Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Using a RAM disk to make CAT tools faster
Thread poster: Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
네델란드
Local time: 11:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Apr 9

Hello everyone

[For those who don't know, a RAM disk is when you set aside some of your RAM to be used as if it is a disk. You can copy files to this "disk", and using such files should theoretically be much faster. When you turn off the computer (or lose power!), or "unmount" the RAM disk, all of its contents is lost (except if you use an image, but then the "disk" is slower again), so RAM disks are really meant for very temporary storage only. For examp
... See more
Hello everyone

[For those who don't know, a RAM disk is when you set aside some of your RAM to be used as if it is a disk. You can copy files to this "disk", and using such files should theoretically be much faster. When you turn off the computer (or lose power!), or "unmount" the RAM disk, all of its contents is lost (except if you use an image, but then the "disk" is slower again), so RAM disks are really meant for very temporary storage only. For example, you can make your browser faster by using a RAM disk for its cache.]

I'm trying out SoftPerfect's RAM disk.
https://www.softperfect.com/products/ramdisk/

I'm was wondering if any of you have any experience in how CAT tools can be made faster with a RAM disk. I was thinking about copying TMs and glossaries to the RAM disk (although one has to remember to add newly translated segments to the non-volatile copies of one's TMs etc. as well). And obviously there is a risk of crashes. But different CAT tools work differently. OmegaT, for example, reads all TMs into memory anyway, whereas WFC reads the TMs whenver it moves to the next segment. I'm not sure how MemoQ, Trados, WFP3/5 etc. work, in this regard.

Have you any experience with this?

Thanks
Samuel
Collapse


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
영국
Local time: 10:23
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Interested Apr 9

Samuel Murray wrote:
Have you any experience with this?

No, but I am interested. I used to have a RAM disk on my Commodore Amiga back in the late 1980s / early 1990s, and it did make a difference back then. Please do report back if you try it on Windows 10!

Dan


 

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
스페인
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Losing all work in a crash Apr 9

Losing all work in a crash would be a biggie unless there’s a way to set autosave in Word and your Cat tool to save the autosaved/recovery file to your SSD/HD.
Also the final saved version of all work would have to be on your SSD/HD too as all work on RAM would be lost when you turned the system off.


Tom in London
 

Tom in London
영국
Local time: 10:23
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Going back a long way Apr 9

Wow - a RAM disk - that takes me back to the 1990s, when computers were not what they are now, and I created a RAM disk to try and make things go faster.

I'm surprised to hear that some (but not all) CAT tools seem to read/write so much to the hard drive. I would have thought that this would only be an issue if you didn't have enough physical RAM installed on your computer - and that the solution would be to install more RAM.

However: I've been playing around with a c
... See more
Wow - a RAM disk - that takes me back to the 1990s, when computers were not what they are now, and I created a RAM disk to try and make things go faster.

I'm surprised to hear that some (but not all) CAT tools seem to read/write so much to the hard drive. I would have thought that this would only be an issue if you didn't have enough physical RAM installed on your computer - and that the solution would be to install more RAM.

However: I've been playing around with a couple of CAT tools these past few days (OmegaT and CafeTran) whilst running a lot of other applications at the same time. I hadn't noticed any slowdown until yesterday at the end of the day when I was doing a lot of search/replace on an OmegaT project that had a lot of source files in it; at a certain point the search/replace process did seem to be slowing down noticeably. So it may be that when the CAT tool is being worked hard, and there are a lot of other applications running, it puts a strain on the processor's ability to read/write to RAM and it starts using the hard drive instead.

Not that I know much about how computers work, but I'd be interested to know more about why some CAT tools seem to be more memory-hungry than other software.

[Edited at 2020-04-09 08:14 GMT]
Collapse


 

Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
스웨덴
Local time: 11:23
German to Swedish
+ ...
But Apr 9

I thought disk operations are cached in RAM nowadays? And with SSD drives the advantages of a RAM disk is surely smaller than ten or fifteen years ago.

