com. Caching programs like FancyCache are great...in theory. However, the performance increase you actually see isn't all that much, except for a few scenarios, and the potential risk of corrupting your OS if your write-cache doesn't get written to the drive is MUCH higher. The crappy part is that the write cache provides the greatest performance benefit, but also provides the highest risk. It'll be a fun program to play with, and for certain SQL servers that have a read-only database, large performance increases are possible.

    Why do you think Intel is slapping on 256MB of RAM(I think that's the correct quantity) to it's G3 SSD drives? It's also putting a "super-capacitor" on the hard drive so that on a loss of power the drive will still be able to write the data in it's memory to the drive without losing data.
    Quote Originally Posted by Anvil View Post
    Great points Josh
    I still would not use this on any of my workstations.
    That's what battery back ups and power generators are for

    Memory caching is what makes the online world faster http://vbtechsupport.com/335/

  9. #9
    I am Xtreme F@32's Avatar
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    Valid points about cache dangers. Same applies to RAID controllers without BBU. RAM onboard of controllers is ECC, so that's the only benefit I see.

    I have UPS that will power up my PC+monitor for 10-15min in case of power failure. More than enough to allow cache being written to disk and safely power down OS. I also keep image of my OS drive always backed up. I wouldn't set Soft RAM cache for critical data storage drives yet, bot for main OS/apps drive - this is godsend, SSD or not.

    IMHO this technology together with fast on-board controllers and pair of SSD will give most dedicated RAID cards run for its money. Low latency plus 4G of DD3 cache.

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    Xtreme Mentor Ao1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anvil View Post


    I'll have to get to that laptop, won't be until tomorrow, you'll probably be able to reproduce quite easily.
    From what I recall I used a 2GB cache, Enabled the Invisible memory and Deferred writes @ 30seconds.

    I wouldn't use such settings at all but for testing it's OK
    Hi Anvil, I've tried a few settings, including what you mention, but the 4K -64Thrd score always comes in around the same. Not to worry though. It's the other scores I'm more interested in.

    Hi F@32. I've been looking for something like this. I've had 8GB of RAM sitting in my system for years. About time it did some work.

    I like the fact you can set it to read cache only.
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    Moderator Anvil's Avatar
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    It took me about 3 runs to get these figures, same laptop
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    Moderator Anvil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eva2000 View Post
    That's what battery back ups and power generators are for

    Memory caching is what makes the online world faster http://vbtechsupport.com/335/
    I know, I've got every computer connected to an UPS.

    It's just that SSDs are plenty fast and the Arecas got 4GB of Cache already.

    The SSDs aren't whats holding me back
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  13. #13
    Xtreme Mentor Ao1's Avatar
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    Strange. I used the same settings but with 4GB cache and 128MB level 2 cache. I tried 1280MB level 2 cache and it was a similar result, which also got worse after each benchmark. I ran each test in quick succession.
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    Xtreme Mentor Ao1's Avatar
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    and just to make sure it was not a page file thing....
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    ... IFMU's Avatar
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    ok now for a question... would this help in any real world/real use area? would it be useful in day to day use? noticeable?

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    I am Xtreme lowfat's Avatar
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    What does this invisible memory do and why can I not enable it?

    I tried FancyCache on both my X25-E and my ioXtreme with good results. Although write caching doesn't work w/ the ioXtreme. Results are exactly the same.

  17. #17
    Moderator Anvil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IFMU View Post
    ok now for a question... would this help in any real world/real use area? would it be useful in day to day use? noticeable?
    It might be of great use, especially if your storage is slow.
    It might even save some battery on your laptop.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowfat View Post
    What does this invisible memory do and why can I not enable it?

    I tried FancyCache on both my X25-E and my ioXtreme with good results. Although write caching doesn't work w/ the ioXtreme. Results are exactly the same.
    You need to Enable OS Invisible Memory at the bottom, left.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ao1 View Post
    Strange. I used the same settings but with 4GB cache and 128MB level 2 cache. I tried 1280MB level 2 cache and it was a similar result, which also got worse after each benchmark. I ran each test in quick succession.
    I havent got a clue why it's giving these rave results it might be my Vertex 2 that's doing some magic?
    The laptop is not especially fast, 2-3 year old Dell with a T9600 CPU, 8GB DDR2 memory.
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    Admin Vapor's Avatar
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    I think on a laptop this sounds great....has (essentially) a built-in UPS and typically limited storage performance.

