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 Post subject: Re: Why does the cache hate my HDD?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:08 am
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Location: Wales
Yichard wrote:
Seems that IW3 is obsolete before being complete,

My point is that IW3 is NOT based on Firestorm, so would give some indication if it's exclusively an FS problem, or a generic viewer issue.



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 Post subject: Re: Why does the cache hate my HDD?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm
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Location: England
You know i often wondered why despite windows often reporting slightly higher FPS and lower memory usage on the viewers than Linux, the linux viewer just felt smoother. Its something i could never explain.

However that kind of cache fragmentation does explain a lot. It would seam that EXT type file systems are much better suited to the viewer cache.

For similar reasons mac will not suffer half as badly here.

I do agree though this is worth putting on the FS Jira, and then i suspect strongly also the linden Jira.


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 Post subject: Re: Why does the cache hate my HDD?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:51 am 
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ManwaPastorelli wrote:
It would seam that EXT type file systems are much better suited to the viewer cache.


They are much better suited for almost everything. The EXT systems keep a journal of all free space on the drive and when they save a file they put it into a contiguous free space area large enough. The Winblows systems just put files into whatever free space they can find (That's how you get 2000 fragments in one file). EXT3 and 4 systems result in very little file fragmentation but the files can get spaced out all over the drive sometimes. Winblows systems result in lots of fragmentation but all the files are packed into the same drive area. Each system has it's own advantages.

Yes, I was thinking that too about viewers and Linux but since drive defragmenters are rare (not needed) on Linux I don't have anything that can show a display such as the one you see in the screenshots.

I'll do the test with Iwz3 viewer today. Never thought of that since I don't like that viewer even a little bit but the graphics are noticeably better and it runs faster; I'll give it that much.

I wonder if the EXT4 filesystem can be added to WInblows. I'll check Google.
UPDATE: Yes but it's unstable and not to be trusted. Oh well; just a thought.



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 Post subject: Re: Why does the cache hate my HDD?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:10 pm
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Location: France
It is a constant in all windows version that it hangs and blocks due to the mysterious "background tasks" which in fact run with the highest priority, or perform lengthy ininterruptable operations despites the CPU time sharing system.
These are old windoze issues, which existed in Win 95, and are still in Win10, among many others.
And, following the good old habbit of microsoft, win10 adds a new issue: the BOINC does no longer stops when I start the IW viewer, and I have to shut it down manually. Useless to say that if I have such an intensive calculation program running in competition with the IW viewer, the result is as lame as with running Inworldz on a 15 years old PC.



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 Post subject: Re: Why does the cache hate my HDD?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:14 am
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Here is the cache partition under the Inworldz 3 viewer
Drat drat drat! (Gloria, Gloria, Gloria!)
Attachment:
poop.jpg
poop.jpg [ 190.07 KiB | Viewed 2888 times ]


Maybe a band aid solution would be a batch file on a timer that fixes those files every X seconds with a command line defragger. Oh no wait you can't. They are in use and locked. Oh well. In this case it's on a RAMDrive so who cares about fragmentation I guess.

Say, on an SSD wouldn't this type of constant rewriting of those two files be bad? In theory I mean. I'm sure that it would take many years of this to cause actual damage due to an SSD's wear leveling(?). It does show though don't put your cache on a thumbdrive. (Stupid idea anyway due to the slow write speed)

UPDATE: I just tried it. It does work and you could do it to make a (mostly) portable version of a viewer but the frequent jerk-jerk of motion in the world makes it impractical.

Disclaimer: This was on a USB2 port/flashdrive. It's possible that a USB3 setup with a USB3 SSD-Style Flashdrive would be just fine.


Last edited by LoganStargazer on Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:46 am, edited 2 times in total.


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 Post subject: Re: Why does the cache hate my HDD?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:01 am 
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Yichard wrote:
BOINC does no longer stops


Nonstop boinc-ing sounds great.



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 Post subject: Re: Why does the cache hate my HDD?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:02 pm 
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LoganStargazer wrote:
UPDATE: Yes but it's unstable and not to be trusted.

Sounds like a description of Windows in general :mooner:



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 Post subject: Re: Why does the cache hate my HDD?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:55 pm 
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Closing Comments:
I have a physical HDD and only 4 Gigs of RAM. Despite the low RAM for me on this system I find putting the cache and a copy of the Firestorm folder onto a Dynamic RAMDrive and running FS from there is a huge improvement.

Pros:
The viewer runs much faster and smoother.
Drive fragmentation is irrelevant. It's a RAMDrive so who cares? Last night that one file was at 3000+ fragments but I never saw any slowdown.

Cons:
I'm down to only 3 Gigs of system RAM.
I need to use a batch file to save and replace the contents of the RD each time I reboot.
Windows occasionally does a "DUUUUH" for a few seconds when system RAM runs low.

Still, for me the pros outweigh the cons by far. Some day I will kick this notebook up to 8 Gigs and always have a RAMDrive.

BTW, you people with 16 Gigs of RAM are so damn lucky! You could dedicate 2 or even 4 Gigs of that to a permanent RD.

Note:
I have an old school physical HDD. A system with an SSD may not see much speed improvement. On the other hand those two massively fragmented files are a consideration so maybe a RD would still be a good idea just to prevent all that rewriting to the SSD. It's not that difficult to make a batch file so you can use a RD for the cache and just save/restore a backup of it onto the SSD each time you go in-world. That would be one file write per session (assuming you archive it at the end) rather than thousands per hour.

Considering that IMDisk (and other RD software I'm sure) has an option to save an image of the RD on shutdown/restart and restore it automagically I see no reason not to have a dynamic RD on the system for my cache and maybe the Firestorm folder too. I can get by with 3.5 Gigs of RAM in exchange for a crazy fast viewer.

Linux has a built-in RD. It's /dev/shm/ so Linux people can just put the cache there and you are all set.


Last edited by LoganStargazer on Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.


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 Post subject: Re: Why does the cache hate my HDD?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 1:20 pm 
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Logan, you might consider enabling zswap to extend your RAM a bit. What it does is it creates a ramdisk, and uses that as a compressed swap partition. It is enough that on a 512mb craptop I used to have, the system went from struggling to run firefox with one tab, to being able to run it comfortably with several.

EDIT: /dev/shm is actually intended for allowing programs to quickly pass data between one another via shared memory, and it is restricted to usage by root. It is better to use /tmp, another ramdisk partition that is intended more for general-purpose use, and can be used without root.



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 Post subject: Re: Why does the cache hate my HDD?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:22 pm 
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Zauber Paracelsus wrote:
Logan, you might consider enabling zswap to extend your RAM a bit. What it does is it creates a ramdisk, and uses that as a compressed swap partition. It is enough that on a 512mb craptop I used to have, the system went from struggling to run firefox with one tab, to being able to run it comfortably with several.

EDIT: /dev/shm is actually intended for allowing programs to quickly pass data between one another via shared memory, and it is restricted to usage by root. It is better to use /tmp, another ramdisk partition that is intended more for general-purpose use, and can be used without root.


Google searching seems to suggest that /tmp is not a ramdisk but can be moved to one.

Also I've been using /dev/shm in Linux (like Mint) as a non-root user for years. Is the stuff not going to RAM then? I'm confused as usual.



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