How to set up a Ram Disk

Many of you have noticed that some effects like Summon Skeletons and Tempest Shield are not preloaded, so cause a notable freeze when you use them. We're working on a fix for this, but for those with plenty of Ram to spare, and not playing of an SSD, Shadowness' solution here should help you out. - Rory


Hello Everyone,

this is a brief introduction to using a RAM disk. RAM disk or Ram drive is a block of memory ( RAM ) that the computer treat as a disk drive.

This guide should show you how to set-up RAM disk using one of the available software solutions, and what benefits you receive. Make sure you have enough RAM to spare.

First, download the ImDisk software solution from the link below :

http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/#ImDisk

After its downloaded, install it.

Instruction for setting up a Ram Disk using ImDisk

Open Start menu and search for CMD ( Command Prompt ) / or go to accessories, right click CMD and run it as administrator.

Type in : imdisk -a -s 5700M -m X: -p "/fs:ntfs /q /y"

-s specifies the size, in this case 5700 MB or 5.7 GB

-m X: specifies the name of the drive, in this case X:

After this is done, copy the whole Grinding Gear Games folder with Path of Exile in it, into the newly created ram disk. And that's it. But, the data stored on the ram disk will get deleted when you perform a shutdown / restart. The only exception is Hibernation mode. To preserve and load the image each and every time :

go to http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/#CmdUtils and donwload rawcopy.zip

Open the .zip and copy the rawcopy into C:\Windows\System32\

Go into your Program Files folder and create a folder called imdisk.

open notepad and type : rawcopy -mld \\.\X: "C:\Program Files (x86)\ImDisk\PoE.img"

X: being the letter of the drive you created and the path where this .img will be saved. In thise case, it will be saved into a folder i created beforehand, called imdisk, under the name PoE.img ( Note : The image file will be created using the Grinding Gear Game folder you copied to the Ram disk before)

Save it in the folder located at C:\Program Files (x86)\ImDisk\ under the name imdisk-save.cmd
If you get a message that you need to call administrator, just save it on desktop and then manually move it to the folder.

Now go to Task Scheduler, click on Task Scheduler Library -> Microsoft -> Windows.

Right click on the middle space ( empty ) and click Create New Task...

General

Name

The name of the schedule, I named mine Imdisk Save

Triggers

Click New...On Begin the task, choose On an event.

Settings
On log; choose System.
on Source; choose USER32
on Event ID; type 1074

Click OK

Actions

Click New....
Click Browse...
Look for the .cmd you created earlier.
Click OK.

Settings

Turn off If the running task does not end when requested, force it to stop.
Turn on Run task as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed.

--

Open another instance of notepad. Type in :
imdisk -a -t vm -f "C:\Program Files (x86)\ImDisk\PoE.img" -m X:

-t vm specifies that the image will be stored in RAM
-m X: specifies the letter of the drive

Save it, like you did before, under the name imdisk-start.cmd. In Task Scheduler, create another task.

General

Name

The name of the schedule, I named mine Imdisk Start.


Security options
Click Change User or Group.
Enter the object name SYSTEM, all capitals, then click OK.
The user account should now read NT AUTHORITY/SYSTEM.
Turn on Run with highest privileges.

Turn on Hidden, then choose the OS you're currently using in Configure for:.

Triggers

Click New....

On Begin the task:, choose At startup.
Click OK.

Actions

Click New....

Click Browse....
Look for the .cmd file you created earlier, then click OK.

Conditions

Turn off Start the task only if the computer is on AC power.
Settings

Turn on Run task as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed.

Click OK

Restart your system, so that the image file is created. Navigate to computer and the Imdisk folder. If you see PoE.img and you see a new drive named X: it means that you have done all successfully.

Now you can enjoy much faster loading times, and less lag when it comes to using certain skills. The task manager should also show that.


The ImDisk solution is by no means the fastest, because the actual speed of the RAM is much higher, but it is free and easy to set-up. The speed is still 10-15x faster then any SSD. If you are looking for something better, look for Dataram.

If you are having FPS issues, make sure your driver is up to date, by going to either site below :

http://www.geforce.com/
http://www.amd.com/uk/Pages/AMDHomePage.aspx

In the game options, the first step you can do to improve your FPS is to tone down the AA, or turning it off completely. If it doesnt work try Shadows / Post Processing.

--

Some pictures for speed comparison, using the G.Skill RipjawZ 4x4Gb kit ( X79,2100 Mhz, currently dual channel, no OC ) :

ramspeed

Samsung 840 Speed- http://www.overclock.net/t/1357317/just-installed-my-new-sammy-840-pro-wow

Original Guide http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=356046

---

FAQ :

Q : If the game is updated/patched, must i copy the folder again and create an .img file?

A : When the game is updated, the update will be applied to the RAM disk folder, therefore when you shutdown or restart your computer, the image file will be updated with whatever new information was added to the folder. So that when you turn it back on, the image file that is going to be loaded to the RAM disk will be the updated one. Again, the only exception to this rule is when you get bsdos or use hibernation mode !
Last edited by Rory on February 7, 2013 9:33 PM
Linux Instructions

Creating the RAM Drive

Create the mount directory:
mkdir /mnt/ramdisk

Add settings to /etc/fstab:
tmpfs /mnt/ramdisk tmpfs noauto,user,size=6G,exec 0 0
*noauto is what stops it from mounting when the system boots.
*user allows a user to mount.
*6G will need to be increased when the game gets bigger than 6 GB.
*exec should go at the end, and allows programs to be executed from the filesystem.

