Caching a very fast SSD

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Mingyuan
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Caching a very fast SSD

Post by Mingyuan »

Hello guys. I’m running a PC with 3 SSDs with one of them dedicated to cache my HDDs. I read from other posts that ram caching helps SSD life span and I accidentally lost warranty by scratching the label on my drive when installing heat sink, thus I want to cache the other 2 SSDs.
However, they are blazing fast already. The Sabrent Rocket 4+ reads at 7000MB/s and I don’t want to risk my data for deferred write. I wonder has anybody with PCIe Gen 4 drives used PrimoCache and does RAMcaching a SSD this fast helps or damages its performance and life span in anyway?

Help will be greatly appreciated!
Mingyuan
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Re: Caching a very fast SSD

Post by Mingyuan »

Also my three SSDs are two Sabrent Rocket 4+ and one Samsung 970 Evo. Which one should I use for programs and which one for L2 cache for HDDs (which store data tables for MATLAB)? I’m totally new to caching and any advice will be appreciated.
Babel17
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Re: Caching a very fast SSD

Post by Babel17 »

I've got a WD_BLACK 1TB SN850 NVMe that I use Level 1 caching, and prefetching, on, but not defer writes.

Though I don't use it for downloads, or my games. If I was going to use it for something disk intensive, like Usenet downloads, then I'd use defer writes. I have an uninterruptible power supply (a UPS is what it's commonly known by), so that lends me some confidence, as does having image backups of my C: drive, using Microsoft's built in utility to make them on my other drives. I also keep a clone of Windows installation on an older NVMe drive, which I then partitioned so as to create a Level 2 cache for PrimoCache to use. I tested it, and my BIOS allows me to boot from it. I used the freeware known as DiskGenius to create it. Very cool, as it offers a "hot mode" where I could clone my Windows installation without having to reboot.

I mention these things, the use of a UPS, image backups, cloned drives, because I agree that it would stink to permanently lose my data/ruin my Windows installation.

I've tested defer writes on my C: drive, and for me it only saves the tiniest percentage of writes to disk, even with a 300 second latency, so I don't use it. Prefetching however works very well.

I keep my games on a very fast HGST (owned by Western Digital) hard drive, and I use Level 1 and Level 2 caching so as to have them load very quickly. I keep a few games on solid state drives, but it doesn't make much difference in loading times, compared to a game on a HDD that has been cached into memory, or a Level 2 cache.

I use Raxco's PerfectDisk to keep my hard drives defragmented, and that also helps.

Btw, PerfectDisk knows when it's run from a cloned installation, and asks to be registered. Presumably PrimoCache does the same, I just never got around to testing that. That doesn't bother me, I consider the cloned drive to be basically just an emergency tool.
InquiringMind
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Re: Caching a very fast SSD

Post by InquiringMind »

Mingyuan wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:30 am The Sabrent Rocket 4+ reads at 7000MB/s and I don’t want to risk my data for deferred write. I wonder has anybody with PCIe Gen 4 drives used PrimoCache and does RAMcaching a SSD this fast helps or damages its performance and life span in anyway?
Welcome to the forums Mingyuan,

RAM caching should boost speeds to 10-20GB/s depending on your memory setup. Whether that difference will mean a noticeable performance improvement on your system depends on how you use it (e.g. how much of your usage is limited by disk read/write speeds). Running PrimoCache for a while and then uninstalling it to see if you notice any slowdown is probably the best way to assess it's impact.

Read caching will not have any impact on SSD lifespan. Write caching may improve it by reducing repeated writes, but identifying programs responsible for the most write activity and configuring them to reduce it (e.g. less frequent updates to log files or storing such data in a ramdisk) would benefit improve lifespan more. However, it's very likely that your SSDs would become obsolete/obsolescent long before the end of their lifespan.
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