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Purplerain Horowitz

Good Alternative To Ramdisk?

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Hello

So I downloaded Ramdisk hoping that it would help my objects/textures rez faster, but the amount of storage seems small, 1023MB, that is below the minimum requirements that I found recommended for SL. So, I am wondering if anyone knows of a good alternative alternative to Ramdisk. I do not want to purchase Ramdisk without knowing if it is going to make a difference in seeing my objects and textures rez faster, that is my biggest problem with SL. I get great frame rates, I have a good NVIDIA graphics card, but despite that my objects are blurry and/or do not show up fast enough. I have tried setting the LOD at various levels, tweaked and played with all the graphics settings and nothing has helped. All that being said, I don't even know that Ramdisk or something similar is going to help with that issue? Any ideas, please and thank you. 

(I did search the board to see if this has already been answered, but came up empty)

Edited by Purplerain Horowitz

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How fast is your connection? It doesn't matter if you have a high end computer, if you connection is slow, you'll get slow fetching of uncached mesh & textures.
Can you post the results from this speedtest: http://wiki.phoenixviewer.com/fs_speedtest#checking_your_real_bandwidth

Do cached textures also rez slowly? If they do, your antivirus may be the culprit.
Which Firewall & antivirus software do you use?
Whitelisting the viewer cache folder in your antivirus software should help a lot.

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1 hour ago, Whirly Fizzle said:

How fast is your connection? It doesn't matter if you have a high end computer, if you connection is slow, you'll get slow fetching of uncached mesh & textures.
Can you post the results from this speedtest: http://wiki.phoenixviewer.com/fs_speedtest#checking_your_real_bandwidth

Do cached textures also rez slowly? If they do, your antivirus may be the culprit.
Which Firewall & antivirus software do you use?
Whitelisting the viewer cache folder in your antivirus software should help a lot.

Thank you for your reply. Download speed, 21.96 Mbps, Upload Speed 5.76 Mbps. Then I ran it again and got 48.0 Mbps UPLOAD 5.6 Mbps. Download seems to be all over the place. I use the security Windows provides. I had Mc Afee (sp) and Norton, but had nothing but problems with them. Cached textures rez slow. I briefly shut the security off to see what would happen and it is still acting the same. Draw distance is at 64 (not sure if that matters). Shut off the browser, Word, etc...no change. 

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Some further tips for boosting performance on older systems with Windows 10

If you do not have a SSD (solid state drive) and is using Windows 10 and your computer is some years old, the following can improve performance.

 

Windows Service: Superfetch

On some hardware/Windows 10 combinations this otherwise brilliant service can make performance sluggish, especial with programs/games requesting and freeing memory all the time.

How to disable Superfetch? Press Windows key + R, type "services.msc" and hit Enter, find Superfetch in the list, right click it and disable the service.

You can always enable it again.

 

Disable indexing of files

Now this is ONLY recommended if you have your FS/SL Viewer cache on a separate partitions ( another hard-disk). Right click the hard-disk on which you have your cache,
select Properties, uncheck "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties". Be sure to click "Apply changes to drive LETTER:, sub-folder and files"

Let it remove indexing, which can take some time. Be patient  and wait to it is done!

 

Use separate partitions for caching

I have my viewer cache and sound cache on two separate partitions sized 12 GB each ( hard disks I and K  in my case) and  the above steps boosted my performance.

 

Optimize - defragmentation

Optimize you cache hard-disk(s) regularly.

 

 

Edited by Rachel1206
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2 hours ago, bigmoe Whitfield said:

how much system ram do you have?

I have 8gb of RAM. 

 

1 hour ago, Rachel1206 said:

Some further tips for boosting performance on older systems with Windows 10

If you do not have a SSD (solid state drive) and is using Windows 10 and your computer is some years old, the following can improve performance.

 

Windows Service: Superfetch

On some hardware/Windows 10 combinations this otherwise brilliant service can make performance sluggish, especial with programs/games requesting and freeing memory all the time.

