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RAMdisk with Windows Server 2016 - Configuration Guide

RAMdisk Server 2016 Windows latency Configuration guide

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#1 FelipeRolim

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 02:21 PM

Hello guys. After I spent a lot of time trying to make my dedicated computer work with RAMdisk, I finally managed to succeed in this endeavor. As I tried many different paths, I wrote down everything so that I had some "extra" information when I finally got it, and also to have a guide in case I had to do it again. Well, I didn't have to do it again, hehe, but I hope the information I wrote down as "definitive" in terms of functioning is actually correct and helpful to colleagues in the forum. As I am Brazilian and I wrote the text originally in Portuguese, I spent some time transcribing it into English, so that it is possible to share with colleagues of this forum. I think it's valid, because it really was very difficult to get it for the first time.

For those who don't know, RAMdisk is one of the most high-performance methods for audiophiles in the world, and although I've never read anything about it in this forum and only have a personal friend who has tested before me, I've read a lot, a lot , much information in international scope, where it seems that the theme is more evolved. Reducing latency and high throughput is only a small part of the benefits. If that weren't enough, I've never heard any "original" setup, with SSD, SD card, M.2, or anything else, that delivers audio quality as good as RAMdisk. For me, it's the best, but what I don't know is if there are different RAM models that deliver different sonorities (Corsair vs. Kingston; Kingston vs. Crucial; Corsair vs. GSkill; e.g.).

To make it easier for me and my colleagues, I created a PDF file that can be downloaded, because the text is large and I also attached some images to make the complicated parts more enlightening.

Finally, I remind colleagues that although there are Windows software that makes RAMdisk easily, they only allow a very limited part of RAM to be defined as storage, and they don't allow the operating system itself to be installed or loaded on it. The guide I've tried to create effectively causes 100% of the operating system to go to RAM and run from it.

Here is a working video:

 

Attached Files


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- Speakers KEF Reference 203/2 with spikes; - Integrated amplifier Sunrise V8 MK IV; - DAC Ayre QB-9 192/24 + Sax Soul Ágata Fuse + Furutech FI-03 ®; - Source: Dedicated computer with a linear power supply (MK III) + Furutech FI-06 ® + SOtM tx-USBexp. Operational System Windows Server 2016 Core Mode 64bits with RAMdisk, JPlay FEMTO Alternative version (dual-PC setup) and Audiophile Optimizer v. 2.20; - Cables: Nordost Tyr (speaker), Nordost Valhalla XLR (interconnect), Curious Cable (USB), Furutech 3TS762 + 3TS20 (x2) without plugs (power distributor), Transparent PowerLink MM² (integrated amp.), Purist Audio Design 20th Anniversary Power Cable (computer), Nordost Valhalla Power Cable (DAC), Kimber Kable 12TC + gold plated connectors (24 way internal power supply cable of the mother board); - Acessories: Furutech GTX-D (G); Furutech GTX-D ® (x2); spikes Viablue HS; ebony Spikes; Nordost Qv2 (x3); acoustical and electrical reinforcements.


#2 taxman2

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 03:37 PM

But this apply only if your library is stored inside the computer. On the same drive as Windows or could be on other drives inside the computer? Somehow I could not get it right.


Furman Elite 10i (power conditioner), JPLAY, AO, PL Pro, F Pro, 2 x fanless mini PC, Control PC - WS 2012 R2 core, Audio PC - WS 2016 core, JCAT USB Card, 2 x JCAT Femto Net Cards, 3 x 100VA Ultra Low Noise LPS, JCAT Isolator, SU-1 with external LPS, Gustard X-20 (modified), Audia Flight Pre Mk III (class A preamp), Audia Flight FL50 Mk IV(class A amplifier), Focal Electra 1008BE;


#3 Marcin_gps

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 03:52 PM

Thanks for sharing :)



#4 FelipeRolim

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 03:54 PM

taxman2, this applies in any case. If your library is stored inside the computer, on the same drive as Windows, you'll obtain reading exclusivity. If your library is stored inside the computer, but on another drive, you'll obtain less SATA controllers usage. If your library is stored outside the computer, you'll obtain no SATA controllers usage. In any case you gain sound quality. In my experience, it's not only use or not to use SATA controllers.The less you use, the better. So, for Audio-PC, no SATA connections are necessary (perfect context), but, for Control-PC, if music files are stored on an SSD, you still gain some quality by removing at least one SSD (where Windows is installed).

 

I accidentally heard this when I removed one SSD (120GB) from my dedicated computer, leaving only an 1TB SSD, and the sound quality improved a little. I always used an audiophile SATA cable (Audiopheeling Statement) and a SOtM SATA filters. So, although the dedicated cable and the filter improves sound quality (a lot!), by removing cable and drive, the sound improves a little bit more. By removing all internal drives and disabling SATA connections, the sound goes to another level of quality. This I only did on Audio-PC. Control-PC is still not as improved. Even so, the gain does exist.

