flamethrower205

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I know this isn't the right forum, but I figure I'll get the best responses here. I'm up for building a new comp this summer and have been pretty interested in getting a ramdrive. The idea would be to get SDRam (nice and cheap) and then have a device that hooks into the PCI slot and acts as a ram drive. I know Cenatek has such a solution- <A HREF="http://www.cenatek.com/product_rocketdrive.cfm" target="_new"> Rocket Drive </A> but it uses regular PCI and tho impressive, isn't all that crazy (can definetly do better). With the emergence of PCI-X and really fast transfer rates, are there any PCI-X ram drive solutions coming out? Also, that drive is limited to 4GB which is a tad small for my purposes (was thinking more like 10GB). I figure if I get 10 1Gb PC133 sticks @ $50/ stick = $500 it shouldnt be bad at all. In the worst case, is building such a device out of the question?

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Schmide

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Outdated technology. So unless you need silent operation, <A HREF="http://www6.tomshardware.com/storage/20041227/areca-raid6-07.html" target="_new">SATA raid kicks that things a**.</A> in transfer rate. Sure access time is still a factor of 1000, but I will bet you that is made up by the transfer rate. Ram drives are still a few years away. See

<A HREF="http://www.overclockers.com/articles1172/" target="_new">http://www.overclockers.com/articles1172/</A>

Dichromatic for your viewing plesure...
 

jammydodger

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I was looking into RAM drives myself, however they are VERY expensive. We are talking £1200, I couldnt find any cheaper than that. Have a search on the memory forumn for RAM drives and you will see my thread.
The performance of a RAM drive will kick the pants off a RAID0 array! A RAID0 array with normal 7200RPM hard drives can transfer at about 70MB/sec continuous whereas even PC100 SDRAM can transfer at 800MB/sec! (although the PCI bus can only transfer at 133MB/sec).
 

Prof133

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Haven't really seen anything to meet your exact needs. Very excited about <A HREF="http://www.hyperos2002.com" target="_new">HyperOS HyperDrive III</A>. Don't think it's quite available yet though.
 

Schmide

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All raid and ram drives are limited by their interface. Cenatek, by their own specifications, state they can only do 80-115mb/s sustained. A RAID 5 or 6 on PCI-X will be cheaper, more reliable, and for the most part perform better. I would think when the Opteron moves to DDR2, fast large ram systems will become a reality. Currently when you stick a ton of ram in a high-end system it can’t run at full speed.

What tasks do you think these drives will alleviate bottlenecks for and how much gain do you think you will get?

Dichromatic for your viewing plesure...
 

Prof133

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Starting to think it may be better for me to get 4GB memory and <A HREF="http://superspeed.com/servers/supercache.php" target="_new">SuperSpeed SuperCache</A>.
 

jammydodger

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What im trying to do I run make my old 1.2Ghz Athlon system a dedicated RAM drive. In theory my gigabit network card should give the same bandwidth as a PCI card. However in practice it doesnt seem to work like that.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
PCI-X has been around for MANY YEARS and is used exclusively on server/workstation boards. You're not going to find a performance board with PCI-X.

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RichPLS

Champion
I have a performance board with PCI-x
It is Gigabytes 8KNXP Ultra-64 running a Prescott 3200 Crash...

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And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
 

RichPLS

Champion
<A HREF="http://www.giga-byte.com/MotherBoard/Products/Products_GA-8KNXP Ultra-64.htm" target="_new"> Gigabyte PCI-X board </A>

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
OMG, ONE workstation class, performance PC board! You're so lucky you got the one out of a thousand that has this feature!

Didn't Tom's make a negative comment about the southbridge missing some feature of the traditional ICH5R?

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Crashman

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LOL, GREAT QUESTION!

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Schmide

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Even better dual Opteron, AGP, nforce 250, PCI-x

<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-129-208&depa=0" target="_new">http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-129-208&depa=0</A>

Darn expensive though.

Dichromatic for your viewing plesure...
 

Prof133

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That's one of the ideas i had floating around in my head when i explored many solutions. Now i'm thinking it's too expensive to make a large ram drive and it would be best to get about 4GB and SuperCache software.
 

flamethrower205

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my bad, meant pci express. Yes many ram drive solutions are expensive, which is why I asked about building one. They can jakc up the price just cause it's novel and specialized. But really, what about the possibility of building one? If you have a series of ram bays attached to a controller of some sort that then hooks into the PCI express port, couldn't it work? It's just a ram addon card, and drivers wont be that hard to work out.

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<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by flamethrower205 on 01/09/05 12:32 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
 

Schmide

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You’re talking about fabrication of an actual board, with endpoint controller, etching the traces, soldering etc. Like a prototype. That is going to cost you more time and money than you ever imagined. There is a certain price to production point, usually in the 10,000s where you can actually bring down the “per unit” costs to a reasonable level. You’re talking about at least 5 figures of capital for your project.

Dichromatic for your viewing plesure...
 

flamethrower205

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let's start with this: is there any device remotely similar to a RAM PCI addon card?

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jammydodger

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Yeh, I would do that but unfortunatly I cant afford 4GB or PC4000 RAM so im a bit screwed. Thats why I wanted to use my old athlon system cause it uses PC100 which i can get cheap off ebay now.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
Yes, that's part of the problem: Dual OPTERONS. Now you're getting into server parts, ie, parts that the average PC user can't afford.

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Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
PCIe (PCI-Express) is fairly new, so it may be a while before anyone comes up with a RAMDRIVE for it. It shouldn't be too long, but it really depends on the market. I'm thinking about 3 or 4 months, but anyone could surprize us and release one tomorrow.

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Schmide

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I think once you get into ramdrives and raid 5 you’ve left the “what the average PC user can afford.”

No one has yet to answer the question!!!

What tasks do you think these drives will alleviate bottlenecks for and how much gain do you think you will get?

Because I can’t think of one operation that these drives would make a significant improvement for. (I.e. more than 5%)

Dichromatic for your viewing plesure...
 

flamethrower205

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3-4 months I can wait easily for, I'll check back around then I guess hehe (meanwhile I'll bug the companies)

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flamethrower205

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Let's cast away price for a second and look at pure performance. I did a small test to see what kind of performance I can get, but alas my processor is a big bottleneck as well. I allocated 400mb system memory as a ramdrive (I have 1gb total) and copied over 19 rar files, (should be 21, 2 were purposefully missing) and 7 par 2 files that are used to reconstruct the missing/ damaged data. Using a hard drive that streams at 59mb/s average, the process took 3 min 55 secs. On the ramdrive it took 2 min 44 sec, but judging by what was going on, my cpu (1.2 Ghz t-bird) was a big bottleneck. That is a 30% performance increase right there. I'm gonna test it on my friend's comp that has an A64 and 1GB ddr and see how it fares there. Also <A HREF="http://www.silentpcreview.com/article49-page2.html" target="_new">check this out </A>

Right now I'm also working on a program that does the same par2 repair but puts the par2's in ramdrive and any contructs any rars in ramdrive as well...will see how that does.

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<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by flamethrower205 on 01/09/05 09:30 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
I'm not afraid! It's not my money!

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