How to disable Superfetch? Press Windows key + R, type "services.msc" and hit Enter, find Superfetch in the list, right click it and disable the service.

You can always enable it again.

 

Disable indexing of files

Now this is ONLY recommended if you have your FS/SL Viewer cache on a separate partitions ( another hard-disk). Right click the hard-disk on which you have your cache,
select Properties, uncheck "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties". Be sure to click "Apply changes to drive LETTER:, sub-folder and files"

Let it remove indexing, which can take some time. Be patient  and wait to it is done!

 

Use separate partitions for caching

I have my viewer cache and sound cache on two separate partitions sized 12 GB each ( hard disks I and K  in my case) and  the above steps boosted my performance.

 

Optimize - defragmentation

Optimize you cache hard-disk(s) regularly.

 

 

Hi Rachel, 

Wow, thanks for all of those ideas. My PC is less than a year old with an SSD drive, Windows 7....would upgrading to 10 make a difference? Do you think  the tweaks you suggested are still worth trying? I think my next step was to put my cache on a different drive (a partitioned one). I guess all I am out is some time. If worse comes to worse, I guess I will have to downsize my house some. I really do not have a lot of furnishings though, certainly far less than some people. Lol...that was the fun of upgrading my PC, so that I could put out all of my knickknacks and art. My old PC would not run above low, so I could not put hardly anything out and the scene was not pretty at all, lol. I guess I hear so many different things about what effects performance that I do not know what to look for in objects to decorate with. Oh well. Thank you very much. I will try to put the cache on its own drive I think, see what happens. 

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1 hour ago, bigmoe Whitfield said:

you only have 8gb of main ram for the whole system, a ramdisk will take up physical memory giving you less to work with for the overall system.  

Yes,  i can see how that will become a problem if I need to use this for something else . grr. 

 

Oh well. I guess it is something I have to just live with , lol, I have toyed with it enough. It is too bad because when things are not blurry and fully rezzed, the colors and clarity are amazing with this newer PC and the graphics card. Our internet speed is going up to 100mbps on the 1st, will see if that helps, plus I am going to hard wire it to the modem. 

Thanks all for the tips!

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1 hour ago, Purplerain Horowitz said:

... plus I am going to hard wire it to the modem...

So that means that you've been running on a wireless connection all the time? That can be the culprit, especially if your bandwidth in the viewer might be set too high.

If you are interested in Win10, google for instructions on how to activate it for free with your Win7 serial key, perfectly fine and legal. I think I even explained it on here at some point ... basically, have a Microsoft account, register your serial and have it stored in the account, install Win10 with one of the officially available ISO files, use the same code and link your MS account. 

Edited by Lillith Hapmouche
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I run on wifi all the time and its fine. Again with old problems that for some reason stuck around socially here, a wifi connection would be a problem if it were still 2003. But here in 2018 i get upwards of 90mbps download speeds off of it. Latency is a non issue, i play all sorts of online games on it all the time, bandwidth for SL is set to max.

Untitled.thumb.png.2d53971c10e624b2ee72a20cde467c63.png

For OP, youre only gonna see so much of a performance increase before moving in the land of diminishing returns for loading times in SL. A ramdisk is only going to go so far, unless you have some really high speed memory youre not actually going to be much faster than an older SSD anyway due to the overhead produced by a ramdisk.

Depending on what hardware you have in your PC, you can try higher clock speed ram, if you have 1600mhz DDR3, see if your motherboard supports 1866mhz, if you have 2133mhz DDR4, try 3200mhz, etc, just if your board supports it. You may also be able to overclock your ram.

If you get an identical second SSD, you can try RAID 0 in different configurations to get a massive speed increase for read/write times from the disks. A single newer SSD on SATA 3 is going to be about 350-380mbps write speeds, two of em in raid 0 is gonna be around 650-700mbps, 4 of them is going to be around 1gbps and up to 1.2gbps

You can get way faster speeds with PCIe drives or NVME if you have the slots for multiple PCIe drives or NVME drives.

