bibbis

Not seeing any kind of impact what so ever. (well, not in a GOOD way, at least)

15 posts in this topic

Still trying to find a single game that Dimmdrive has any kind of impact on what so ever.

So far I've only tried on "smaller" games that can fully fit into my drive so I can use the More Ram option for all of them.

I have 8GB RAM, so I've tried with drive sizes of 5, 4 and 3, depending on the games I've been testing.

Some games are installed on my SSD and some on my HDD.

 

I get how this works. I'm not expecting Dimmdrive to turn my PC into a monster machine, giving me better performance.

I'm expecting shorter loading times whenever the games have to load something.

 

There is literally NO decrease in loading times in any of these games:

 

Dark Souls

Titan Quest IT

SWKOTOR

Garry's Mod

Grim Dawn

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

Legend of Grimrock 2

Nether

Batman Blackgate

 

I'm not exaggerating... There is no impact what so ever on any of the games I've tried...

 

 

Here's a small bonus list of the games that "Broke" when using Dimmdrive:

 

Titan Quest IT

SWKOTOR

 

Broke as in, they can't launch anymore now, with or without Dimmdrive.

 

 

Honestly, I don't really know what I was expecting. This whole thing just felt way too good to be true.

I don't suppose it's possible to get a refund?

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the games that Dimmdrive has broken as u said just had they name changed to "your installation path.random numbers" you just have to remove the rabdom numbers to make your games work. If Dimmdrive didn't work it may be because you didn't select the good files to optimize or you made a so high dimmdrive drive that took all your ram and there was none to run your game so it crashed

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5gb of a 8gb system would leave way too little for the os to function properly.

you might get away with a 1gb for OS if you carefully tweak the amount of programs running.

this would leave 2gb for a game, which might not be enough for it to run.

 

The best way to get the most out of a rammdrive:
- Find the file or folder that contains the texture and/or audio files.

- create a profile to load only these files

- some games load many resources at loading time, these are likely to benefit the most. others load things as needed, which will see less immediate improvement, but it is still there

 

You don't need to cache the exe or the dll's, nor anything that is unlikely to be read more then once.

Once you have tweaked the specific folders / files to load into the rammdrive, you should be able to squeeze out most performance with you limited amount of ram.

 

The main thing is to realize is that all resources need to be loaded twice, once to mimic the HDD and once by the game itself (which useually includes uncompressing the files into memory, requireing more).

Profile the ram usage with dimmdrive off, then check how much memory you have left during a play session.

 

If you already have an SSD or fast HDD installed, the speed improvement is little, though still noticeable.

Another use for dimmdrive is to set it to clone your temp directories or scratch disks for video/photo editing, this will save your SSD lifespan and grant a giant performance boost as well.

 

I hope this helps 

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Thank you everyone for the responses.
I'd like to point out that I wrote that I have 8 GB ram and that I have tried using Drimmdrives with 5, 4 and 3 GB, depending on what game I tried to make sure that they all fit entirely on the Dimmdrive in "More Ram" mode.
 
Here's an example:
The size of the ENTIRE game "Legend of Grimrock 2" is 1,2 GB. So I took 3GB (out of my 8) to make a Dimmdrive, from which I'm running LoG2 in More Ram mode.
Well, there is no difference in running that game normally and running it with Dimmdrive...
There is NO difference.
At all.
 

the games that Dimmdrive has broken as u said just had they name changed to "your installation path.random numbers" you just have to remove the rabdom numbers to make your games work. If Dimmdrive didn't work it may be because you didn't select the good files to optimize or you made a so high dimmdrive drive that took all your ram and there was none to run your game so it crashed

No I don't think that was the issue I was having. I've been looking at the game files the whole time I've been using Dimmdrive to see how it was handling them, and I made sure that everything was back to normal even when the games were behaving weirdly.

Both run fine again now after a game cache integrity verification through steam so that's all taken care of!

 

5gb of a 8gb system would leave way too little for the os to function properly.

you might get away with a 1gb for OS if you carefully tweak the amount of programs running.

this would leave 2gb for a game, which might not be enough for it to run.

 

The best way to get the most out of a rammdrive:
- Find the file or folder that contains the texture and/or audio files.

- create a profile to load only these files

- some games load many resources at loading time, these are likely to benefit the most. others load things as needed, which will see less immediate improvement, but it is still there

 

You don't need to cache the exe or the dll's, nor anything that is unlikely to be read more then once.

Once you have tweaked the specific folders / files to load into the rammdrive, you should be able to squeeze out most performance with you limited amount of ram.

