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FelipeRolim

RAMdisk with Windows Server 2016/2019 - Configuration Guide

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Wow, thanks a lot Felipe! That's a great effort.

 

I won't be able to try this out for myself for a little while because I'm on the road, but I have long wondered what happened with RAMdisk and why people didn't talk about it as much anymore.

 

It used to be a topic on here 4-6 years ago, but lately software like AO, Fidelizer, or Roon/Roon ROCK, whole servers from Innuos, Fidata, Aurender, or Antipodes, and now endpoints from Sonore, SOtM, or DIY are the central topics. 

 

I will try your RAMdisk idea as soon as I can, but can you share what you've compared it to, maybe in reference to some of those more common topics I mentioned above?

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Hello Ben, thanks for the encouragement message.

 

By what I followed, people gave up RAMdisk, first because they think that using those softwares that separate a little of RAM to install some applications suffice, and second because they have encountered difficulties specifically with Windows Server 2016. I noticed that installing Windows Server 2012R2 is easier than Server 2016, and many people were unable to install 2016. In fact, I tried many methods, watches a lot of videos on YouTube, but nothing worked well, so, I decided do try by myself. Until it worked, I wrote many, many pages of the step-by-step, because I was afraid that when I could, I couldn't remember the procedure. So, I decided to publish to help others.

 

I don't like any kind of software or hardware that is "plastered", which doesn't allow a large number of adjustment possibilities. Because of it, I haven't tried nothing like sMS-200 Ultra, ultraRendu and similar devices. I still don't know "peripherics devices", like ISO Regen and iFi iUSB 3.0. What I believe is that the most current solution is based on dual computer setup, and being sMS-200 a "nano-computer", I don't find any reason to adopt it, since I can do everything myself. Forthermore, I don't like to buy something that in a few years will be "abandoned" by the manufacturer and, to have something better, I'll need to buy the new one. I don't like this programmed obsolescence. In addiction, I cannot accept that they "push" equipment at me, as if were a necessity. I cannot accept that if I buy an sMS-200 Ultra, to obtain a good sound I need to buy a tx-USBultra, an sPS-500, because it makes appear that they don't want to attack the problem and are creating "solutions" that don't solve it effectively. For me, this is the greatest example.

 

My current system is based on a dual computer setup, on which I use Audiophile Optimizer and JPLAY, and I follow some assumptions that I have and that I consider to raise the audio quality. For example, I believe that the non-use or the minor use of SATA controllers brings more quality, and this is only one of many reasons for why I defend RAMdisk. So, if your library is stored inside the computer, on the same drive as Windows, by using RAMdisk 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 welcome (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 an SSD 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. Besides that, if you see the file that I attached in the first post, you will see that RAMdisk greatly decreases latency and allows much faster Windows access speed, through a direct bus between processor and RAM, regardless of SATA controllers.

 

Well, to don't extend too much, I just point out that, in principle, my intention is to make the dual-PC setup go as far as possible (includind dedicated USB and LAN boards), and then start trying to compare with peripherals such as SOtM, Uptone, Sonore and many others. In terms of software, I've already tried foobar2000, JRiver, Album Player, JPLAY, KODI and some Linux, as Daphile, Jaguar Audio. For the moment, nothing is better than JPLAY in a dual-PC setup, but I keep listening and, at every update, I return to listen, especially JRiver. I haven't yet tested Roon, HQPlayer and Bughead Emperror, which are the three that most attract my attention, but this I'll only do after hit the hardware part even more.

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Try Xxhighend out its best sounding on Ram disk and with music on a separate server. I,ve not tried Jplay to know the difference. Certainly sound quality of Xxhighend is excellent. Also Wtfplay is better than Daphile Linux. It's just had an update. 

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3 hours ago, robocop said:

Try Xxhighend out its best sounding on Ram disk and with music on a separate server. I,ve not tried Jplay to know the difference. Certainly sound quality of Xxhighend is excellent. Also Wtfplay is better than Daphile Linux. It's just had an update.  

 

Thanks for indication robocop. No Linux I tested works better than Windows with the native DAC driver, unfortunately. The performance of Windows Server 2016 with Audiophile Optimizer is by far the best I've heard. I'll try this software you recommended.

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On Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 6:21 AM, FelipeRolim said:

 

Thanks for indication robocop. No Linux I tested works better than Windows with the native DAC driver, unfortunately. The performance of Windows Server 2016 with Audiophile Optimizer is by far the best I've heard. I'll try this software you recommended.

 

I concur with you that the SQ of WS 2016 Core optimized with AO is the best I've found by far.

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39 minutes ago, simonklp said:

 

I concur with you that the SQ of WS 2016 Core optimized with AO is the best I've found by far.

 

As a supplement to this statement, this observation is based on the comparison of SQ by running HQPlayer different OS.

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People are saying that Server 2019 is even better than Server 2016. However, I'm waiting for the Audiophile Optimizer to develop further and also waiting for more consolidated opinions about it. The result, for now, is very good, but maybe it can be improved.

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15 minutes ago, FelipeRolim said:

People are saying that Server 2019 is even better than Server 2016. However, I'm waiting for the Audiophile Optimizer to develop further and also waiting for more consolidated opinions about it. The result, for now, is very good, but maybe it can be improved.

