Search:
Submit Search


PCI-Express Solid State Drive

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

PCI-Express Solid State Drive

Postby oliver_mayes » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:15 pm

My Christmas present to me was an OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2MAX PCIe 240GB solid state drive. It may not be worth the money, but it sure is fast. I made it the boot drive with windows 7 and put all my main programs on it including Hauptwerk.

Window load time - 4 seconds.
HW load with no organ - 1 second (was 4 seconds)
Load St. Anne's - 7 seconds (was 58 seconds)
Load Master Works Skinner - 11 seconds (was 56 seconds)
Load Paramount 450 - 19 seconds (was 78 seconds)
Load Silver Octopus Father Will Studio 80 - 41 seconds (was 143 seconds)

I would be interested in these load times with a normal SATA SSD.

Ollie Mayes
oliver_mayes
Member
 
Posts: 531
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:05 pm
Location: Crystal Lake, IL

Re: PCI-Express Solid State Drive

Postby TheOrganDoc » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:55 pm

Ollie,
Thank you for the news.
Hopefully, this is what future computers are going to come with sometime in the near future.
Your results are truly amazing !
It appears that the startup times for a Hauptwerk Organ,
are quickly approaching the Blower
start time of a Pipe Organ, or even faster ! :D

Mel,,,,,,TheOrganDoc,,,,,,
Mel..............TheOrganDoc...............
User avatar
TheOrganDoc
Member
 
Posts: 787
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:13 pm
Location: South East, Florida, USA

Re: PCI-Express Solid State Drive

Postby TheOrganDoc » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:23 pm

Ollie, and all,

I just checked out the OCZ Drives on Amazon,
and there are a breadbox full of them,
varying in price from less than two hundred, to nearly three thousand US $.
How do we decide which one to get for a particular organ computer ?
Thanks, Mel
Mel..............TheOrganDoc...............
User avatar
TheOrganDoc
Member
 
Posts: 787
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:13 pm
Location: South East, Florida, USA

Re: PCI-Express Solid State Drive

Postby oliver_mayes » Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:09 pm

Mel,
The standard SSD's connect to a SATA3 connection on the motherbaord and are pretty fast and not too expensive.

The PCI -Express SSD's are much faster since the bandwith is much larger. My bandwidth measures 5.0 Gb, but that is that max I can measure. The PCI Express are the expensive ones, but are the fastest available. I got the 240 GB drive as a compromise on price. I think it was about $800 USD. It holds Windows 7, Office 2010 (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc) as well as Hauptwerk and 7 organs. After formatting there is 223 GB available and I still have 81 GB free. I have two regular mechanical drives for backup.

Ollie Mayes
oliver_mayes
Member
 
Posts: 531
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:05 pm
Location: Crystal Lake, IL

Re: PCI-Express Solid State Drive

Postby Organorak » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:11 am

Interesting performance figures. I wonder how much this would be a factor in your faster load times however if you have started with a brand new disk though:

http://blog.sqlpositive.com/2012/05/a-s ... -leveling/

The article suggests that the performance of a brand new, clean SSD is considerably better than one that has had a fair bit of use, since every time you save something onto an SSD an algorithm finds an unused or not recently used bit of disk to write to, to preserve the life of the SSD. Hence a well-used SSD has slower performance than a new disk with unused space after accounting for installing Windows. The author recommends deliberately saving two or three times the disk size in filesize (ie for a 256GB disk you would save and delete around 750GB of files onto the disk), before rating its performance.

Having recently reinstalled Win 7 (64 bit) onto my computer I decided to try installing to a RAID1 configuration rather than as previously RAID0 to see what difference it made to load times. I am using two 1GB Samsung Spinpoint F3 harddrives. Best of three load times in seconds follows, starting from clicking on the organ in an open Hauptwerk and stopping the clock when the console is fully open.

_______._____RAID0____.____RAID1
Caen_________.__86_____._____158
Paramount 310____8_____._______6
Salisbury________67_______.___122
Zwolle_____._____91______.____188

Bear in mind I was comparing an "old" (well, a few months worth of use), Windows RAID0 installation against a brand new RAID1 installation. Apart from that, all samples were identical with the exception that when I reinstalled Windows, for some reason my Zwolle configuration of 24bit samples front, 20bit samples rear that had loaded (just) in 23GB RAM on my RAID0 configuration refused to fully load in my reinstalled Windows environment so I had to adjust it and load some of the rear ranks in 16bit sound in order for it to fit. I don't know if that speeds up the loading?

I'm intrigued to see that whilst most samples take roughly twice as long to load as they did before, one sample (Paramount) loads faster in RAID1 than in RAID0. Are there any ways of optimising load times for the other sample sets?
Organorak
Member
 
Posts: 639
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:55 am

Re: PCI-Express Solid State Drive

Postby mdyde » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:19 am

Hello Organorak,

Apart from that, all samples were identical with the exception that when I reinstalled Windows, for some reason my Zwolle configuration of 24bit samples front, 20bit samples rear that had loaded (just) in 23GB RAM on my RAID0 configuration refused to fully load in my reinstalled Windows environment so I had to adjust it and load some of the rear ranks in 16bit sound in order for it to fit. I don't know if that speeds up the loading?


In general, if samples are loaded in a lower resolution then they'll take less disk space and should thus be faster to load, to some extent.

If you format a hard-disk when reinstalling Windows the it will probably be less fragmented, which could also make it perform slightly better.

Having recently reinstalled Win 7 (64 bit) onto my computer I decided to try installing to a RAID1 configuration rather than as previously RAID0 to see what difference it made to load times. I am using two 1GB Samsung Spinpoint F3 harddrives. Best of three load times in seconds follows, starting from clicking on the organ in an open Hauptwerk and stopping the clock when the console is fully open.

