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rjr2000

Hyperspin Hard Drive Disk Space Usage with gigabit home network

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Hi there,

I'm just wondering how much hard drive space Hyperspin takes up with just the Hyperspin core essentials and all emulators? I'm looking for the ballpark figure that does not include ANYTHING that can be stored on a NAS (ie: ROMs, FLVs, artwork, even config files).

On a related note, if I'm running a gigabit home network, is there anything related to Hyperspin that I should NOT be put on a NAS because doing so would incur a real performance hit? For instance, if FLVs are on the NAS, do they play choppy in Hyperspin regardless of the gigabit setup?

Actually, is it possible to put even the emulators on the NAS (with ROMs, etc.) and just keep the Hyperspin core essentials on the local SSD? Would a gigabit network be fast enough to make the loading of emulators, ROMs, config files, etc. not take an extraordinarily long time?

Thanks,

Ric.

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A NAS box is possible to use. But isn't a good idea with certain applications and here's why.

Let's use Playstation 1 for example.

For arguments sake, let's say you attempt to play a Playstation 1 game. Hyperspin then locates the game (on the NAS), you're temporary folder to extract the CD image to is configured as c:\temp. Now you wait for the extraction process to complete across your network. This adds considerable unnecessary time.

Most drives and motherboards these days support 3GB and 6GB transfer rates. That's a hell of a lot faster than a NAS box on a gig switch.

However for games that have a small zip file I don't think you'd see much difference of NAS VS local. For example storing SNES roms on a NAS box. Trial and error would prove/disprove the theory.

IMHO a person would be foolish to have ANYTHING directly related to Hyperspin (artwork/videos) on anything other than your local drive.

An optimal network storage setup would be a fiber NAS on a fiber optic switch with a fiber optic line to your arcade cabinet. :)

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It seems a bit dismissive (and funny) to me to say it would be "foolish" to run HyperSpin on anything but a local drive.

@rjr2000: I built a server with 24 TB of storage for this purpose exactly, which is basically the same as your NAS environment. I work in IT so data loss is always my number one concern. I configured my environment so that *everything* is located on the server and run over a mapped network drive. The local drive only runs the operating system and connects to my server. Someone must've been looking out for me because shortly after I configured my server and moved over all my data my HTPC local drive went out. I replaced my drive, reinstalled Windows, and *bam*...back in business.

My HyperSpin folder is currently 1.25 GB. All emulators, ROMs, and artwork are located in folders outside of HyperSpin...except for themes and main system preview videos.

I've gotten the majority of my emulators up and running, including Dreamcast, Saturn, PlayStation, and PlayStation 2 (i.e. disc-based game systems). There is no additional lag when I compare it versus my MAME cabinet that has the same disc-images located on a local drive. I also have all image and video artwork on the server. Literally everything is running off my server over mapped drives on a gigabit network connection. I highly recommend this as the way to go.

Make sure your drives on the NAS have some form of RAID so it can tolerate a drive loss, which generally goes without saying but you never know. Assuming that's in place, the main benefits are if you lose a local drive you're not losing *any* of your HyperSpin configuration. Losing emulators and ROMs is one thing...you can always download those again from somewhere. But if you lose any of your HyperSpin configurations (themes, artwork, ini files, etc.), that's just time lost, which is way worse in my opinion. Theoretically you can also run it simultaneously off different computers. It should work, but that's my next project for during the winter. I haven't yet tested whether you can have 2 computer simultaneously running the same HyperSpin executable, but worst case all you have to do is copy it to another folder for the 2nd computer since all the paths would be the same so there would be no configuration changes.

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Local drive defined - OS on one physical drive while Hyperspin exists on another physical drive connected to the onboard SATA ports. This way you have the same efficient IO for Hyperspin and it's artwork/videos and such.

Agreed - never have one point of failure. Also you should have a Windows backup system image located on a separate physical drive not a second partition on your primary drive.

Redundancy is key for sure, always backup. You mentioned RAID, which I'll assume you're probably referring to RAID 5. RAID 0 (same as single drive) is going to provide faster IO operations than RAID 5 but obviously provides no fault tolerance.

It's a fact, the more disks you add the more latency that is introduced. So once again a person would be slowing down the the overall operation.

