SSD vs RAM Disk

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by iamcheerful, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. iamcheerful macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #1
    Given that SSDs are all the rage these days, be it in portables or desktops, I just want to ask for the opinions of our mac community how do these 2 perform.

    I'll likely do a simple perception test with my pb3400c/200 & 240 MHz vs the early 2008 Mac Pro (unfortunately, no SSD equipped yet)

    It won't be a totally objective test, as far as possible I want to try to do a realworld kind of test. That said, I'll be disabling Flash or maybe even all plug-ins. However will retain Java & Java script settings.

    I was kinda disappointed Apple didn't continue their RAM Disk trick with OS X (RAM is so cheap now, think of what we can do with a 16 GB Bootable RAM Disk!)

    Still recall the days where I run my pb3400 on RAM. She was so quiet and can last at least 4.5 hrs on a single battery charge. Writing on such a machine is so nice as it is rather cool and no noise.
     
  2. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #2
    Apple does have a RAM disk, they just don't make it as easy to access or bootable. The Terminal commands are easy to find through google.

    Download Espérance DV. I made a 2GB disk and put my firefox cache and my most-used apps onto it.
     
  3. iamcheerful thread starter macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #3
    i would love to make it bootable ;)
    any workaround or special tips to bring back the good old days of RAM disk? i know it is volatile memory but i'm fine with it as long as it doesn't burn a hole in the pocket. SSD is still a bit too rich for my taste at the moment.

    that said, any idea if in realworld test that SSDs will be outperformed by RAM/RAM Disk?

    *on paper, definitely RAM is way faster than SSD.

    *well, depends on what kind of RAM too i guess. ;)

    p.s. Thanks for the recommendation of Espérance DV. The one I used to use --- ramBunctious. i used to use their Peek-a-Boo software in OS 9 too. Was very useful for me.
     
  4. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #4
    Before we try I think a RAM-Disk is nearly the speed of RAM. On a 2006 mac Pro 1,1 that's 1.7 to 1.8 gigabytes per second. An SSD is only 2 or 3 times faster than a single drive - or about the same speed as a 2 or 3 drive RAID 0 with drives that have the new 500GB platter densities.

    Here's a RAM Drive for anyone to try: http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/16518

    Or build one by hand in the CLI. Or with the included script at: http://osxdaily.com/2007/03/23/create-a-ram-disk-in-mac-os-x/

    Here's what I get on a MacPro 1,1 on my brand new and otherwise free 2GB RamDrive:


    ▁▂▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▂▁
    Compare with the tests performed on a 3-drive RAID0 here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=7673878&postcount=1


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    ▁▂▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▂▁
    Compare with the previous tests performed on a 3-drive RAID0 and one SSD here: here and here.

