[b]Lots[/b] of Boot Options!

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MJFlash
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:36 am

[b]Lots[/b] of Boot Options!

Post by MJFlash » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:15 am

Hello!

I'm posting about an unusual combination of booting capabilities that might interest some folks. It all starts with a 2015 13" MacBook Pro, on which I run six possible OS boot combinations. These are:
  1. Booting into Win10 on the internal Apple 512GB SSD [Only PCIe 2.0, unfortunately]
  2. Booting into MacOS on the internal Apple 512GB SSD
  3. Booting into Win10 on the external Seagate Barracuda 2TB HDD! [This also has backup partitions] [But it's just USB 3.0]
  4. Booting into MacOS on the external Seagate Barracuda 2TB HDD
  5. Booting into Win10 on the external Sabrent Rocket 1TB SSD! [Again, just USB 3.0]
  6. Booting into MacOS on the external Sabrent Rocket 1TB SSD
The software that I use to allow external booting of Windows 10 is WinToUSB, which automates and simplifies the creation of WindowsToGo disks. That, together with a MacOS program called Carbon Copy are essentially all that's needed to create this setup (although I do admit that MiniTool Partition Wizard may be needed for some installs). It's taken me several days to pull all this together, but it's now up and running in all six modes.

Let's talk about PrimoCache. It's configured as follows:
  • An L1 of 6.1GB-6.6GB RAM (I just used the defaults - the system has 16GB RAM)
  • 60 second Enable Deferred-Write
  • Prefetch Last Cache enabled
  • A 16GB cache on the internal Apple SSD for Option 3's L2
  • A 16GB cache on the internal Apple SSD for Option 5's L2
  • Option 1 only uses the L1 cache
  • Of course, Windows Fast Startup is On
It's worth emphasizing the necessity for separate L2's for the HDD and SSD installs. If instead these unique O.S. runs tried to share the same partition, PrimoCache wouldn't work properly, as they've mentioned in the FAQ (each system would trash the other disk's L2).

This has been lots of work, but it's been great fun, and PrimoCache helps it fly!

Cheers!
Mark
Last edited by MJFlash on Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

MJFlash
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:36 am

Re:Lots of Boot Options!

Post by MJFlash » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:30 am

Option 1 (internal Apple SSD, L1 only) without, and with PrimoCache enabled:
Win10S.png
Win10S.png (32.24 KiB) Viewed 475 times
Win10SC.png
Win10SC.png (34.97 KiB) Viewed 475 times
Now here's Option 3 (external HDD), without cache:
Attachments
Win10XD.png
Win10XD.png (38.17 KiB) Viewed 475 times
Last edited by MJFlash on Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

MJFlash
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:36 am

Re: [b]Lots[/b] of Boot Options!

Post by MJFlash » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:36 am

Right above this is Option 3 (external HDD, without cache). Below is the PrimoCache results:
Win10XDC.png
Win10XDC.png (33.99 KiB) Viewed 474 times
Now here's the results for the external SSD, without, and with PrimoCache enabled:
Win10XS.png
Win10XS.png (33.37 KiB) Viewed 474 times
Win10XSC.png
Win10XSC.png (35.29 KiB) Viewed 435 times
Cheers!
Mark

P.S. What's really confusing is that the PrimoCache results are faster for the external HDD than they are for the external SSD - I don't understand that one. What's clear to everyone, though, is that CrystalDiskMark is a pretty poor predictor of real system performance (especially cached HDD vs. cached SSD).
Last edited by MJFlash on Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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support
Posts: 2511
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:42 am

Re: [b]Lots[/b] of Boot Options!

Post by support » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:10 am

Very interesting! :)
Actually here all testing results with PrimoCache enabled basically show the L1 cache (RAM) performance which is mostly related to CPU/RAM and Windows itself. The 60s Defer-Write latency might affect the testing result here. You may temporarily set it to INFINITE for the CrystalDiskMark testing to get the best result.
Primo Ramdisk | PrimoCache
Romex Software Support

MJFlash
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:36 am

Re: [b]Lots[/b] of Boot Options!

Post by MJFlash » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:22 pm

Hi, <support>!

Thanks for the tip! I did try running in Infinite mode, but it seems that CrystalDiskMark is optimized for the 60 second point; at least on my system, it gave the same results.

One thing I should have mentioned is that these external Windows 10 boot volumes have one terrific feature - they can be booted on another PC! On my HP laptop, for example, they run just fine. The very first boot is slow, because Windows To Go has to select the appropriate drivers for the HP, but subsequent runs deliver the same performance as the MacBook Pro (they both have the same speed CPU, and 16GB RAM). Nifty!

Many thanks for all your <support>!

Have Fun!
Mark

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support
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Re: [b]Lots[/b] of Boot Options!

Post by support » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:24 am

I suggested INFINATE settings for benchmark testing in order to avoid possible flush of deferred write-data which will affect testing results. If testing is completed within defer-write latency, then there is also no write flushing during the testing, and results shall be same.
Primo Ramdisk | PrimoCache
Romex Software Support

MJFlash
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:36 am

Re: [b]Lots[/b] of Boot Options!

Post by MJFlash » Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:32 pm

I know this is a little off-topic, but I just got an extremely fast notebook (i.e. yet another boot option), and I couldn't believe the PrimoCache numbers:
2019-09-01 (4).png
2019-09-01 (4).png (80.75 KiB) Viewed 280 times

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support
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Re: [b]Lots[/b] of Boot Options!

Post by support » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:45 am

:) This is not surprising because it reflects the memory & CPU performance.
Primo Ramdisk | PrimoCache
Romex Software Support

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