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uTorrent 1.3 just stopped responding and memory usage skyrockeded


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Caching can help... but it also can lead to bottlenecks....

In fact.... i recommend with these kind of slow devices not to use a write cache (if possible). USB was not designed to handle large amount of read/write request in a short period of time... but it does perform well enough if few small/large requests are given. uTorrent (and any other BT client for that matter) handle a lot of read/write requests in a short period of time, even with a single torrent (remember, it will try to download multiple pieces at the same time, resulting in x files being downloaded at once, which all create read/write requests to the USB unit).

The idea behind caching is to have data stored in the memory until a certain period of time has passed, or the cache is full (which ever comes first). Writing is NOT instant, it does take up time, so if the requests come in too fast for it too handle, the processes would eventually block). I can see that when the cache is full uTorrent might consume more and more memory, eventually leading to the above problem. There is no way to tell when the device/driver is given the time to fullfill the pending requests, so they will eventually start building up.

Remember... USB 1.1 uses either a speed of 1.5 MBit/s (=0.1875 MByte/s) or 12 MBit/s (=1.5 MByte/s)(the latter probably in your case, common for high-speed USB devices). Most current internal HD's use a bandwidth of 66 MByte/s (UDMA 66 higher with 80 wire cable) or higher. IDE66 is therefore 44 time faster !!! The above offcourse being the max total available bandwidth. You should consider that all traffic from and to the unit (and all other connected unit's) uses up this bandwidth, including but not restricted to data, overhead, read/write/verify requests, synchronizing commands, cache commands, and a lot more. Besides that, your PC is not only handling USB requests, but a lot more like other disk i/o, network i/o, running apps/processes, and therefore with any slow device this might give some problems, and the IDE66 bus handles only 2 devices on a single cable whereas the USB is designed to handle up to 127 (but mostly low-speed).

To improve communications to the USB device a bit you might want to enable 'Synchronous transfers' and disable the write cache entirely (which i did a lot in the old days to prevent data loss and the above problems). If it still leads to the above problems, consider setting the upload/download bandwidth even lower, until it performs as you expect. You can do this by leaving the taskbar running, so you have an idea if memory of uTorrent is building up, and you therefore should lower your speeds.

You can even consider having the system do some advanced performance checking for you (go to the Performance Monitor and add the USB HD unit to check)....... you can then see if it is max'd-out a lot.....

IDE Devices (wikipedia)

USB 1.1 Devices (wikipedia)

Hope this helps....

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