    Code:
    +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | Blocksize           |     IOPs |   Throughput | User CPU | Avg Latency | Max Latency |
    +---------------------+----------+--------------+----------+-------------+-------------+
      512        Seq Read   417290.7   203.755 MB/s    1.610 s      0.009 ms     12.976 ms  
              Random Read   271817.7   132.723 MB/s    3.108 s      0.014 ms      0.564 ms  
                Seq Write   358143.7   174.875 MB/s    1.687 s      0.010 ms     10.620 ms  
             Random Write    15887.9     7.758 MB/s    4.670 s      0.250 ms      1.126 ms  
      Create scratch file   369480.0   180.410 MB/s    1.712 s      0.010 ms     32.342 ms  
      1 K        Seq Read   437331.2   427.081 MB/s    0.797 s      0.009 ms      0.050 ms  
              Random Read   285235.8   278.551 MB/s    1.451 s      0.013 ms      0.062 ms  
                Seq Write   312146.3   304.830 MB/s    0.865 s      0.012 ms     11.457 ms  
             Random Write    16240.3    15.860 MB/s    2.288 s      0.245 ms      0.998 ms  
      Create scratch file   288312.6   281.555 MB/s    0.820 s      0.012 ms     32.177 ms  
      2 K        Seq Read   410844.9   802.431 MB/s    0.427 s      0.009 ms      0.057 ms  
              Random Read   280509.5   547.870 MB/s    0.736 s      0.014 ms      0.069 ms  
                Seq Write   220705.1   431.065 MB/s    0.482 s      0.016 ms     27.525 ms  
             Random Write    16215.8    31.671 MB/s    1.138 s      0.245 ms      0.923 ms  
      Create scratch file   193014.5   376.982 MB/s    0.465 s      0.018 ms     27.067 ms  
      4 K        Seq Read   349756.6  1366.237 MB/s    0.229 s      0.011 ms      0.075 ms  
              Random Read   261645.0  1022.051 MB/s    0.370 s      0.015 ms      0.085 ms  
                Seq Write   124963.4   488.138 MB/s    0.260 s      0.026 ms     23.686 ms  
             Random Write    30259.0   118.199 MB/s    0.447 s      0.131 ms      3.020 ms  
      Create scratch file   105937.2   413.817 MB/s    0.262 s      0.032 ms     27.385 ms  
      8 K        Seq Read   257636.0  2012.781 MB/s    0.128 s      0.015 ms      0.092 ms  
              Random Read   213058.1  1664.517 MB/s    0.202 s      0.018 ms      0.062 ms  
                Seq Write    68902.9   538.304 MB/s    0.129 s      0.046 ms     24.968 ms  
             Random Write    26680.4   208.441 MB/s    0.230 s      0.147 ms      2.949 ms  
      Create scratch file    72522.3   566.580 MB/s    0.142 s      0.045 ms     23.822 ms  
      16 K       Seq Read   164677.9  2573.092 MB/s    0.068 s      0.023 ms      0.050 ms  
              Random Read   145740.2  2277.191 MB/s    0.111 s      0.026 ms      0.081 ms  
                Seq Write    19418.9   303.421 MB/s    0.099 s      0.204 ms      0.342 ms  
             Random Write    18928.5   295.757 MB/s    0.166 s      0.209 ms      0.341 ms  
      Create scratch file    28098.5   439.039 MB/s    0.068 s      0.108 ms     34.850 ms  
      32 K       Seq Read    91480.8  2858.776 MB/s    0.038 s      0.041 ms      0.081 ms  
              Random Read    87383.9  2730.748 MB/s    0.056 s      0.043 ms      0.093 ms  
                Seq Write    15688.2   490.256 MB/s    0.046 s      0.251 ms      0.390 ms  
             Random Write    15317.5   478.672 MB/s    0.071 s      0.257 ms      0.377 ms  
      Create scratch file    14507.0   453.345 MB/s    0.036 s      0.214 ms     35.633 ms  
      64 K       Seq Read    48855.0  3053.435 MB/s   -0.116 s      0.076 ms      0.199 ms  
              Random Read    44572.9  2785.806 MB/s    0.029 s      0.079 ms      0.198 ms  
                Seq Write    10332.5   645.781 MB/s    0.025 s      0.382 ms      0.666 ms  
             Random Write    10048.9   628.057 MB/s    0.037 s      0.392 ms      0.521 ms  
      Create scratch file     7025.9   439.116 MB/s    0.020 s      0.439 ms     36.258 ms  
      128 K      Seq Read    24754.4  3094.299 MB/s    0.010 s      0.144 ms      0.354 ms  
              Random Read    25561.1  3195.143 MB/s    0.016 s      0.137 ms      0.367 ms  
                Seq Write     6153.2   769.149 MB/s    0.012 s      0.640 ms      1.104 ms  
             Random Write     6042.6   755.330 MB/s    0.016 s      0.651 ms      0.997 ms  
      Create scratch file     4137.7   517.207 MB/s    0.013 s      0.836 ms     30.693 ms  
      256 K      Seq Read    12862.8  3215.693 MB/s    0.006 s      0.284 ms      0.567 ms  
              Random Read    13205.7  3301.420 MB/s    0.008 s      0.283 ms      0.520 ms  
                Seq Write     3167.5   791.868 MB/s    0.007 s      1.245 ms      3.135 ms  
             Random Write     3012.2   753.062 MB/s    0.012 s      1.308 ms      1.794 ms  
      Create scratch file     2042.0   510.500 MB/s    0.007 s      1.584 ms     40.829 ms  
      512 K      Seq Read     6396.2  3198.081 MB/s    0.003 s      0.570 ms      1.052 ms  
              Random Read     6883.5  3441.748 MB/s    0.006 s      0.538 ms      1.020 ms  
                Seq Write     1433.3   716.666 MB/s    0.004 s      2.741 ms      5.827 ms  
             Random Write     1285.8   642.885 MB/s    0.006 s      3.051 ms      3.615 ms  
      Create scratch file      970.1   485.045 MB/s    0.006 s      3.229 ms     38.185 ms  
      1 M        Seq Read     2603.7  2603.743 MB/s    0.005 s      1.450 ms      2.281 ms  
              Random Read     2429.0  2428.953 MB/s    0.006 s      1.460 ms      2.993 ms  
                Seq Write      576.4   576.439 MB/s    0.003 s      6.745 ms     12.633 ms  
             Random Write      641.1   641.067 MB/s    0.004 s      6.055 ms      7.501 ms  
      Create scratch file      487.4   487.353 MB/s    0.009 s      6.619 ms     35.948 ms  
    +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    
    
