Guys I need your opinions please

Suggestions around PrimoCache
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tekcrap
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:50 am

Guys I need your opinions please

Post by tekcrap »

So I recently went out and purchased the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M (GU501GM)

It comes with a 128GB SSD and a 1TB SSHD

I have the SSD in 2 partitions
20Gb Partition for L2Storage
the rest is my Windows Boot drive (C:/)

I store all application/drivers/etc on my SSHD (8GB cache) (D:/)
I have 16GB of RAM

What would the ultimate setup be for this configuration? Should I even be using PrimoCache? I know it caches at the file level). I have the 20GB L2Storage setup for the SSHD. Is this pointless since it already has an 8GB cache built into the drive? I dedicated 2GB of ram to 2 separate tasks (per drive). I do a lot of gaming, but I also do a lot of IT. I do not have any VMs setup. What would my ultimate configuration be?

Thanks to anyone responding, not sure how active this board is. I eventually plan on upgradin the SSHD to an SSD. Any suggestions would be awesome!!

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

Re: Guys I need your opinions please

Post by Jaga »

8GB on-board to cache 1TB is virtually useless, to be honest. I never really liked the SSHD implementations for that reason - the coverage % is just abysmal - only 1.6% coverage if it's 50% full. Use it purely as a data storage drive and keep most programs you want good performance from off of it.

What I'd do in this case, is give a little more RAM to the L1 (4GB if you can - 2GB isn't very effective) and cache just the C: drive with it - keep all your currently-used software installs on there (move stuff to D: if you run out of space). Then take the 20GB L2 you made and cache just the D: drive with it. Totally separate L1 and L2 Cache Tasks, each doing a separate drive, both Read & Write strategy, but no deferred writes. You'll get the combination effect of the 20GB L2 and the 8GB built-in cache against your SSHD, and fast response from your SSD with the L1 covering it.

I would have recommended more RAM in the machine however. 16GB (especially for gaming) is just barely enough with today's hungry software and OSs. Take 4GB for a L1 cache out of that and it's stretching it. At the earliest opportunity I'd recommend upping that to 32GB if possible, and putting a decent size L1 in place (~12 GB). It'll be much snappier if you do, and run more like a gaming desktop than a gaming laptop.

tekcrap
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:50 am

Re: Guys I need your opinions please

Post by tekcrap »

thank you so much Jaga!!! I'm going to implement this right now. I was planning on upgrading the RAM Later this year (hoping RAM prices will fall a bit). At some point I'm just going to upgrade the M.2 to 256 or 512 (Maybe even 1TB, I think they're about $200) and get a 1TB SSD to replace the SSHD. :)

tekcrap
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:50 am

Re: Guys I need your opinions please

Post by tekcrap »

Quick Question, for my M.2 SSD, should I set it to prefetch last cache and start at windows boot?

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Jaga
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Re: Guys I need your opinions please

Post by Jaga »

The L2 SSD cache is always persistent, unless you turn on "Volatile cache contents" on it. Make sure all your cache tasks are Read & Write strategy, just deferred writes off.

For L1 caches I do recommend prefetch at last boot, yes. It will make the L1 cache semi-persistent, and speed up everything after boot time.

tekcrap
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:50 am

Re: Guys I need your opinions please

Post by tekcrap »

Last Question, What Block Size should I be using for both my C (SSD) and D (SSHD) drives?

For my L1 Caching, should I setup Individual Read/Write Cache Space? What about Releasing L1 Cache on Hybrid-Sleep or hibernation?
FOr my L2 Caching, I have Individual Read/Write set to 100% read. Should I change the Gather Interval? What about Volatile Cache Contents (should I turn this on)?

Ok sorry, that's more like 4 questions ;)

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Jaga
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Re: Guys I need your opinions please

Post by Jaga »

Primocache block size (in the Cache Task) is largely dependent on drive sector size. Never set it smaller than sector size. If it matches sector size, usually access speed for smaller files is increased, but memory overhead (and space on the L2 cache drive) is increased massively. On my boot drive (a 4k sector SSD) I keep block size to 16k to reduce overhead, but also keep accesses times on smaller files reasonable. On my data drives (64k sector size spinner drives) I set block size equal to sector size (64k).

I don't normally use Individual Read/Write cache space, and just let the Cache Task manage itself. If you're worried about writing large files to the drive and having them completely clear the L1 cache (i.e. you have a small-ish cache and one file write dumps most of the rest of the cache) you can enable it. You'll just have to watch and see what's most effective for your setup. I'd start with it off, see what works. Usually Primocache is pretty good at knowing what to keep in the cache (it prioritizes the most-often accessed files and holds them in longer).

If you have your computer sleep, it's your call on whether or not to release the cache on Sleep/Hibernation. Consider what happens to your computer when it's asleep and you get a power outage. Memory is flushed and the computer starts up normally. L1 would then pre-load at start to it's last contents, and life would go on normally. I don't enable flush, simply because I don't see a lot of utility in it.

For your L2 with Read/Write set to 100% read - you're going to get low hitrates on the cache. That happens because any file you write never hits the cache, only the things that are read from the drive. I usually recommend allowing read & write caching both (never just one or the other). Things like Windows temp files would never hit the cache until they were read again, then they'd be flushed if written, repeat ad-infinitum. It's not a good caching strategy, imo.

Gather interval should be fine at default.

Volatile cache contents will really hurt performance on your L2, since every time the computer restarts/shuts down it will completely clear the L2 contents. Combine that with your 100% read, and you'll get absolutely abysmal performance with the L2 - not recommended.

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support
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Re: Guys I need your opinions please

Post by support »

Regarding the cache block size, it is recommended to be same as target volume file system cluster size. This will make the best performance.
However, sometimes file system cluster size is small, if cache block size uses the same size, it will cause lots of memory overhead, then you have to increase block size, or reformat the drive with a larger cluster size.
Primo Ramdisk | PrimoCache
Romex Software Support

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