 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
영국
Local time: 10:23
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes, it can speed up CAT tool snappiness (in translation grid responsiveness/large TM/TB operations) Apr 9

Samuel Murray wrote:

Hello everyone

[For those who don't know, a RAM disk is when you set aside some of your RAM to be used as if it is a disk. You can copy files to this "disk", and using such files should theoretically be much faster. When you turn off the computer (or lose power!), or "unmount" the RAM disk, all of its contents is lost (except if you use an image, but then the "disk" is slower again), so RAM disks are really meant for very temporary storage only. For example, you can make your browser faster by using a RAM disk for its cache.]

I'm trying out SoftPerfect's RAM disk.
https://www.softperfect.com/products/ramdisk/

I'm was wondering if any of you have any experience in how CAT tools can be made faster with a RAM disk. I was thinking about copying TMs and glossaries to the RAM disk (although one has to remember to add newly translated segments to the non-volatile copies of one's TMs etc. as well). And obviously there is a risk of crashes. But different CAT tools work differently. OmegaT, for example, reads all TMs into memory anyway, whereas WFC reads the TMs whenver it moves to the next segment. I'm not sure how MemoQ, Trados, WFP3/5 etc. work, in this regard.

Have you any experience with this?

Thanks
Samuel


Hi Samuel,

A few months ago, I bought RAMDisk (http://memory.dataram.com/products-and-services/software/ramdisk ), in at attempt to speed up memoQ on my work laptop (6-year old Dell Precision M6800). It worked pretty well, and I noticed a noticeable (hmm, that sounds terrible, but no time for that...) increase in snappiness, both in translation grid responsiveness and large TM/TB operations. However, for other reasons, I then decided that my by then oldish work laptop was in need of replacing. My new laptop (brand new Dell Precision 7740) is now so much faster than my old laptop that I haven't felt the need to install RAMDisk.

So, in a nutshell, yes, I found it was worth it, if you are pushing the limits of yr hardware.

Of course, if you use one, you do need to have a good backup/versioning system in place, but I assume we all have that covered by now, right?

Michael


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
네델란드
Local time: 11:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Jo, @Tom, @Joakim Apr 9

Jo Macdonald wrote:
Losing all work in a crash would be a biggie...

Yes, but the idea is obviously to use the RAM disk only for temporary files and to make everything recoverable in case of a crash. For example, if the TM is on the RAM disk but the file that you're translating is a bilingual file that is saved on the SSD/HDD, then your segments' translations are always recoverable.

Tom in London wrote:
I hadn't noticed any slowdown until yesterday at the end of the day when I was doing a lot of search/replace on an OmegaT project...

It is my understanding that OmegaT does not read or write to the disk when doing things like matching and searching TMs, but instead performs most things in memory. This is why, when you start OmegaT, you can change a setting in the config file to increase the amount of RAM used by OmegaT (default is 1 GB). Searching external files is something that OmegaT does do directly from the disk, but OmegaT's external file search is so bad that you should never use it anyway.

Joakim Braun wrote:
And with SSD drives the advantages of a RAM disk is surely smaller than ten or fifteen years ago.

An SSD is still much, much slower than a RAM disk. My computer's RAM is 10-20 times faster than my fastest SSD.


[Edited at 2020-04-09 12:59 GMT]


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
영국
Local time: 10:23
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
+1 for versioning Apr 9

Samuel Murray wrote:
For example, if the TM is on the RAM disk but the file that you're translating is a bilingual file that is saved on the SSD/HDD, then your segments' translations are always recoverable.

And as Michael says, you could have a versioning & backup tool like Syncovery that just copies the file/s in the RAM disk to non-volatile storage.

Yesterday a client sent me a project containing a couple of dozen large TMs. My PC is no performance demon, but it does have a decent Core i7. Despite that, lookup times for this project were measured in tens of seconds. Eventually I had to detach half the TMs, and even then it was pretty slow. I wonder if a RAM disk would have helped?

