Beta4 constant hard drive chatter

Questions about MultiCharts and user contributed studies.
brodnicki steven
Posts: 407
Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Been thanked: 3 times

Beta4 constant hard drive chatter

Postby brodnicki steven » 23 Mar 2009

In previous versions the hard drive would only be written to every few minutes, starting with beta4 (I didn't try beta3) the hard drive is constantly chattering. Shouldn't incoming data be buffered to memory and then dumped to the hard drive ? It acts like there is no buffering at all now. Is this the new normal ?
(I much preferred the way it used to be)

User avatar
Andrew Kirillov
Posts: 1589
Joined: 28 Jul 2005
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 31 times
Contact:

Postby Andrew Kirillov » 25 Mar 2009

Steven,
Beta 4 has a new and very important feature. It saves data to the local storage every X seconds and thus if your MC crashes you will lose data just for last X seconds. However this operation is fast and efficient and is not visible for a user.
MC saved data to the memory before and flushed on exit. It was generating holes when MC crashed.
We do confirm that Beta 4 makes more HDD write operations, but it shouldn’t disturb you. You are the only one who has complains. So I assume it is something that we need to investigate further on your end.
We tested Beta 4 on 2000 symbols and it worked acceptably. How many symbols do you track?

How did you notice that chattering? Can you hear a writing noise or you see your indicator blinking or you trace your HDD operation with special tools?

It would be great if you give us more information here or visit out helpdesk.

brodnicki steven
Posts: 407
Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Been thanked: 3 times

Postby brodnicki steven » 25 Mar 2009

I can see the hard drive access light blinking AND hear the hard drive chatter, as it's constantly being accessed. I think holding it in memory for a few minutes , then dumping to the hard drive, would be much easier on the drive and quieter. Recovering from a crash, only missing a few minutes of data wouldn't take long to backfill.
I only load about 100 symbols. I have a Western Digital Raptor hard drive.
Can the dumping of data every "x" seconds that you speak of be adjusted by the user ?

User avatar
Andrew Kirillov
Posts: 1589
Joined: 28 Jul 2005
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 31 times
Contact:

Postby Andrew Kirillov » 25 Mar 2009

This is not configurable, but X seconds is enough to avoid issues. Something is wrong. Could you contact the helpdesk?

brodnicki steven
Posts: 407
Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Been thanked: 3 times

Postby brodnicki steven » 25 Mar 2009

Andrew: I switched back to v5 beta 2, so contacting the help desk probably wouldn't help. I can live with the hard drive chatter, I just wanted to make sure that it was "Normal" and not a bug. (I may switch to a quieter drive)
My trading room is very quiet and my computer fans are quiet, that's why I can hear the change in hard drive noise so easily.
I went back to beta2 because beta4 would turn off most of my indicators at start-up.
Beta2 only turns off a few.
I was happy to see the "I" functions in beta 4 though. very nice !!!
(I'm looking forward to beta5, this week, I hope)

User avatar
Andrew Kirillov
Posts: 1589
Joined: 28 Jul 2005
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 31 times
Contact:

Postby Andrew Kirillov » 25 Mar 2009

We will release Beta 5 the next week or earlier so you may contact us after upgrade.

Tresor
Posts: 1104
Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 51 times

Postby Tresor » 25 Mar 2009

Since we are on a subject of hard drives, I would like to ask for a recommendation on a hard drive given this new feature in MC.

Steven's Raptor speed is 10,000 RPM (fast). Standard hard drives' speed is 7,200 RPM. Does the new MC's feature in any way determine the minimum hard disk's RPM and seek / write times requirements?

Regards

User avatar
Andrew Kirillov
Posts: 1589
Joined: 28 Jul 2005
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 31 times
Contact:

Postby Andrew Kirillov » 26 Mar 2009

To Tresor,
I can't provide any recommendations, because I'm the same consumer as you. We never made any performance benchmarks of HDDs.
I think it s common sense to buy a quicker HDD and Raptor is not the worst choice.


To Steve,

I talked to our system administrator and he says that sometimes HDD settings are reset and this causes very slow operation of your HDD.
Please check you have DMA and not PIO setting in your device manager->HDD settings.

It is very important and could be a resolution of your issue,

brodnicki steven
Posts: 407
Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Been thanked: 3 times

Postby brodnicki steven » 26 Mar 2009

Andrew: my hard drive is very fast, the issue was constant access, it seems that every tick is written to the drive, instead of buffering it into memory, then dumping it to the drive. It's not a problem, other than maybe excess heat, noise and wear and tear on the hard drive , from constantly writing to the disk. (some drives are louder than others)
As more and more people use beta4 in real time, I'm sure they will notice it too.
My concern was that the behavior was different from other beta versions. I just wanted to make sure that it was "normal". It sounds like this behavior is by design.

