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SSD & HW

Buying or building computers for Hauptwerk, recommendations, troubleshooting computer hardware issues.

SSD & HW

Postby kiwiplant » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:08 am

Would an SSD be good for keeping HW files on? Would it speed up organ load and cache building times? Has anyone here tried it with their HW computer?

Something like this one:
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internal ... _Sandforce

I have 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM RAM in a Mac Pro early 2008 computer.

Thanks,
Paul
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Re: SSD & HW

Postby B. Milan » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:36 am

Hello Paul,

If you do a search on the forum by typing SSD you will find lot's of posts on this subject. In general it should help speed up the loading and caching process, although we haven't specifically tested any SSD drives ourselves, so we cannot offer any first hand advice. Speed of your RAM can also play a role in how fast loading times can be. The main issue is that the storge space isn't nearly as great as can be had with a standard hard drive, so you need to determine if the smaller storage space (and higher cost) is worth the trade off for possible faster loading times.
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http://www.hauptwerk.com
http://www.milandigitalaudio.com
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Re: SSD & HW

Postby Anton Heger » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:46 am

Hello Paul,

I have two disks in a RAID-0 configuration and organs are loaded with 130-170 MB/s (on a 3GHz quad).
I read on a Dutch forum a message of a guy who has bought a SSD and he reported speeds of about 220-270 MB/s, with a single disk. He has also a quad core PC.
A remarkable difference!

For those who understand Dutch:
http://www.klavarorganist.nl/modules.ph ... pic&t=1626

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Re: SSD & HW

Postby Timo » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:24 pm

I tried to use Intel X25-M SSD disk to store organ sample cache but unfortunately that didn't make any improvement. I have Q6600 CPU and Zwolle loads in 1 min 20 seconds using an ordinary SATA disk or that SSD disk. Resource Manager of Vista reports top load bandwidht of 130 MB/s in both cases, although the SSD disk should be able to exceed 200 MB/s. It looks like my CPU is not capable of consuming data in higher rate. So finally I took the SSD disk into another use and put back the SATA disk. I have a two disk configuration: one disk contains cache (and backups) and the other one all the rest.

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Re: SSD & HW

Postby gingercat » Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:08 am

Timo wrote:I tried to use Intel X25-M SSD disk to store organ sample cache but unfortunately that didn't make any improvement. I have Q6600 CPU and Zwolle loads in 1 min 20 seconds using an ordinary SATA disk or that SSD disk. Resource Manager of Vista reports top load bandwidht of 130 MB/s in both cases, although the SSD disk should be able to exceed 200 MB/s. It looks like my CPU is not capable of consuming data in higher rate. So finally I took the SSD disk into another use and put back the SATA disk. I have a two disk configuration: one disk contains cache (and backups) and the other one all the rest.

Timo


You're almost certainly being restricted my your motherboard and its disk controllers/bus rather than the nice fat quad-core processor.
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Re: SSD & HW

Postby mdyde » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:20 am

Hello Paul/Timo/Chris,

Hauptwerk's current loading mechanism is currently optimised for up to four CPU cores (more won't hurt of course, but won't make the organ load any faster) and was designed to be able to process data as fast as a two-way RAID 0 array and four CPU cores can manage, i.e. up to about 150 MB/s.

We haven't tested it for SSDs/disk arrays faster than that, so it's quite possible that additional optimising work would be needed within Hauptwerk to be able to process the incoming data faster than 150 MB/s or so.

In summary, it could well be that raw CPU power was the bottleneck in Timo's test.
Best regards,
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Re: SSD & HW

Postby counterpoint » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:59 pm

System 1 configuration:
Asus P5K Deluxe
Intel Q6600 @ 2.4Ghz
Patriot 8GB DDR2-800
Crucial C300 256GB SSD
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Hauptwerk 3.30

Loading the Zwolle organ, w/ 16-bit lossless compression samples, took roughly 4 minutes and 38 seconds. The CPU usage hovered between 20% and 30%. The resource monitor gave me an average disk I/O of roughly 75MB/s. When I overclocked the CPU to 3.01 Ghz, loading the same organ took 3 minutes and 51 seconds. When I overclocked the CPU to 3.61 Ghz, loading the same organ took 3 minutes and 31 seconds. With the overclocked configurations, I noticed higher disk I/O.

After benchmarking the SSD I found that it is capable of a sustained read of 232 MB/s under SATA II 3.0 Gb/s, while mixed read/write averaged roughly 130 MB/s so I know its not the bottleneck and probably neither is the motherboard's controller.

Therefore, with system configuration 1 and under Hauptwerk 3.30, I suspect that the CPU/Bus speed is a more significant contributing factor in loading times.

