SSD Performance

Phil
Phil
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Topic 197691

Has anyone done any testing, or have any info, on using PCIe SSD drives as pertains to PCIe performance?

Meaning, does anyone know what performance hit, if any, using a PCIe SSD drive would have on the PCIe bus. Would it use enough bandwidth to slow down GPU crunching?

Curious because I'm thinking of going with SSD drives for my next generation of crunchers and found some drives that mount in card slots instead of a drive bay using SATA.

Phil

tullio
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SSD Performance

I am using 2 SSD, une Samsung 250 GB and one OCZ 120 GB, but they are SATA. Their performance is good.
Tullio

Bill592
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Howdy Tullio and Phil

Howdy Tullio and Phil !

Tullio ! Glad to see you are still on here posting )
I hope you and family are doing well ....

Phil, I'm just taking a guess but I doubt a PCIe ssd
would slow down the GPU at all.

(waiting for commentary from someone who actually uses one )))

Bill

Logforme
Logforme
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I think that currently PCIe

I think that currently PCIe SSDs are used in enterprise storage scenarios (database servers) so not many hobbyists have experience of them (or the cash for them).
But they are very much in the near future for normal PCs so the question is interesting.

Quote:
Meaning, does anyone know what performance hit, if any, using a PCIe SSD drive would have on the PCIe bus. Would it use enough bandwidth to slow down GPU crunching?

Bandwidth should not be an issue since a non-database server does not talk much to the disk. It will however reserve PCIe lanes for the SSD, and if that steals lanes from the GPU(s) it will have an effect. Maybe Intel will provide more PCIe lanes in the future at the expense of less SATA ports.

Quote:
Curious because I'm thinking of going with SSD drives for my next generation of crunchers

Dedicated crunchers? Way overkill with a SSD (of any type). But if the price is low enough you could make it back in lower electricity costs.

Phil
Phil
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RE: Dedicated crunchers?

Quote:
Dedicated crunchers? Way overkill with a SSD (of any type). But if the price is low enough you could make it back in lower electricity costs.

Couple of reasons I'm looking at SSDs. I'm preparing to strip out all my mobos and power supplies and mount on trays in the open air. Using pcie SSDs would avoid having to mount a sata drive, plus the added benefit, however small, of using faster SSD drives.

A lot will depend on how cheaply I can get them. I can probably use the smallest available for dedicated crunchers, but it's hard to compete with a 50 buck 1 TB Sata monster.

I'm also thinking an SSD would run cooler, altho I have not looked into this yet. It's on my list of things to check.

There is another reason for considering SSDs. My home recording studio is right on the other side of the wall from the ham shack/computer room. Every noise, no matter how small (like a spinning hard drive), is an issue. The smallest of sounds can ruin an otherwise good take. So I am taking into account noise sources of all types, from hard drives to fans and anything else. Sometimes on a critical recording I shut down everything I can. Even the A/C if I have to.

Phil

mikey
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RE: RE: Dedicated

Quote:
Quote:
Dedicated crunchers? Way overkill with a SSD (of any type). But if the price is low enough you could make it back in lower electricity costs.

Couple of reasons I'm looking at SSDs. I'm preparing to strip out all my mobos and power supplies and mount on trays in the open air. Using pcie SSDs would avoid having to mount a sata drive, plus the added benefit, however small, of using faster SSD drives.

A lot will depend on how cheaply I can get them. I can probably use the smallest available for dedicated crunchers, but it's hard to compete with a 50 buck 1 TB Sata monster.

I'm also thinking an SSD would run cooler, altho I have not looked into this yet. It's on my list of things to check.

There is another reason for considering SSDs. My home recording studio is right on the other side of the wall from the ham shack/computer room. Every noise, no matter how small (like a spinning hard drive), is an issue. The smallest of sounds can ruin an otherwise good take. So I am taking into account noise sources of all types, from hard drives to fans and anything else. Sometimes on a critical recording I shut down everything I can. Even the A/C if I have to.

Phil

One thing to be aware of...when an ssd drive crashes, and alot still do, it is usually the drive controller that dies not the drive itself, BUT since the drive controller is built into the drive there is usually no way the consumer can do anything about it and all data and the drive are lost. Sending it out to get repaired is expensive!! My suggestion would be that if you chose that route make sure you have a backup system in place and it works!!

