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Windows 7: My Windows Experience Index incorrectly accesses my harddrive

29 Jan 2012   #11
GeneO

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote:
Not exactly sure why they make mechanical drives as SATA 3, since the ports are backwards compatable anyway.
That is indeed a good question. I think it is a sales gimmick. Mechanical drives cannot even saturate 50% of Sata2. The best ones do 1Gb/sec. Not sure though how these hybrids feed the channel.
I do not think it is really a gimmick. Eventually SATA2 will fade away and there is no sense supporting an old protocol on new drives. It is just progress. Also, SATA3 does improve burst transfer rates to/from the disk's cache memory.


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29 Jan 2012   #12
profdlp

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

You can always run something like HD Tune website (free version halfway down the page) and see what it shows, at least for the sake of comparing it to other mechanical drives.
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30 Jan 2012   #13
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by carwiz View Post
If you have a USB thumb drive that's fast, you might look into using one for ReadyBoost. Windows will store most used files on it and speed up access.
Why? He has 16 GB of memory! Readyboost's benefits disappear on systems with 1 GB of memory or higher. Readyboost was designed to make up for a low amount of RAM...not speed up a hard drive. Besides, he's already getting the max score for a spinner.
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30 Jan 2012   #14
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

That is an interesting point. With 4GB or more RAM, there are very few page faults. But some programs still generate them regardless how much available RAM there is. You can see that in Resource Monitor > Memory tab > the bottom right graph.

I have 8GB of RAM and still get some page faults. If I were on a spinner (but I am on an SSD), the Ready Boost could speed up those rare page faults (provided the stick has an access time in the 1ms range). The performance advantage would probably be minute and one would not really notice it, but there is a difference. So it would be more or less an academic exercise.
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30 Jan 2012   #15
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by carwiz View Post
If you have a USB thumb drive that's fast, you might look into using one for Ready Boost. Windows will store most used files on it and speed up access.
Why? He has 16 GB of memory! Readyboost's benefits disappear on systems with 1 GB of memory or higher. ReadyBoost was designed to make up for a low amount of RAM...not speed up a hard drive. Besides, he's already getting the max score for a spinner.
Perhaps one of us misunderstands the concept of Ready Boost.
I see it as disk cache and not adding "machine memory" per-say. Windows 7 allows up to 256GB or 8 NAND devices to be used for storing data. It's not used for large sequential reads off HDDs. It's primary purpose is for random reads and writes to speed disk access.

Quote:
Windows 7 use (sic) the Windows SuperFetch algorithm to determine which files should be stored in the cache.
This means it's not memory dependent. It has nothing to do with core memory.

Quote:
Computers with a primary hard disk Windows Experience Index (WEI) subscore lower than 4.0 will see the most significant improvements.
That's "most significant improvements". That doesn't mean drives above that won't see an improvement.

I personally haven't tried it since Windows turns off the Ready Boost option if you have a SSD. Windows does this no matter how much memory you have so it's not dependent on machine memory. Intel has implemented a similar driver feature when the system disk is HDD and there's a SSD in the system. The SSD(s) can be set up to provide HDD cache memory. And again, this feature is turned off if a SSD is used as a system disk. It's not dependant on machine memory.

Also, this feature is not used for memory paging--That's a distinctly different feature that handles program code (primarily).

But, if you can explain it better than this, I'll be happy to listen.

I normally don't use Wiki for a reference but this link has some useful information none the less.
ReadyBoost - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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30 Jan 2012   #16
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Also....

I didn't mean for the suggestion to use ReadyBoost as a cure or fix. I simply meant that it MIGHT improve HDD response. However; I don't see any improvement showing up in a WEI score or HDD test since the test file(s) won't be in the cache. It could be just by perception. I just think it's worth a cheap try if you have a thumbdrive or two handy.
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30 Jan 2012   #17
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I'm going by all the tests done on various sites in overall performance when Vista was released, and then revisited when Windows 7 was released. The general consensus across the board was that unless the system had lass than 1 GB of memory, you weren't going to see anything useful from Readyboost. Several Windows developers were part of the tests. Readyboost is designed to supplement a lack of physical memory in a system...that's always been it's purpose, giving the computer a place with quick access speeds to dump data that normally would have been forced to the HDD because system RAM was full. It never was and never has been about speeding up HDD speeds.

Here's a link right from the feature page at Microsoft:

ReadyBoost - Windows 7 features - Microsoft Windows

You are correct, however, that Readyboost is disabled when an SSD is used for the system volume. The reason for this is because a SSD on an SATA controller is much faster in overall speed and access time than a flash drive on a USB bus. so the spillover from system memory is better off on the SSD than a flash drive.
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30 Jan 2012   #18
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Sorry I couldn't get back sooner, had to watch the Spurs game.

That's not correct. As are your phantom references. ReadyBoost has nothing to do with system memory. Plugging in a USB drive with RB set will NOT increase system memory nor will it show up as additional system memory. It is not used as a memory page file at all. It's a HDD cache for random reads and writes and contains the actual FILE in compressed form.

The only reference I see to 1GB is that the USB must be at least 1GB.

Quote:
Computers with fast hard disks (such as 7,200- or 10,000-RPM disks) might realize minimal performance gains because of the already high disk I/O. ReadyBoost will read files from the cache only when doing so will improve performance. Hard disks outperform flash drives during sequential reads, but flash drives are faster during non-sequential reads (because of the latency caused when the drive head must move to a different disk sector).Therefore, ReadyBoost reads from the cache only for non-sequential reads.

ReadyBoost creates a disk cache file named ReadyBoost.sfcache in the root of the flash drive. The file is immediately created for the full size of the specified cache. However, Windows will gradually fill the space with cached content.

To monitor ReadyBoost performance, use the System Tools\Performance\Monitoring Tools\Performance Monitor tool in the Computer Management console and add the ReadyBoost Cache counters. These counters enable you to monitor how much of the cache is currently being used and when the cache is read from or written to. But it does not tell you exactly what performance benefit you are achieving by using ReadyBoost.


From the Microsoft Press book The Windows 7 Resource Kit by Mitch Tulloch, Tony Northrup, Jerry Honeycutt, Ed Wilson, and the Windows 7 Team at Microsoft.
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31 Jan 2012   #19
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by carwiz View Post
That's not correct. As are your phantom references. ReadyBoost has nothing to do with system memory. Plugging in a USB drive with RB set will NOT increase system memory nor will it show up as additional system memory. It is not used as a memory page file at all. It's a HDD cache for random reads and writes and contains the actual FILE in compressed form.
Whoa....stop putting words in my mouth. No where did I say it shows up as system memory, Readyboost ALWAYS has been about supplementing system memory on older systems that don't have enough built in. It has nothing, repeat, nothing to do with speeding up hard drives. It never has. That's how it's been since the feature was announced with Vista, and that's how it's been today. My link was direct to the product page for Windows 7 on Microsoft.com.

Did you actually read the page I linked to you? The 1 GB limit I mentioned...was from the forum testing. Don't believe me? Go post on [H]ardForum and suggest that Readyboost speeds up hard drive access. The 1 GB limit mentioned in the link was abought the minimum size of a flash drive to be considered for Readyboost use.

Now, aside form links, all you have to do is apply a little knowledge and common sense to the subject. System memory has the fastest access speed. So in a perfect world, you would just add more memory. On an older system where that isn't possible, or is costly, Microsoft came up with Readyboost. The first concept PCs to demonstrate it were running 512 MB of memory and Vista. Vista ran like crap on those systems. Microsoft would plug in a Readyboost 1 GB drive, enable the feature, and the system ran better. Why? Because the spillover from system memory could be run off the flash drive and not the hard drive, aka paging, cache, etc. It has nothing to do with increasing performance of the hard drive.

Stepping into the current, the reason it is disabled on an SSD is that the SSD offers faster speeds and access times than a USB flash drive, thanks to the interface. So, if there was to be any spillover on a system with low memory, the next fastest storage medium is the SSD, after the system memory, rendering a Readyboost drive as useless. Again, it has nothing to do with speeding up the hard drive.

On all of the forum tests, across the enthusiast community, it was determined that once a system has 1 GB of memory, your returns on Readyboost were greatly diminished. Once Windows 7 was released, and the topic was debated again, the same results held true, mainly because Windows 7 ran more efficiently with less memory than Vista....once again, making Readyboost a nearly obsolete feature.

That's how it was, and that's how it's always been. If you still don't want to accept the facts, test it out yourself.

EDIT: I reread the link you gave, and it absolutely confirms my points of what I am trying to get you to understand. When the system has low system memory and a slow hard drive, the spillover cache would normally be going to a slow hard drive by default. Readyboost takes this spillover and offloads it to a faster storage medium, such as a flash drive. We're arguing over semantics, but the point is...the system becomes more responsive. It is not about speeding up the hard drive itself. It's about speeding up the overall system. The article you linked specifically explains this. It even mentions that on a system with a 7200 rpm hard drive, your benefits would be minimal. Why? Because Readyboost isn't designed to speed up the hard drive....it's designed to speed up the spillover cache, which in turn makes the system more responsive.
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31 Jan 2012   #20
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
Whoa....stop putting words in my mouth. No where did I say it shows up as system memory,
Never said you did. But you said the USB is used as paged memory. It is not. This implies the USB is an extension of system memory and therefor should be shown as such. It doesn't and it's not. Never was, never will be used as paged memory.

Readyboost ALWAYS has been about supplementing system memory on older systems that don't have enough built in. It has nothing, repeat, nothing to do with speeding up hard drives. It never has.

It most certainly has and is. You misunderstand the facts or misrepresent the facts. My link is from the Microsoft team that wrote and implemented ReadyBoost. Can't get a better description of the operation than that.

That's is not correct. That's how it's been since the feature was announced with Vista, and that's how it's been today. My link was direct to the product page for Windows 7 on Microsoft.com.

Totally false for Windows 7. Don't care what it was in Vista. That's not the subject of this forum.

Did you actually read the page I linked to you? The 1 GB limit I mentioned...was from the forum testing. Don't believe me? Go post on [H]ardForum and suggest that Readyboost speeds up hard drive access. The 1 GB limit mentioned in the link was abought the minimum size of a flash drive to be considered for Readyboost use.

Yes, I read the page. It's old information from someone that doesn't understand ReadyBoost. Wouldn't be the first time Microsoft didn't stay up-to-date on their pages. My link is straight to the Tech Center.

Now, aside form links, all you have to do is apply a little knowledge and common sense to the subject. System memory has the fastest access speed. So in a perfect world, you would just add more memory. On an older system where that isn't possible, or is costly, Microsoft came up with Readyboost. The first concept PCs to demonstrate it were running 512 MB of memory and Vista. Vista ran like crap on those systems. Microsoft would plug in a Readyboost 1 GB drive, enable the feature, and the system ran better. Why? Because the spillover from system memory could be run off the flash drive and not the hard drive, aka paging, cache, etc. It has nothing to do with increasing performance of the hard drive.

Sorry, I don't believe you. Did you even read my link or the quotes from it above? I'm not the one you should be arguing with. Read the FACTS as you say.

Stepping into the current, the reason it is disabled on an SSD is that the SSD offers faster speeds and access times than a USB flash drive, thanks to the interface. So, if there was to be any spillover on a system with low memory, the next fastest storage medium is the SSD, after the system memory, rendering a Readyboost drive as useless. Again, it has nothing to do with speeding up the hard drive.

Totally false again.

On all of the forum tests, across the enthusiast community, it was determined that once a system has 1 GB of memory, your returns on Readyboost were greatly diminished. Once Windows 7 was released, and the topic was debated again, the same results held true, mainly because Windows 7 ran more efficiently with less memory than Vista....once again, making Readyboost a nearly obsolete feature.

That's how it was, and that's how it's always been. If you still don't want to accept the facts, test it out yourself.

EDIT: I reread the link you gave, and it absolutely confirms my points of what I am trying to get you to understand. When the system has low system memory and a slow hard drive, the spillover cache would normally be going to a slow hard drive by default. Readyboost takes this spillover and offloads it to a faster storage medium, such as a flash drive. We're arguing over semantics, but the point is...the system becomes more responsive. It is not about speeding up the hard drive itself. It's about speeding up the overall system. The article you linked specifically explains this. It even mentions that on a system with a 7200 rpm hard drive, your benefits would be minimal. Why? Because Readyboost isn't designed to speed up the hard drive....it's designed to speed up the spillover cache, which in turn makes the system more responsive.

It says no such thing. The second sentence in the link is very specific about what ReadyBoost does. And I quote (again); "Windows 7 supports Windows ReadyBoost. This feature uses external USB flash drives as a hard disk cache to improve disk read perforance." But at least you're starting to use the correct term--Cache instead of paged memory. It is and always has been Disk Cache. Why do you think ReadyBoost uses the "SuperFetch algorithm"? But instead of links to files as SuperFetch uses, ReadyBoost caches the actual file.
In any case, I guess we'll continue to disagree so I'm done.

I apologize to the OP for the thread drift and hope he's satisfied with the answer to his original question.

Ken
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 My Windows Experience Index incorrectly accesses my harddrive




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