Dan


 

Viesturs Lacis  Identity Verified
라트비아
Local time: 12:23
Member (2014)
English to Latvian
There are faster SSDs out there Apr 9

Samuel Murray wrote:
An SSD is still much, much slower than a RAM disk. Here a quick example that I found when I googled for it:

HDD: 100 MB/s read, 100 MB/s write
SSD: 400 MB/s read, 200 MB/s write
RAM: 5000 MB/s read, 7000 MB/s write


That used to be true for "traditional" SATA-connected SSDs. High-end M.2 form factor SSDs, increasingly supported by modern motherboards, are able to work several times faster. For example, the Samsung 970 Evo Plus claims peak read and write speeds of 3500 and 3300 MB/s, respectively.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
네델란드
Local time: 11:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Viesturs Apr 9

Viesturs Lacis wrote:
That used to be true for "traditional" SATA-connected SSDs. High-end M.2 form factor SSDs, increasingly supported by modern motherboards, are able to work several times faster.

Yes, sorry, the purpose of my original quote (which I now edited) was to show that RAM is much, much, much faster than SSD. To satisfy my own curiosity, I ran a quick benchmark on the three drives in my computer, and my RAM. Read and write speeds were about the same.

5200 rpm HDD: large files 120 MB/s, small files 2 MB/s
SATA3 SSD: large files 350 MB/s, small files 30 MB/s
NVMe M.2 SSD: large files 2000 MB/s, small files 50 MB/s
DDR4 3000 RAM: all files 12500 MB/s

...and I think the benchmark that is relevant for CAT tools is "small files". However, this is not the whole story (see below).

For example, the Samsung 970 Evo Plus claims peak read and write speeds of 3500 and 3300 MB/s, respectively.


The "peak" mentioned in such claims is when copying very large files (gigabytes), and importantly: while the drive is not being used for anything else. I tested it briefly: on my M.2 SSD, when I make a copy of a 1 GB file (i.e. on the same disk, i.e. read and write simultaneously), it runs at 200 MB/s, but if I copy two 1 GB files simultaneously, both tasks run at only about 30 MB/s. On my RAM disk, making a copy of the same 1 GB file runs at 600 MB/s. However, unexpectedly, copying 5000 files of about 150 KB each runs equally fast on the SSD and the RAM disk (about 6-10 MB/s).


 

DZiW (X)
우크라이나
English to Russian
+ ...
With enough mem Apr 9

It’s been quite a long time since I used RAMdisk and RAMcache the last time--specially for converting quite big TMs and files. Nevertheless, with premium stable speed (from 6,400 to 25,600MB/s), low latency, durability, price, and dual/quadro channel mode, RAM does make a big difference, making even the top SSD shy away.

Certainly, without a security buffer, an abrupt or emergency shutdown usually corrupts all data in progress and even may damage some devices, including CPU, HDD,
... See more
It’s been quite a long time since I used RAMdisk and RAMcache the last time--specially for converting quite big TMs and files. Nevertheless, with premium stable speed (from 6,400 to 25,600MB/s), low latency, durability, price, and dual/quadro channel mode, RAM does make a big difference, making even the top SSD shy away.

Certainly, without a security buffer, an abrupt or emergency shutdown usually corrupts all data in progress and even may damage some devices, including CPU, HDD, SSD, flash, video and others. Although RAM is designed to easily ‘forget’ unnecessary data or when powered off, both cases are covered by using a battery/UPS with a sync app. The more important is the job, the more professional are the tools and approaches.

Nowadays many components are ‘hybrid’ combining several different technologies: HDDs with SSD (SSHDs), SSDs with RAM. For instance, once I used a spare laptop with a silent hybrid HDD @4200 like Firecuda, which performed as fast as a desktop @7200 counterpart. I would never think!

As for me, with 16+GB I successfully had the Temp/Authorized/tiny swap RAMdisked and the host SSD/HDD RAMcached. However, now I don’t have such tasks and my direct clients give me decent office ultrabooks or laptops with SSD RAIDs or hybrid HDD+SSD systems. Just a different typical scenario, perhaps.

