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Gaming performance with a RAM Disc

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a c 214 U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 3:57:20 PM

I was wondering if anyone with a large amount of RAM(probably have to be a minimum of 16GB depending on the game)could post some benchmarks using a game with a RAM Disc.I'm curious how long it takes to load a game onto a RAM Disc and how much of a performance increase there is.I'm very interested in doing this myself and I'm sure this would be much beneficial for everyone else since 16GB of RAM can be had for under $100 these days.
a b U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 4:11:09 PM

purple stank said:
I was wondering if anyone with a large amount of RAM(probably have to be a minimum of 16GB depending on the game)could post some benchmarks using a game with a RAM Disc.I'm curious how long it takes to load a game onto a RAM Disc and how much of a performance increase there is.I'm very interested in doing this myself and I'm sure this would be much beneficial for everyone else since 16GB of RAM can be had for under $100 these days.



Here is a video of skyrim on ramdisc vs hdd

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMYhUm0n1Gw

If you dont want to watch. Its 55 secs for the 5400 rpm seagate drive, & 8 seconds for the 6GB ramdisc.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 4:31:48 PM

I know load times are insanely fast but i'm more interested to see if their's any fps increase.

Actually after thinking about it 8 seconds seems slow for a RAM Disc.My SSD could load skyrim in less than 10 seconds and it's only SATA II.Seems odd.
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a b U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 4:40:35 PM

purple stank said:
I know load times are insanely fast but i'm more interested to see if their's any fps increase.

Actually after thinking about it 8 seconds seems slow for a RAM Disc.My SSD could load skyrim in less than 10 seconds and it's only SATA II.Seems odd.


FPS increase is probably at or near 0.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 4:49:51 PM

A RAM Disc is extremely better in every way.Their has to be at least 5-10fps increase.Though from what I watched it seems that it's possible the software may cause a bottleneck with these types of speed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFtJeVcFI2I (Skip to 6min if you don't want to watch the full)
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a b U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 4:55:09 PM

I run MW3 from a ram disk using Imdiskinst. FPS is exactly the same on my i7. The cool thing is the complete lack of loading screens. With the ssd it would still take 5-10 seconds to load. On the ram disk it flashes a load screen for a fraction of a second.
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a c 105 U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 5:06:19 PM

ram-disc isn't there for more FPS. if you want that, overclock your processor, but a faster processor and/or video card.
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a b U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 5:12:40 PM

purple stank said:
A RAM Disc is extremely better in every way.Their has to be at least 5-10fps increase.Though from what I watched it seems that it's possible the software may cause a bottleneck with these types of speed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFtJeVcFI2I (Skip to 6min if you don't want to watch the full)


It is not better in every way. For starters, it's volatile storage. It's a cool idea, but there are negatives to using it.

As long as you have enough RAM, all your storage speed will affect in games is map loading times. And if you didn't have enough RAM, it would make a lot more sense to allocate it to the OS rather than creating a RAMdisk.

I think you'd be much better off spending $100 on a SSD instead of $100 on RAM for a RAMdisk.
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a b U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 5:22:35 PM

I agree if you have 60-75 bucks to spend your better off with a small 64 gig ssd than 16 more gigs of ram.

I use the ram disk with steam games like mw3 because everything lives on the server so if your computer crashes you dont loose any progress. I also use a simple batch file to copy the game to the ram disk and then mklink it back to steam. It takes about 1 or 2 minutes to copy the 15 gig install from the ssd to ram.

Imdisk has an option to load the ram disk at bootup and then save it to the HDD or SDD on shut down, but it seems a bit flakey.
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a b U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 5:23:44 PM

I Have a stockpile of RAMDisk images on my HDD, for each game I have one. When I fire up a game, I just select that games image with a custom autorun, it loads the RAMDisk image which is almost instantaneous.

The games themselves seem to stutter less when they use any form of object or texture streaming, and level loading is...non existent. My I7-930 @ 4Ghz floors it to almost 100% CPU usage to load the game and the loading takes 2-4 seconds, even on my SSD it took at least 15 seconds per loading screen at times.

The volatility of RAM is not a factor, unless there is a patch released for the game. In this case you just need to save the disk image after the page, and the image is updated. No writes are needed to the specific game directory, so only reading the image is necessary.

Again, the actual files are stored in the image file which resides packed neatly together in a single file, and they are unpacked into the RAMDisk. Even during a power outage the data is non-volatile as the original is always located on the storage drive.

If the game likes to store it's save files inside its install directory, or the game itself is on Steam you can use mklink in CMD.exe to redirect specific folders onto, or off the RAMDisk.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 5:25:10 PM

Yes there are negatives of loosing data in a power outage but you shouldn't be storing valuable things on a RAM Disc anyway.Also SSD's do wear down overtime while RAM remains the same no matter how much usage or abuse it takes,reading and writing don't shorten it's lifespan.

If I had enough RAM I would use a RAM Disc for whichever game I want to play and would use a RAM Cache for for Windows.Well worth the money,imo.It would take 10 years for SSD's to be as fast as RAM,probably more lol.
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November 13, 2012 5:26:08 PM

Small SSD's are getting cheap. You could get 2 fairly fast 32gb SSD for under $100 or (2x64gb for just over $100) put them in Raid 0 and be nearly as fast as ram disk and have much less hassle.
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a b U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 5:29:58 PM

gillhooley said:
Small SSD's are getting cheap. You could get 2 fairly fast 32gb SSD for under $100 or (2x64gb for just over $100) put them in Raid 0 and be nearly as fast as ram disk and have much less hassle.



