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Possible to use ImDisk/ImDisk Toolkit to cache external HDD reads/writes?


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#1 Wonko the Insane

Wonko the Insane

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 07:20 AM

So, I have an external 4TB HDD (USB3) that has 1 primary GPT partition. Said partition is encrypted with triple-layered AES/TwoFish/Serpent by VeraCrypt. I also have NTFS compression enabled on the entire filesystem within the partition.

 

Recently I found a software called FancyCache that can cache reads/writes that are directed toward an HDD, into an SSD. The goal is to boost the HDD speed. I know that ImDisk can create images and ramdisks, etc, giving it much of the functionality of proprietary software, and for free. So I would like to offset the performance hit of encryption and compression. Usually it isn't an issue except sometimes when playing newer games or other high performance software, there is a slight but noticeable lag which wasn't present before. Compression of a file only has a negative effect once, when a file is compressed, all reads to that file thereafter should be around the same speed as uncompressed. I mostly just want to cache reads, and writes to a lesser extent, into either a partition/unallocated space on my SSD, or into RAM.

 

Can ImDisk do this? If not, are there any free/open source utilities that can accomplish this?

 

Thanks!

 

Edit: Write caching (or whatever it's called) is enabled in the drive's properties, for better performance. But it doesn't seem to help much. The volume must be properly unmounted in VeraCrypt anyway or else I risk corruption, so it makes sense that I go the extra mile and safely eject it too (which write caching says is neccessary).

 

Edit #2: I think a simpler option would be to manually decompress the files/directories of any applications that exhibit lag. But this shouldn't be an issue for static data like ISOs. I have checked on the performance degradation costs of encryption. It seems to be incurred only during the initial encryption process, after that the difference is next to nothing compared to not encrypting. Long ago the hits were significant, but today's modern hardware can more than compensate. My laptop is AES-NI enabled, so that helps. CrystalDiskMark shows only a tiny difference that is discernable, too small to make a real difference. Of course stuff that is newly written will be encrypted on the fly, that might have a small effect. But in practice I haven't noticed any difference. I have already encrypted every byte of the partition in advance.






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