Finally found a use for a ram disk

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by eyoungren, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. eyoungren, Jan 12, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017

    eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #1
    I have never owned a Mac where I had RAM to spare. Even the G5 and Mac Pro at work have limited ram (the G5 has 4GB and the MP has 3GB).

    But with the ram I now have in my 2.3DC I DO have ram to spare and I've allocated 2GB of it to a ram disk.

    Usable as a scratch disk by Photoshop and a recovery data location for InDesign it's helped speed things up a bit.

    I'm using the system Prefpane called "Esperance DV". It's been around for a while but this is the first time I've really been able to leverage it.

    And the best thing about it is that it will reload the ram disk on reboot. I don't have to remember.

    Esperance DV can be found here.

    Because Dropbox killed the Public folder: https://www.dropbox.com/s/c2qvj0e3dfp1m02/esperance_dv.zip?dl=0

    Finder.png
     
  2. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

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    #2
    Nice that you've actually discovered a practical purpose for one.

    If there was ever an example of a system with more RAM than sense it's my 8600 with 1GB memory. But even still I don't have a useful reason to use a RamDisk.
     
  3. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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  4. eyoungren, Jan 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017

    eyoungren thread starter macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #4
    :)

    Yes. You can move the cache to the ram disk. Puts it directly in RAM.

    Open about config and find: browser.cache.disk.parent_directory

    If it does not exist, create it as a 'New String'. Specify the path to the directory. In my case, the path would be: /Volumes/YV14_RAM_2G/

    Just keep in mind that it's volatile. Once the system unmounts the ram disk (say if you restart) everything that's in there is gone forever. That may cause some issues for browsing so you may wish to copy whatever is in there to a real drive before shutting down or restarting (and then copying it back when you reboot).

    Info from here (note that it specifies file paths in Windows format): http://ccm.net/faq/40745-firefox-how-to-change-the-location-of-the-temporary-files-folder

    NOTE: My filepath was wrong. I have fixed it. You need to use forward slashes.

    Next, you must have a positive integer here: browser.cache.disk.capacity

    And finally, most important! browser.cache.disk.enable must be TRUE!
     
  5. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #5
    Thanks Erik. I'll give that a go on my G5. It gets nowhere near using all 8GB!
     
  6. eyoungren thread starter macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #6
    Let me know how it goes.

    Someone else had a different solution here a while back. Unfortunately, on Leopard and my G5 I cannot seem to get their app to work. But the difference between their app and this prefpane is this:

    Esperance can only give you a maximum of 2GB. The other app can go as high as you have RAM for. However, Esperance will reload the ram drive when you relogin. The other app will not.

    It's more important to me that my ram disk reload so I didn't really try to get the other app working.

    As I mentioned though, Esperance has been around for a LONG time. I was using it at a certain point with the G5 here at work (when it was my Mac). And I've had it on my old TiBook when it was alive as well. It's only just now that I have 2GB to spare to really start using it.

    Last little bit. It works under Yosemite on the Mac Pro at work. The prefpane will crash System Preferences when you create the ram disk, but the ram disk IS created and will return when you relogin (if you have it set that way). I thought that was interesting.
     
  7. macmee Suspended

    macmee

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    #7
    On new Macs I use a terminal command to make a ram disk.

    The quad G5 has a maximum ram amount of 16gb right? Damnit I want one so bad.
     
  8. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #8
    Oh, thanks! I'm gonna try this on my 15"PB-G4. Do you think 200MB of the 2GB is enough for that purpose? I'd like to check, if performance speeds up somehow ...
    The browser- or any other cache is one of the few things I would dare to put into a RAM-disk since I'm afraid to loose stuff. It's easy to get back to the point where you've left the session by looking it up in the history.
    (Unless the History is also placed on the RAM-disk and gets lost ...?)
    I've set the "browser.sessionstore.intervall" to 1h (=3600000) anyway to keep off TFF/Firefox eating up my mSATAs/SSDs. And it should speed up things also slightly, when using TFF on a G4-PB?
    For clipping important stuff I use DEVONthink.
     
  9. eyoungren thread starter macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #9
    200MB sounds like a start. I cannot answer your other questions. But cache files should not be large files.
     
  10. bobesch, Jan 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017

    bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #10
    Well, I started with 300MB RamDisc, but reduced it to 150MB by now. Maybe even 100MB is big enough for browser-cache. For my 12"PB with only 1.25GB of RAM I'm gonna start to apply a 50MB RamDisk just to stop using the mSATA for browsing.
    Browser-History will survive rebooting the system. That's fine and the only thing I really need.
    By reducing the sessionstore.intervall of TFF there's only minimal footprint to the mSATA.
    Thanks a lot - this has been the really the Tip Of The Week :)
     
  11. eyoungren thread starter macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #12
    So, I made a 96mb RAM disk on my 17" PowerBook and moved T4Fx's cache over to it (50mb of cache). Seems to be working fairly well. Not making a very large disk, I only have 2GB of ram to work with on this Mac.
     
