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Author Topic: hard drive thrashing...  (Read 1822 times)
xDan
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April 19, 2011, 11:50:18 AM
 #1

Hi there,

I'm new to this, and I *love* the bitcoin idea. But...

Whenever the client is adding new blocks (which appears to be quite often), it thrashes my hard drive quite a bit. This slows down other apps, and also I'm sure the buzzing coming from my rather ancient hard drive can't be good for it.

Slowdown is the main problem though, for such a primitive looking app you wouldn't think it would have much to do. (I know looks are likely deceiving though).

Since I work on this computer as well, I really can't live with even occasional slowdowns due to the client HD thrashing... So I'm very much considering uninstalling it... (at the moment I generally exit the app when it starts thrashing, then restart it again when I've finished work. But that is quite annoying to do).

This is all after the initial gathering of blocks, which was really really slow, but acceptable if it was a one time thing.

Anyway, I love the bit coin concept. If this disk thrashing can be fixed somehow I'm sure it would increase the number of people that keep Bitcoin installed. Ideally, you want it to be unnoticeable in terms of resources so people can install + forget.

I guess the thrashing is it adding to or reorganising its database? I don't know enough about bitcoin or berkeley db to really have any idea how this might be improved. I would suggest holding the DB in RAM but increasing the RAM usage is not a desirable thing either...

I think RAM usage seems a little high as well... of course, anyone with a super PC won't notice, but they're really the minority of people.

Thanks for Bitcoin though, it's an awesome concept. Sorry if it seems like I'm whining, but I think these things that might seem trivial to some will affect the use of the software by others. Obviously if someone has a great need for Bitcoin they'll use it anyway. But imagine the average user, just installs it as an experiment. Minor slowdowns could make the different between him keeping it installed (until a point in the future when he comes across an actual use for it) or just uninstalling it immediately.

HODLing for the longest time. Skippin fast right around the moon. On a rocketship straight to mars.
Up, up and away with my beautiful, my beautiful Bitcoin~
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Garrett Burgwardt
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April 19, 2011, 06:01:57 PM
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Not sure about what to do if your hard drive is thrashing because of the blocks being downloaded, you must have a very old computer.

As far as RAM though, it's only taking 70 meg on my computer. That really should be negligible.
xDan
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April 19, 2011, 07:09:19 PM
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It's about 5-6 years old laptop Smiley

yup, it's only using 9 mb at the moment, which is fine, but it was at 30 mb earlier though (perhaps when it was doing the thrashing?).

I have 512 Mb RAM, and for a background service 70mb (or even 30mb) is a significant amount.

I realise most tech people (like, everybody here) will have a good machine. But the general public, no. There's a huge amount of people - casual internet users, non game players, who don't bother to upgrade their PC until it dies. And poor people, like me Smiley But still, all these are people who use cash in the real world, and I think would benefit from Bitcoin.

So, I'm not raising this issue just for myself - I think if Bitcoin is to really take off it needs every possible drawback ironed out.

Normally I wouldn't bother coming to a forum to complain about something as trivial as this. I guess most file sharing software probably is far more bloated. But this bitcoin seems potentially far more important + useful than anything like that. It's not like a computer game, an unnecessary software you can go without, that we can just say "upgrade your PC if you want to use it".

[maybe this topic would be better off moved to the development forum? I really think this is as important as any technical issues]

HODLing for the longest time. Skippin fast right around the moon. On a rocketship straight to mars.
Up, up and away with my beautiful, my beautiful Bitcoin~
Garrett Burgwardt
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April 19, 2011, 07:23:43 PM
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Well online wallet services would be good for a low resource environment, and there is a method to trim the blocks so that you only need a very small amount of space and thus very little writing, as well as I'm sure improvements to ram that can be done.

Thank you for reporting, hopefully a dev wanders in and sees this, otherwise I'll try and point it out in IRC to them.
xDan
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April 19, 2011, 08:40:11 PM
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Great Smiley I hadn't really looked into the wallet services, but that's a good point. Maybe there's still benefits to using it installed on your PC though, I'm not sure.

HODLing for the longest time. Skippin fast right around the moon. On a rocketship straight to mars.
Up, up and away with my beautiful, my beautiful Bitcoin~
compro01
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April 19, 2011, 09:38:11 PM
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Maybe there's still benefits to using it installed on your PC though, I'm not sure.

the benefit of running it locally is you don't need to trust someone else to hold your wallet.

the disadvantage is you need to manage it all yourself, such as keeping up with the block chain, backing up your wallet, etc.

it's just a matter of which tradeoffs matter more to you.
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April 19, 2011, 10:20:48 PM
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I have 512 Mb RAM, and for a background service 70mb (or even 30mb) is a significant amount.

Need more RAM? http://www.biddingpond.com/item.php?id=468

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nodemaster
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April 20, 2011, 06:26:18 AM
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Maybe there's still benefits to using it installed on your PC though, I'm not sure.

the benefit of running it locally is you don't need to trust someone else to hold your wallet.

the disadvantage is you need to manage it all yourself, such as keeping up with the block chain, backing up your wallet, etc.

it's just a matter of which tradeoffs matter more to you.

You could use a wallet service for your every day transactions and still keep a local wallet. Transfer your coins from the wallet service to your own harddrive only once in a while if they exceed or fall below a certain threshold. It will take more time to catch up on latest block on the local harddrive if you didn't start bitcoin for a while but at least you can schedule at which time your computer slows down.
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