Somthing toward a "sticky:" Suggestiion for a configuration discussion for various PC usage patterns

FAQ, getting help, user experience about PrimoCache
Steelhouse
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:30 pm

Re: Somthing toward a "sticky:" Suggestiion for a configuration discussion for various PC usage patterns

Post by Steelhouse »

Thanks for the reply. I likely won’t use any of his precious ram until he buys himself another 16gb.

I will over provision for sure as I believe that extends the life of the drive.

I have not installed the trial yet. Waiting for drives to arrive. But thanks for that tidbit of info as well.
shingo501
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:39 am

Re: Somthing toward a "sticky:" Suggestiion for a configuration discussion for various PC usage patterns

Post by shingo501 »

Hi, I'm testing PromCache with the trial and really impressed so far. I will buy it as soon as I finish my test which are very positive.

My use case is really simple, I have a gaming PC and I put all my games in a single 8TB SMR drive and I want to use cache to give SSD like performance when loading games.

Write performance for this drive is really not important.

Here's my setup
  • CPU: Ryzen 5800X
  • Motherboard : Asus X570 tuf gaming wifi
  • Memory: 4X8GB DDR4 running at CL14 3600
  • Hard drives :
    • 2X SN850 500GB
    • 1X 8TB seagate smr drive
  • GPU: RTX 3080 tuf Gaming OC
I was thinking of using one NVME for my OS and software and the other as an L2 cache.

So my L2 cache would be 500GB NVME with 800k write read and 500k write IOPS

I have a couple of questions :
  • Would an L1 cache improve the read performance significantly?
  • My cluster size is 4KB, what block size would you recommend if only games will be cached?
  • If I use L1 cache, is the memory overhead on top of the L1 cache size?
  • If I only really care about improving read speed, should I disable write cache?
User avatar
Jaga
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:11 am

Re: Somthing toward a "sticky:" Suggestiion for a configuration discussion for various PC usage patterns

Post by Jaga »

shingo501 wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:54 amI have a couple of questions :
If you had a 12-16GB L1 cache and consistently use the same apps/games, it should populate well and give you a bit more speed. I wouldn't use a 4K Block size in the Cache Task however, stick with 8K or 16K to conserve on RAM usage.

Enabling write cache helps even if it is a small (5 second) delay. You don't have to enable it, but you will find overall cache speed to be better with it on I think. Apps just feel more responsive that way.
geneo
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:19 pm

Re: Somthing toward a "sticky:" Suggestiion for a configuration discussion for various PC usage patterns

Post by geneo »

Jaga wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:42 pm
shingo501 wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:54 amI have a couple of questions :
If you had a 12-16GB L1 cache and consistently use the same apps/games, it should populate well and give you a bit more speed. I wouldn't use a 4K Block size in the Cache Task however, stick with 8K or 16K to conserve on RAM usage.

Enabling write cache helps even if it is a small (5 second) delay. You don't have to enable it, but you will find overall cache speed to be better with it on I think. Apps just feel more responsive that way.
First of all, I haven't read this whole thread. I have 64 GB of RAM and have allocated a significant portion of it read Primocahe with a smaller portion allocated as write-back. This is better than the file-cache Windows 10 provides in that the Windows cache is limited in size and that I cannot control and Primocache is at the block level. I can cache all of my programs, including Photoshop and other photography applications, office, etc. I also have a partition and cache for my web browsers, email, and also for my data partition. I save and load these caches across boots, and it works well.

There are some caveats however. There are certain maintenance and security tasks that can blow away the cache to greater or lesser degree, making it less effective. These are, for me

1. Backups (reads everything on C: )
2. Automated virus scans
3. System integrity scans such as sfc and dism

For 1, I use Macrium Reflect for backups. Macrium lets me run the backup as a visual basic script with a hooks to run programs before and after the scan. I use these to pause the cache before the scan, and to resume after the scan.
For 2, Windows 10 does not allow you to disable daily defender quick scans. To work around this I have excluded all of my drives/partitions form scanning. Instead I have a daily powershell task that wakes my computer early in the morning. This task pauses Primocache, temporarily removes the exclusions, performs the quick scan, then restores the exclusion. then resumes Primocache. Similar for a weekly scheduled task that performs deeper defender virus scans and a differential backup
For 3, these are part of the weekly task, so sfc and dism are run with Primocache paused

Anyhow, it works well for me in this manner. Hope this might help someone,

Image
QuantumX
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:30 am

Re: Somthing toward a "sticky:" Suggestiion for a configuration discussion for various PC usage patterns

Post by QuantumX »

Has anyone cached a mounted VHD over a network?

I've tried to cache the physical disk on the host which the VHD is located on but the network connection is a real bottleneck when it comes to 4K1T W&R, only managing 10MB/s. So even if the host disk is cached the latency is still very poor.

