Anyone using Intel Optane Memory to speed up libraries?

Discussion in 'PC' started by metrosuperstar, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. metrosuperstar

    metrosuperstar Noisemaker

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    Hi, I recently upgraded my PC and my motherboard supports the Intel Optane Memory module, which can accelerate reading of certain folders on non SSD drives. I have libraries on 4TB 7200RPM drives and I'm wondering if this would speed access up in a noticeable way - say if I bought the 32GB module.

    Is anyone using this tech in their rig?

     
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  3. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    What you have to understand, and you probably do, is that Intel Optane memory is just a cache between your HD and memory. When you really think about it, you will realise that it can hold just the *last 32GB* you accessed. It is extremely useful for reading heaps of small files, like OS files, but in our case it will be useful only for libraries that you use all the time, and are smaller than 32GB. Just think about it - it can hold only 32GB at a time, and you'll get the picture. :wink:

    Kinda like, this caching memory is not very useful when you have to read many GBs of sequential data like video, audio, DVD images etc., unless you access them frequently, but it is very useful if you frequently access loads of little files on the HD, not touching the rest much.

    Knowing this will help you decide. :wink:

    Cheers!

    edit: and reading this. These guys usually know what they're talking about.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  4. BibouLeNoob

    BibouLeNoob Kapellmeister

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    Hi,
    Optane is just Intel's own rebranding of nvme SSD.
    You have a brand new PC ? Then you'd definitely improve Big kontakt's libs loading via an nvme SSD. Like insanely improve.
    An nvme 1TB is around 200€ and and a 2TB around 400€. And they're 10 to 20x faster than your basic sata drive.
     
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  5. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    Yes, it is a NVME drive, but it works differently. This acts as a cache between the chosen HDD or SSD and the memory. So it's constantly being written to. That makes me ponder its longevity... Intel states 1.2 mil MTBF. Well, it will probably have to last at least that long. It can prolong the life of your SSD, though.
     
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  6. metrosuperstar

    metrosuperstar Noisemaker

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    Thanks Sine - that's kinda what I thought - it will mostly only be useful if I always start sessions say with the same libraries - and I suppose at 32GB, for non-orchestral music, it's possibly a legit way of speeding up things. But for orchestral, the 32GB will keep getting flushed. I mean since I upgraded my PC, things are ALOT faster - I was just looking to see what else I could do with pocket change to speed up the large capacity drives that I have. I did future-proof though when upgrading- making sure I had 2 slots for future M2 nVME SSDs as well as ability to boost RAM up to 128GB.

    I'm currently at 32GB. If I had to make a choice: would I see more improvement from boosting that to 64GB, or from getting an SSD on which to put my most frequently accessed terabyte of libraries?
     
  7. Xupito

    Xupito Audiosexual

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    I use SSD as HDD cache sometimes (PrimoCache) and it really improves a lot the performance. In the case of, for instance, Kontakt libs, the improvement is great because many of the files are accessed frequently.
     
  8. metrosuperstar

    metrosuperstar Noisemaker

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    What size is your SSD? Are you saying I could use a 1TB SSD as a CACHE for my large HDDs instead of filling up the SSD with the actual libraries?
     
  9. Xupito

    Xupito Audiosexual

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    Best Answer
    Like @BibouLeNoob well said:
    So it's no more than a small nvme SSD with HDD(slow SSD)-caching features. You can do that with any regular SSD. With software, even with the Windows 10 multi-tier storage settings. In fact Intel chipsets (the disk/USB I/O motherboard chipset) also support using SSD to cache an slower drive.

    So basically, what I'm saying is, I'd always buy a (nvme) SSD before an Optane. Even if is small you can achieve similar results to the Optane ones.
    Like @SineWave pointed out, Optane's are supposed to last longer, because to work as cache involves a lot of reads and specially writes. But with that prices you can buy a x4 bigger average SSD and that does the trick.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  10. metrosuperstar

    metrosuperstar Noisemaker

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    I have an old NAND 3D 128 GB SSD on which there are presently a few libraries. If I bought an nvme 1TB SSD and moved those libraries there along with other often used ones, could I use the old 128GB SSD to cache these large HDDs even if it is not nvme technology?
     
