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Possible to increase cache writing and reduce file writing?


silkstone

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Hi, After having my 3rd hard disk die this year of torrenting, i'm trying to prolong the life of my latest one.

Could anyone tell me which settings i can adjust to get uTorrent to write to the cache initially and then every time the cache reaches a certain limit write it all out to the disk at once?

I'm thinking of having a cache size of 1-2gb (or upto a maximum of 8gb if i add more ram).

I know i could get this effect using a R.A.M disk, but it would be so much easier if it was possible in uTorrent itself.

So far after playing with the advanced setting, i have found that increasing diskio.resume_min to around 10,000 it increases the amount of files cached to around 20mb (from around 1mb) is it safe to keep increasing this value until i reach the required level? I assume not, as it doesn't always seem to dump the entirety of the cache at once, but only about 50-80% at a time.

Thanks for any help

Edit - I forgot to mention that my D/L speed is kinda slow, around 200-300kB/s so with 1-2gb of cache that would equal around 1 disk write per hour. And i understand that if i were to have a power failure during that time, i would loose all the data in the cache, i can live with that.

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I doubt you'll get an official answer as to what values you can set, just play with it. Though that doesn't sound like an option you'd want to tweak if you only get 20MB cached.. I think the coalesce size and disabling the suboptions for the write cache are good starting points. Something else to bear in mind is letting the HDD spin down rather then stay spun up can cause more wear and tear iirc. Three HDD's in a year seems extreme at first glance, how about some more background?

New or used?

Platter or SSD?

SATA or PATA?

Typical operating temperatures?

Failure modes experienced?

Brand and Model?

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I'm thinking of having a cache size of 1-2gb (or upto a maximum of 8gb if i add more ram).

How to guarantee a crash if you ever set it that large and it actually uses that much.

uTorrent is a 32-bit process. When its ram use exceeds 2gb (including cache and all program code), you are guaranteed to crash because of windows' ram allocation system.

Reducing writes won't actually improve disk lifespan on anything other than an SSD.

If you're having performance issues with a platter drive, enable AHCI in the bios and in your operating system to get the benefit of NCQ.

Additionally, if uTorrent only ever caches 20mb regardless of your settings, you won't get any benefit whatsoever by increasing cache size.

Also, WD Green drives with intellipark will actually take more damage by doing what you want to do.

Something else to bear in mind is letting the HDD spin down rather then stay spun up can cause more wear and tear iirc.

This is correct. Keeping a drive going all the time is better for it than letting it spin down.

All in all, it basically isn't possible to reduce file writing beyond what uTorrent already does.

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Thanks guys.

Looks like a RAM disk will be the best solution then. I can create a 10gb RAM Drive for smaller torrents and have it automatically sync move to the HDD or SSD when complete.

Has anyone tried this approach.

The drives have all been new apart from the latest which was a warranty replacement. One was a Toshiba and the two others were Samsung (same model). The Samsung was about 2 years old, but used for torrenting for around a year before failing. I had it replaced and the replacement just failed. The other was a laptop drive that i used for torrenting for around 3mo before it failed. Prior to this i had a seagate 250gb one that died after about a year. That has been replaced but is in my HTPC now.

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Well since my SSD started failing and stuff like Disk Overload actually poping up every time i download 2 torrents and they reach around 3 MB/s each... My sollution for disk overload was a SSD and it worked well for a a little bit less then a year... I saw awesome speeds like 10 MB/s with it but then... Shit started happening. The OS seems to freeze when ssd starts overloading i get I/O errors on torrent and if i try to do something while its overloading I get a nice BLUE error screen and the next time my pc boots up the SSD doesn't... The SSD is OCZ vertex 3 max iops and I'm glad its still in warranty... But well it works fine for now... Unless you try to write something to it...

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Well since my SSD started failing and stuff like Disk Overload actually poping up every time i download 2 torrents and they reach around 3 MB/s each... My sollution for disk overload was a SSD and it worked well for a a little bit less then a year... I saw awesome speeds like 10 MB/s with it but then... Shit started happening. The OS seems to freeze when ssd starts overloading i get I/O errors on torrent and if i try to do something while its overloading I get a nice BLUE error screen and the next time my pc boots up the SSD doesn't... The SSD is OCZ vertex 3 max iops and I'm glad its still in warranty... But well it works fine for now... Unless you try to write something to it...

Writes to a SSD will kill it. SSDs have a lmitied amount of data that can be written before failing. Check the S.M.A.R.T info and it'll prolly throw you some errors.

If i were you, i'd buy a large amount of R.A.M. and set up a ram drive. Make sure that for each completed torrent it writes straight out to your HDD, You might wanna think about gettiing a raid setup if your downloads are that fast.

SSDs are fine for seeding, but i'd never download on one due to the amount of data that is written to the drive - look at the manufacturer specs and they will generally give you a mean time to failure based on a set (write) usage

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