Hard drive speed and memory question?
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Thread: Hard drive speed and memory question?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 1998
    Location
    Robbinsville, NJ, USA
    Posts
    52

    Hard drive speed and memory question?

    I have BH6/Cel 450A with IBM 10Gig 7200RPM drive and do a lot of digital audio editing.
    The files I'm working with are usually 30-50Mb.
    When I open a file the status progress very quickly for about 1/4 of the file and finishes up in about 5 more segments. Usually taking about 10 seconds for 40Mb.
    Why does it go so fast in the beginning and then slow down? Is this portion being cached in memory? If this is so then it seem like more should fit, even with programs loaded. Only about 10Mb would be cached. Seems like more should be available. I have 64Mb. Now that I think about it I have vcachemax at 16384. Hmmm, I'll have to change that and see what happens. Would upgrading memory to 128 or 196 allow these files to fit in memory so editing would be quicker?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1998
    Location
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    705
    Correct me if I'm terribly wrong, but I think what's happening is the program is trying to load the whole file into memory, and MS Bloatware 98 (or NT, same difference) is choking because it doesn't have the memory. Hence it starts swapping things out to disk, which gets very painful very quickly.

    If you're editing big files like that, you NEED more memory. If you upgrade to 128MB of memory, a 16MB disk cache should be fine (use sysmon to verify that the cache is actually the right size). Trying to shift big files around is guaranteed to choke things up unless you have enough memory to do it without swapping all over the place. To give an indication, I have 128MB and of that, 40MB is free with a 32MB disk cache. This is running general apps as well, average workload for my computer.

    You should also have a permanent swapfile (and definitely one contiguous block ie not fragmented. I used nuts and bolts to defrag the swapfile and place it at the start of the hard disk). I set mine to 100MB minimum and 300MB maximum - it hasn't gone over 100 yet but there is growing room if I try and open every single program on my computer at once.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 1998
    Location
    Robbinsville, NJ, USA
    Posts
    52
    Geoff,

    Good advice. I'm going to upgrade memory. Would there be any problem adding a 128Mb DIMM to my 64Mb stick? I know some people have had problems with memory in BH6's.

    I've set my swap file at 128Mb. Min and Max that is. I don't want it resizing while I'm recording or playing back a mix.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1998
    Location
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    705
    shouldn't be a problem, DIMMs are designed to be used one at a time.

    The main thing for the swap file is to set the minimum above the level you normally use. For example, my minimum size is 100MB and I still have 35MB of swap space free. The extra maximum space is just there so if things ever get REALLY heavy, Windows won't die on me. But there's no point chewing up 300MB if I'm only ever going to use 65MB in normal use!!

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