Gavotte RAMdisk

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Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:27 am

As i had massive trouble finding this program for download ( just a bunch of shitty sites trying to get me to install "downloaders" and crap ), i´m uploading the 7z file i finally did find.

And yes, this program is free to share as it is based on Microsoft´s own RAMdisk utility.

Edit: The file is a 7-zip file, unzipped by by 7zip, a freeware program that i consider most likely to be the best file archive program.
http://www.7-zip.org/
(archive and files in it scanned by Comodo antivirus)

Running Win XP 32 bit, and now fully using 6GB of RAM, the normal Win XP limit of just over 3GB RAM, and 2.7GB as a RAMdisk where i´ve placed my now one and only pagefile to avoid Windows paging to any other drive first.

Works very nicely so far with much reduced HDD access, which in turn means a faster system.


What you need for this to work:
Motherboard/BIOS that supports more than 4GB RAM.

At least more than 3GB RAM (otherwise you´re just stealing from available RAM which is pointless(unless you have a special reason for using a RAMdisk, like for a workfile that does intensive drive accessing while working, this would speed that up greatly(just don´t forget that once power is off or the system BSODs, data is LOST))).

PAE activated.

Win XP (or Vista or 7) 32 bit(if you have 64 bit, this is again mostly pointless except for above special case(although with Windows often paging out even with lots of RAM available, and some software requiring an existing pagefile, this can be used to remove that issue)).

Unzip, run the "ram4G.reg" file(this tells the program to use RAM space beyond what Windows can use), run "ramdisk.exe", click the "install ramdisk" button to activate it, select size, type and drive letter for the RAMdisk, click on "apply" and then "ok".
Reboot may be needed but can be avoided with some fiddling (i wont try to describe it because i don´t think it´s supposed to be used like how i accidentally made it work without reboot :wink: ).

Check your explorer, there should now be an additional drive called "RamDisk-PAE".
If it´s only called "RamDisk" then you didn´t run the ram4G.reg file properly and the drive is taking RAM from Windows.

Set pagefile to this drive and you´re done.
Attachments
Gavotte_RAMDisk_1.0.4096.5_200811130.7z
(160.59 KiB) Downloaded 437 times
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:55 am

Well, so far this looks to be one of my best ideas ever. Really wish i had known about this like, 10 years ago or something.

With Windows usual idiocy of paging stuff out even when it has GBs worth of RAM left free, when it does it now, it all just ends up in the RAMdisk with the result that all my frequently used apps start up in no more than half the time i´m used to, some much MUCH faster.

Running utorrent goes from annoyingly constant disk access to barely noticeable.

Just a simple thing like using the Windows explorer on local HDDs after doing things elsewhere is noticeably faster.

Overall, a clearly snappier and more responsive computer.

Had i known this earlier, i would probably have put 8GB RAM on this system ASAP.

Maybe i´ll wait another year for a new system thanks to this...
(And darnit, my system can STILL outrun the absolute latest cpu:s in select apps, really a mark of how development have slowed, if i compare even something like an E5200(same "era" as my E8400) with something from when i bought my previous system, like a Barton XP 2500+? total crush in any and all tests even without OC or running at same Mhz... *sigh* )
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby Stupify » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:55 am

but if you have so much memory in the first place why would one even enable pagefile? i have it disabled for the longest time i can remember.
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:44 am

Stupify wrote:but if you have so much memory in the first place why would one even enable pagefile? i have it disabled for the longest time i can remember.

1. Because as i found out while reading about this myself, you can´t actually disable pagefile completely, only your control of it. Windows can still create one if it "feels like it". And running without one would mean using only 3GB RAM and nothing more, and I go above that usage on a regular basis.

2. I get to make excellent use of RAM beyond that which Windows can use. I now have 6GB of functionally useful RAM even if 2.8GB is accessed via a RAMdisk. This is 32-bit Windows XP in case you missed it mentioned twice above.

3. Some apps will CRASH if you turn pagefile off completely(or even rarely crash the system as a whole). And Windows doesn´t like it much either, it has caused performance issues and even out of memory BSODs, and even if unusual, why would i rather do that when i can run it like this?