Basically my point here is, if a local hard drives transfer rates are significantly faster (which it is by far) than a gig network why add slower external components?

Bottom line, will a NAS work? Of course it will. Is it the most efficient setup? No, not in terms of speed.

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I'm not gonna bother getting into semantics here. Please don't read that as being offensive, it's just starting to get off topic. I'll be glad to discuss this further elsewhere if you're interested in my particular setup. He wants to know if he can run HyperSpin over a network with no additional lag...you can. It works great. I see no perceptible lag when loading a ROM or disc image, and once it's loaded it runs the same either way. I've tested extensively, as I was extremely concerned about performance when getting into my project.

If you're really that skeptical I would suggest you try it yourself and see what kind of results you get. As with most projects, it largely depends on what your needs are. Me, for example...I've got a MAME cabinet, and an HTPC, with plans to add even more computers running HyperSpin. It made sense for me to centralize everything and setup "dumb terminals" around the house. My RAID6 array will ensure I don't lose any data, while I can tolerate any of my computers going down without having to restore any data, doing continuous backups, or reconfiguring HyperSpin after a rebuild. The gigabit network provides for running everything "just as fast" as if it were running on a local drive. I've tested extensively between my MAME cabinet (local drives) and my HTPC (network drives) with comparable specs running the same emulators. Nothing is slowed down. It's a win all-around.

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I, like slizzap, also have everything but the OS stored on the disks of a centralized networked system (server). All emulators, video, roms, etc. run over the network. So far, I have been satisfied with the performance (even of the "next gen" consoles with large game image files, etc.).

Some additional points:

1) I can confirm with this configuration you can run hyperspin on multiple computers seamlessly (this assumes, of course, similar controls, etc so that the control mappings are valid). From any system on my network, all I have to do is map a drive (to R: in my case) and go. I have installed all emulators to R: and configured everything to R:. A few emulators store config/etc. in the registry, so those have to be installed once on each system you wish to use Hyperspin on, but that is the vast minority so far (2 or 3 out of over 40 systems in my main menu as I recall).

2) Another benefit is if you configure everything to also store hiscores and savestates to the central drive, then from any system you run a game on you can continue where you left off, maintain high scores, keep a global record of usage stats etc!!!

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I too have roms located on a central networked system. This is not in my cabinet, but for a "dev" pc I use to test configurations. It also is my HTPC which doesn't have a big local drive. Everything works fine for me.

Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk

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I'm not reading the whole thread, but i'd like to add that as long as you have a gigabit network (that you tested is actually transmitting at gigabit speeds), loading large files over the network is very quick.

Basic math:

1 gigabit = 1000mbit = 125 MB/sec

If you are using a mechanical HD in raid5 or 6, I'd like to see you get 125MB/sec from them. This means that the network will not be your bottleneck, so you don't have to worry about network speeds if you keep your games on a server. So your only choice is to keep your games uncompressed or compressed. Where you keep them does not really matter.

deadly, 1G fiber is the same speed as 1G copper. So going fiber gains you nothing except no chance ingress or crosstalk. Now if you go 10G fiber, that is a large increase (and a huge increase in cost) and can support reading/writing from SSDs w/o any speed decrease, but who is storing terabytes of roms on SSDs?

Edited by djvj

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This thread has made interesting reading and I may well go down this route in the future. I've just bought a second NAS (and another 12TB of drives to go in it) to house my TV recordings, but I might just have to find a bit of space on it for some roms.

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Just a heads up to others. The only emulator I found that seems to suffer from a bit of performance degradation running over a network is Daphne. I just finished getting the entire working set for Daphne and Daphne-singe running, and I had minor issues with some of the games running over the network. For example, I would play Space Ace and press the joystick in the direction to move and the screen would freeze sometimes while the audio continued to play...making it unplayable in areas. I saw a similar issue with Dragon's Lair. Strangely enough I didn't notice any issues with any of the Daphne-Singe (American Laser Games) games. I moved the files to the local drive and they played fine. So while I'm running everything fine from a central server, looks like I'll have to copy the Daphne/Daphne-singe files locally.

