Default Setting guidance?

FAQ, getting help, user experience about FancyCache
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molitar
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Default Setting guidance?

Post by molitar »

Windows 7 12GB RAM

Primo RamDisk 6GB Direct-IO Dynamic Memory Mode enabled (1-4GB Pagefile, Temp, Browser Cache)

Should I just leave fancycache on just it's default settings?

C: 120GB SSD 32KB 1024MB LFU-R
D: 1.5TB HDD 512KB 512MB LFU-R (only video files for watching on this drive)
E: 2.0TB HDD 512KB 512MB LFU-R (Video only also)
F: 2.0TB HDD 512KB 512MB LFU-R (archive files rar, zip)
G: 1.0TB HDD 256KB 512MB LFU-R (symlinks to this folder for larger applications like games and such)

Where does it determine best block size from why so much variation in block size?

Using it with Primo RamDisk is there a better way to configure it?
Last edited by molitar on Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
dustyny
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Re: Default settings best settings?

Post by dustyny »

Each machine is different and there are many factors that will determine what the best setting for your configuration is.

Your best bet is to do a baseline benchmark (no FancyCache) then test various configurations benchmarking each, pick the best config with the best overall performance.
I'd suggest using ATTO, you can use the default settings.

Here is an example of my testing..

viewtopic.php?t=1278
molitar
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Re: Default settings best settings?

Post by molitar »

I can play with settings all day that does not help me. None of my questions were answered.

1. Should I just leave fancycache on just it's default settings? (not answered)
2. Why is the block size different for the drives and not all same? (not answered)

For my memory settings and my Primo Ramdisk what are my best optimal memory amounts to use for each cache? Should I be not using any memory that Primo Ramdisk uses as it's using it's 6GB as DMM dynamic not always using 6GB memory. So should I use some of that DMM for FancyCache or keep it configured way I have it now for memory?

Please some advise on how you would start your setup with my configuration.
dustyny
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Re: Default settings best settings?

Post by dustyny »

Why do you want to use FancyCache with videos? Even full 1080p BluRays only need a 6.7 MB transfer rate, your HDD could do that and 10 other things and still be fine.
I can play with settings all day that does not help me.
Yes it does that is how you determine what is best for your configuration. There is no way around it, if you want to tune your machine you have to continuously test it and make incremental changes to find the sweet spot.
None of my questions were answered.
I'm sorry but I did answer your question.. I know it seems like there should be an easy answer, that someone can just tell you what config to use but it's not that simple. Your OS, storage controller, hard drives, motherboard & bios contribute to the settings that are right for your machine. Sometimes the difference between two machines is minimal and at other times its huge. Unless someone has the exact same setup as you they won't be able to tell you what you need.

I'd like to give you a friendly warning if you don't understand how this application works, I encourage you to be very cautious or hold off on using it all together. This application can damage your OS and your data, if you don't mind having to rebuild and restore you data then you'll be fine. Keep in mind that there is a memory leak associated with this beta and if you plan to do other things with the computer (such as gaming) you'll need to disable Level 2 caching or you'll actually slow your system down if not cause it crash.

When you restart your computer you will lose all your caches, so that means you won't see the benefit of the caching until that data has been read off the disk.
Let's say you want to play a MP3, the first time you play it, it is read off the HDD and that is slow. The next time you play it, it will be in your cache and that will be much much faster. This is supposed to be addressed in a update.

If you have any data that you need to protect then you MUST have a good backup. I haven't had any problems but I have a lot of layers of protection going on in case I do AND I'm not using it for anything that I can't lose.

Do not use write defer unless you really understand what it does, consider this an advanced feature for people who really know what they are doing.
1. Should I just leave fancycache on just it's default settings? (not answered)
You have to test it yourself, I explained how. The default settings are a good starting point, I'd start testing around them first. As for how much memory to use, again it all comes down to what you use it for. I have 24GB of RAM dedicated to one drive and 1GB to another. The more ram you give it the better but I cant tell you how much you'll need, general rule of thumb is you split up the RAM that you have left after you are running your most memory intensive app. I give the drive that gets the most use the most ram and other drives less.
2. Why is the block size different for the drives and not all same? (not answered)
That is not something I can explain without writing a novel. You'll have to study how a hard drive & SSD work in order to understand why the block sizes differ.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_sector
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_disk_drive
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ssd
For my memory settings and my Primo Ramdisk what are my best optimal memory amounts to use for each cache?
I'm sorry but I don't use RamDisk, I couldn't tell you how to use the two together. Personally I can't think of a reason why you would need to run them together but I'm sure someone does.

There is no reason to put your pagefile on a ram disk, this is a urban legend. We used to need to do this when machines had too little ram and slow 5200RPM drives but it's unnecessary these days.. If you have more ram then your apps need and you have an SSD (or even a 7200RPM HDD) it's a non-issue and you wont get any real performance gains. In order to get the best use out of a RAM drive you really want to use it to run read only data that is frequently used. A lot of users copy their game data files on to a ram disk and then run the application from there.. Using it to hold your pagefile and temp data isn't going to do all that much for you. Other people use it for quick temporary storage such as temp files created during an when an application is compiled.
molitar
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Re: Default settings best settings?

Post by molitar »

Temp file folder for RAMDisk means no junk temp files left in temp from installation and such. So always a clean temp folder not filling up that has to be cleaned periodically. Paging file is for speed the speed of RAM is still faster than my 120GB SSD drive as well as it does not eat up to 4GB of my 120GB SSD drive.

