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Improve video playback performance with a RAM disk

https://magicmusicvisuals.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=436

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Improve video playback performance with a RAM disk

Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:46 pm
by Eric
Some of you may already be familiar with the concept of a RAM disk, which basically means using part of your RAM as a disk drive. The reason to do this is that RAM is much faster than most hard drives, including SSDs -- sometimes 20 or 30 times faster than SSDs.

RAM disks are a great way to improve video playback. One of the performance bottlenecks of playing videos is that they usually have to be read from the disk drive as they are played. For high-quality videos, the slowness of the drive can result in dropped frames. Using a RAM disk often completely eliminates this problem.

Here's a good article on how to create a RAM disk: http://www.tekrevue.com/tip/create-10-gbs-ram-disk-windows/. Personally, I recommend doing it only if you have 8GB RAM or more. And I wouldn't use more than 25-50% of it as a RAM disk, depending on your needs.

As the article explains, the disadvantage of a RAM disk is that it is temporary. It disappears when the computer is rebooted, and everything has to be recopied. However, you can use a third-party application to manage it, so that the recopying happens automatically.

RAM disks are useful not only for Magic, but for any application that does real-time video manipulation. Try it out and see how it works for you.

Re: Improve video playback performance with a RAM disk

Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:26 am
by blackdot
Nice, thanks. I could put my 32 gb to good use :).

Re: Improve video playback performance with a RAM disk

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:31 pm
by BaconMKII
Hey Eric,
Im curious if setting up a RAM disk offers any advantages when rendering or if its something mainly to be used for realtime manipulation.

Re: Improve video playback performance with a RAM disk

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:23 pm
by Eric
Yup, it could definitely be faster for rendering, especially for large files. But if you want to keep the files permanently, you'll have to copy them out of the RAM disk, and it will take some time. So you'll need to calculate whether or not it actually saves time in the long run.

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