I'm curious if anyone else sees this same problem running Daphne over the network. My MAME cabinet where all this is running is directly connected to the same gigabit switch as my file server. My HTPC, where I have zero problems running any type of CHD for MAME, or PlayStation/PlayStation2/Sega CD/Dreamcast/Saturn ISOs, is connected to a cascaded switch (i.e. gigabit switch connected to the main gigabit switch). My only guess is that it has something to do with the files being large laserdisc rips compared to the CD/DVD rips of Daphne-Singe or single file ISOs for other emulators. Instead of loading an entire ISO to memory it's accessing individual and large video files as needed. That gives me an idea...I'll have to test to see if this same problem exists for the Daphne games that have single video files.

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That sounds very nice. Can one of you give me a hint what specific Nas i should buy? It has to be a 4bay, so that i have enough space and i want to store movies and music there too. And use it with an xmbc+hyperspin+steam home theatre pc.

Thanks

Luvarim

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I would suggest just doing a Google search...using terms like "4 bay nas", "5 bay nas" etc. Qnap and Buffalo Terastation are two names that came up often when I was shopping around. Tomshardware.com is a good resource for reviews on hardware, so you can check that too. Most NAS are largely the same functionality-wise, unless you want something with a built-in DLNA server. That's becoming more popular lately I've noticed, and just makes it a more out-of-the-box experience to share media over the network. But if you know what you're doing you're most likely going to find it lacking in features anyways, so you may or may not want that ability. The primary thing that drove my decision on what to purchase was number of drive bays. If you look around you'll find NAS hardware that goes from 2 drives up to 6 drives. Some support larger capacity drives than others. Ultimately I ended up building my own server because I wanted the flexibility to grow beyond 6 drives and also have the extra functionality of having a full blown operating system.

Just my $.02

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Get a motherboard that supports butt loads of SATA2 drives. And make your own. Then you aren't limited to a 4 bay system you are only limited to what you run on that box.

Just my two cents. :)

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Hey Slizzap, would you mind providing me with a ballpark estimate of how much it cost to build your server? I purchased 4 3TB Western Digital Red Drive's a few months ago with the intention of building a NAS box (protip: don't buy hard drives first...they don't exactly go up in value). The NAS Box will be cheaper then a server but I will have to limit myself to just those four drives. I'm curious to see the cost difference, it may be worth it to go with a server.

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I agree that a motherboard with a good number of SATA II ports (and some PCI-E for future expansion) is the way to go. You'll be surprised how quickly the 4 drives will fill up. Especially if you are looking to have media in addition to games.

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Hey Slizzap, would you mind providing me with a ballpark estimate of how much it cost to build your server? I purchased 4 3TB Western Digital Red Drive's a few months ago with the intention of building a NAS box (protip: don't buy hard drives first...they don't exactly go up in value). The NAS Box will be cheaper then a server but I will have to limit myself to just those four drives. I'm curious to see the cost difference, it may be worth it to go with a server.

Sorry, I won't be able to be of much help here. I was quite lucky and happened to get a free HP ProLiant ML350 G6 server. Yes, for free...perks of my job :) After replacing one of the drive cages I ended up with a total of 14 drive slots. The main thing I had to pay for was all the hard drives, which as you already know is pretty costly. That's usually the bulk of the cost, regardless of whether it's a NAS or server.

If you know what you're doing you could build your own server. Before I got that HP server I was looking into building my own and I seem to recall all the parts I needed was going to be pushing $1200-1500. Plus you'd have the cost of the operating system you're going to run. I remember comparing the cost of building a server versus buying a NAS and it was nearly a wash (based on the bigger NAS units I was looking at).

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I've got a QNAP TurboNAS and a Netgear ReadyNAS, with 4x3TB WD Red in each, used for games and media. I would recommend the QNAP, but not the Netgear until they fix the lack of spindown. I currently have to switch it on and off as needed to avoid leaving the drives running constantly.

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I am going to butt in with a couple noob questions.

Firstly, I have a WRT54G V4 router... It is old, I am assuming these do not support a gigabit connection? How do I know if my Time Warner modem does?

Second, I have an i3 PC I do not use...Could this be transformed into a NAS? If so any helpful knowledge source links? Thank you! (I tried to strikethrough :dontknow:)

I will just read that post directly above me, thank you! ;)

Edited by avisioncame

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