Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
qwertz

Here's how I got ARMA2 to perform smoothly using RAMDISK

Recommended Posts

You are right, it needs to be unbuffered.

Well it is a shame that unregistered costs more than registered (registered should be more expensive becouse it has buffer).

I was courious and downloaded w3520 xeon and i7 920 datashet, and i was suprised it only supports unbuffered ecc /non ecc.

Only diference should IMHO be that register that delayes 1 cycle, and that is extra component, so i just dont get why it costs more (i guess becouse low demand, and higher probability of error becouse higher density).

Edited by zaira

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was courious and downloaded w3520 xeon and i7 920 datashet, and i was suprised it only supports unbuffered ecc /non ecc.

Only diference should IMHO be that register that delayes 1 cycle, and that is extra component, so i just dont get why it costs more (i guess becouse low demand, and higher probability of error becouse higher density).

4GB DIMMs are used in servers for some time now, and as such the price is rather low. In the desktop world, most PCs still ship with 3 or 4 GB total. And to be realistic, this will not change a lot in the near future because more than 4GB of RAM is hardly needed by 98% of users during the WIN 7 years to come.

Edited by qwertz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a way to configure the Windows disk cache to use more of your RAM? I hear the game does not use much itself. Even caching 2-4gb should help the game a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I missing something here?

If one has XP 64 bit or Vista 64 bit with 12 or 16 GBs of RAM, shouldn't the game load entirely into RAM anyway? Why would you need a RAMdisk with this setup?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you read the whole post, or at least the beginning part, you'll see its recommended for WinXP 32-bit. However, even if you have 64-bit windows with the extra RAM, ArmA2 will use the same amount of RAM (2047MB). A RAMdisk will ensure zero-lag texture loading. However, you can probably bump up your virtual disk cache (if you aren't using the extra RAM for other programs) so that more files will be kept in memory. Unless you have a server setup, its set very low by default (only several MB).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some more benches (I just realized my RAM was running at 1066 rather 1600 Mhz after BIOS update - fixed):

dpjrxj.jpg

900k iops read :eek:

2d7wvnm.jpg

2v12lwp.jpg

I will experiment a little more with various ramdisk products over the weekend, and will try to find a good solution for ARMA2 and people with only a few GB free physical RAM.

Edited by qwertz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Am I missing something here?

If one has XP 64 bit or Vista 64 bit with 12 or 16 GBs of RAM, shouldn't the game load entirely into RAM anyway? Why would you need a RAMdisk with this setup?

It deosn't though, your RAM just sits there doing nothing. Only time I see even 50% of my 8gb being used is when the memory leak makes it constantly creep up.

I got it working with splitting files up last night, mostly ones like map, roads and trees etc. Using a linking app it was a piece of cake to do and the difference is staggering, I can see why qwertz wont go back. There is no real increase in FPS max but the average FPS is miles higher and the game is smoother than a babies arse.

I even had a pagefile on the RAMdisk just for the cheek of it.

Also with the mklink you could technically have every separate streaming file on individual HDDs or have the load split over multiple drives to speed things up, not as good as the game fully in RAM but still another way of speeding things up.

I have Game folder in C:, vehicles and Aircraft in D: and the streaming map files in my R: (RAM) drive.

Finally, I get to actually put my 8gb RAM to good use. Thanks for starting this thread as I have learned some nice new tricks through the course of it.

One question, how do I stuff 250gb RAM into my Striker 2 mobo?

I will post up the software links and the how to later when I get home from work.

Edited by Liquidpinky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some real progress here, guys. I'm sure there's a lot of people reading this with anticipation. Keep up the good work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have Game folder in C:, vehicles and Aircraft in D: and the streaming map files in my R: (RAM) drive.

could you please write steps on how to split and link files, i have three hard drives and i have already set my pagefile on a different one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

alrighty!

with the help of my old buddy google i managed to find out how to use symbolic link but i guess this applies to a folder but not individual files? I installed Virtual Disk last night but the Drive letter G: won't show up where you set pagefile under performance windows, so am i right in assuming that i have to do pagefile with symbolic link as well? This is amazing, i think it even works better than RAID setup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please can anyone write a guide ?

+1

A general step by step guide for those people not particularly technical (like me) would be a great help as I get the feeling there could be a significant benefit to a lot of people. And it would surely warrant a sticky.

So in summary (in my very simple terms), for better game performance you can add an SSD drive and install Arma2 on that or, if you have enough memory, move Arma2 game files to a RAM disk. The first option is easier to do but offers less improvement, whereas the second option is more involved and complicated to set up but offers the greatest change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i never went to vista. Well i did for a month when it first came out. Hated it so bad went back to XP and all my games run a million times better, ill never EVER change to another OS unless absolutely necessary screw DX10 and its bs overhyped graphics and lighting effects, that can actually be done in DX9. Vista was the WORLDS largest money wasting SCAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They either revert back to using barely any resources like XP or i wont bother changing.

Edited by nyran125

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I installed Virtual Disk last night but the Drive letter G: won't show up where you set pagefile under performance windows, so am i right in assuming that i have to do pagefile with symbolic link as well? This is amazing, i think it even works better than RAID setup.

I am not sure that you are on the right track with "Virtual Disk" - this is neither a Ramdisk nor does it seem to create symlinks - it seems to be something similar to Win 7's "libraries".

Here's a nice program to create hard links in XP:

http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/hardlinkshellext.html

Vista or Win 7 support "softlinks", so if you use one of these Windows versions, you should work with softlinks rather than hardlinks. Just use an elevated command promt and the mklink command:

a) For files: mklink x:\folder\...\file.abc y:\folder\...\file.abc

b) For directories: mklink /d x:\folder\...\folder y:\folder\...\folder

In both cases - read the manual (i.e. google it and get familiar) before you play around with the different forms of NTFS links - it is important to understand how they work if you want to avoid messing up your data! Also, Vista/Win7 differ from XP in this regards, so make sure you read the right manual!