 

PS.: as my computer stays connected 24 hours a day, I load the Windows from the pendrive to the RAM, and then I remove the pendrive and replace it with an USB filter (I have one in each of the available ports). The computer therefore has no SATA connections, USB connections (other than the DAC, provided by the dedicated USB card), video connections, and nothing that isn't strictly necessary. Only three cables are connected to it: power, network and USB. The performance is far superior so, and still reduce the cost of the SATA cable and the SATA filter (only for Audio-PC).


Edited by FelipeRolim, 09 November 2018 - 02:57 PM.

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- Speakers KEF Reference 203/2 with spikes; - Integrated amplifier Sunrise V8 MK IV; - DAC Ayre QB-9 192/24 + Sax Soul Ágata Fuse + Furutech FI-03 ®; - Source: Dedicated computer with a linear power supply (MK III) + Furutech FI-06 ® + SOtM tx-USBexp. Operational System Windows Server 2016 Core Mode 64bits with RAMdisk, JPlay FEMTO Alternative version (dual-PC setup) and Audiophile Optimizer v. 2.20; - Cables: Nordost Tyr (speaker), Nordost Valhalla XLR (interconnect), Curious Cable (USB), Furutech 3TS762 + 3TS20 (x2) without plugs (power distributor), Transparent PowerLink MM² (integrated amp.), Purist Audio Design 20th Anniversary Power Cable (computer), Nordost Valhalla Power Cable (DAC), Kimber Kable 12TC + gold plated connectors (24 way internal power supply cable of the mother board); - Acessories: Furutech GTX-D (G); Furutech GTX-D ® (x2); spikes Viablue HS; ebony Spikes; Nordost Qv2 (x3); acoustical and electrical reinforcements.


#5 FelipeRolim

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 04:22 PM

Another thing: as your Windows will be installed on a virtual disk (.vhd file), you won't need to format the computer anymore. If you want to try different things and adjustments, it's only make a copy of the original .vhd file and perpetuates it. Here I did it, and have a backup file stored on a well secured external drive. If pen drive crashes, e.g., I have a perfect copy stored.


- Speakers KEF Reference 203/2 with spikes; - Integrated amplifier Sunrise V8 MK IV; - DAC Ayre QB-9 192/24 + Sax Soul Ágata Fuse + Furutech FI-03 ®; - Source: Dedicated computer with a linear power supply (MK III) + Furutech FI-06 ® + SOtM tx-USBexp. Operational System Windows Server 2016 Core Mode 64bits with RAMdisk, JPlay FEMTO Alternative version (dual-PC setup) and Audiophile Optimizer v. 2.20; - Cables: Nordost Tyr (speaker), Nordost Valhalla XLR (interconnect), Curious Cable (USB), Furutech 3TS762 + 3TS20 (x2) without plugs (power distributor), Transparent PowerLink MM² (integrated amp.), Purist Audio Design 20th Anniversary Power Cable (computer), Nordost Valhalla Power Cable (DAC), Kimber Kable 12TC + gold plated connectors (24 way internal power supply cable of the mother board); - Acessories: Furutech GTX-D (G); Furutech GTX-D ® (x2); spikes Viablue HS; ebony Spikes; Nordost Qv2 (x3); acoustical and electrical reinforcements.


#6 taxman2

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 05:16 PM

I think, I will skip this. I have 2 headless mini PCs, fully optimized (AO,PL,Fidelizer) with minimum processes running and the SQ rocks. 


Furman Elite 10i (power conditioner), JPLAY, AO, PL Pro, F Pro, 2 x fanless mini PC, Control PC - WS 2012 R2 core, Audio PC - WS 2016 core, JCAT USB Card, 2 x JCAT Femto Net Cards, 3 x 100VA Ultra Low Noise LPS, JCAT Isolator, SU-1 with external LPS, Gustard X-20 (modified), Audia Flight Pre Mk III (class A preamp), Audia Flight FL50 Mk IV(class A amplifier), Focal Electra 1008BE;


#7 FelipeRolim

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 05:43 PM

The only requirement is to have 16GB of RAM (8GB for load the SO and 8GB free for the rest). You don't need to format anything, can maintain all of your data, because it's just install everything directly on the pendrive and compare. Disabling SATA controllers is the worst task of the entire process. Probably you'll need a monitor. At the and, hope everyone enjoy it and I await a feedback of the results.

 

PS.: I added to the initial post the results of the benchmark tests I did.


