Blazing Fast NVMEs and Direct Storage API for PCs *spawn*

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by DavidGraham, May 18, 2020.

  1. manux

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    Other than being unlucky ssd's are pretty reliable? More reliable than spinners? I have a notoriously bad 256GB samsung 840 evo drive from 2013 as my boot drive. It's still going strong despite all the flaws the drive has. One big flaw being that the data in this drive degrades over time and makes reads very slow. Fix is to periodically rewrite entire contents of disk.

    256GB drive, almost 7 years of use, 29.4TB written to it and still going strong.

    Maybe doing something crazy like bittorrents 24/7 for some years and not caching the blocks in ram could wear out ssd(constant small writes if caching is minimal/disabled). "regular" gaming/desktop use I have trouble imagining a use case that would just destroy the drive due to too many writes.
     
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  2. Davros

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    What are peoples thoughts about having your swap file on nvme ssd?
     
  3. pcchen

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    Personally I think it's better to have more RAM and thus eliminate the need for page files completely. However, for some reason Windows seems to require page files for some functions, but it's still better to have large enough RAM so it's rarely if ever used.
    Note that many cloud service providers discourage people from using page files on SSD.
     
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  4. iroboto

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    due to drive failure?
     
  5. manux

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    Thank you for writing this. I have been wondering why is my win10 desktop showing 3GB memory used after boot and laptop with same win10 version says 5GB in use. It was the swap file. Swap counted towards used ram. Now my laptop also has swap disabled and eats 3GB of ram after booting up.

    My solution is to not use swap file. Just have more ram. I don't do this do save ssd write cycles, I doubt swap would have meaningful impact to ssd lifetime. I do this to just avoid unnecessary swapping out of paranoia.
     
    #165 manux, Jun 30, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
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  6. eastmen

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    I have my swap file on a sata ssd. It was a 256 gig that I got for $50 bucks , its pretty fast too.
     
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  7. Rikimaru

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    I do not think so. If you do not use SSD, data on it won't be readable after some time.
     
  8. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    I guess so. If you don't have enough main memory, there can be a lot of writes to swap files.
     
  9. Davros

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    I am going to try running windows with no swap file see if I have any problems (I have 32gb)
    For a while I did use amd's ramdrive to create a 4gb (the max) drive and put a 4gb swap on it but I got fed up of the constant notifications "your disk is running out of space do you want to run disk cleanup"
    I was thinking one day I will probably be using ssd's for offline backup do you have any more info or links on this ?
     
  10. eastmen

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    hows that ? I have a back up ssd a 128 gig one with some old files. I haven't plugged in for over a year. Just checked and the data is still there ?
     
  11. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    Actually SSD's data retention is probably better than typical HDD. The idea that SSD lost data after some unplugged time is probably based on this report, but it's for SSD that's past its useful life, not for normally functional SSD.
    However, it's still not ideal using SSD as a long term cold storage (note that HDD is not much better in this regard). Unfortunately there's very few consumer solutions good for long term cold storage (very good quality DVD-R is one of such solution).
     
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  12. Davros

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    I noticed you didn't include dvd+r was there a reason for that ?
    and what are your thoughts on using blueray ?
     
    #172 Davros, Jul 1, 2020 at 10:06 PM
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020 at 12:58 AM
  13. manux

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  14. pcchen

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    DVD+R is quite similar to DVD-R functional wise, so they should have similar data retention rate.
    The RW variants generally have much lower data retention rate, but they are still supposed to be able to hold data for years.
    I have no personal experience with Blu-ray R discs, but if you buy from a reputable vendor, they should have similar lifespan as DVD+/-R.
    Tapes are also quite good for data retention but I don't consider them as consumer grade devices.
     
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  15. hughJ

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    The concern I'd have with respect to drive wear are that torture tests involving filling to capacity, deletion, and then refilling sounds like an ideal way to get maximum total writes before sectors start getting decommissioned. I would venture a guess that most people who have SSDs tend to actually utilize them, so they end up with most of it occupied, much of that being persistent long-term stuff while a couple big games periodically get deleted to make room for other big games. In that scenario most of your writes are focused on a fraction of the drive. That would be doubly bad for QLC drives as the tech is not only less resistant to wear, but your sustained write performance is entirely dependent on how much empty space you have for that SLC cache.
     
  16. eastmen

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    trim keeps track of what is writen where to evenly cycle wear on the drive. So you shouldn't really have that issue. Windows 10 runs trim every week or so.
     
  17. hughJ

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    My understanding of TRIM is that it's reporting what is deleted, and that wear leveling and garbage collection are things that occur to available sections of the drive, whether it be deleted, empty, or over-provisioned?
     
  18. dobwal

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    ?

    I know swapfile and pagefile are often used interchangeably. But since Windows 8, isn’t a swapfile and pagefile distinct due to serving different functions?

    Where a pagefile is larger than available ram and is managed as virtual ram, a swapfile is much smaller (~256 MB) and is used to swap in and out Metro style apps during suspend/resume.

    If your PC is constantly writing out to SSD to the pagefile then increasing RAM makes sense. Disabling the pagefile system makes less sense, if you are constantly needing more RAM than you have physically. Your system is more likely to crash.
     
    #178 dobwal, Jul 6, 2020 at 7:49 AM
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020 at 8:20 AM
  19. eastmen

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    I dunno
    https://www.crucial.com/articles/about-ssd/what-is-trim
    "Trim also affects the longevity of the solid state drive. If data is written and erased from the same NAND cells all the time, those cells will lose integrity. For optimum life, each cell should be utilized at roughly the same rate as other cells. This is called wear leveling. The Trim command tells the SSD which cells can be erased during idle time, which also allows the drive to organize the remaining data-filled cells and the empty cells to write to to avoid unnecessary erasing and rewriting. "

    So looks like trim in conjunction with garbage collection and then the drives own software ?
     
  20. pcchen

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    Oh I was talking about VM providers. Most of them runs Linux.
    Some people would run a very small VM (e.g. only with 1GB RAM) and set up a swap partition to avoid crash due to out of memory error. However, because most of the VMs are running backend workloads, which means that if you runs out of memory, it's likely that you'll run out of memory all the time, and that creates a lot of writes on the swap partition thus bad for the underlying SSD which might be shared with other customers. That's why the providers recommend against using swap partitions on their VM. It's not efficient anyway.
     
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