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Author Topic: RAM drive or SSD to hold blockchain.  (Read 3216 times)
smho_16
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November 04, 2016, 08:28:37 PM
 #21

I have tried it, but with a pruned chain. I can confirm it was faster to download the full blockchain compared to doing the same thing (also pruned) on my SSD. Test results: at the start, it was limited by my Wifi speed (2-3 MB/s), later on it was limited by my CPU (i3).

Obviously I don't have enough ram to do this without pruning, so I can't test a rescan. My HDD takes about 40 minutes to do a full rescan (for instance when I import a private key).
If you're now using a slow HDD, I'd say switching to a SSD is enough for a big improvement. If it reads 500 MB/s, it can read the entire blockchain in 3 minutes.

Personally I only use ram-drives for temporary files. I don't want to have to backup data, although you could argue you can always download it again.

So getting a 960 GB SSD is the ultimate solution to increase speed when rescanning the bitcoin core ? It's quite expensive but I think it maybe worth it. Personally I don't use bitcoin core that much but I have it sitting on my Laptop Core i5 and a really old HDD 750 GB and is extremely slow. I think the SSD with big space is the best solution to such problem. Price is the same as a big server ram for such huge space SSD.
Dabs (OP)
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November 04, 2016, 10:47:14 PM
 #22

I guess the answer to "why?" is "why not?" I have been holding back on this for a while, but I think I will just post how cheap this is. I dont think people understand this from a desktop/laptop perspective. If you have a place to put these loud and heavy boxes and can afford the running cost you can easily get one with enough RAM to support a blockchain.

Heading over to ebay (germany first)... searching for the rack mounted servers category and picking 128 GB(!) RAM gets me:

...

That's what I'm saying, these old hardware, DDR2 or DDR3 with that much RAM, and that many cores ... they're cheap now. I see videos on youtube for stuff with 1 TB of RAM. I heard about a server with 4 TB of RAM that only does DNS or something like that, stored everything in memory.

I'm almost never buying a desktop or laptop again... okay, maybe a laptop. I get an old server or workstation for cheap, and it has triple or quadruple the RAM everyone else has, with double or triple the cores everyone else has, put in a previous generation GPU, and I can play the latest games... (I think.) Or play two players with two keyboards and two monitors and two mice. Or I think Linus even did 7 to 8 gamers in one rig. (That's not fair, they used 36 core CPUs, and 8 GPUs on one motherboard.)

shorena
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November 05, 2016, 06:34:07 AM
 #23

I guess the answer to "why?" is "why not?" I have been holding back on this for a while, but I think I will just post how cheap this is. I dont think people understand this from a desktop/laptop perspective. If you have a place to put these loud and heavy boxes and can afford the running cost you can easily get one with enough RAM to support a blockchain.

Heading over to ebay (germany first)... searching for the rack mounted servers category and picking 128 GB(!) RAM gets me:

...

That's what I'm saying, these old hardware, DDR2 or DDR3 with that much RAM, and that many cores ... they're cheap now. I see videos on youtube for stuff with 1 TB of RAM. I heard about a server with 4 TB of RAM that only does DNS or something like that, stored everything in memory.

I'm almost never buying a desktop or laptop again... okay, maybe a laptop. I get an old server or workstation for cheap, and it has triple or quadruple the RAM everyone else has, with double or triple the cores everyone else has, put in a previous generation GPU, and I can play the latest games... (I think.) Or play two players with two keyboards and two monitors and two mice. Or I think Linus even did 7 to 8 gamers in one rig. (That's not fair, they used 36 core CPUs, and 8 GPUs on one motherboard.)

I wouldnt really use old servers for gaming. They tend to be old generation CPUs (thus slower) with lower clock speed (slower again) and AFAIK only a few games benefit from a larger number of cores. I have seen that video and IIRC it was done a new set of CPUs. Its also difficult to get driver support for some of the boards, but that can probably be solved by VMs. They are still great for almost every other task (besides maybe spreadsheets Wink ).

Im not really here, its just your imagination.
zend7
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November 05, 2016, 07:33:17 AM
 #24

I guess the answer to "why?" is "why not?" I have been holding back on this for a while, but I think I will just post how cheap this is. I dont think people understand this from a desktop/laptop perspective. If you have a place to put these loud and heavy boxes and can afford the running cost you can easily get one with enough RAM to support a blockchain.