 

Thank you for the information. Let's wait and see. Kindly share more information when available. Thanks.

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I have downloaded everything as per your guide. Will be loading all of this testing this out on a 64gb USB Drive... Think I will try WinServer2019 as well instead of the WinServer2016Core on my music PC at the moment. WIll be using HQplayer as the music player SW.

WIll report back ....

Kelvin

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I've never tried Windows Server 2019. I remind you that my version of Windows Server 2016 (build 14393.1532) requires only 7 GB of storage (so I can only use 8 GB of RAM to RAMdisk and have another 8GB to normal usage). I don't know how much it takes to install Windows Server 2019. I hope it works fine. Keep us informed.

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I can even use a 128gb USB Sandisk stick if needed. My PC has 32gb and I have another 16gb memory sticks for 2 slots filled now with Elfidelity RAM filters. But that is not the point since we are talking about RAMDISK or USBRam mode.

I am quite familiar with WInserver2016 GUI and Core mode knowing how to use Taskmgr and Powershell to move around. So I hope WInServer2019 will play nice... Ha ha. 

Yeh will keep everyone informed.

Kelvin

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Under Windows Server 2016 core, I need the “Sound” app usually listed under “control panel”. This is mandatory to successfully install the DAC driver and test the RAMDISK way.

So how to install/enable the “Sound” app with Windows Server 2016 core?

thanks for help

christian 

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6 hours ago, Gato said:

Under Windows Server 2016 core, I need the “Sound” app usually listed under “control panel”. This is mandatory to successfully install the DAC driver and test the RAMDISK way.

So how to install/enable the “Sound” app with Windows Server 2016 core?

thanks for help

christian  

 

Hi, Christian. I'm sorry, but I couldn't help. I've never done that kind of use. What your DAC and for what reason exactly do you need the "Sound" menu? Maybe we can find an alternative way...

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Hi Felipe,

The dac is a T+A DAC 8 DSD.

The driver can be successfully installed on Windows Server 2016 with GUI but fail to install on Windows Server 2016 “core”.

The Sound app is missing in the core edition.

Thanks for your help!

Christian

 

 

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Friends, some news. I'm currently testing some more operating system options, and I have some interesting remarks:

- The version of Windows Server 2016 I use is build 14393, which I can install on an 8GB .vhd and occupies 7.5GB of that .vhd with everything installed (JPLAY and Audiophile Optimizer).

- The latest Windows Server 2016 version I tested (build 17763) can only be installed on a 9GB .vhd, occupies 8.5GB of this .vhd with everything installed.

- I'm doing experiments with Windows Server 2019 (build 17763.253) and I'm surprised. I was able to install it in a .vhd of only 7GB and, with JPLAY FEMTO installed (without the Audiophile Optimizer), it occupied only 6.3GB of this .vhd. Still, with no optimization, I noticed that Windows needs 0.9GB of RAM to run, which indicates that with the Audiophile Optimizer approximately 0.5GB of RAM will be needed. This means that we will be able to make Windows Server 2019 work via RAM on computers with only 8GB installed, with a good leftovers. I haven't listened to it, and I may have been waiting for the Audiophile Optimizer 3.00 for this, but I think we can be optimistic...

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Friends, I'm using Windows Server 2019 Standard Core with RAMdisk. I performed the procedure yesterday and it worked normally. I'm writing just to warn you that the manual is also fully functional for Server 2019.

 

Unlike Windows Server 2016, Server 2019 works with a VHD file of only 7GB. I believe that 8GB of RAM is insufficient for normal operation, but for those who have 16GB in the computer, it's possible to release 1GB more.

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9 hours ago, FelipeRolim said:

Friends, I'm using Windows Server 2019 Standard Core with RAMdisk. I performed the procedure yesterday and it worked normally. I'm writing just to warn you that the manual is also fully functional for Server 2019.

 

Unlike Windows Server 2016, Server 2019 works with a VHD file of only 7GB. I believe that 8GB of RAM is insufficient for normal operation, but for those who have 16GB in the computer, it's possible to release 1GB more.

Hello Felipe. 

I have downloaded and read your manual. Unfortunately several aspects are not written correctly. I was stopped at the point of the registry insertion parameters. I did not understand what you write. The text that refers to WinNTSetup and the way you need to insert the registry hack is  not understandable. Could you please write me a PM? 

Thanks a lot. 

Peter

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Hello Felipe!

 

I was stopped at the registry methodes also, please give us a detailed description about this. Thank you very much ! 

 

Karesz

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On 12/17/2018 at 2:53 PM, FelipeRolim said:

People are saying that Server 2019 is even better than Server 2016. However, I'm waiting for the Audiophile Optimizer to develop further and also waiting for more consolidated opinions about it. The result, for now, is very good, but maybe it can be improved.

I would agree with that.

I tried a few versions of S2016 with audiophile optimizer and XXHE minimized OS, some versions sounded better than others but all better than Win10.

After installing S2019 on a spare drive even without AO or XXHE, only Jriver and disabling a few major services, I think it might already be better than S2016 in a lot of ways. still too early to adopt it fully but so far very promising,

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