Trying out PrimoCache and I have some questions about my use case

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daemonjax
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Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:20 pm

Trying out PrimoCache and I have some questions about my use case

Post by daemonjax » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:38 pm

I'm trying out PrimoCache and I have questions about my use case:

Background: I primarily use my PC for gaming, and I recently upgraded from 16gb to 32gb of ram (it was cheap). So, of course I'm trying to figure out just what the hell I'm going to do with it. I have two real choices -- a ramdisk or caching software that's more feature-rich than windows' file cache.

Right now I'm playing Mass Effect Andromeda. Even with a 20gb ramdisk, it won't be enough to fit it all into ram and the game data files aren't structured in a way to make it easy for me to manually figure out what's important enough to put on a ramdisk.

So, I'm using primocache and so far I like what I'm seeing -- 97% cache hit rate. Pretty sweet. I'm just using L1 cache with prefetch. I have no interest in the L2 cache or write caching features, but I could see how those would be useful for someone else.

What I want out of primocache:
1) I would want to have a separate cache for each game I play and I would manually switch between them as needed through the primocache gui.
2) I want no existing cache auto-started upon windows startup -- I'd manually do that myself through the primocache gui.
3) I want to be able to have custom names for the multiple volume caches I'd create so that I can identify which game(s) that cache is for when manually starting/switching to it.
4) When I switch caches without rebooting, I want that current cache's prefetch updated.


Of the above, which can Primocache currently do?

EDIT: There doesn't seem to be a way to do any of the above. I can make a backup copy of the .pf1 file (which I imagine is all the info for the saved fetch cache) for a fully trained cache (pct{513814d9-3e63-49e8-953e-671a0f7d7832}.pf1), but I can't figure out a way to get it to reload it. I even tried tricking it by renaming the registry entry for the prefetch file location, but it seems to outsmart me there.

Is there any way to reload a saved .pf1 file that would not involve rebooting into another operating system to manually overwrite the .pf1 file with a different one and then start Windoes again (I haven't tested that but it would be too much of a pain in the ass even if it worked)?

EDIT2: Ok, I figured it out how to do this, but it's really clunky:
1) Create and train the L1 cache as usual.

Then, when you eventually want to train a different cache for the same volume:

2) make a backup copy of the .pf1 file (let's call this backup .pf1 a "prefetch profile")
3) In the GUI, right-click and reset the cache content of the volume (do NOT _ever_ delete the volume or cache task)
4) Train the new L1 cache as usual.

Then, when you eventually want to switch back to another prefetch profile that you already trained:

5) Make a backup copy of the current .pf1 file (creating a new "prefetch profile")
6) Overwrite the current .pf1 file with the one from the other prefetch profile
7) set the .pf1 to read only
8) reboot
9) set the .pf1 to allow writes
10) you're done

Like I said, that's clunky and I think it should be in the GUI. I'll make a post in the suggestions area.


--Potential Customer

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support
Posts: 2453
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:42 am

Re: Trying out PrimoCache and I have some questions about my use case

Post by support » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:02 am

PrimoCache was not designed to support such kind of scenarios. However, we do consider a similar feature to enhance the prefetch feature.
Thanks.
Primo Ramdisk | PrimoCache
Romex Software Support

daemonjax
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:20 pm

Re: Trying out PrimoCache and I have some questions about my use case

Post by daemonjax » Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:10 pm

support wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:02 am
PrimoCache was not designed to support such kind of scenarios. However, we do consider a similar feature to enhance the prefetch feature.
Thanks.
Thanks for your response.

I think the "gaming" use case could make up a significant portion of your users because I think primocache is enthusiast level software, and there's a lot of overlap between pc enthusiast and gamer groups.

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Jaga
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:11 am

Re: Trying out PrimoCache and I have some questions about my use case

Post by Jaga » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:16 pm

If you wanted to do this for games that you play, create a separate volume on the drive you'd normally install them to (which creates a new drive letter to install the game to). Cache this volume with Primocache exclusively, and you'll be most of the way to your desired solution. You could do multiple game installs to the new volume, all of which Primocache would cache, or you can do them on a 1-at-a-time basis, devoting the entire cache space to the single installed game.

You can't name cache tasks, but with this scenario you wouldn't need to - just browse the volume to see what games are installed.

If you had to have many games cached in different tasks, keep adding volumes to the physical drive until you had as many as needed. Some will end up being extended volumes, so I wouldn't actually create too many at once. Each volume (with a game installed to it) could have a separate cache task.

The real problem you'll run into when trying to do >1 volume/game-install at once, is memory usage. For that reason alone, I'd do a single "Gaming" volume with a single Cache Task in Primocache.

If you need more memory for larger or more numerous cache tasks, a better motherboard (server class typically) can handle enormous amounts of RAM. I'm currently using a single L1 Cache Task for gaming, 20 GB in size, out of a total of 64 GB of memory. I also use Primo Ramdisk to install a different application/game to that needs severely high IOPS.

The suggestions are novel ones, that create a lot of flexibility. But are perhaps too narrow in focus for Primocache to attempt to cater to. It is a fantastic tool as it is already.

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