    That said, you also need unused RAM for this to be good. I'm banging on the ceiling of the 8GB of RAM I have in my system as is, so I can't imagine my performance would go anywhere except down.

    I might throw it on an unused laptop I have here and do some PCMV tests; see if there's any real-world advantage.

    EDIT: my laptop has a really bad 2.5" HDD in it and I don't have any spare SSDs or Momentus XTs around (or really any competent storage that's not already in use).
    Last edited by Vapor; 03-10-2011 at 11:58 AM. Reason: edit

  19. #19
    I am Xtreme lowfat's Avatar
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    X25-E results. AS SSD was all over the place for me. Some tests it would be way high other times it would be what a normal X25-E does.


  20. #20
    I am Xtreme lowfat's Avatar
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    And some Iometer. Single 30GB X25-E. Results after 5 minutes.

    4k 100% read 100% random QD1

  21. #21
    Xtreme Mentor Ao1's Avatar
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    I just got a blue screen - system file integrity check repair failed - error code 0x490. I had to uninstall FancyCache in safe mode before I could boot normally.

  22. #22
    I am Xtreme lowfat's Avatar
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    4k. 100% write. 100% random. QD1. Results after 5 minutes.

  23. #23
    I am Xtreme F@32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowfat View Post
    What does this invisible memory do and why can I not enable it?
    On 32bit OS it can access beyond 3.25Gb limit once you enable PAE switch...

    How to Enable Invisible Memory

    To use Invisible Memory, users need to globally enable it first. Tick the checkbox “Enable OS Invisible Memory” in area ④. The program then shows the detected memory information.

    Importance:

    * Check if your hardware supports Invisible Memory feature at first. Normally for Intel chipset, it requires 946 chipset family or above. Intel 945 chipset family and below are not supported. For NVIDIA chipset, it requires nForce 570 or above.
    * Make sure that your Windows OS enables PAE feature. refer to How to enable OS PAE feature.
    * Do not simultaneously run the programs which also manage the Invisible Memory. This may cause the conflicts.

    Level-2 Cache: uses OS Invisible Memory or SSD/Flash/Other device as a secondary cache medium, supplementary to the system memory (L1 Cache). The access speed of system memory is higher than the OS Invisible Memory or SSD/Flash/Other device. The data are cached on system memory first. When the L1 Cache is full, some data are transferred to the L2 Cache. Note: There might be a large number of swap data written to the cache, while SSD/Flash devices have limited write-cycle lifespan. Users shall notice this before decide to use SSD/Flash devices as Level-2 cache.

    * MBU (Maximum Block Usage): This L2 algorithm is to achieve the better cache capacity combined with L1 cache. When the L2 cache is full, the algorithm discards the data in both L1 cache and L2 cache first.
    * LBW (Least Block Written): This L2 alogrithm is to achieve the least data written. When the L2 cache is full, the data in L2 cache will not be replaced. This algorithm is designed for SSD drive because of the write-cycle lifespan. Note: Although there's no replacement in L2 cache, L1 cache keeps replacement while full.



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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by eva2000 View Post
    That's what battery back ups and power generators are for

    Memory caching is what makes the online world faster http://vbtechsupport.com/335/
    Sorry, but that's not all that battery backups are for. All it takes is one blue screen or system freeze and everything in your write cache is lost. Battery backups protect you from a loss of data from power, but provide no protection from system issues.

    I've seen that article before about memory caching, but it's a bit different when you have complete fail-over protection for your websites to ensure 99.999% uptime and you don't cache your writes. What they use for websites isn't necessarily smart for desktop use.

  25. #25
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    Lots of more info here:
    http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/fo...rid-disk-cache

    Virtual pc's benifit alot from this.

    Beside it help with lower writes on ssd as the cache support trim

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