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New Samsung SSD Magician & Rapid Mode

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a c 307 G Storage
July 1, 2014 10:43:38 AM

This morning when I turned on my pc the Samsung SSD Magician popped up a notification that a new version of the Samsung ssd utility was available. I downloaded and installed the new version. The new utility also included an upgraded "Rapid Mode". Unlike the old version, the new version can use more than 1GB of system memory as a cache similar to a ramdisk.

The new "rapid mode" is able to use up to 4GB of the system memory providing there is sufficient memory for the operating system. If you have a motherboard populated with 32GB of DDR3 memory and Microsoft Windows installed, then the new version uses 4GB as a cache.

I just disabled my ramdisk and enabled Samsung's rapid mode. The utility recommended using more that 4GB as a cache but there was no way for me to manually change settings because the cache is currently limited to 4GB.

I have a Samsung 840 EVO 256GB SATA 3 6Gb/s ssd. I ran Samsung's SSD Magician performance benchmarks. Here are the results:

Sequential Read: 6,214 MB/s.
Sequential Write: 4,593 MB/s

Random Read: 214,430 IOPS
Random Write: 108,935 IOPS

Please remember that these are synthetic benchmarks. The problem with synthetic benchmarks is that the settings can be easily manipulated. It is not unusual for companies to manipulate the settings to present their ssd's in the most favorable light. The synthetic benchmarks do not accurately represent real world performance.

a c 200 G Storage
a c 131 } Memory
July 1, 2014 10:58:37 AM

WOW that is astounding!
a c 307 G Storage
July 1, 2014 11:47:03 AM

I know it looks good but I got curious about real world performance. I use three different digital image/photo editing applications plus a few plug-in apps. I just ran all of them. I started with a raw image like I usually do and ran the applications all the way through to a finished image. I could definitely see an improvement in performance. Some of the rendering processes used to cause a delay. Now the performance is mostly instantaneous. The results were especially good with a 64 bit application that I use. It looks like Samsung's latest magic probably eliminates the need for a scratch disk and/or a ramdisk.

The point to remember is that Samsung is using the system's DDR3 memory as a cache similar to a ramdisk. The system's DDR3 memory is much faster than an ssd's flash memory.
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a c 200 G Storage
a c 131 } Memory
July 1, 2014 11:48:43 AM

Thanks for all the additional knowledge it's much appreciated.
a c 307 G Storage
July 1, 2014 7:16:58 PM

I got a little mixed up when I posted my original comments. I edited my original response in order to provide accurate information. The rapid mode cache is currently limited to 4GB which explains why I can't increase it to 8GB despite the rapid mode recommendation to use more than 4GB. Having actually seen the SSD Magician's recommendation I am wondering what Samsung has in the works. I know they will be releasing another 850 model in a few months.
a c 307 G Storage
July 12, 2014 12:23:25 PM

UPDATE - INCORRECT RESULTS!

Hardcore enthusiasts and veterans at this forum know that the rate at which data can be transmitted to and from a SATA 3 6Gb/s solid state drive has a practical limit of about 530 MB/sec.

How can the Samsung 850 Pro ssd with Rapid Mode enabled exceed the bandwidth limitation? The answer is quite simple. It does not exceed SATA 3 bandwidth. With rapid mode enabled a portion of the motherboard's DDR3 memory is used as a type of ramdisk or cache. The synthetic benchmarks are measuring DDR3 memory performance instead of ssd performance.

The answer became apparent when I went back and read the technical reviews of the new Samsung 850 Pro a second time and in some cases a third time. Some of the reviews provided a little extra information about rapid mode. There might be as much as a 20% to 30% increase in performance when working with very large data files. There might not be any performance increase with small random files. That might explain why I definitely noticed an improvement when editing raw digital images.

a b G Storage
July 12, 2014 12:45:08 PM

This is interesting.

How do you think it would fair with the 120GB model of the EVO and 16GB of system memory?

I did look in to R.A.P.I.D mode once, but came to the conclusion that it was specifically designed as a benchmark fiddler.
With this new increase in available reserve I'm pondering whether to give it a shot, but, at the same time, don't particularly fancy limiting my available ram for negligible performance gains.
Especially considering it only relies on the software to function. No boot times can be improved.

Is there a significant result to warrant using it?
and, With the added amount being saved to volatile system memory, is Data Corruption likely to become a big issue?
a c 307 G Storage
July 12, 2014 5:12:30 PM

With 16GB of DDR3 memory you could use 4GB for rapid mode which should produce results similar to mine. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that your results will be the same as mine. A lot depends on configuration and the type of DDR3 memory.

I don't think rapid mode is a benchmark fiddler. I am fairly certain it is a variation of the RamDisk which has been around for quite a long time. I was first aware of it in 1986. RamDisk is alive and well. Samsung did some tweaking. Samsung's version tries to predict what a user needs based on past history. Predication is not an exact science. In addition the Samsung version is selective about which files to load into DDR3 memory. It will not load extremely large files such as a motion picture film.

Load times do not change much with Samsung's version. It takes about one second longer to open and close applications. Other versions of a RamDisk can take longer. I am not concerned about load times. A one second delay does not bother me. My major concern is productivity.

For the time being I think Samsung's version of a RamDisk benefits my productivity in a very specific scenario - professional processing and editing of raw digital images and photographs. I'm guessing it works because the raw images are huge but they are less than 1GB in size.

So far data corruption has not been an issue. A sudden loss of power during a thunderstorm might be a problem. A lot depends on how data is saved. Some of the RamDisk applications periodically save data during idle or low usage. Others use something similar to an autosave feature.

If you are interested just do a search for ramdisk reviews. There are quite a few versions available and some of them are free.
!