System 2 configuration:
Asus P6X58D-E
Intel i7 930 @ 3.0 Ghz
Corsair Dominator 12GB DDR3-1600
2 x Western Digital 750AAKS 750GB 7200rpm in RAID-0
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Hauptwerk 3.30

Loading the Zwolle organ, w/ 16-bit lossless compression samples, took roughly 5 minutes and 52 seconds. The CPU usage stayed below 10%. The resource monitor showed lower disk I/O thank system 1 testing. I was not able to test system 2 configuration with an SSD but, suffice it to say, the disk I/O is definitely the bottleneck here.

I would love to hear some feedback from Brett and Martin. BTW, can someone explain to me how Timo is able to achieve a 1 min 20 second load time?
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Re: SSD & HW

Postby mdyde » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:06 pm

Are you sure you were loading the sample from the sample set cache? The first time that you load a sample set, or if you load it via the 'Organ | Load organ, adjusting rank audio output routing', or via the Design tools menu, Hauptwerk will load from the original raw samples and regenerate the sample set cache, which will be very slow. However, each time you load it subsequently via the normal 'Organ | Load organ' menu option (as opposed to 'Organ | Load organ, adjusting rank audio output routing') it should load from the sample set cache using Hauptwerk's high-speed multi-core optimised loading mechanism.

Presumably you haven't disabled the high-speed loading mechanism on the 'General settings | General options' screen?

I don't know off-hand how long the Zwolle should take to load, but I would have thought it would be *much* less than four minutes when loading normally from sample set cache.
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Re: SSD & HW

Postby counterpoint » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:27 pm

mdyde wrote:Are you sure you were loading the sample from the sample set cache? The first time that you load a sample set, or if you load it via the 'Organ | Load organ, adjusting rank audio output routing', or via the Design tools menu, Hauptwerk will load from the original raw samples and regenerate the sample set cache, which will be very slow. However, each time you load it subsequently via the normal 'Organ | Load organ' menu option (as opposed to 'Organ | Load organ, adjusting rank audio output routing') it should load from the sample set cache using Hauptwerk's high-speed multi-core optimised loading mechanism.

Presumably you haven't disabled the high-speed loading mechanism on the 'General settings | General options' screen?

I don't know off-hand how long the Zwolle should take to load, but I would have thought it would be *much* less than four minutes when loading normally from sample set cache.


Ah, yes, you are quite correct Martin. I have not used Huaptwerk in a long time and completely forgot about that. I decided to try a benchmark of Hauptwerk when I decided to upgrade to a SSD.

System 1 configuration:
Asus P5K Deluxe
Intel Q6600 @ 3.1 Ghz
Patriot 8GB DDR2-800
Crucial C300 256GB SSD
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Hauptwerk 3.30

Loading the Zwolle organ took 36 seconds. When I overclocked the CPU to 3.61 Ghz, loading the organ took only 32 seconds!

System 2 configuration:
Asus P6X58D-E
Intel i7 930 @ 3.0 Ghz
Corsair Dominator 12GB DDR3-1600
2 x Western Digital 750AAKS 750GB 7200rpm in RAID-0
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Hauptwerk 3.30

Loading the Zwolle took 35 seconds.

Therefore, I can confirm Timo's results that using an SSD yielded little to no improvement. Also, Martin you are also correct in suspecting the CPU speed in being the bottleneck when not limited by disk I/O.

Thanks.
Last edited by counterpoint on Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SSD & HW

Postby micdev » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:29 pm

Was about to reply the same thing as Martin... being surprise how slow your time is! The wet extended Zwolle loaded at 20bit takes 1m20sec. on my Xp64-Q9550-16Gb el cheapo Kingston ram...

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Re: SSD & HW

Postby counterpoint » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:24 pm

Timo, am I correct in assuming that you are using a non-raid HDD system? If so, then I think you should be able to achieve much greater performance out of the Intel SSD over a single HDD. Since the SSD should be giving you at least double the disk I/O, and since we are using the same processor, I think it should be loading much faster than 1 min 20 sec. According to shuttle's website, the shuttle pc you have has an Intel ICH7R controller. According to this review, http://techreport.com/articles.x/16848/12, the ICH7R should be capable of sustained 200+ MB/s. Perhaps you can try overclocking the CPU?
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Re: SSD & HW

Postby Timo » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:35 pm

Yes, I'm using non-RAID configuration. Reasons for two disks are mostly the backup capability and speeding up installation and initial load time. My CPU speed is 2,4 GHz so that the one to blame. I'm no speed freek and quite happy with 70-80 second load time. I had no time to evaluate the situation further, so I put that SSD into my mini laptop and that boots up now in 25 seconds. And that counted trom pushing the power switch till Windows XP fully functional including virus scanner. Actually, just start-up of BIOS takes half of the time. Thanks for the suggestion, counterpoint. I'll keep this in mind when considering upgrade for my organ PC.

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