 

The main thing is to realize is that all resources need to be loaded twice, once to mimic the HDD and once by the game itself (which useually includes uncompressing the files into memory, requireing more).

Profile the ram usage with dimmdrive off, then check how much memory you have left during a play session.

 

If you already have an SSD or fast HDD installed, the speed improvement is little, though still noticeable.

Another use for dimmdrive is to set it to clone your temp directories or scratch disks for video/photo editing, this will save your SSD lifespan and grant a giant performance boost as well.

 

I hope this helps 

Yes I thought that 5GB might have been to optimistic, but I made several tries with smaller drives too. Like in my example above here ^^^^

 

 

What do you mean? Let's say I do reserve 5GB for Dimmdrive, the OS needs 1, and I only have around 2GB left.

Will those extra 2 be used at all when I run the game? Will not everything be done on the 5GB Dimmdrive?

 

 

Actually, since I've only tried it with smaller games I shouldn't have to specify what files to "boost", since they ALL fit on the drive with "More RAM" mode, right?

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Are you sure you installed it properly ? ( reboot right after installation ? ) if no uninstall, reboot , reinstall, reboot and try again

 

PS: can you show some benchmark with crystaldisk ? Here's a link to the official website : http://crystalmark.info/software/index-e.html

make sure you have nothing running during the tests and don't touch your computer, maybe make 2 tests of 1000mb for both drives

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Are you sure you installed it properly ? ( reboot right after installation ? ) if no uninstall, reboot , reinstall, reboot and try again

 

PS: can you show some benchmark with crystaldisk ? Here's a link to the official website : http://crystalmark.info/software/index-e.html

make sure you have nothing running during the tests and don't touch your computer, maybe make 2 tests of 1000mb for both drives

It feels like a proper install since it's running fine, it reads all my installed games automatically, initializes without any issues and can start my games from Dimmdrive.

I did reboot right after the install.

 

Okay this is my SSD drive:

 

           Sequential Read :   449.261 MB/s
          Sequential Write :   429.451 MB/s
         Random Read 512KB :   369.819 MB/s
        Random Write 512KB :   100.608 MB/s
    Random Read 4KB (QD=1) :    31.124 MB/s [  7598.7 IOPS]
   Random Write 4KB (QD=1) :    58.380 MB/s [ 14253.0 IOPS]
   Random Read 4KB (QD=32) :    35.907 MB/s [  8766.3 IOPS]
  Random Write 4KB (QD=32) :    69.728 MB/s [ 17023.4 IOPS]
 
  Test : 1000 MB [C: 71.0% (165.1/232.5 GB)] (x2)
  Date : 2015/01/06 20:00:47
    OS : Windows 8.1 Pro [6.3 Build 9600] (x64)
 
 
 
And this is my HDD drive:
 
           Sequential Read :   160.088 MB/s
          Sequential Write :   158.085 MB/s
         Random Read 512KB :    35.735 MB/s
        Random Write 512KB :    66.057 MB/s
    Random Read 4KB (QD=1) :     0.375 MB/s [    91.5 IOPS]
   Random Write 4KB (QD=1) :     0.932 MB/s [   227.5 IOPS]
   Random Read 4KB (QD=32) :     0.575 MB/s [   140.3 IOPS]
  Random Write 4KB (QD=32) :     0.897 MB/s [   219.0 IOPS]
 
  Test : 1000 MB [D: 62.4% (1745.0/2794.4 GB)] (x2)
  Date : 2015/01/06 20:07:37
    OS : Windows 8.1 Pro [6.3 Build 9600] (x64)
  
 
This is a 3GB Dimmdrive:
 
 
           Sequential Read :  5169.643 MB/s
          Sequential Write :  7907.294 MB/s
         Random Read 512KB :  5055.822 MB/s
        Random Write 512KB :  7489.829 MB/s
    Random Read 4KB (QD=1) :   502.443 MB/s [122666.7 IOPS]
   Random Write 4KB (QD=1) :   428.169 MB/s [104533.3 IOPS]
   Random Read 4KB (QD=32) :   935.748 MB/s [228454.0 IOPS]
  Random Write 4KB (QD=32) :   741.317 MB/s [180985.7 IOPS]
 
  Test : 1000 MB [Z: 0.9% (26.2/3072.0 MB)] (x2)
  Date : 2015/01/06 20:13:43
    OS : Windows 8.1 Pro [6.3 Build 9600] (x64)
  
 
 
lol.
I would say that 40x faster read/write speed SHOULD have SOME kind of notable impact on my games' loading times.
 