Sir, you do realise that RAMDisk's are upwards of 6GB/sec read and write transfers, rather than 450/200 for Raid0 SSD's right?

Nowhere near as fast as a RAMDisk, and creating the RAMDisk images is not a hassle at all actually.
Just a neat little folder on my D:\ Drive labeled RAMIMG , with 12 or so 4GB image files containing the game data.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 6:42:49 PM

Does anyone know how to view what is actually in the RAM cache? All I can see from my software is data usage numbers.
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a b U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 6:51:28 PM

The speed of transfer doesn't correlate to more FPS is what people are telling you. It will certainly improve load times to some degree (though usually loading is done in parallel with some processing), and for games that load content dynamically, it will prevent jitters from occurring if things are loaded at time of need.

It won't increase FPS, just the same way an SSD doesn't increase your FPS when compared to an HDD.
All important data is *usually* loaded in RAM at load time from the hard drive (exceptions to this are common, but the implementations is usually such that you don't often hit a situation where the content you need hasn't been loaded yet) that is why storage speed, while important for a satisfying computer experience, is not critical to FPS.

The big turnoff for RAMdisks is the management overhead, since you have to do some setup every power up. If you don't mind that setup, there are probably cases where it really pays off. I personally, would consider it for RPGs where frequent long load times are common (such as dragon age, witcher, etc); if you can cut a 45sec load time to 3 or 4 seconds every time you open a door, it's worth 5 minutes of setup each time you want to play the game. However in a multiplayer game, where loading faster just means you get to wait longer for the match to start, what's the rush...
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November 13, 2012 6:58:38 PM

The only time a ramdisc will increase FPS is when the software is hitting the hard drive a LOT or you have a limited supply of system memory. This used to be the case a long time ago but anymore this is almost non-existant. A cheap SSD is just as good. I use a Kingston HyperX (120 gig ssd) and I load League of Legends before 99% of the people I play with. The downside? I still have to wait on them. Food for thought.
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a b U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 7:00:59 PM

bucknutty said:

9 GB/s? That doesn't even make sense.
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a b U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 7:46:22 PM

Thats a screen shot of the real results from crystal disk mark on a ram disk made with imdisk. I ran it 3 or 4 times and it was always the same. Some one do the math out, whats the theoretical max speed of 1600 ram?

I agree it is wierd that the read is so much slower than the write. I wonder if the bench does not work right in this situation.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 10:12:45 PM

Ya I found that strange also.Though I got around 7Gb/s for the read with 1600mhz.Maybe full dim slots taxes a bit.

Scroll to middle of page.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDR3_SDRAM#Latencies

The whole idea I think with this RAM Disk is that the 4k speeds are just insane.And that's where you'll see the real world performance.I've also noticed that timings don't really have an effect on speed.
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a c 105 U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 10:28:08 PM

purple stank said:
Does anyone know how to view what is actually in the RAM cache? All I can see from my software is data usage numbers.



don't they "purge' themselves anyway ? therefore eventually losing the data ?
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a b U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 10:32:41 PM

Still say you're better off putting that money towards a SSD. Or if you're actually looking to improve FPS in games -- a better video card.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 10:38:11 PM

The software I'm using says "servicing system flush" (same thing I assume)but I only see it do it when I'm clicking within the application.One thing to note though it's a cache so it's meant to collect/keep all of the most used data.I guess it just fills up with whats more popular and flush's old items that aren't popular anymore.

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a c 79 U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 10:47:46 PM

bucknutty said:
Thats a screen shot of the real results from crystal disk mark on a ram disk made with imdisk. I ran it 3 or 4 times and it was always the same. Some one do the math out, whats the theoretical max speed of 1600 ram?

I agree it is wierd that the read is so much slower than the write. I wonder if the bench does not work right in this situation.

DDR3-1600 runs at 800 MHz.

800 x 64 x 2 (dual channel) x 2 (DDR) / 8 = 25600 MB/s = 25 GB/s

That's the theoretical dual-channel maximum.

Edit: Gah, brain fart. Fixed now.

Also, if you were running the RAM-disk on only one stick, the theoretical bandwidth would of course be cut in half.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 11:15:33 PM

As cheap as UPS machines are getting now days why you guys worry so much about power outrages?
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a b U Graphics card
November 14, 2012 12:18:36 AM

Recording gameplay to a ramdisk will often times increase fps while recording. But thats just because the program usually records at what it writes to the drive at. With an SSD or an extra drive you record to than its not that much of an issue (IE as long as your not recording to the same drive that windows + the game are running on you might not see much of an upgrade)

Though I assume something like fraps fills up 16gb really fast.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
November 15, 2012 4:32:04 PM

mouse24 said:
Recording gameplay to a ramdisk will often times increase fps while recording. But thats just because the program usually records at what it writes to the drive at. With an SSD or an extra drive you record to than its not that much of an issue (IE as long as your not recording to the same drive that windows + the game are running on you might not see much of an upgrade)

Though I assume something like fraps fills up 16gb really fast.


It does! I have to keep a separate drive just for fraps recordings.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
November 15, 2012 5:32:02 PM

Ya I was trying to record a 8 min video of GTA IV and it filled up like 8GB or so.And it's not even 1080p.
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