User avatar
RobotMan
Posts: 375
Joined: 12 Jul 2006
Location: Los Altos, California, USA
Has thanked: 31 times
Been thanked: 13 times
Contact:

Postby RobotMan » 26 Mar 2009

I realize that TSS as put a lot of thought and energy into data flow processing to make recoveries as painless as possible. I really like the way things run now.

A suggestion might be:
To have a user configurable buffer setting that is preset with a default and can be reset to the default later, if need be. Maybe the default buffer size is "Let MC handle the buffer" (I don't know what that would be - whatever beta 4 is set to) and all ticks pretty much all go to disk quickly. Alternately, the user could choose a buffer size (like with pagefile) and when tick data reach some percentage of that, it dumps to disk.
I know that some guys are tracking 100's of symbols and need that reliability. I only track a handful and could care less if I needed to refresh history every time the program restarts. But if I am running Multicharts and NT on the same machine, even with dual quad cores and 4 GB RAM, hard drive access now becomes the weakest link. RAM is just a lot faster and less taxing on the CPU waits.

I am not a computer guru.
I might have this totally wrong,
Just my 2¢.

User avatar
Andrew Kirillov
Posts: 1589
Joined: 28 Jul 2005
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 31 times
Contact:

Postby Andrew Kirillov » 27 Mar 2009

Andrew: my hard drive is very fast, the issue was constant access, it seems that every tick is written to the drive, instead of buffering it into memory, then dumping it to the drive. It's not a problem, other than maybe excess heat, noise and wear and tear on the hard drive , from constantly writing to the disk. (some drives are louder than others)
As more and more people use beta4 in real time, I'm sure they will notice it too.
My concern was that the behavior was different from other beta versions. I just wanted to make sure that it was "normal". It sounds like this behavior is by design.
Steven,
[1] I do understand that your HDD is quick. I want to double check that it wortks at full power. Did you check the settings I recommended?
[2] MC DOES NOT save data every tick. It saves it every X seconds as I told you before. It is buffering your are referring.
[3] Beta 4 is used by about 200 of customers so I’m sure if the issues is so obvious we would have complains. Keep in mind that other customers run ordinary hdds.

User avatar
Andrew Kirillov
Posts: 1589
Joined: 28 Jul 2005
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 31 times
Contact:

Postby Andrew Kirillov » 27 Mar 2009

Bob,
We would make this setting available for users, but before we invest in this feature we need to know that it is an issue. So far we haven’t got any conformations of the problem.
We stress-tested the system and it worked well. So we will see what other people say.

brodnicki steven
Posts: 407
Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Been thanked: 3 times

Postby brodnicki steven » 27 Mar 2009

Andrew: my hard drive is very fast, the issue was constant access, it seems that every tick is written to the drive, instead of buffering it into memory, then dumping it to the drive. It's not a problem, other than maybe excess heat, noise and wear and tear on the hard drive , from constantly writing to the disk. (some drives are louder than others)
As more and more people use beta4 in real time, I'm sure they will notice it too.
My concern was that the behavior was different from other beta versions. I just wanted to make sure that it was "normal". It sounds like this behavior is by design.
Steven,
[1] I do understand that your HDD is quick. I want to double check that it wortks at full power. Did you check the settings I recommended?
[2] MC DOES NOT save data every tick. It saves it every X seconds as I told you before. It is buffering your are referring.
[3] Beta 4 is used by about 200 of customers so I’m sure if the issues is so obvious we would have complains. Keep in mind that other customers run ordinary hdds.
* Andrew: I tried to find the "HDD settings" menu but I couldn't find it- I use XP(sp3).
I can go to hard disk "properties", but there is no "settings" menu and "properties" does not show what you asked.

User avatar
RobotMan
Posts: 375
Joined: 12 Jul 2006
Location: Los Altos, California, USA
Has thanked: 31 times
Been thanked: 13 times
Contact:

Postby RobotMan » 27 Mar 2009

Try:
Start>Settings>Control Panel>System>hardware>Device Manager>IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers>Primary IDE Channel>Advanced Settings

Hope that helps
Attachments
DMA.jpg
(29.33 KiB) Downloaded 881 times

brodnicki steven
Posts: 407
Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Been thanked: 3 times

Postby brodnicki steven » 27 Mar 2009

Thanks Robotman- I found it.
Attachments
HD_Settings.jpg
(53.65 KiB) Downloaded 885 times


Return to “MultiCharts”