The 2TB HDDS are WD Greens used for storage purposes only but alot of files as I categorize them and will probably not cache them as I have only found it helps with file transfer. I was planning to try it for DLNA playback but it seems to slow it down for streaming so my test for using it for DLNA streaming. The video file sizes are mostly 200-250MB in size so I thought a 512MB Cache for them would help with the DLNA streaming. Since the video has to be transcoded for the DLNA stream I thought it would help improve this but has not appeared to do so unless it's not enough RAM for the video drives? So far transcoding in RAMDISK has been faster but than everytime I play it it has to be transcoded again the transcodes do not save ok for videos but photos that you often want to show like family pictures have to go through delay everytime even with RamDisk so I though that FancyCache may help in that aspect as it would write the transcode back to the HDD itself and not a DMM Ram.

My question on block size was why FancyCache defaults the 2TB to 512KB Sectors and the 1TB to 256KB since I know the smaller sectors have better performance but eats up more cpu resources. How does FancyCache determine the default value it defaults to? Is that default value a good starting value to start from or not or is it just randomly picking a value? I would of thought it would of been selecting one based on format type but is it using some logical method like file types on drive or file sizes? So how and why is FancyCache selecting different block values for the various drives and are they good default or starting values really was not answered.

You say not to use defer write but all the guides on all the sites I have read said to set it to 10 seconds write defer. BTW I do have a 1500VA UPS so I know that if a power outage occurs and defer write is enabled that the system may not boot to lost data not written so I am familiar with the risk and I am using Macrium Reflect with a monthly system image as well as a weekly system folder and file backup that I can recover too like a system restore anytime I need it. I hate Acronis but love Macrium Reflect because of it's capability to do a system file/folder restore only and it works. So do you still recommend not using the Defer Write at all?

BTW not using L2 at all and don't plan to as I haven't really seen a need for it at this time.
dustyny
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Re: Default Setting guidance?

Post by dustyny »

Paging file is for speed the speed of RAM is still faster than my 120GB SSD drive as well as it does not eat up to 4GB of my 120GB SSD drive.
The pagefile is designed to work at HDD speed, it doesn't do big fast R/Ws. You'll see the same R/W speeds that you saw on your SSD which is not very much (mine is around 5MBs right now). One of the things the pagefile does is protect the OS against the volatility of data held in RAM. When you put your pagefile in ram you are removing a layer of protection that helps insure system stability. The space you are saving on your SSD is less valuable to your system then the stability the pagefile provides to you over time. Think on this, if this was a good option don't you think the people at Microsoft who are experts on this would have moved it to RAM already? The pagefile isn't constantly being hammered with writes it's more of a trickle. You can test this by putting the page on a separate disk and running a perfmon to log the transfer rates.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paging
I was planning to try it for DLNA playback but it seems to slow it down for streaming so my test for using it for DLNA streaming.
Those Western Digital Green drives do have aggressive power saving so that could be your problem. However they should handle video streaming no problem, you might have to experience a lag if the drives are spun down but FancyCache probably wont help you much with that, it wouldn't come in to affect until you tried to watch the movie a 2nd time. From my experience 99% of the time it's the network that is the culprit. If you're using Wifi that is probably where you're getting your problems. Wifi is slow and prone to interference from other networks, microwaves, walls, etc. DLNA adds another layer of latency and network overhead.
since I know the smaller sectors have better performance but eats up more cpu resources.
It's actually the opposite. Small sectors waste less space when saving data to a disk but the smaller they are much slower and they use more CPU (though that again is a none-issue because CPUs are so powerful). Think about it like making a phone call, you take your phone out of your pocket, you enter your password to open the phone, you open the phone app, then the contact list, you scroll to the contact, you hit call, you talk to the other person and then you go through the process of hanging up and putting your phone away. So 512k is when you make the call and you talk for 10 minutes and go over everything before you hang up, with 4k you are making the call for each sentence. All the tasks that take place to make a data transfer possible is called the overhead. The more calls that you make the more overhead you have to deal with.
My question on block size was why FancyCache defaults the 2TB to 512KB Sectors and the 1TB to 256KB
You really got to read up on how a drives work in order to understand this. The super duper simplified answer is - Size of the blocks times by the number of blocks equals the size of the disk. So a 2TB would need larger block sizes to have an addressable number of sectors. In this case around 3 million. Each device involved with your storage system could be optimized for a different block size. You storage controller might prefer 256k and your drives 512k and you find that you get the best performance at 128k for some reason.
So how and why is FancyCache selecting different block values for the various drives and are they good default or starting values really was not answered.
This product needs to be manually configured, picking the wrong block size can seriously degrade performance on certain transfer sizes so you really do have to do a battery of disk benchmarks in order to find out what is going on with your machine. Your other choice is take a guess and try see if it feels faster, if it does and your happy mission accomplished! :P
You say not to use defer write but all the guides on all the sites I have read said to set it to 10 seconds write defer.
Right and they are giving you bad advice, write defer is only useful for certain specific situations and you need the experience to understand what those are.

Think about it this way, lets say a competitive shooter removes the safety, so they can get a faster firing rate. They can do this fairly safely because they have an intimate knowledge of gun safety. However when you do that you increase your chances of an accidental misfire but you're still not able to shoot much faster because you don't know the techniques it takes to take advantage of the faster firing rate.

In the end it will take the same amount of time to write the data to the disk but you'll be putting it more at risk. So you see the transfer meter disappear quicker, but all you've done is moved the data from one part of the memory to another and you're hiding the transfer.. it's a net sum you don't gain anything.

Most applications are not bottlenecked when writing to the disk and they don't really transfer that much data. Perfmon is the tool you'll want to use to witness this, setup a few counters and then run your app.
http://portal.smartertools.com/KB/a66/h ... ation.aspx

Now I do use the write defer but I am using it to address a major write performance issue when using triple redundant Storage spaces (similar to RAID) on 8 1TB HDDs but this is a very specific situation. I wouldn't use it for general computing.
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