By the way, some PC and laptop vendors already supply ‘accelerated’ models or add-ins without announcing.
Collapse


 

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
영국
Local time: 10:23
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Meaning of RAM Apr 9

I imagine some people don't know what RAM means in the computer context. It's an acronym for Random-Access Memory. It has that name to indicate that the computer can read or write any randomly chosen address within that memory and that will always take the same time. This contrasts with, for example, magnetic tape (rarely or never used today), where, to read or write a location in that memory, the device (tape drive) has to be wound all the way from its current position to the position where the... See more
I imagine some people don't know what RAM means in the computer context. It's an acronym for Random-Access Memory. It has that name to indicate that the computer can read or write any randomly chosen address within that memory and that will always take the same time. This contrasts with, for example, magnetic tape (rarely or never used today), where, to read or write a location in that memory, the device (tape drive) has to be wound all the way from its current position to the position where the data is to be read or written.
A hard-disk drive (HDD) is, as I see it, nearly but not really random-access because to access a specified block of data (HDD data is read or written in blocks, typically 512 bytes each) the read/write head has to move to the required track and then wait for the disk to rotate until the required sector (data block) is at the right position for the head to read or write data from or to it.
See, for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Track_(disk_drive)
Collapse


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
네델란드
Local time: 11:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sorry, here's what I meant by "RAM" and "RAM disk" Apr 10

Oliver Walter wrote:
I imagine some people don't know what RAM means in the computer context. It's an acronym for Random-Access Memory.


It's true, we tend to use terminology loosely, on the assumption that our readers will understand what we're trying to say.

But in case it wasn't clear: when I said "RAM" in this thread, I did not mean "any type of random access memory" (including e.g. SSDs) but rather DDR3 SDRAM or DDR4 SDRAM, and similar. I apologise if this wasn't clear. Also, when I said "RAM disk", I did not mean any memory module that offers random access, but rather what is described on this Wikipedia article. Again, sorry if this wasn't clear. (Oh, and since we're on the topic of terminological precision, if anyone reading here is unaware of it: in computerese, "random" does not mean random.)


[Edited at 2020-04-10 07:03 GMT]


Jorge Payan
 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
핀란드
Local time: 12:23
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
More than 30 years ago Apr 10

On my Atari ST computer I sometimes used RAM-discs, but then I only had those 3,5" diskettes. On my laptop I see no need to speed anything up, Studio just does not show any kind of hesitation when a new segment is chosen.
There were even reset-lasting RAM-discs, one could switch off the computer, wait a minute and re-boot and all was still there. Must have to do with the memory chips in use then.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
네델란드
Local time: 11:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
First test: Trados Apr 10

FWIW, I tested importing TMX to SDLTM and merging SDLTM files using Trados 2019. My first test involved a 200 MB TMX file with 120 000 segments, of which 60 000 were unique. I tested it by having both the TMX and the SDLTM files on the same drive. First the RAM drive, and second a 5200 rpm HDD at about 70% into the disk. Importing this TMX file into SDLTM took 8 minutes on the RAM drive and 9.5 minutes on the HDD. My second test involved another 200 MB TMX file with 120 000 segments and 60 ... See more
FWIW, I tested importing TMX to SDLTM and merging SDLTM files using Trados 2019. My first test involved a 200 MB TMX file with 120 000 segments, of which 60 000 were unique. I tested it by having both the TMX and the SDLTM files on the same drive. First the RAM drive, and second a 5200 rpm HDD at about 70% into the disk. Importing this TMX file into SDLTM took 8 minutes on the RAM drive and 9.5 minutes on the HDD. My second test involved another 200 MB TMX file with 120 000 segments and 60 000 unique segments, of which 15 000 segments were different from the first TMX file. Importing this TMX file into the previously imported SDLTM took 9.5 minutes on the RAM drive and 11 minutes on the HDD. As a third test, I converted the two TMX files to two separate SDLTM files and then merged the two SDLTMs in Trados. This merge operation took 12.5 minutes on the RAM drive, 14 minutes on the HDD, and 13 minutes on my C drive (which is an NVMe M.2 SSD). So, for me at least, the RAM drive doesn't make a difference when importing and merging TMs in Trados. The only thing I can say, is: why on earth does it take Trados 12 minutes to merge two 60 000 segment TMs in its own native format???Collapse


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Using a RAM disk to make CAT tools faster

Advanced search







Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • 용어 검색
  • 일거리
  • 포럼
  • Multiple search