Heading over to ebay (germany first)... searching for the rack mounted servers category and picking 128 GB(!) RAM gets me:

...

That's what I'm saying, these old hardware, DDR2 or DDR3 with that much RAM, and that many cores ... they're cheap now. I see videos on youtube for stuff with 1 TB of RAM. I heard about a server with 4 TB of RAM that only does DNS or something like that, stored everything in memory.

I'm almost never buying a desktop or laptop again... okay, maybe a laptop. I get an old server or workstation for cheap, and it has triple or quadruple the RAM everyone else has, with double or triple the cores everyone else has, put in a previous generation GPU, and I can play the latest games... (I think.) Or play two players with two keyboards and two monitors and two mice. Or I think Linus even did 7 to 8 gamers in one rig. (That's not fair, they used 36 core CPUs, and 8 GPUs on one motherboard.)

You can buy a 6th generation desktop or even a cheaper 6th laptop and do all the gaming you need with the exact price of those old servers you are talking. An intel i3 6100 for desktop together with an AMD RX 470 is more than enough for 1080p latest gaming. Cost of such PC is 500-550 USD with SSD and 8GB of Ram. If you want to keep also the entire blockchain just buy a 480 GB SSD beside a 1TB hdd which this PC has already itself. Laptops may come even cheaper but not with great GPU.

Lots of new options nowadays so I really suggest you forget about the old servers you are talking as they are not good at all for gaming.
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November 05, 2016, 08:44:56 AM
 #25

I did some testing, and with a Samsung 850 EVO SSD the rescanning is completely CPU-bound because it only uses one core. On a i5-6600K running at 3.8 GHz the usage is constant at ~27% (meaning slightly more than 1 core is used) and the disk usage is ~13% (with rare peaks up to 40%). Rescanning a new empty wallet takes almost exactly 20 minutes + 1.5 minutes for the initial check of the blocks. Rescanning a wallet with 1160 transactions (most of them done several years ago, don't know if that matters) takes 43 minutes. If you buy an old computer with lots of cores and RAM but where each core is slow it would probably take much longer. I think even a laptop with a modern dual core cpu and SSD would be faster than that.
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November 05, 2016, 01:55:37 PM
 #26

Lots of new options nowadays so I really suggest you forget about the old servers you are talking as they are not good at all for gaming.

The old server workstation I'm talking about would have a CPU that has 4 or 6 cores, 3.1 to 3.6 Mhz, 10 MB cache ... hyper threading and AES NI ... that's all I "need" from it. The gaming is secondary. The mobo will accept the latest GPU, but that would cost more than the rest of the system combined. The system I'm looking at will come with 1 TB HDD (I'll add the SSD later) with space inside for a few more drives, 64 GB of DDR3 ECC RAM, Gigabit Network 10/100/1000, Integrated HD Audio, 4 X USB 3.0 Ports, 5 X USB 2.0 Ports, FireWire Port, and half a dozen SATA ports inside.

It would cost me about $600 USD equivalent, shipped to my house.

So, it's not the best for gaming, but it's more than enough for everything else I will use it for, including whatever cryptocurrency / bitcoin related projects I have. It will run Starcraft fine. It might not run the latest Assassin's Creed or whatever game came out in 2016.

I did some testing, ...

Mine takes about 20 to 30 minutes, but I'm still using a HDD, not SSD. Old laptop with Core i5. (probably 4 cores, or 2 cores with hyper-thread.)

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November 12, 2016, 07:10:42 PM
 #27

That's a massive amount of RAM and atleast where I live RAM disks are very expensive for the amount of RAM size you've mentioned. I'm currently using a 256 GB Samsung 750 EVO internal SSD and it's doing pretty good. You'll get decent read and write rates of about 580 MB/s and it has very good endurance of atleast 5 years (stating 5 years cause of the warranty). You'll also find SSD's with 10 years warranty and support a lot of read and write cycles and resistance to heat.

The bitcoin blockchain on it would be worth the money spent and these days prices of SSD's are getting pretty cheap. What you'll need is also a faster processor for the initial sync and about 8GB of RAM (4GB is good enough as well). This should prevent any slowdown and you could use your system at the same time to do other activities. I'd suggest the i7 6700K (Quad core and 6 threads) which packs a punch of power on all its cores and threads. You'll not feel a slowness after all. You might as well run a Bitcoin node on this and I'm sure you're aware that it'd help the network.
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