[GRLUG] swap benchmarking

Tim Schmidt timschmidt at gmail.com
Sun Feb 18 23:57:23 EST 2007

On 2/18/07, Michael Mol <mikemol at gmail.com> wrote:
> Does anyone know of a tool useful for benchmarking swap performance?
> I'd like to play around with using a USB flash device for swap, to see
> how it could improve system performance in systems without gobs of
> RAM. (Indeed, if the performance gain is great enough, it could delay,
> or even obviate, the need to upgrade system memory in systems where
> such upgrades are expensive and bandwidth requirements aren't great.)

Eh...  _most_ USB flash drives read and write at ~10Mb/s max.
Admittedly, they seek much faster than disks.  However, that 10Mb/s
isn't going to add much to the ~50Mb/s most modern SATA disks can
already sustain.  Certainly nothing I'd call noticeable under heavy
enough swapping to need it.

Ram is reasonably inexpensive, light-weight software is Free, and USB
flash drives are way too useful to be wasting as swap.

There are, of course, exceptions - my Netgear WGT634Us have 32Mb ram
and only USB2 as an expansion bus (although in this case, the USB
flash drive serves as the disk containing / as well...  so it's not
really any different than your run of the mill desktop).

Of course, as flash continues to get larger, faster, and cheaper,
it'll be replacing disks everywhere - even in desktops...  where we're
at now is somewhere in the uncomfortable middle.

With flash, MRAM, and about a million other variations of all the ways
we've figured out how to store a bit, the next 5 - 10 years will be
very exciting for storage.


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