- Speakers KEF Reference 203/2 with spikes; - Integrated amplifier Sunrise V8 MK IV; - DAC Ayre QB-9 192/24 + Sax Soul Ágata Fuse + Furutech FI-03 ®; - Source: Dedicated computer with a linear power supply (MK III) + Furutech FI-06 ® + SOtM tx-USBexp. Operational System Windows Server 2016 Core Mode 64bits with RAMdisk, JPlay FEMTO Alternative version (dual-PC setup) and Audiophile Optimizer v. 2.20; - Cables: Nordost Tyr (speaker), Nordost Valhalla XLR (interconnect), Curious Cable (USB), Furutech 3TS762 + 3TS20 (x2) without plugs (power distributor), Transparent PowerLink MM² (integrated amp.), Purist Audio Design 20th Anniversary Power Cable (computer), Nordost Valhalla Power Cable (DAC), Kimber Kable 12TC + gold plated connectors (24 way internal power supply cable of the mother board); - Acessories: Furutech GTX-D (G); Furutech GTX-D ® (x2); spikes Viablue HS; ebony Spikes; Nordost Qv2 (x3); acoustical and electrical reinforcements.


#8 thuanb

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 06:49 PM

Thank you Felipe for your contributions to the forum.
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#9 moriez

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 07:07 AM

The only requirement is to have 16GB of RAM (8GB for load the SO and 8GB free for the rest). 

 

Hi Felipe and many thanks for the guide.

 

Do you think there's any way around this requirement? I'm using an Intel NUC that takes 8GB max internal RAM.



#10 FelipeRolim

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 11:47 AM

Hi Felipe and many thanks for the guide.

 

Do you think there's any way around this requirement? I'm using an Intel NUC that takes 8GB max internal RAM.

 

Hello moriez. I'm afraid that with 8GB you won't be able to make RAMdisk, unless you find an ultra-light Windows. I've verified that Windows Server 2016 Core has approximately 7.5GB and Windows Server 2016 GUI approximately 11GB. Both still use 500MB of memory for basic operation. To get a RAMdisk of 100% of the drive, you must have at least 12GB of RAM.

 

I'd like to remind colleagues that I didn't try to redo the whole process. So, I don't know if it works from beginning to the end without intercurrencies. Please, if anyone tries, give us a feedback. I'd like to know if it really works, but especially what do you think about sound using RAMdisk.


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- Speakers KEF Reference 203/2 with spikes; - Integrated amplifier Sunrise V8 MK IV; - DAC Ayre QB-9 192/24 + Sax Soul Ágata Fuse + Furutech FI-03 ®; - Source: Dedicated computer with a linear power supply (MK III) + Furutech FI-06 ® + SOtM tx-USBexp. Operational System Windows Server 2016 Core Mode 64bits with RAMdisk, JPlay FEMTO Alternative version (dual-PC setup) and Audiophile Optimizer v. 2.20; - Cables: Nordost Tyr (speaker), Nordost Valhalla XLR (interconnect), Curious Cable (USB), Furutech 3TS762 + 3TS20 (x2) without plugs (power distributor), Transparent PowerLink MM² (integrated amp.), Purist Audio Design 20th Anniversary Power Cable (computer), Nordost Valhalla Power Cable (DAC), Kimber Kable 12TC + gold plated connectors (24 way internal power supply cable of the mother board); - Acessories: Furutech GTX-D (G); Furutech GTX-D ® (x2); spikes Viablue HS; ebony Spikes; Nordost Qv2 (x3); acoustical and electrical reinforcements.


#11 FelipeRolim

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 06:07 PM

I've tested the entire process twice yesterday, one for Windows Server 2016 Standard Core and one for Windows Server 2016 Standard GUI. It worked perfectly. For Core it took 8GB, and for GUI it took 14GB. The Core mode still uses 500MB of RAM to run and the GUI uses 1GB. I intended to use the 2016 Server Standard GUI for Control PC with RAMdisk, but without the Audiophile Optimizer. Unfortunately, only a small RAM remained free so I went back to Windows Server by SSD. I left a mixed-use Windows 10 (study, work, and music) for an exculsive Windows Server 2016 Standard. Another sensitive gain came through the speakers.

 

I don't want to waste an Audiophile Optimizer licence with the notebook. So I'll reserve it for the future dedicated computer, which will pair with the Audio-PC.


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- Speakers KEF Reference 203/2 with spikes; - Integrated amplifier Sunrise V8 MK IV; - DAC Ayre QB-9 192/24 + Sax Soul Ágata Fuse + Furutech FI-03 ®; - Source: Dedicated computer with a linear power supply (MK III) + Furutech FI-06 ® + SOtM tx-USBexp. Operational System Windows Server 2016 Core Mode 64bits with RAMdisk, JPlay FEMTO Alternative version (dual-PC setup) and Audiophile Optimizer v. 2.20; - Cables: Nordost Tyr (speaker), Nordost Valhalla XLR (interconnect), Curious Cable (USB), Furutech 3TS762 + 3TS20 (x2) without plugs (power distributor), Transparent PowerLink MM² (integrated amp.), Purist Audio Design 20th Anniversary Power Cable (computer), Nordost Valhalla Power Cable (DAC), Kimber Kable 12TC + gold plated connectors (24 way internal power supply cable of the mother board); - Acessories: Furutech GTX-D (G); Furutech GTX-D ® (x2); spikes Viablue HS; ebony Spikes; Nordost Qv2 (x3); acoustical and electrical reinforcements.






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