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Using system drive as local cache vs non system drive


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I was setting up a new drive for Plex 4k streaming, and I had the thought: would there be improved performance if I set the local cache location to a non system drive vs the C:/ drive (both SSD)?

i.e. would the C:/ drive performance be affected moderately by windows and other programs in the backgrounds internal system usage, enough that the clouddrive local cache read/write would be detrimental to affect streaming performance? If so I would purchase another SSD for clouddrive use exclusively.

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I'd take a wild stab and say probably negligible difference so long as windows is idle and behaving; checking task manager, my fileserver's boot SSD is currently averaging ~1% active time, ~450 KB/s transfer rate, ~1ms response time and <0.01 queue length over 60 seconds at idle, and it's a rather old SATA SSD. I think you're much more likely to run into other bottlenecks first.

But YMMV as it depends how many simultaneous streams are you planning for, what other background programs you have running, etc. You could test it? Open task manager / resource monitor, set to show the drive's active time, transfer rate and queue length, then open some streams while you run an antivirus scan or create a restore point and so on?

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Yes.  But YMMV. 

Mostly, having the cache on a different drive means that you're separating out the I/O load, which can definitely improve performance.   Though, this depends on the SSDs you're using.  Things like AHCI vs NVMe, and the IOPS rating of the drive make more of a difference. 

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I have not moved to 4K yet, but the streaming requirements of my 1080p movies is less than 1 MB/s. Any drive in my pool can keep up with that demand. What is your streaming requirements for 4K media?

Anyway, if you really want to maximize your cache speed, you could try out PrimoCache and use your system RAM as Level 1 cache/buffer. That would be many times faster than even a SSD. They offer a free 30 day trial period to see if it works for your setup.

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