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Index > Windows > Using memory on video card as swap

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LocoDelAssembly
Your code has a bug


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 4633
Location: Argentina
LocoDelAssembly
I wonder if something around this exists under Windows.

I had the idea an hour ago and when I searched on Google I couldn't find nothing relevant on Windows Sad

If it doesn't exists, do you think it would be possible by using a driver which create a DirectDraw surface to act as a cache for the swap file? I mean at driver level (not patching the graphic driver) because at the API level I think the surface could be lost in some situations.
Post 27 Jul 2007, 19:20
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bogdanontanu



Joined: 07 Jan 2004
Posts: 403
Location: Sol. Earth. Europe. Romania. Bucuresti
bogdanontanu
The main problem with video memory is that it is kind of fast to WRITE to it and very SLOW to read from it.

Besides IF the card is performing 3D acceleration it will "hate" any kind of direct access to video memory surfaces (read or write).

You will end up with a system the performs better only sometimes and slows down many times. How many times is your PC not accessing video memory?

IF you need RAM --> THEN please get some RAM OR use an OS that does not need so much RAM Razz (if you can find one)

NO: using USB stick or video memory or whatever "replacement" is not a valid solution.
Post 27 Jul 2007, 20:02
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LocoDelAssembly
Your code has a bug


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 4633
Location: Argentina
LocoDelAssembly
bogdanontanu, I think that VRAM is faster than an IDE HDD, don't you think the same?

About USB stick, it really sucks and is clearly slower than a HDD.

And no, the computer is too old for memory upgrade but enjoys of a GeForce FX 5200 with 128 MB VRAM which a big part is unused most of the time Smile

Also remember that I mean use it as cache for the swap file, not making it part of the physical RAM memory so these slow reads would be noticed in the swap-in operations only.

Additionally the driver could reduce the cache size when legit DirectX use is detected, but in my particular case the most hard graphic task the computer does is web browsing.
Post 27 Jul 2007, 20:19
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Posts: 3170
Location: Denmark
f0dder
Loco: USB sticks have plenty faster random access time though.

Using video memory for non-graphics stuff is a fun idea, but... *shrug*. Obviously even (relatively) very slow read from video memory is going to be faster than a harddrive, but 128 megabytes (and of course even less because parts of it will be used at runtime) is just too little to be usable in a paging situation.

Interesting idea, but dunno if it's useful or doable.
Post 28 Jul 2007, 12:27
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Maverick



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 251
Location: Citizen of the Universe
Maverick
Another cool idea would be to use the speakers, with a vocal synthesizer seeking collaboration with the user. I can imagine the PC saying "hey, it's you that benefit from me, so move your ass, grab a piece of paper, a pen, and start writing down: page 43435 = 00101010111101010100011010001001011...[thousands years later]....01011111000 keep it in a safe place, I'll need to ask you the data when the page has to be loaded again in physical memory. Thank you for your collaboration."

The only problem I can see is that it needs a microphone to work.

Razz
Post 28 Jul 2007, 12:54
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LocoDelAssembly
Your code has a bug


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 4633
Location: Argentina
LocoDelAssembly
f0dder, yes is very few memory, actually I expect LOWER performance on situations where more that 64 MB of paging is in constant use. However I think that in a "calm" situation (which is more frecuently) it could have its benefits.

About the USB memory sticks, are them faster to write than a HDD? Apart, I don't want to write much on such media, you can't write on it forever, with thousands of writes you end up destroying the memory while HDDs lasts more.

Maverick, hey, I don't need thousands of years to write a 4 K page on paper and I have a microphone. When can we start to develop you idea? Razz

PS: The computer already has 320 MB of RAM, this extra memory would be only for a little push.
Post 28 Jul 2007, 17:05
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Posts: 3170
Location: Denmark
f0dder
LocoDelAssembly wrote:

About the USB memory sticks, are them faster to write than a HDD? Apart, I don't want to write much on such media, you can't write on it forever, with thousands of writes you end up destroying the memory while HDDs lasts more.

Slower to read and write than harddrives, although late-model usb sticks are getting decent performance (do be careful that some manufacturers list mbit and not mbyte transfer rates, without clear indication).

It's the access time of the flash drives that make them interesting, much much faster than harddrives because there's no moving mechanical parts.

And the amount of write cycles before the memory is ruined has also been improved vastly...
Post 29 Jul 2007, 17:43
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rugxulo



Joined: 09 Aug 2005
Posts: 2341
Location: Usono (aka, USA)
rugxulo
Doesn't the PS3 share its VRAM with its main memory?
Post 31 Jul 2007, 06:21
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