What's Random Read/Write?

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I'm seeing the exact same results... I've timed multiple games and they don't load any faster very specifically kerbal space program. I have 32GB ram and dedicate 10GB to RamDisk and the load time from HDD and Ram disk is exactally 40seconds.

 

yes. I've benched it all and it is working but game doesn't load any faster. kinda pissed. With dimmdrive on HDD LED stays off (loading from ram disk) with dimdrive off HDD LED goes nuts(loading from HDD) overall i think the game is just the limiting factor which is super agravating. same result with multiple games though so Idk. I kinda wonder if it is how this program creates "shortcuts" and my HDD still has to do the random seeks to read that shortcut which is truely the bottleneck of a HDD. At that point it doesn't matter how fast the ram disk is if it still has to do 1000 random seeks for the shortcuts. Can someone clarify if that is the case?

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I've been also trying to ascertain to the exact benefit we see in games.  I think we all agree, in theory, that fully loading a game out of RAM should be a huge performance boost, but, we are all seeing a scenario where that doesn't appear to be true.

 

I recorded my Writes/Reads from my HDDs (I have an SSD for my O/S and Spindle for large storage) when I launch the game off of Disk and when I launch the game via DIMMDRIVE.  I have empirical data that clearly shows the game is loading from memory and not hitting the HDDs.  However, I have not seen the "huge" improvement yet that CrystalMark tells me I have.

 

I'm starting to think that it might be a case where dev's are taking time to "do some stuff" in the background when games are loading and figure HDDs will take far longer to load than what they are doing (online reg or something).  Now that the HDD bottleneck is removed, we are seeing these hidden delays.  Again, just a wild hypothesis.

 

I understand the theory of the RamDrive but what I have been unable to find are any real time telemetry programs showing me just how the data is getting pulled from memory and the associated speed increase we are lead to believe exists. 

 

I guess I would like to see much more real world numbers, not just benchmarks.

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Just a thought....

 

If the newer Windows O/S is utilizing prefetch(cache), then, wouldn't that explain the "no difference" we may be seeing, since, games are running out of cache anyway because the O/S is putting it there?  I'm starting to think the O/S is looking at RamDisk as an HDD and caching the files in RAM anyways.  Thus, we were always basically loading from cache to begin with and DD really isn't changing the paradigm for the majority of games? 

 

The O/S now loads files from RamDisk to Cache, basically memory to memory, thus, the transfer of the files is quicker but the perceived performance is no difference since in the end we've always been running from Cache?

 

Just brainstorming...

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Just a thought....

 

If the newer Windows O/S is utilizing prefetch(cache), then, wouldn't that explain the "no difference" we may be seeing, since, games are running out of cache anyway because the O/S is putting it there?  I'm starting to think the O/S is looking at RamDisk as an HDD and caching the files in RAM anyways.  Thus, we were always basically loading from cache to begin with and DD really isn't changing the paradigm for the majority of games? 

 

The O/S now loads files from RamDisk to Cache, basically memory to memory, thus, the transfer of the files is quicker but the perceived performance is no difference since in the end we've always been running from Cache?

 

Just brainstorming...

 

Disable prefetch and check the assumption. With the OS cache, you would have no control over what is or is not being loaded.

 

I've been also trying to ascertain to the exact benefit we see in games.  I think we all agree, in theory, that fully loading a game out of RAM should be a huge performance boost, but, we are all seeing a scenario where that doesn't appear to be true.

 

I recorded my Writes/Reads from my HDDs (I have an SSD for my O/S and Spindle for large storage) when I launch the game off of Disk and when I launch the game via DIMMDRIVE.  I have empirical data that clearly shows the game is loading from memory and not hitting the HDDs.  However, I have not seen the "huge" improvement yet that CrystalMark tells me I have.

 

I'm starting to think that it might be a case where dev's are taking time to "do some stuff" in the background when games are loading and figure HDDs will take far longer to load than what they are doing (online reg or something).  Now that the HDD bottleneck is removed, we are seeing these hidden delays.  Again, just a wild hypothesis.

 

I understand the theory of the RamDrive but what I have been unable to find are any real time telemetry programs showing me just how the data is getting pulled from memory and the associated speed increase we are lead to believe exists. 

 

I guess I would like to see much more real world numbers, not just benchmarks.

Spot on!

 

Even if you get the texture to the main memory, it still needs to unpack (a CPU operation) before it can be sent to the GPU.