Then I saw that Primocache allows me to cache a VHD which is mounted over the network. So this seems like a much better solution since Primocache will keep any cached data in the local NVMe L2, which prevents the 4K1T W&R network bottleneck.

This way a multi-terabyte game library can be linked on a VHD on NAS and then the data for the most played games/files will remain in the local 500GB L2 NVMe cache.

What would the drawbacks be of such use?
User avatar
Support
Support Team
Support Team
Posts: 3313
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:42 am

Re: Somthing toward a "sticky:" Suggestiion for a configuration discussion for various PC usage patterns

Post by Support »

QuantumX wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:30 pm What would the drawbacks be of such use?
iSCSI drive should keep connected on guest machines till machines are turned off. Otherwise iSCSI might be disconnected during running and PrimoCache will think the drive is removed and clear its L2 cache.
Tiitu
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2021 7:21 am

Re: Somthing toward a "sticky:" Suggestiion for a configuration discussion for various PC usage patterns

Post by Tiitu »

It would be really nice, if the PrimoCache sofware would enclose an AI system, which would at will optimize the configuration. It could even keep track of the frequency of suggested configurations so that the user could later see, which types of configurations there have been and why.
grcd84
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2021 12:39 pm

Re: Somthing toward a "sticky:" Suggestiion for a configuration discussion for various PC usage patterns

Post by grcd84 »

I think this is a very useful thread. For me PrimoCache has been an absolute revelation. I not only use it to speed up traditional HDDs, but also 'slow' SATA SSDs - using a secondary NVME drive that is solely used as L2 cache.

I work with very large files, often in the region of 50GB or more - so I need both high RAM as well as fast access, especially sequential speed. Right now I have 64GB RAM, but I am contemplating jumping to 128GB in order to use PrimoCache and have spare RAM more effectively.

My current set-up consists of the following:

The main C: partition that basically only has Windows 10 and any application that does not allow me to set its installation to a specific folder. This is mostly GPU drivers and essential OS related applications. There is also a D: partition where most main applications go. Both partitions are from the same drive - a Rocket Q 2TB NVME (C: is 640GB - D: is 1.22TB). I have set-up these two partitions in this manner: C: has 10GB of RAM (8.5GB Read, 1.5GB Write) as L1; D: has 17GB RAM (15.2GB Read; 1.7GB Write). Cache hit-rate on the C: is 33%, and 93% on the D: partition.

The second NVME I have is solely for caching as L2, as well as a small partition used by Photoshop and Adobe applications as scratch disk. This NVME is 256GB (Crucial MP100). The scratch disk is 32GB, and the remainder is used by PrimoCache to cache various disks.

I then have 3 different tiers of storage, based on the kind of speed/access they offer me.

There is what I describe as a 'fast' (slow) SATA SSD. There is nothing actually "fast" about it - it is a plain SanDisk Ultra 3D 512GB SATA 3 drive. However, what makes it 'fast' is that I have given it a lot of L2 cache from the NVME drive. Currently, I have 5GB of RAM as L1 (4GB Read, 1GB Write), and 45.5GB L2 (43.2GB Read, 2.3 GB Write) and it has a cache hit rate of 100%. It basically functions as an NVME in terms of speed. This means that in essence, over 10% of the drive's total space can be cached.

I then have what I describe as a 'slow' SATA SSD. This one is a Crucial MX500 2TB -- so, theoretically, a better drive than the Sandisk. This one has 6.2GB RAM as L1 (5.6GB Write; 0.6 GB Read) and 68GB L2 from the NVME (64GB Read; 4GB Write). This one achieves 99% cache hit rate.

Finally, I have an actually slow SATA HDD 8TB, which has 1GB L1 (0.7 Read, 0.3 Write) alongside 106GB L2 from the NVME (102GB Read; 4GB Write). This one achieves 100% cache hit rate.

In theory, I put the files which I want to have the fastest access on the designated 'fast' SSD, the files which I use less frequently on the slower SSD, and then files that are not used that often on the standard HDD. However, with my current set-up this is almost basically redundant as all 3 drives are close to 100% cache hit rate, therefore operate as an NVME in terms of speed, despite my NVME being only 256GB! I therefore could not be any happier.

However, right now I am not making the most use of this set-up, and it is mostly future proof. Soon, I will require a larger variety of these large files - which is why I seek to upgrade to 128GB RAM, to increase L1 on most of these drives, and upgrade the cache NVME to a full 1TB.
BonzaiDuck
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:57 am

Re: Somthing toward a "sticky:" Suggestiion for a configuration discussion for various PC usage patterns

Post by BonzaiDuck »

I'm surprised how this thread has grown since I started it.

I'm using a 250GB Sammy EVO NVME for L2 caching, and 16GB of 32GB RAM. Nothing fancy about my configuration. I'm using 2.5" laptop spinners in my desktop for media files in hot-swap bays -- all cached under the L2 and an allotment of L1. Never had a problem with this program.
Post Reply