    Benchmark Parameters Summary
    ============================
    
    
    Device	:	RamDisk 	(/dev/disk7),	write Media 
    Block Size Range
    	Start:	0.50 K
    	End:	1 M
    File I/O Size:	20 MB
    Number of threads:	4
    File System Cache: Off
    Read Ahead: Off
    IO type: File IO
    Tests Run:
    	Sequential Read
    	Sequential Write
    	Random Read
    	Random Write
    

    Code:
    Results	906.19	
    	System Info		
    		Xbench Version		1.3
    		System Version		10.5.7 (9J61)
    		Physical RAM		12288 MB
    		Model		MacPro1,1
    		Drive Type		Apple read/write RAM-Drive
    	Disk Test	906.19	
    		Sequential	553.47	
    			Uncached Write	415.27	254.97 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Write	1242.03	702.74 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	282.08	82.55 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	2132.99	1072.02 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    		Random	2498.42	
    			Uncached Write	1195.78	126.59 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Write	2303.16	737.33 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	8109.22	57.46 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	4825.48	895.40 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    
    ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃

    I must say, I thought the results would have been much better than this! After all RAM by itself not formatted as a "device" clocks on this machine at 1.7 GB/s. Still it whomps an SSD and my 3-green-Drive RAID0.

    Hmmm... Thoughts?
     
  5. iamcheerful thread starter macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #5
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/16255

    Did a search, here's an article written early this year on SSDs and RAM Disk. Look thru' the next few pages for the benchmarks if interested.

    updated:
    >> Page 6 on some interesting results. Reads and Writes ...
    >> Page 11 on power draw. SSD rules. RAM are apparently too eager to make the world less Green ...
     
  6. iamcheerful thread starter macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #6
    Life Expectancy of RAM?

    Any idea what's the life expectancy of RAM? Is there also a read write upper limit where errors will start exhibiting?
     
  7. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #7
    I dunno what either are but there are for both. I guess life expectancy for RAM is at least several times longer than it's interface. Meaning for example, that I still have sipps and dips that work but there's no machine sold today that will use them nor would 4k chips be useful today. Right? It changes on us so fast:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. iamcheerful thread starter macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #8
    indeed.
    it appears more easy to get a defective RAM than to get a RAM die of old age. :p
     
  9. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #9
    Here's why a RAM disk doesn't make any sense on OSX...

    From a former Apple employee...

    Source... http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=52845
     
  10. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa
  11. thepawn macrumors 6502

    thepawn

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    #11
    OS instituted RAM drives -should- always be as fast as the bus and filesystem implementing it will allow. SATA-interface based ram drives will run into the same interface limitations that the newest SSD drives are bumping into - SATA maximum throughput.
     
  12. iamcheerful thread starter macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #12
    VirtualRain, thanks for the info.

    Yep, that I am well aware too. Any idea what was the limitation back then ... say for example the pb3400c? i.e. what was the interface the RAM was to the computer. (not sure if i worded it correctly, hopefully you get what i'm trying to ask)

    with the latest Mac Pro (Early 2009 models) these should be able to have a really impressively high speed interface given the way the CPU and Memory interacts. i don't know if i'm right in saying this, if Apple con't the Booting of RAM disk technology, things really will fly and not at the appalling cost of SSDs (yes, prices has dropped significantly, but still RAM appears more affordable cause one can use it as normal RAM and also double as a boot ... yeah, it is volatile)

    guess what would be good is the best of both worlds ;)

    so SSDs and HDDs can co-exist happily too. :p
     
  13. thepawn macrumors 6502

    thepawn

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    #13
    Heh, and old school Powerbook 3400c had 40Hz/60ns memory. :)
     
  14. thepawn macrumors 6502

    thepawn

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    #14
    You forgot ZIPP chips... I had a pile of them for my Amiga 3000. ;)
     

    Attached Files:

  15. iamcheerful thread starter macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #15
    hahaa!

    40MHz 60ns ... wow that could compare (real-world benchmarks) with the TiPB G4 400MHz machine (this couldn't boot off the RAM Disk) I could still create a RAM Disk in OS 9 then but not boot off that.

    Something about the new world rom and old world rom thingy ... i never really got into the nitty gritty; more of a user, thus i typically prefer real-world testing over synthetic ones.
     

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