4. Windows tend to work better with a specified and active pagefile.

5. Repeat, i now have 6GB of functionally used RAM, if i remove the pagefile now, i would have ~3GB functionally used RAM and a RAMdisk that i only very rarely would have any use for while opening the system up for some of the (absent) pagefile based bugs.


So again, why would i disable it? It would be stupid.
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby Stupify » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:44 am

yes if you stuck on xp 32bit and a system with more than 3gb ram then this could be good to have.
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby Hammer_Time » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:50 am

Yep , it gets Win XP "Rockin" so to speak! 8) :D
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:47 pm

Stupify wrote:yes if you stuck on xp 32bit and a system with more than 3gb ram then this could be good to have.

Not stuck, next system will be 64 bit, but with the improvement this provided, that next system feels a bit less needed. And when i got this system, 64 bit would have meant getting Vista or XP-64, neither of which i wanted for different reasons.

And considering Windows deficient ways of working with the RAM, i´m definitely going to have to test what happens on a 64 bit system as well, if setting a "small" ramdisk with a preset pagefile that is the only one, if it behaves the same, that might be a clear advantage even though it shouldn´t be.
And for those with SSDs, it´s a potentially decent way to avoid aging the drive needlessly.

Yep , it gets Win XP "Rockin" so to speak! 8) :D

Understatement of the year.

Windows memory management is even worse than i previously thought it seems, as i have just played some Shogun 2, and very interestingly, it loads faster ( even when not being reloaded ) and there´s no longer disk access during the game, apparently windows was doing a bunch of paging in the background, slowing it down uselessly.
Running the map editor for Starcraft 2 also seems to have benefitted a little for the same reason.
Starting Firefox after the first time after reboot now takes a few seconds instead of 4-6 times as much which included a bunch of paging(apparently), and even starting it the first time is a bit faster.
Restarting email client, Seamonkey or other common stuff, 1-2 seconds at most.
No delays in windows explorer.
System finishes Windows startup faster...

So like i said, i really wish i had known about this long ago.

So, next "project" will be to find and buy a cheap 2GB DDR2 RAM module, install it in my mom´s system and set it up to use a RAMdisk for the pagefile. That one´s just a Celeron 420 currently with 1GB 667 RAM and is a bit on the sluggish side far too often. Tripling the RAM and forcing it to use RAM for the pagefile should make a very noticeable difference.

And find someone with Win 7-64 willing to test what if any difference it makes to sacrifice a GB of RAM for a RAMdisk to place the pagefile on.
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby mhudon » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:47 pm

DIREWOLF75 wrote:And find someone with Win 7-64 willing to test what if any difference it makes to sacrifice a GB of RAM for a RAMdisk to place the pagefile on.


Have you found any volunteer to test this? I also thought about directing firefox temps file in there, Adobe Media Cache Files folder and such in there. If I'm not wrong, it would help keep the System SSD light and clean and could help improve the durability.
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby Hammer_Time » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:25 pm

DIREWOLF75 wrote:
So, next "project" will be to find and buy a cheap 2GB DDR2 RAM module, install it in my mom´s system and set it up to use a RAMdisk for the pagefile. That one´s just a Celeron 420 currently with 1GB 667 RAM and is a bit on the sluggish side far too often. Tripling the RAM and forcing it to use RAM for the pagefile should make a very noticeable difference.


Excellent idea!! I am sure your Mom will greatly appreciate the speedup afterwards!! All for the price of stick of used ram! 8) :D
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby Sauron_Daz » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:36 am

Stupify wrote:but if you have so much memory in the first place why would one even enable pagefile? i have it disabled for the longest time i can remember.

Didn't disable it myself, just limited the size to a fixed value.
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby Sauron_Daz » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:37 am

DIREWOLF75 wrote:
So, next "project" will be to find and buy a cheap 2GB DDR2 RAM module, install it in my mom´s system and set it up to use a RAMdisk for the pagefile. That one´s just a Celeron 420 currently with 1GB 667 RAM and is a bit on the sluggish side far too often. Tripling the RAM and forcing it to use RAM for the pagefile should make a very noticeable difference.


