GpuRamDrive: GPU VRAM as RAMdisk: Game changer!?

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Logic
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GpuRamDrive: GPU VRAM as RAMdisk: Game changer!?

Post by Logic » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:44 pm

(freeware) GpuRamDrive: https://github.com/prsyahmi/GpuRamDrive
Basically allows one to create a RAMdisk, using the VRAM on a graphics card.

As you can see in the link,it's not very fast (random 4K excepted), but the software is Proof of Concept. ie: Very beta.
That means that with some ...'motivation' it's very likely that speed etc can be improved dramatically, given the huge bandwidth available when the VRM is used for graphics!

The 1st and simplest use case is; you plug in that old GF card that's currently gathering dust , set up GpuRamDrive and see what PrimoCache makes of it!? :)

The second is that PrimoCache gets together with GpuRamDrive and actively develops this software so that everyone's current GPU can be used as a speedy write through cache (no data lost when turned off) when the GPU is close to idle.
ie: The GPU's VRAM is used a a cache whenever you aren't gaming etc.


I feel this could be a game changer for PrimoCache:
IMO PrimoCache can't really compete with the speed of Windows disk caching due to it's use of much slower block addressing IIRC?
It also can't compete with the ...'foresight' of Superfetch as superfetch knows when you normally check Emails, or game, or whatever and pre-loads the required files beforehand.
This leaves the, SSD life saving, delayed/lazy write cache as PrimoCache's only notable RAM/L1 cache feature, IMHO?

But what windows can't do is s automate the use of graphics card VRAM as a cache tier!

NB:
That as many of today's SSDs are faster than the current, very beta, GpuRamCache in sequential writes; it's probably a good idea to develop this idea as a 4K Random read/write cache, much like Readyboost.
ie: Put the VRAM in 'RAID 0" with the SSD,
BUT
with a filter to only cache 4K and smaller random read/writes...
then
give people the option to choose opportunistic write through for primary GF cards
or
Full time write back for dedicated, repurposed GF cards.

(I have only ever been able to enjoy the 1st free 6 weeks of Primocache (South Africa...), but just had to join the forum and share GpuRamDrive with you/everyone! :)
I hope you/PrimoCache likes the idea and that people will test this app with their current setups )

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support
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Re: GpuRamDrive: GPU VRAM as RAMdisk: Game changer!?

Post by support » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:11 am

Thank you for the information!
Primo Ramdisk | PrimoCache
Romex Software Support

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Jaga
Posts: 267
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Re: GpuRamDrive: GPU VRAM as RAMdisk: Game changer!?

Post by Jaga » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:25 pm

It's a good idea.

Incorporating that ability into Primocache would make Primo the only commercial product on the market with the ability to use vRAM - I haven't heard of any others doing it.

My next video card purchase may be as early as Christmas this year, and a 6GB card is the smallest I'll even consider. But for the feature to be useful in Primocache (or Primo RamDisk), it will have to dynamically unload on-the-fly when the drive requests vRAM for graphic use (i.e. a game or similar). Prefetching/re-fetching would probably work well to use it as a high-speed read cache.

Logic
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Re: GpuRamDrive: GPU VRAM as RAMdisk: Game changer!?

Post by Logic » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:15 am

Jaga wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:25 pm
It's a good idea.

Incorporating that ability into Primocache would make Primo the only commercial product on the market with the ability to use vRAM - I haven't heard of any others doing it.

My next video card purchase may be as early as Christmas this year, and a 6GB card is the smallest I'll even consider. But for the feature to be useful in Primocache (or Primo RamDisk), it will have to dynamically unload on-the-fly when the drive requests vRAM for graphic use (i.e. a game or similar). Prefetching/re-fetching would probably work well to use it as a high-speed read cache.
Glad you like it Jaga :)

I agree that the use of VRAM as cache would have to be a easily and quickly dropped write through cache, sensitive to the GF card's need for said VRAM for other uses/gaming.
It also occures to me that not all the VRAM is required in every game. It all depends on the game and resolutions etc, so some may still be usable during gaming etc..

Then there are lots of older, replaced graphics cards gathering dust in drawers etc that people might repurpose as cache only.
So the choice of a permanent read and write back/through cache should be an option... if this idea is ever implemented..?

Have you downloaded and played with GpuRamDrive and Primocache?

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Jaga
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Re: GpuRamDrive: GPU VRAM as RAMdisk: Game changer!?

Post by Jaga » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:13 am

Not yet, nope. But I just ordered a 2080ti FE w/11GB GDDR6, so I'll have something to mess around with later this month.

Logic
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Re: GpuRamDrive: GPU VRAM as RAMdisk: Game changer!?

Post by Logic » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:37 pm

I just tested this and PrimoCache does not 'see' the Ram drive! :(
Probably because it does not show up as a physical drive in Device Manager, but is visible and usable in Explorer.

Some benchmarks of GpuRamDrive on a 1080 GTX:
Image

gamersglory
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Re: GpuRamDrive: GPU VRAM as RAMdisk: Game changer!?

Post by gamersglory » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:59 am

As someone who uses GPU's for rendering, I could also see a use case to set aside system memory for extra VRAM as a render will take as much VRAM as it can

cichy45
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Re: GpuRamDrive: GPU VRAM as RAMdisk: Game changer!?

Post by cichy45 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:13 pm

I do not believe that is AS great idea as it seems. Firstly, modern systems and GPUs will dynamically allocate system RAM as GPU vRAM if dedicated GPU vRAM will be full. So you might end creating a "GPU vRAMDisk" that will in reality sit on your system RAM. You would have to find a way to force your vRAMDisk to sit on GPU memory.

Secondly, you are limited by PCIExpress 3.0 x16 to only 32GB/s throughput when reading/writing. You can achieve much more on modern 4+ channel DDR4 workstations. I do not expect someone would pair 2 core Celeron with 24GB vRAM Quadro GPU just for vRAMDisk.

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