Cactus521

Has anyone used Intel Optane memory for simming?

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Just came across this memory upgrade, has anyone here used it for simming?  I don't think I need it, I am happy with my performance.  Didn't know what forum to post this in since it covers a lot of the future of computing.  Anything Intel comes out with is interesting.  Such advancements might make weather more realistic in our hobby.

John

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Sorry, but I don't believe this is memory per se, is it?  I thought it was to be used to replace the memory in current SSDs.  I might be wrong, but that is what they were planning about a year ago.

 

 

 

 

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Don't do it. I bought a 7700k system with Optane and I ended up removing it. While it works, it's not a huge bump and has a couple of downsides. The Optane caching algorithm is normally scheduled to run at 2:00AM and when it runs, it's very invasive (I.e. no simming when it's cach optimizing) and takes a long time.. 15 minutes or so. My system could double as a small space heater, so I normally keep it turned off when I'm not simming. So, if it couldn't run the cash update at 2:00 AM, it would run right after boot up if it missed the scheduled update. Every morning, I'd get a lightening fast system boot followed by a 15 minute wait after it booted before I could go simming. Pretty frigging useless for my system usage scenario. Second issue, when optane crashes, it takes out your whole system disk, since it caches all sorts of files unbeknownst to the file system. I had an optane crash/corruption which left my C: drive completely in tatters in which Windows couldn't even install or repair until I physically removed the Optane module. I got caught without  recent backup and it took me almost a week to recover. Never again. Wanna buy a 32Gb Optane cheap? 

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Sounds like something they rushed to market then.  I think 8Gigs is more than enough memory for most apps today, caches in the past have been like "fools gold", since the CPU has to do things double time rather than gathering the data on the first try.  They work well in certain circumstances, but generally the extra steps of moving data soaks up cpu cycles.  My P3d scenery is far greater than 32GB and would not fit on such a device.  I keep it on a separate partition and P3d swoops it up seamlessly during flight.

John

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1 hour ago, Cactus521 said:

Sounds like something they rushed to market then.  I think 8Gigs is more than enough memory for most apps today, caches in the past have been like "fools gold", since the CPU has to do things double time rather than gathering the data on the first try.  They work well in certain circumstances, but generally the extra steps of moving data soaks up cpu cycles. 

the whole point of CPU caches is to help prevent the CPU from idling..it doesn't use extra cycles, the CPU is many times faster than the memory so it is basically preventing it from waiting for memory all the time in the common case where the data it needs is stored contiguously. when there's a cache miss the cpu is just sitting there waiting for the RAM it isn't doing extra work. the difference is even larger when waiting for data from a disk which is what the optane is attempting to solve.

however i agree with your idea that it might not help so much for a data set that is larger than the cache size. and a disk cache necessarily doesn't really work quite the same as a CPU cache. with optane i'd expect some gains out of the OS files that are cached and for stuff like boot times, even if it can't do the whole p3d directory.. but in the end it is basically making a standard HD as fast as an SSD for commonly used files (and improving upon SSD speeds also)....  which probably doesn't help much with fx/p3d. .. as many have seen even having your entire sim install on SSD may help with load times but the cpu is still the primary bottleneck for fps performance.

in general caches don't use any cycles at all, in the worst case theoretically cache performance is just the same as normal performance (ie in the worst case of having a cache miss on every cycle, it would just be the same as if you had no cache). the reason they work is because you can read a chunk from memory at once, so if your slow RAM takes for example 5ms to read a byte, it will also only take 5ms to read 128 bytes, so each time it needs to do a read the CPU has 128x the data to work with already... instead of waiting 5ms over and over for every byte. if the data isn't cached you just get it on the next 5ms but statistically it is very common that the data you want will come in those chunks and modern compilers are designed to pad and organize data correctly to take advantage of that.

it seems odd that odourboy's stuff spent 15 minutes copying a few gigs every day, frankly it sounds like something amiss with that. maybe related to the hardware issue that also caused his crashes..?  i haven't used optane so i can't really comment about it specifically in that regard, it seems odd that it would have to re-initialize every time, as that would kind of defeat the purpose, as he discovered :)

cheers!,-andy crosby

 

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Good one Andy.

Until a set of four M.2s come down in price it can accelerate 4 HDDs in RAID10. Given that for example four 2Tb drives can be had for less than £200 making a 4Tb bootable volume, iRST is a cheap option for redundancy setups.

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14 hours ago, spesimen said:

it seems odd that odourboy's stuff spent 15 minutes copying a few gigs every day, frankly it sounds like something amiss with that. maybe related to the hardware issue that also caused his crashes..?  i haven't used optane so i can't really comment about it specifically in that regard, it seems odd that it would have to re-initialize every time, as that would kind of defeat the purpose, as he discovered :)

To be clear, I only had one crash. That's all it took to turn me off. Up until then, it did work perfectly (apparently). As to what it was doing when it was updating.. who knows?! I can not imagine an optimization algorithm, no matter how sophisticated, would require so much processing power to be run at such frequency, but there was never any indication of problems. Here's a screen shot of the Optane stats screen from Intel's site which suggests their last nights run took 17 minutes:

23991_image2_copy.jpg

I'm not the only one seeing this. On the Intel Optane forum, one user reported 'hours' every day optimizing (surely an exageration). I'll also add, with Optane, Windows restore points don't work properly, defrag does not work, Disk imaging with popular backup/restore software like Acronis doesn't work.... If I'd researched this product before I bought, I wouldn't have touched it with a 10 foot pole!

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59 minutes ago, odourboy said:

To be clear, I only had one crash. That's all it took to turn me off. Up until then, it did work perfectly (apparently). As to what it was doing when it was updating.. who knows?! I can not imagine an optimization algorithm, no matter how sophisticated, would require so much processing power to be run at such frequency, but there was never any indication of problems. Here's a screen shot of the Optane stats screen from Intel's site which suggests their last nights run took 17 minutes:

23991_image2.png

I'm not the only one seeing this. On the Intel Optane forum, one user reported 'hours' every day optimizing (surely an exageration). I'll also add, with Optane, Windows restore points don't work properly, defrag does not work, Disk imaging with popular backup/restore software like Acronis doesn't work.... If I'd researched this product before I bought, I wouldn't have touched it with a 10 foot pole!

The way it appeared to me from their ad, I thought Optane was supposed to increase system RAM, not serve as a cache.  Maybe in the future that is what it will do.  I personally don't like disk caches since HD corruption is a risk if there is a system fault.  There is a risk of losing data in a session, they are not fail safe.  Fortunately Win 10 for me has been stable during the month I have had it, no system lock ups to speak of.  Vista was also good, but what I like about Win 10 is how fast bootup is, literally in seconds rather than the minute or more it took Vista to boot.  It seems a very good OS with very little attention required.

John 

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