But again, diminishing returns. Ive got an aging Adata SP550 that gets around 230mbps and its near the end of its lifespan by now, and that gives me 0 problems with SL. Everything is pretty fast, and i dont see low res textures for too long or anything. Im sure a modern SSD or something on NVME would increase my performance, but what does 1-2 seconds matter when starting the game?

 

If you are running hardware made in the last 5 years, have an SSD or even a 7200rpm HDD on sata 2 or newer and have problems with extremely slow loading textures, something else is wrong besides just your cache loading slow, something has to be causing a hangup.

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...

Even though something is working flawlessly for you - which is all fine and dandy - there is a not too subtle possibility that others might have extreme problems in the very same regard.

It's nice to show off what you toy with every once in a while and what you get out of it, but in several cases, it's just clogging up a thread with a technical overload of terms, in my opinion, especially in cases of a person just being barely being able to power up their machine.

Quote

If you are running hardware made in the last 5 years, have an SSD or even a 7200rpm HDD on sata 2 or newer and have problems with extremely slow loading textures, something else is wrong besides just your cache loading slow, something has to be causing a hangup.

Like a bad WiFi connection, by chance?

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FYI: I run 4G wireless ( I'm in Scandinavia) and some times  wired 100Mb fiber - there are a little higher latency on the wireless 4G, but problems I encounter  in SL when on wireless 4G, I also find to be the same, when connected to fiber.

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10 hours ago, Purplerain Horowitz said:

Wow, thanks for all of those ideas. My PC is less than a year old with an SSD drive, Windows 7....would upgrading to 10 make a difference? Do you think  the tweaks you suggested are still worth trying? I think my next step was to put my cache on a different drive (a partitioned one). I guess all I am out is some time. If worse comes to worse, I guess I will have to downsize my house some. I really do not have a lot of furnishings though, certainly far less than some people. Lol...that was the fun of upgrading my PC, so that I could put out all of my knickknacks and art. My old PC would not run above low, so I could not put hardly anything out and the scene was not pretty at all, lol. I guess I hear so many different things about what effects performance that I do not know what to look for in objects to decorate with. Oh well. Thank you very much. I will try to put the cache on its own drive I think, see what happens. 

 

Windows 10 is faster provided all your hardware is supported; I got better performance after upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 (64 bit).

The tweaks I suggested should not be necessary on a new system with SSD, but making partitions for cache and disable indexing on those partitions should give a performance boost, but less compared to old style hard-disks.

But  try this first

Have you tried to purge all the texture files in the cache? Corrupted texture files could degrade performance. Assuming you use Firestorm, be sure Firestorm is closed. Now the cached textures are in the folder …FirestormOS_x64\texturecache with sub-folders named “0” to “f“

With File Explorer in Windows, select the folder “texturecache” – delete the folder“texturecache”  and be patient, there can be a huge amount of files, purging can take minutes.

Firestorm will rebuild the folders again, so no worries. Start Firestorm and log in,  if you get better texture loads and no problems after having purged the texture cache, corrupted texture files were the problem.

 

Edited by Rachel1206
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17 hours ago, Lillith Hapmouche said:

Like a bad WiFi connection, by chance?