A cheap way to increase performance I'd say. Of course, computing power isn't increased..
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby Hammer_Time » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:54 am

No, but for emails and FB usage only, I would say it would be a very noticeable boost in overall system performance for her... :D
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:08 pm

Sauron_Daz wrote:
Stupify wrote:but if you have so much memory in the first place why would one even enable pagefile? i have it disabled for the longest time i can remember.

Didn't disable it myself, just limited the size to a fixed value.


Which is vastly better. Because i have now confirmed that if i can force windows close to "running out" of memory, then just as i read a few times, Windows creates it´s own pagefile if there isn´t a preset one.
This also happens if you have a pagefile with a fixed size, but then you rarely run out anyway since you usually have a big enough one.

So, unless you have a crapload of RAM, set a pagefile with a fairly large minimum size and use a defragger to optimise it´s location on the disk.
Otherwise, if Windows ever get the idea to create one on it´s own, then it´s going to do it the oldfashioned "increase size tiny little bit by tiny little bit" which is horribly ineffective and slow.

And annoyingly, Windows memory management really sucks, when i fiddled around to force it towards running out of memory, it started creating a page file and slowing down when it still had over a GB left! :sigh:

:fist:

Still, not going to get close to that point barely ever unless i do something less than smart, like leave the internet browser with ~50 open tabs running in the background while running a memory hog game like STW2 or SC2 ( or most horribly, Diablo3, only game i have that can actually use up ALL 6GB and still want MUCH more, insane ).

Feels more and more like when i get a new system next time, i´m looking towards 32GB of RAM for it, seriously. And 16GB will certainly be minimum.

A cheap way to increase performance I'd say. Of course, computing power isn't increased..

Irrelevant, as if you can cut away latencies and bottlenecks from a system, then you get more effective use of the computing power that IS there, which means that while theoretical power is unchanged, effective power can increase quite a lot.



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mhudon wrote:Have you found any volunteer to test this? I also thought about directing firefox temps file in there, Adobe Media Cache Files folder and such in there. If I'm not wrong, it would help keep the System SSD light and clean and could help improve the durability.

Not yet, though haven´t really had the chance to try all that hard yet either. A bit lacking in suitable guinea pigs. Generally not enough RAM or they´re work critical systems that can´t be messed with even "gently".

And yes, SSD longevity was one of the things i figured this should potentially be extremely good for, as you could get rid of a big chunk of useless writes.

And putting those caches there could probably speed up a lot of things yeah, just remember that if the system crashes or loose power or something, then that data is LOST. So no vital stuff there.
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby Sauron_Daz » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:53 pm

Hammer_Time wrote:No, but for emails and FB usage only, I would say it would be a very noticeable boost in overall system performance for her... :D



DIREWOLF75 wrote:
A cheap way to increase performance I'd say. Of course, computing power isn't increased..

Irrelevant, as if you can cut away latencies and bottlenecks from a system, then you get more effective use of the computing power that IS there, which means that while theoretical power is unchanged, effective power can increase quite a lot.


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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby lookintothelight » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:12 pm

And find someone with Win 7-64 willing to test what if any difference it makes to sacrifice a GB of RAM for a RAMdisk to place the pagefile on


been there, done that....it doesnt really help much performance wise, but does cut down some on the SSD-writes......

This is with W7-Ultimate x64, 8GB of ram (2Gb ramdisk) and large SSD on an HP/AMD laptop, and a newer i7-Haswell desktop with 16GB of ram (4GB ramdisk)
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:20 pm

lookintothelight wrote:
And find someone with Win 7-64 willing to test what if any difference it makes to sacrifice a GB of RAM for a RAMdisk to place the pagefile on


been there, done that....it doesnt really help much performance wise, but does cut down some on the SSD-writes......