Mount the RAM drive:
mount /mnt/ramdisk

Copying the Game to the RAM Drive

Create a new storage directory for your PoE program folder:
mkdir -i ~/Backup
mv -iv ".wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Grinding Gear Games/Path of Exile" ~/Backup/

This can be on any storage device you want.

Copy the storage files to the empty RAM drive:
cp -ir "~/Backup/Path of Exile" "/mnt/ramdisk/"

Use a symlink to redirect wine to the RAM installation:
ln -s "/mnt/ramdisk/Path of Exile" "~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Grinding Gear Games/Path of Exile"

Storing the Updated Game

Keep the storage backups current:
rsync -av "/mnt/ramdisk/Path of Exile/" "~/Backup/Path of Exile"
Gentoo Linux ░ nvidia 331.20 ░ wine 1.7.8
winetricks -q vcrun2010 d3dx9_42 d3dcompiler_43 riched20
Last edited by ionface on May 1, 2013 4:00 AM
Thanks for sharing. For those wondering what the problem that this is a solution to; it makes it so starting up the game and loading areas in the game much faster.
FAQ: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/36608
GGG Posttracker: http://www.gggtracker.com/
Thanks for this guide.

Maybe you should add, that you need 16 gb ram to do this (maybe 8 gb works too?).
This is *way* more convoluted than necessary

Softperfect ramdisk can load images without weird external tools, and it's faster, and it supports differential image writeback, so if an update occurs, or a file is changed, it's taken care of immediately, without excessive disk writes.

It saves anything in the image, forever, so you don't need copy tools.

You can install stuff to the ramdisk, then unmount the image. Whenever you want to run a file from that ramdisk, you open softperfect, tell it to load whatever image file you want, and then run your shortcut. That's it. You can have essentially unlimited programs in ramdisk, by loading and unloading images as your heart feels like it.


Also, this ramdisk, and dataram ramdisk are actually *slower* than softperfect ramdisk.

I've been using softperfect for my firefox cache, and firefox profile for a long time now.



The advantage of doing it my way, is that you can have *any* or if you're absolutely crazy, all of your non-microsoft programs in ram.
Last edited by Angelus359 on February 7, 2013 10:24 PM
I dont think its convulted.

Most of the guide focuses on the two .cmd files that simply save you time during each and every shutdown and startup.

ImDisk does all you have listed, except for the differential image writeback, which also has its negatives. Especially if you prefer to do things in user mode.

Sofperfect is faster, in most cases. I, as many others, assume that at that point that extra speed doesnt matter all that much. So i'll just say its a user preference. The saving / loading of the image file is very fast even on mechanical hard drive, and the .cmd take care of it automatically since you gonna use the image very often. You can make the .cmd and use them manually, you can create your own folder with image files and use the main application to mount them as you shown.

Might also have a look here if you are interested - http://reboot.pro/forum/59-imdisk/

Thanks a lot for the reply Angelus,

Cheers
Last edited by Shadowness_ on February 7, 2013 11:04 PM
So you need 8 to 16Gb RAM for this to work?
Order of the Raven | Guild Leader | IGN:HoneyBash | GMT -5

http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/813491/page/1
Interval Differential writeback actually can be turned off if you dislike it.

What I'm talking about doesn't require a human to tell it to save at shutdown though, since it can be set to do that without a cmd file, in softperfect.

This would still allow differential writeback at shutdown automatically. Differential writeback would prevent you from saving a 5.7GB file every time you shut down.

It uses a block system, so it maintains an index of the blocks in the image, creating a flag for which blocks need to be written back, and it writes thoses blocks back, either at shut down, or during the interval writeback.

I use interval differential writeback at a 1 minute increment, so if the same file has many changes, it only writes at a maximum of once per 1 minutes, only writes what blocks have been changed, and if there were no files saved, it doesn't write at all.


My HDD does sequential writes of 135MB/s, if you don't use a differential system, and you do 5.7 GB, it'll take *atleast* 42 seconds to save.

If you use a differential writeback system (interval, or at shutdown), it'll typically take under 1 second, and write much less data.
yay more load speed incoming :)
:) =)
To those who think the guide is a little too technical, I recommend getting SoftPerfect RAM Disk, it's 100% free. You basically install the software, run it and then you mount a RAM drive, it's all UI based. Then all you have to do is copy PoE directory into the RAM drive and run the game from there.

The only drawback (and I believe it's the same for all RAM drive software) is that you have to recopy the game to the RAM drive each time you reboot or shutdown. You can always create a script or a batch file that automatically copy the game to the RAM drive before running PoE but this part is for advanced users. Also, the RAM drive will be auto-mounted each time you reboot (it will be empty tho).

"
Completed 2 ChallengesTristinX wrote:
So you need 8 to 16Gb RAM for this to work?


8GB is enough but expect Windows (Vista/7/8) to be a little slower with a ~5.5GB RAM drive + PoE running (which use an additional ~1.7GB of RAM), it is specially the case when you have other stuff running like a web browser with many tabs. 12GB or more is recommended if you don't want any slowdown in Windows (Vista/7/8). 8GB of RAM should be less of an issue under Windows XP (XP64 only since XP32 is RAM limited to ~3.5GB).
Tech guy
Last edited by Warrax on February 9, 2013 6:55 PM

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