A thought though...a while back someone did a test using an ssd drive as a main Boinc drive and found that is was not helpful in speeding up Boinc, in fact if one of the tweaks you do is to set the 'time to checkpoint' to every 900 seconds, 15 minutes, instead of the default 60 seconds Boinc actually runs faster, Boinc then spends more time crunching and less time disk writing. Which negates alot of the ssd drives speed advantage.

One other thought...you might consider, since you are a Linux guy, is to use a network drive and not have Boinc data drives in each pc. That way each pc contacts a 'server' or 'disk farm' where all the Boinc data is stored and accessed by each individual pc. At that point you could even get rid of the drives in each machine altogether and use usb sticks to boot to Linux and run Boinc.

Logforme
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For low sound you can't beat

For low sound you can't beat SSDs.
A (cheaper?) alternative might be to set up your crunchers as diskless workstations and keep a single large HD on a PXE server. Then you can have many workstations but only one spinning HD. Would however require a GBit LAN to not loose too much disk performance.

Jim1348
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Ordinary SATA SSDs are fast

Ordinary SATA SSDs are fast enough and cheap enough that I wouldn't even look at anything else. The PCIe ones (from OCZ at any rate) used to have all sorts of problems with not booting up or crashing due to various motherboard/controller compatibility issues; they were experimental at best, though presumably better now.

I recently bought a 120 GB SATA III (6.0 GB/sec) Kingston drive from Newegg for $55., and you won't get any BOINC speed improvements beyond that. I do use ramdisks on several of my dedicated PCs, but that is to protect the SSDs from the high write rates on WCG/CEP2, which can be over 1 TB/day. On something like Einstein/GPU projects, the write rate is so low that probably the logging will be higher, at least on Windows.

So I doubt that using an SSD on the PCIe bus would slow you down any, but it won't speed you up either, and could be more trouble than it is worth.

tullio
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RE: Howdy Tullio and Phil

Quote:

Howdy Tullio and Phil !

Tullio ! Glad to see you are still on here posting )
I hope you and family are doing well ....

Phil, I'm just taking a guess but I doubt a PCIe ssd
would slow down the GPU at all.

(waiting for commentary from someone who actually uses one )))

Bill


I just started Einstein@home on a new PC with an AMD A10-6700 CPU at 3.7 GHz and a AMD/ATI graphic board. Since it came with Windows 8 installed, which was soon updated to 8.1, I just downloaded BOINC 7.4.12 and Virtual Box 4.3.12 on it, which allows me to run ATLAS@home which requires a 64-bit Virtual Box.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Einstein@home makes use of the Radeon HD 8670D graphic board, so the PC can run 4 climateprediction.net tasks and an Einstein@home binary radio pulsar unit, using very little CPU. This is the first time I am using both Windows and a graphic board in a BOINC project.
My health is only fair, but my 5 grandchildren are healthy and growing well. Ciao.
Tullio

robl
robl
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I have two crunchers running

I have two crunchers running Samsung 250GB SSDs utilizing a SATA interface. Very quick boot times when a new kernel is installed. Can't say that E&H benefits much from these drives. I have been running them 24X7 for over a year and have not experienced any reliability issues (data corruption, etc.) As for what happens when one fails I cannot say for certain but would probably replace with another, load an OS, E&H, and continue on.

Phil,

I believe you recently deployed a Pi. If this is true you might want to consider loading the Pi OS (which ever one your using) on to an external USB drive and keeping the "/boot" partition on the card. I have read where data integrity becomes an issue with constant reads and writes on those cards. I did it on my Pi setup and it was quite painless. Here is how. The boot partition will also get written when kernel upgrades are done but when adding/deleting apps it will not be effected.

paul milton
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a wee bit O/T but from my

a wee bit O/T but from my recent research in to a replacement motherboard it actually looks like M.2 SSD's would supplant PCIe SSD's as drive of choice especially if space is a consideration you could build a rather small system with a mini atx board, a m.2 drive and a single GPU, granted the PCIe card wouldnt add much room, but being close to a GPU might result in other issues (im thinking heat)

all though i must admit, some of the PCIe setups ive seen that use mSATA cards got me to thinking how SSDs would work out in a raid array (like the Syba SD-PEX40079). though i guess technically im using a hybrid raid with one since im using intels RST (nothing like a 6 second boot up on a desktop, im addicted now)

seeing without seeing is something the blind learn to do, and seeing beyond vision can be a gift.

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