Gentlemen, I’ve got an interesting question for you. It is is actually a two step question. Can it be done (how), and maybe more important : is it advisable !? Problem description. I just started using a dual processor water-cooled workstation with 128 GB Ram for 3D modelling and rendering large factory layouts with thousands of files opened simultaneously. This is incredible RAM hungry and processor intensive work. Although I invested heavily in top notch hardware, I still feel the need to improve responsiveness of this system. Although the 20 cores have nicely reduced the typical render time from 10+ hours down to 2+ hours (nice but these are unmanned nightly hours anyway), the biggest problem remains the actual 3D modelling which unfortunately remains a single thread operation. A rebuild / save operation on the highest level can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. This is a very big problem, because you end up not saving often enough, and therefore losing a lot of difficult to remember work regulary (in practice it is so easy to make mistakes or getting jammed with so many files open). Hardware description : Asus Z9PE-D8 WS Motherboard, dual Xeon E5-2690v2 processors with 10 cores each, 8x16GB DDR-3 RAM (1866MHz in Quad channel configuration), Nvidia Quadro K4000, 1TB SSD Samsung 840 EVO (for SYS and Work data), 2x 3TB sata in Raid 1 for storage. The slow rebuilding / saving is not a SSD speed or data file size issue. A typical large project only has 1 to 10 GB as data files on SSD (takes far less than a minute to read or save), but requires up to 50 GB of working RAM for 3D modelling and up to 75 GB for rendering. This means rebuilding the models on screen primarily requires serious number crunching between processor and RAM only. For this reason I just upgraded the original 64 GB to the fastest 1866 MHz RAM possible. Due to the Quad channel configuration the next step up was 128 GB, which even for my RAM hungry application is over kill (normal workload is between 25 and 50 GB). For starters I have moved the temp and back up files to a RamDisk. This seriously helped responsiveness, although this is difficult to quantify. The 10 GB reserved space is nicely cleaned up every restart, but runs out of space quickly during a busy modelling sessions. That made me think more about possibilities of the incredible fast Ram drives. At the moment I’m experimentally running 3D modelling data files from a 40 GB RAM drive ! This volatile disc is automatically saved to and opened from a mirror on the SSD during start up and shutdown. Due to the already fast SSD, this seems to only add well over a minute to this BOOT procedure (that is absolutely nothing compared to immense daily lost time on rebuilds / save operations). Worried about volatility, I use GoodSync to automatically synchronise only the changed files every 15 minutes. Which so far has not been noticeable in performance, and no issues with locked files yet (although GoodSync claims to be good at retrying locked files, this remains a worry under investigation). Again this RAM procedure helped responsiveness a bit again, although still difficult to quantify. Installed Drives_Meter_V2.4.gadget and GPU_Meter_V2.4.gadget to see what is going on. You need to set monitor speed real short to see any drive action at all (even during 10 minute out of business rebuilt !). Now it becomes interesting : At 0.1 sec monitor speed you see very frequent drive action at C: (thus windows 7 and CAD software), but never prolonged (maybe 10% of time, but not noticeable on 1s monitor fequence). The RAM data on the other hand peaks full seconds but very rarily (only at start of opening or end of saving operation). I think this tells me two things : Issue 1 is bad news: most of the rebuilt time is appereantly wasted on number crunching which only can be speeded up by overclocking or such (processors do not come much faster yet). Although more difficult for XEON processors, there is quite some fine tuning room within this excellent Asus board (but a bit risqué on such expensive system, so out of the question for right now on this brand new system). Issue 2 is the reason for this forum question : very frequently very small instructions are needed from Win and the CAD software. Windows running on NTSF drives is quite bad with large numbers of small files. I personally think / hope that running WIN + apps from RAM will help responsiveness more than doing that with data files themselves (with far over 1 TB on data files that would require a lot of confusing drive shuffeling anyway). The CAD software needs to be installed on the same drive as windows. Can the Win7 pro 64-bit be trimmed down enough to run from RAM ? The RAM drive is assigned a regular letter and claims to be available early enough for WIN boot to be mounted. Currently the win directory is an astonishing 22 GB and all programs together another 20 GB. I could comfortably assign a 40+ GB RAM drive, but a lot of junk can probably be eliminated (any suggestions on cleaning / optimizing procedures ?). The main question remains: would running Win7 from a RAMdrive be advisable ? Although keeping the boot mirror up to date will be a headache, I honestly think it has some advantages too. Any system I have sofar used so intensively, always severely suffered from cluttered down windows installations within a few month of use. Really the only thing that seems to help is a rigouress 4 or 6 times a year a system format with complete freshly installed windows and programs. On such large systems that is a lot of work, but improves responsiveness incredibly. If you keep the boot mirror clean and turn of all automatic updates, then you could check and run updates weekly or monthly (only updating the boot mirror as needed with a fresh un-cluttered but updated copy). Undoubtly this remains a head ache, but probably wouldn’t waste as much time as the 4 times or often re-installations per year now. So … can it be done ? Do you boot specialists think it could make this thing fly faster ? Would you judge it as advisable ? Remember with current 10 to 30 minute rebuilt times, you lose a lot of volatile data as well (simply because you cannot afford to save more often). Sorry about this awfully long worded question, but this might not be run of the mill system management or gaming performance for most specialist. Although on the other hand, there must be more idiots like me suffering from long rebuilt times. Thanks for your time, any help will be appreciated !
My sincere excuses for the cluttered tekst. I had this text written seperately in Word, and could not get the Word or regular paste icons to function properly . I only managed to paste it as unformatted code.