Friday, June 20, 2008

The ramdisk experiment.

I'm a subscriber to Darling Brody's Quantum Products support group (makers of the Quantum Core and other items of intense fun, including my avatar's eyes), so when she drew our attention to a post on her site about crash-proofing the SL experience, I just had to have a look.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, it's a Windows-centric view, not much use to my Linux-lovin' self beyond general guidance. I already had a memory monitor installed, so it was the second suggestion that caught my eye: Using a ramdisk for the Second Life cache instead of my hard drive.

A ramdisk, as the name implies, is a portion of your computer's onboard RAM that has been allocated to act as another hard drive. Since it is entirely comprised of volatile memory, the disk starts up entirely clean each time the computer is booted. In addition to creating less potential for trouble for SL by not requiring it to access the hard drive as often, Darling also claims a performance boost.

Well, we'll see.

Unlike Windows users, who have to download a separate program, all I have to do is Google the words "ramdisk Ubuntu" and the proper commands to set up a ramdisk can be easily found.

So, I'm embarking upon this experiment. I'm curious as to how it will turn out. Will the machine's overall performance in SL compensate for the 200 MB (out of 2 gigs) that I'm parcelling out here? Will I notice?

Well, we'll see.

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