_______._____RAID0____.____RAID1
Caen_________.__86_____._____158
Paramount 310____8_____._______6
Salisbury________67_______.___122
Zwolle_____._____91______.____188


Note that for sample set loading times to be measured fully meaningfully you need to reboot the computer each time before loading a sample set (otherwise Windows might still have some or all of the sample set file in its file cache in memory, rather than reading it physically from the disk).

Most (maybe all) RAID controllers built into desktop motherboards will give much higher performance with RAID 0 than RAID 1, with RAID 1 typically only giving about the same performance as just a single disk. However, it's theoretically possible for RAID 1 to give almost double the performance of a single disk (i.e. comparable to RAID 0) when reading large sequential files (because alternate chunks can be read from each of the two disks simultaneously), an optimisation some of the more expensive dedicated RAID controllers probably take advantage of (although I don't know specifically which). (A few years I used to use a 2-disk RAID 1 array via OS X 10.4's software RAID, which appeared to manage about 1.4-1.5 times the performance of a single hard-drive, and so presumably took advantage of that, or a similar, optimisation.)

I'm intrigued to see that whilst most samples take roughly twice as long to load as they did before, one sample (Paramount) loads faster in RAID1 than in RAID0. Are there any ways of optimising load times for the other sample sets?


The slightly lower loading times you saw for the Paramount probably aren't related to the RAID configuration. Perhaps they occurred because Windows had been reinstalled, the drives had been reformated (fragmentation or where they happened to be located on the platters), or Windows happened to have (more of) the file in its file cache in memory, for example.

Hence I don't think you should attach any significance to that particular result.

Hope that helps.
Best regards,
Martin.

[Please use email or the Contact page if you need to contact us privately, rather than private forum messages.]

Image
User avatar
mdyde
Moderator
 
Posts: 10644
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2003 2:19 pm
Location: UK

Re: PCI-Express Solid State Drive

Postby pat17 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:01 pm

Organorak wrote:I'm intrigued to see that whilst most samples take roughly twice as long to load as they did before, one sample (Paramount) loads faster in RAID1 than in RAID0. Are there any ways of optimising load times for the other sample sets?


To a certain extent I have monitored the same when switching to a new Mac with SSD - the smaller sample set loading time saving was less impressive than for the big ones.

Ghent Beiaard - less than 1 GB in RAM - loading time was divided by two only, whereas Mietke Harpsichord - 5.2 GB in RAM - took almost 4.5 times less than before. I was rebooting the Mini between each test.

Complete results here - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=11277
User avatar
pat17
Member
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:53 am
Location: France, La Rochelle

Re: PCI-Express Solid State Drive

Postby Organorak » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:07 pm

OK, so here's an update. I have two Samsung Spinpoint F3 7200rom drives which are fairly high-performance (at least they were when I got them 18 months ago). My motherboard supports either RAID0 or RAID1, or, using Intel Storage Matrix and Intel Rapid Storage Technology (IRST), a combination of both, ie two volumes/drives can be spread across the two disks, one RAID1 and the other RAID0. My latest "experiment" has been to install Windows, Hauptwerk and all my documents on the RAID1 drive (for redundancy) and the Hauptwerk cache files on the RAID0 drive for speed (along with a copy of them on the RAID1 in case the RAID0 goes down and needs recreating). After a certain amount of tweaking (it took a number of attempts to persuade IRST to install itself) I can report the following, quoting best of three loading times from clicking on the organ to load to having a fully open console.

_______._____RAID0____.____RAID1____.____RAID0 drive for cached files plus RAID1 C:\ drive
Caen_________.__86_____._____158____.____121
Paramount 310____8_____._______6____.______6
Salisbury________67_______.___122____.____100
Zwolle_____._____91______.____188____.____123

I suppose the final test here would be to create a large RAID0 and small RAID1 (used just to image and reinstal the RAID1 if it went down), though it may be that having a RAID1 and RAID0 across the same pair of disks will always slow the RIAD controler down more than just having a RAID0 configuration and I can't just at moment face reinstalling everything yet again.

It probably makes a bit of a difference two that when I reinstalled Hauptwerk I was finding problems with the larer sets (especially Zwolle) loading rear samples in 24GB of RAM so I changed them to load in 16GB RAM. Salisbury and Paramount haven't changed what I load them in so are the best comparison I think. And I found a difference of around 10-15 seconds more than these times if I wasn't logged out of my other user account when playing my organ (which is set up with a different user account).

Reading speed (as measured using Windows' own performance monitor) looked like being around 150 megabytes per second.

Just as a comparison, does anyone with 24GB of RAM have their cached files on an SSD and could comment on how their loading times compare with mine?
Organorak
Member
 
Posts: 639
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:55 am

Re: PCI-Express Solid State Drive

Postby NickNelson » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:13 pm

Organorak wrote:Just as a comparison, does anyone with 24GB of RAM have their cached files on an SSD and could comment on how their loading times compare with mine?


Hereford 67 (cache file size = about 14GB) 50 seconds

Nick
User avatar
NickNelson
Member
 
Posts: 779
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:31 am
Location: Leeds, UK

Re: PCI-Express Solid State Drive

Postby Organorak » Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:36 pm

Thanks very much Nick - as it happens my Salisbury cache file is also 14GB. Thus that would probably also mean approximately 50 secs for SSD, versus 67 secs for RAID0, or 100 secs for RAID0 with RAID1 backup (which makes sense - at a read rate of around 150MB/s 14GB should load in around 94 seconds).

Hmm, difficult decision whether it's worth spending an extra £150 to shave 50 seconds off my load times...i wonder if my wife will notice it missing from the bank statement?
Organorak
Member
 
Posts: 639
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:55 am


Return to Computer hardware / specs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests