Support for video (GPU) RAM disks

Started by SuperTroll

SuperTroll

Support for video (GPU) RAM disks   04 June 2021, 00:19

Dear SoftPerfect team,

Have you thought about supporting the creation of RAM disks in a GPU's video RAM?

With today's VRAM sizes, as well as the fact that the 32 GB barrier is approaching fast (by that I mean the necessity for having more than 32 GB, i.e., 64 GB typically in a system), this is becoming an increasingly viable option.

As far as I know, there is only one no-longer-developed tool for VRAM disks, GpuRamDrive on github. While it works, it's an experimental solution which appears to be much slower than traditional RAM disks (~2 GB/s vs. ~10 GB/s on my system).

Any thoughts?
SoftPerfect Support forum - Andrew avatar image

Re: Support for video (GPU) RAM disks   04 June 2021, 08:17

The rationale for not using GPU is basically what you have just mentioned:
  • It's much slower than RAM and may even be slower than SSDs.
  • It's expensive as GPUs with a lot of VRAM doubled and tripled in price recently.

I am not familiar with the "32 GB barrier", e.g. we have a system here with 96 GB of RAM and it's 5 years old. Most modern motherboards should support over 32 GB RAM, except some laptops. So in a typical desktop PC you could have 128 GB of RAM costing less than 1 GPU and use a regular RAM disk as needed.
Neville

RAM Disk on GPU VRAM when unused. How to...   21 July 2021, 12:27

Suggestion: DRAM is always in use (Superfetch etc), but GPU RAM is not. Most or all of it is only used when gaming etc.

This app allows one to make a RAM Disk in GPU memory:
Nvidia only: https://github.com/prsyahmi/GpuRamDrive
AMD GPUs: https://github.com/brzz/GpuRamDrive/releases
Code is POC and ImDisk's Proxy feature is slow. No multi core.

Hoping the idea is of interest. Using it with caching software like AMD's StoreMI, or Primocache, or even Readyboost would be nice. Especially if the caching was dynamic and disabled when the GPU was in use.

Best,
Neville
SoftPerfect Support forum - Ann avatar image
Ann

Re: RAM Disk on GPU VRAM when unused. How to...   21 July 2021, 12:31

As mentioned above, it is not rational to use GPU's memory for a RAM disk because:
  • It is much slower than RAM, and may be slower than SSDs.
  • It is expensive.
  • It may not be stable, as it is not the intended use of VRAM and the implementation is specific to each vendor.
That is basically why there are no commercial RAM Disk products for GPUs.

Sometimes you can find a solution faster if you try the forum search, have a look at the knowledge base, or check the software user manual to see if your question has already been answered.

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