I am using mklink with my Win 7 main system a lot to move various temp directories and files from different programs off my SSDs to my Velociraptor RAID0. However, on XP, soflinks do not work. Hardlinks can do the same job, but can be more dangerous and are more restricted.

If I find some time on the weekend, I will write up a comprehensive guide.

Best,

qwertz

Edited by qwertz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am not sure that you are on the right track with "Virtual Disk" - this is neither a Ramdisk nor does it seem to create symlinks - it seems to be something similar to Win 7's "libraries".

Here's a nice program to create hard links in XP:

http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/hardlinkshellext.html

Vista or Win 7 support "softlinks", so if you use one of these Windows versions, you should work with softlinks rather than hardlinks. Just use an elevated command promt and the mklink command:

a) For files: mklink x:\folder\...\file.abc y:\folder\...\file.abc

b) For directories: mklink /d :\folder\...\folder y:\folder\...\folder

In both cases - read the manual (i.e. google it and get familiar) before you play around with the different forms of NTFS links - it is important to understand how they work if you want to avoid messing up your data! Also, Vista/Win7 differ from XP in this regards, so make sure you read the right manual!

I am using mklink with my Win 7 main system a lot to move various temp directories and files from different programs off my SSDs to my Velociraptor RAID0. However, on XP, soflinks do not work. Hardlinks can do the same job, but can be more dangerous and are more restricted.

If I find some time on the weekend, I will write up a comprehensive guide.

Best,

qwertz

Hey man, thanks.

I was trying out this software last night VirtualDrive® Pro 11

from http://www.farstone.com/software/virtualdrive-pro.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have finally gotten arma2 to run perfectly smooth with no stuttering. At a very reasonable frame rate.

Now i didnt tweak or prod, i simply dropped some cash into a ATI5870.

replacing a pair of 1792MB GTX260 in SLI. The result was simply stunning,

The game runs like a dream, using eyefinity on three screens, 5760x1080.

I think the only thing left to do now is change my signature :)

This video card is a gem!!

regards./

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think some of you are mixing up different solutions here:

- You'd put pagefile on a separate partition to avoid fragmentation. Preferrably on a separate drive to not have OS read/write fight with pagefile read/writes.

- That has little to do with what the OP wanted to achieve.

He's using part of his excessive RAM to create a harddisk - "RAMDisk". By putting the game on that "RAMDisk" he will have faster reads when running the game off that RAMdisk compared to if he were to run game from a traditional harddisk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your mum is way offtopic.

Never thought I'd ever have cause to type that! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dummies Guide, by a dummy.

Download this app for the symlinks, saves a lot of time and hassle for those like myself who really have not a clue.

Link Shell Extension

Go to the downloads section and get whatever one is for your OS/system.

Install as per the installation instructions on the page linked.

All the instructions for using are also on that page but I will guide you through it anyway.

Fist off create a new folder for putting the files you want separated from the main game folder.

The ones I moved were the following as they are most likely the main streamed ones, these are all located in the file called addons in the main game directory.

Cut and paste these files in your new folder and keep it somewhere as backup, you also need it to reload into the RAMdrive depending on how you use it.

buildings.pbo

buildings2.pbo

Buildings2_Ind_CementWorks.pbo

Ca.pbo

chernarus.pbo

chernarus_Data.pbo

chernarus_Data_Layers.pbo

misc.pbo

misc2.pbo

misc3.pbo

plants2_Bush.pbo

plants2_Clutter.pbo

plants2_misc.pbo

plants2_Plant.pbo

plants2_Tree.pbo

Roads2.pbo

rocks2.pbo

signs2.pbo

structures.pbo

utes.pbo

water.pbp

water2.pbo

The above files totals at 3.21gb altogether so I went for a 4gb RAMdrive, you can chop and change to suit yourself or do some testing and see what ones really are used most. Don't bother moving the .bisign files, no point doing it really.

Ramdisk time:

I used RamDisk Plus but it only has a 15 day trial period, during which time I hope qwertz comes up with the best choice of software to use then I will switch to it. ;)

I created a 4096mb NTFS format disk within the RAM, easily done with RamDisk using the set-up wizard.

I then placed a copy, I repeat copy, of my new folder with the removed game files in the newly created RamDisk which I named R: just to make it easy for myself. Comes in handy to remember the drives name later in case you need to reinstall it.

Now I go inside this new folder and select all, make sure you installed that linked software first. ;)

Right click and you have a new option "Pick link source", click on this option then go to the origonal Addons folder in the game directory and go inside to the remaining files.

Right click once in the folder and you get a new option "SymbolicLink", click it and this creates the links to all the files simultaneously.

Important shit:

Bear in mind, don't disable pagingfile. Either create it on an unused drive or cheekily add it to the remaining memory in the RamDrive. The game will crash within a few minutes of loading and playing if you disable the pagefile altogether as I found out the hard way.

The symlink tool can be used in the same way for just splitting the game files over multiple drives, again make sure you have paging enabled or it also crashes. I tested on a second HDD before creating a RamDisk and found this out the hard way too.

For those with 8gb like myself who used msconfig to lower the Ram to get rid of the texture bug, re enable your full Ram again as you will need it. You can use the -winxp command to sort out the texture problem or either that have less Ram for the drive, it's up to you but I went for drive myself.

What next you ask?

Go play the game and enjoy the smoothness you fool.

Edited by Liquidpinky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×