This takes time, a small amount but with lots of large textures it adds up.

There are lots of resources that need to be initialized after being read into memory.

Some games do a better job at decreasing load times by utilizing multi threaded data loading, where the HDD is less of a bottle neck.

 

The hidden times can clearly be seen in games such as Robocraft, where I just can't think of what those devs are loading/unpacking.

With games like League of Legends or Star Trek online I notice a difference of seconds, instead of 4 it just takes me 2 ;-)

With skyrim on an SSD loading times are non-existent, I hardly get to see the loading screens, with all the high res texture mods, this takes up more time.

Even with dimm drive the loading time is still there due to CPU and GPU bottlenecks.

Dimm drive is awesome if you use it correctly.

Which means, accelerate those games that are on your slower drives.

You might still get a small benefit from loading from ram instead of your SSD.

 

Another useful application is any application that uses temporary storage.

Either empty the folder by hand or let it flush the data back to the disk, your choice.

Browsers and media editing programs love temporary files / scratch disks.

As those files no longer need to be written using the slow SSD HDD mechanisms, you can browse and edit faster.

 

In theory DimmDrive rules all, in practise any half-decent speed SSD will get the job done equally well.

But SSD's are still a bit expensive compared to HDD.

You have your options, dimm drive is one of them.

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Yep,

 

I've already started using DIMMDRIVE to create an empty RAMDISK and doing some Video Editing and stuff out of that disk.  The Speed Improvement is tremendous.  Yes, I understand there's some risk involved, but periodically writing files from RAMDISK to HDD alleviates the "Total Loss" syndrome.  But where you're tweaking stuff and rerunning it over and over again, DIMMDRIVE is awesome.

 

Oh, doing handbrake vid converts also sees a boost, but most times that is CPU limited anyway so it's not that big of a boost.

 

Just the ease that I can create a RAMDISK alone is pretty cool.  As with everything else, us "Purists" in gaming try to squeeze every ounce of performance out of our rigs.  Sure it may flood the forums but let's not lose sight we do so because we are excited about the program!!

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Dimmdrive already automatically writes to your HDD as you are using it. The chances of losing any data because of Dimmdrive are absolutely minimal. As long as you are periodically saving you can basically trust Dimmdrive to never lose your data.

 

I have used Dimmdrive for hundreds upon hundreds of hours and I am yet to have lost any data because of it.

 

I guess it can't hurt to manually write files from DD to your HDD, but it is really a waste of your time.

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I'm uploading a CSV trace file...Huge KUDOS to xaligali for helping me out on how to capture the trace.

 

Here's the CSV file

 

What surprised me a bit are all the ancillary files still hitting my C and D drives although I'm running out of DIMMDRIVE.  Granted, in the big picture they aren't the lion share of accesses, just cool to see what's going on.

 

Maybe this weekend I'll crack my knuckles and try to swing together a parsing routine to take these PROC dumps and massage them to DIMMDRIVE profiles.  Get that working, then see if we can add logic to scale Drive sizes back...so if you have 10GB, select all these, 5GB, only get these, 2GB, only this 1 file, etc....

 

Anyone know where DD stores the config files?

 

*EDIT:  nm, I found them...

 

C:\Users\<name>\AppData\Roaming\Dimmdrive\gamexml

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I have noticed some of these sorts of results with smaller games. Although not all. I found dimmdrive to be super crisp and effective on bastion.

Some other smaller games I think appear to not get you any noticeable rise because they are so light and limited that they run almost faultlessly at a normal hard drive speed.

There is no way to make a game suddenly faster than the speed it is. Geometry wars isn't necessarily going to be any more challenging, you know?

The biggest gains I have experienced with dimmdrive is in games like titanfall. Call any audio and textures you can into a drive for the main maps and you find a really nice added responsiveness when the s*it hits the fan in game.

I was using 8gb but encouraged by the improvement in titanfall performance when I put the effort into picking the right files, I stumped up for two 8gb of the same speed as my original ram, resulting in 24gb of usable ram. And it's something of an investment because it holds its value and will even in the dawn of x99 so you should be able to shift the additional sticks for most of your money back if you end up going to the new next year, or take it into your new build with you if you plan to maybe snag a cheap top end i7 by next year.

Either way your mark scores for each drive seem as though they are all working about right. Maybe its a case of looking at some other games that have been known to have mental load times. Like... skyrim. Saw grest gains when I tried that.

If I get time I will put together some nondimm and dimmdrive results.

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