  12. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Yes, because I put the cache on the RAM disk. Classilla gets the same treatment under OS 9.

    Using the RAM disk certainly helps those.
     
  13. ziggy29 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Sometimes for grins I do that with my 7600 in OS 9, also with 1 GB. I may create a 100 MB RAM disk, load a copy of one of my pre-OS X system folders into it, and reboot using the RAM disk as the boot drive. Not really all that useful since with a 1 GHz G4 and an mSATA drive (with IDE adapter on a Sonnet Tempo PCI card) it runs really fast anyway, but something to "goof off" with once in a while.
     
  14. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #15
    Gave it 2GB, ran XBench,
    350MB/sec read and write. Unsure if that's the limit of the benchmark application though.

    Lovely and speedy for decompressing files and playing large video files from.
     
  15. supergaia macrumors member

    supergaia

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    #16
    hi eyoungren , i have enough ram
    and i'm looking for a program like this
    the link doens't work anymore
    i would like to move chrome and firefox cache to the ram disk
    thanks
     
  16. eyoungren thread starter macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #17
    Yeah, that's 'cause Dropbox killed the public folder.

    I have so many old links to stuff that's still there I update on a case by case basis…

    Here you go: https://www.dropbox.com/s/c2qvj0e3dfp1m02/esperance_dv.zip?dl=0
     
  17. supergaia macrumors member

    supergaia

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    #18
    hi eyoungren!
    can you help me to move the firefox & chrome cache to the ram disk?
    thanks
     
  18. eyoungren thread starter macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #19
    I can only help you with FFx as I do not know how to do this in Chrome.

    After you establish your RAM disk (make sure it's a name you plan on never changing) go to about:config: in Firefox and create a new string value of: browser.cache.disk.parent_directory

    Provide the path to the disk and directory you wish to use in a Mac format, such as: /Volumes/RAM_Disk

    Restart Firefox. There will automatically be a cache folder created in the RAM disk if you did this right.
     
  19. supergaia macrumors member

    supergaia

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    #20
    hi
    thank you so much
    sadly i use almost chrome , maybe i could find out how move the cache to the ram disk
    i did a search and in windows there is a way to create a shortcut like --disk-cache-dir=(the new location)
    i guess i could do with sierra , but i'm not an expert

    by the way it's off topic , is there something better of ccleaner to clean chrome and firefox cache?
     
  20. AphoticD macrumors 65816

    AphoticD

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    #21
    Nice one. Thanks for posting the link. I'll have a play with this on my G5 too.
     
  21. eyoungren thread starter macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #22
    I don't know. I do not use either. Whenever I quit TenFourFox/Firefox my settings are set to clear the cache.

    And Chrome I only use on my MBP and Thinkpad when necessary.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 19, 2017 ---
    I like Esperance. I've had it in one form or the other since the early '00s.

    It makes it easy to make a ram disk on OS X and it will do it every time you reboot. It's only limitation is that it's 2GB max.
     
  22. supergaia macrumors member

    supergaia

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    #23
    hi eyoungren , i guess that i can create an alias for chrome
    but the program is compatible with the last version of sierra?
    thanks
     
  23. eyoungren thread starter macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #24
    Again, sorry.

    The one MacPro I have access to is running Yosemite. I have no clue about anything in relation to Sierra.
     
  24. AphoticD macrumors 65816

    AphoticD

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    #25
    Out of curiosity, I ran Xbench on the Ram Disk. Here are the real-world results of pushing filesystem data around in memory.

    RamDisk-G5DP20.png
    Power Mac G5 Dual 2.0Ghz (7,2) 8GB PC3200 (400Mhz) DDR RAM
    Copying TenFourFox FP3 across to the RamDisk results in a total launch time of 5 seconds (down from 11 seconds on the 7200rpm HDD)

    RamDisk-G5DC23.png

    Power Mac G5 DualCore 2.3Ghz (11,2) 16GB PC4200 (533Mhz) DDR2 RAM
    Copying TenFourFox FP3 across to the RamDisk results in a total launch time of 4 seconds (down from 9 seconds on the 7200rpm HDD)

    At 400MB+ per second read/write speed, this would also make a nice scratch disk for Photoshop or Final Cut Pro.
     

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