no, as i said, unless youre on something like a mini pci wireless card in a laptop from 15 years ago, you should have 0 problems with a wifi connection on SL

i even have a little nano usb adapter one i sometimes use on older laptops in UBS 1.1 ports that still saturates the ports capping me at 12mbps, in fact thats exactly what i used for when i tested out SL on a computer with below spec hardware, besides the camera latency due to general poor system performance, i was getting about 10mbps download speeds and SL loaded it to that ancient 5400rpm IDE drive over wifi just fine and had 0 issues with textures, it loaded about as fast as any other PC ive used tbh

even 1mbps dowload speeds, SL will be fine, i see this game peak at 1.5mbps utilization in most places, sometimes 3mbps when its loading particularly large textures into the cache

so im stating that if OP is having problems with slow loading textures, on an SSD, then something is wrong elsewhere, its not the hardware, even a terrible internet connection wont really affect that much, my suspicion is its a cache problem as rachel said, either that or something is constantly using the SSD and SL is getting a low load priority (rachels on point with disabling superfetch and other windows caching)

also dont try and defragment an SSD, its not going to do anything, defragmenting moves files into more compact and accessible locations on a hard disk platter to lower latency caused by the reader arm articulating back and forth across the drive, if it doesnt have to move as much its a tad quicker

SSD isnt mechanical, it doesnt need it, its going to read the same speed whether its finding a file on module 1 right by the connectors or module 16 at the end of the board

17 hours ago, Lillith Hapmouche said:

It's nice to show off what you toy with every once in a while and what you get out of it, but in several cases, it's just clogging up a thread with a technical overload of terms, in my opinion, especially in cases of a person just being barely being able to power up their machine.

I use a lot of technical terminology to leave absolutely 0 questions left, if someone doesnt understand whats being said, google. Its 2018 and if a person doesnt know more than "press button, click internet for facebook" its time to learn how. I have a grandmother whos owned computers since the late 80's and she still calls my uncle for PC help because she does stuff like accidentally disable the wifi adapter or delete bookmarks she wants back. You gotta learn stuff yourself because it makes everything go a lot faster when things go wrong. Otherwise you end up like my grandmother and absolutely refuse to learn about computer stuff because you feel like its too complex, and rely on others to help you.

Im here to help and im happy to help, but i like to weave education of some sorts into my replies so people learn something and dont have to come back again with the same problem because theyre just looking for a step by step on how to fix it.

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More network bandwidth than about 10Mbps won't help much. SL throttles at their end.

Improvements to cache management in the viewer are coming soon, and may help. The current system clearly makes some bad decisions about what to load first.

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Thank you for all the great tips. I'm going to consider everything.

On 4/29/2018 at 4:46 AM, Lillith Hapmouche said:

So that means that you've been running on a wireless connection all the time?

Yes, I run on wireless all the time.

 

On 4/29/2018 at 6:47 AM, cykarushb said:

If you are running hardware made in the last 5 years, have an SSD or even a 7200rpm HDD on sata 2 or newer and have problems with extremely slow loading textures, something else is wrong besides just your cache loading slow, something has to be causing a hangup.

All of my hardware is less than 5 years old. 

 

It should not be a big deal, but it bugs me that I have to almost be on top of some of my things for them to be clear and as soon as I walk away they go blurry again. When they are fully rezzed they look great, crisp and clear...so I don't know if my graphics card is causing an issue? I have tapestries with text on them and cant read them .  That being said, how much of it could be due to my objects or the quality of them? Some will rez fine, others are the blurry ones. 

But, thanks again I appreciate everyone's time ...and I guess I will play around here and see what happens. 
 

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On 5/1/2018 at 1:06 PM, Purplerain Horowitz said:

It should not be a big deal, but it bugs me that I have to almost be on top of some of my things for them to be clear and as soon as I walk away they go blurry again. When they are fully rezzed they look great, crisp and clear...so I don't know if my graphics card is causing an issue? I have tapestries with text on them and cant read them .  That being said, how much of it could be due to my objects or the quality of them? Some will rez fine, others are the blurry ones. 

But, thanks again I appreciate everyone's time ...and I guess I will play around here and see what happens. 
 

A 1GB cache is small. You may have better performance using a larger cache on a slower drive. With a small cache, you may be downloading most of the info to render any newly entered region. The previous region may be discarded. Return to it and the scene has to download again.