  11. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    If you get a fast 128-256 GB NVMe, or even fast SSD, for caching those Kontakt libraries, that would make far more sense. :wink:

    So yes, you can. @metrosuperstar

    There is a program called Supercache and there is Primocache that does it.

    On the other hand, you don't need to have any additional programs installed since you're using Intel chipset. From this article, you need:
    • A System BIOS with SATA mode set to RAID
    • Intel® RST software 10.5 version release or later
    • Single hard disk drive or multiple drives in one RAID volume
    • Solid state drive (SSD) with a minimum capacity of 18.6 GB
    • Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 (32-bit and 64-bit editions) operating systems
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
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  12. metrosuperstar

    metrosuperstar Noisemaker

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    Thanks everyone - I now have a plan :)
     
  13. metrosuperstar

    metrosuperstar Noisemaker

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    Looks like these are paid software.
    I'm kinda surprised this setting up the SSD to work as a cache for HDDs is not a built-in (free) option within Windows 10!
     
  14. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    Don't worry, you only need Intel RST Software 10.5 or later. Read about it in the excellent article I posted a link to. :wink:

    I would be careful installing 3rd party software like Supercache or Primecache, anyway. It's better to have a solution from Intel.
     
  15. metrosuperstar

    metrosuperstar Noisemaker

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    You're the best thank you!
     
  16. Xupito

    Xupito Audiosexual

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    Well, in fact it is, but it's not properly documented and supported in Windows 10. It is in Windows Server versions. It's the multi-tier storage Windows system:
    https://nils.schimmelmann.us/post/153541254987/intel-smart-response-technology-vs-windows-10

    Not for the faint of heart lol.

    That was the name of the Intel solution that is a mix of soft and hardware. I'd always go with that just because it's Intel, they know hardware shit better even than Microsoft.
    I use Primocache soft because my motherboard is very old (no RST SSD-caching support). And because for Kontakt (VSTi) libs you can set only read cache and there's no danger of destroying the files.
    I wouldn't use 3d party software (unless it's a trusted giant) for write-caching.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  17. Xupito

    Xupito Audiosexual

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    Now a little geek speculation. Even with support in Windows Server editions, I'm also surprised there's no more support for general SSD caching features. But it's really a great way to improve performance. When the first SSD/HDD hybrid drives came out I was surprised by the performance and hat was because the small SSD acted as HDD-cache.

    But clearly the problem is similar as with the Optane drives. You can't take advantage separately of the SSD (kinda Kontakt locked version lol).
    So, why not more love for software/general SSD caching? Money interests by hardware companies? Trump? Putin? Russian hackers? R2R?

    Edited: even more.. well, this is directly plain low-level programming. It turns out that RAM is the new HDD. Meaning CPU cache is the new SSD. I don't do low level programming (C++) but I know enough to be scared of the thing
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  18. metrosuperstar

    metrosuperstar Noisemaker

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    OK - this isn't working :( I did a quick format of my 128GB SSD, I installed RST software in Win 10, and I booted into the ASUS UEFI, enabled Intel RST saved and exited. Got a Blue Screen of Death. Dang - the instructions online make it sound like a piece of cake.

    Any idea what could be causing this?
     
  19. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    Have you enabled RAID for hard disks in BIOS? RAID instead of AHCI. Or enable AHCI+RAID.

    Now when I think about it more, you might have to install Windows from scratch... such huge changes in HD configuration can cause blue screens because Windows can be really touch about them. :(
     
  20. metrosuperstar

    metrosuperstar Noisemaker

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    Yes I did. In EZ Mode you just need to enable RST.
    God I hope I don't have to reinstall Win 10 - you guys who have studios and a bunch of libraries set up in Kontakt know what I mean. Just the thought of having to redo all that makes me dizzy. I think I had read somewhere that there was a workaround to not have to re-install the OS. There should be a way...after all, I'm not looking to speed up my C drive.
     
  21. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    New name for an old technology, see also Intel Turbo Memory or Microsoft ReadyBoost :no:
     
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