This is with W7-Ultimate x64, 8GB of ram (2Gb ramdisk) and large SSD on an HP/AMD laptop, and a newer i7-Haswell desktop with 16GB of ram (4GB ramdisk)


Pretty much what i figured, thanks for telling. Sorry for the long time before reply, didn´t get that this thread had been updated since Sauron´s post.
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby mauser1891 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:42 pm

Hello Folks,


I thought I would share a bit from my own thread on the topic of RAMDisk usage...
I have reconfigured once again. I am now using a 20G RAMDisk, but keeping it clear except for a TEMP folder and some symbolic junction links.
Using the symbolic junction links has made it so that I do not have to install the software to the RAMDisk, but allows me to install it on another drive.
I just merely used the concept others use with a SSD and HD combination to achieve better performance over all.
Once again this brings me another complete new element to start finding a balance between clock speeds for DDR, CPU and GPU.
I am more willing to run at a stock clock rates, while maintaining higher IOPS and data transfer rates.

Initially I started off to overclock my processor, but merely overclock my 7970 currently.

Basic System Info -

Win 8.1 Pro, upgraded immediately after install of 8
AMD FX-8350, OC 4.6Ghz
G.Skills 32G DDR3 @ 1600
Corsair H80 w/Link Commander
Biostar TA990FXE mobo
Plextor MP5 Pro 256G SSD, primary applications
Seagate Momentus XT 750 Hybrid, secondary applications
Seagate 1T HD, archive and storage
Radeon RAMDisk 12-20G, variable deployment defined by current usage
VirtualBox and/or VMPlayer, as needed
Handbrake for transcoding
ArmA 2/3 CTI for entertainment

Junction Link - Microsoft TechNet (mklink /J)


Thank You,
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:16 pm

I dunno, IMDisk is pretty impressive for FREE software, although pay sw like Primo is faster as these benchmarks prove:

http://www.thessdreview.com/Forums/show ... php?t=2822

The numbers are clear. Primo comes up as the obvious winner here, but it has to be said that if exFAT was to be used for the ImDisk RAMdisk then its results would have been a bit better. In fact I have already ran benchmarks for ImDisk as part of my original RAMdisk guide (link at the beginning of this article). Those tests were done with an older ImDisk version using exFAT (plus a much larger RAMdisk size), and those numbers were better. I plan to test these two programs again when new versions come out. Still, exFAT or no exFAT, the commercial solution is clearly the winner here.

So which one to choose? Personally I use both on different computers. Primo is ideal for newer systems and would suit less skilled users who would like the fact that a RAMdisk can be easily created using a wizard-driven interface. Using Primo on a powerful latest generation computer would allow the software to run at its full potential, without hardware-induced bottlenecks slowing it down. I love the sheer speed and options that Primo offers so I use it on my new X79 system in order to extract every possible ounce of speed out of the RAMdisk.

Still, I can also appreciate the great performance of ImDisk - plus the fact that it's free - and I'm currently using it on my laptop. ImDisk would be the geek's choice. It would suit the kind of user who doesn't mind meddling with batch scripts and command line arguments in order to automate the creation of a free RAMdisk with the properties they want, on every system startup.

At the end of the day both solutions are faster than most of their paid and freeware competitors anyway. Choosing between the two really depends on what each user needs from such a software. If people are willing to sacrifice some speed and options for the sake of an excellent freeware alternative, then ImDisk would do just fine. If however they need the fastest option combined with extra functionality and ease of use, then they will have to choose Primo and pay for the privilege.


Interesting reader comment on that review:

Originally Posted by ET3D

Thanks for the review. Anything other than TEMP which you think will be helpful to put in a RAM disk?

It depends on how large it is. Mine is 25GB and I copy game folders in it and play games from there. Game loading is ultra-fast when playing directly from RAM in this manner. If a game keeps its saves and settings in its own folder, make sure that those files are copied over to another disk after you finish playing, you'll lose it all upon rebooting. You can also move you temporary Internet folder in there, this will speed up browsing.


A bit of a PITA to have to remember to copy the game saves/settings files to permanent disk ( hdd or ssd etc. ) before you reboot or shutdown your computer ( else you lose them once the ramdrive is refreshed of course ), but it sure as heck would improve game level load times for sure!! A 25 GB ramdrive is pretty excessive size for "most" users ( not too many have 32 GB of ram or more in their system in order to be able to create a ramdrive of this capacity ).
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Re: Gavotte RAMdisk

Postby Sauron_Daz » Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:22 am

Is there no program or script to automatically save that info upon pressing 'shut down'?
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