I use RAMDisk software to run a 10GB in-ram-drive. The cache for my main viewer is on that drive. I also have an SSD. The caches for my secondary viewers are on it. None of my viewers have instant render. The Viewer Stats panel often shows the cache hit rate at 100%. But the Texture Console shows downloading and decompressing at the same time... Oops... We know and the Lindens know there are cache problems. We are told, the way the viewer was written mixes cache code throughout the viewer, making it hard to upgrade the caching process. However, this is apparently one of those things that gets tweaks and fixes as other stuff is refactored or repaired. Plus, the cache is a planned future revision.

So, it may not be just a hardware issue on your machine. 

My article from late 2016 compares the performance of RAMDisk, SSD, and conventional mechanical storage, Hardware: Disk Performance Compared.

SSD's can be a rip off. They make a bunch for older systems that lack a dedicated SSD port and connect via SATA. The result is the SSD is not much faster than a mechanical drive as it is bottlenecked by the SATA interface. To get the most performance from SSD, connect it directly to the PCIe bus. And make sure the motherboard has enough PCI channels to handle all that is connected. If the PCIe bus is overloaded, as in too many peripherals, it steals channels from the video card. Newer cards can use 16 channels but often have to get by with 8 because the MB doesn't have enough channels to give 16 to video and work with everything else.

A new choice with Intel 8th gen CPU's is Optane(R) memory. The idea is memory placed in the M.2 connector is used as a large buffer for slower mechanical drives. Software is supposed to anticipate what will be asked for 'next' and cache it. The result is near SSD speed from mechanical drives. Once installed, use is transparent. The idea is interesting. It should give one lots of cheap storage with great performance.

But, so far, nothing is faster than a ram-drive.

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On 5/4/2018 at 9:05 AM, Nalates Urriah said:

SSD's can be a rip off. They make a bunch for older systems that lack a dedicated SSD port and connect via SATA. The result is the SSD is not much faster than a mechanical drive as it is bottlenecked by the SATA interface.

Thats just blatantly false. Sata II even is a 3gbps interface, even a top of the line Samsung 860 evo tops at like 500-540mbps read/write.

And we're on sata III 6gbps now, 2.5" ssd isnt going to be bottlenecked at all, and its significantly faster than the current high end hard drives still around 200-300mbps, even an average mid tier ssd is gonna be 300-400mbps vs an average hard drive at 7200rpm getting 150-220mbps.

Optane however is a very interesting prospect if your motherboard supports it, its basically HDD cache and does have a significant performance improvement over the HDD alone. The problem is that its fairly expensive for the capacity you get.

Quote

Newer cards can use 16 channels but often have to get by with 8 because the MB doesn't have enough channels to give 16 to video and work with everything else.

Anything made post core2duo is gonna have at minimum 16 pcie lanes to work with. And even then anything short of a 1080ti or higher is gonna be fine on pcie x8, it doesnt cause any bottleneck. The Nvidia Titan V is actually the first GPU to even come close to saturating pcie x16 3.0. In fact its common on other server motherboards to have "open ended" pcie x8 slots to put x16 cards in, because even the highest end GPUs of 5 years ago could hardly saturate pcie x8 2.0

 

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47 minutes ago, cykarushb said:

Thats just blatantly false. Sata II even is a 3gbps interface, even a top of the line Samsung 860 evo tops at like 500-540mbps read/write.

You aren't keeping up with the tech...

SATA-Speeds.jpg

SATA can't keep up. The SSD devices made for SATA are slow. But, those made for M.2 have some speed way beyond SATA.

Samsung 960 Evo
Interface: PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe
Available Capacities: 250 GB, 500 TB, 1 TB
3200MB/s read
1900MB/s write (1 TB)

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But that doesn't mean that a sata ssd is going to be bottlenecked by the sata interface.

the reason why 2.5" sdds are popular is simply because of cost, the most capacity per dollar compared to nvme and pcie, and most consumers don't need or wouldn't even notice the speed difference 

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