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Comment Re:Having run a gaming room at a convention... (Score 1) 175

I've done a similar setup at my house for probably similar reasons - solves the problem of friends bringing over their nappy computers with ancient video cards and me having to upgrade that and get it all running every lan party.

I used opensolaris (and now openindiana) for the back end server. It has lots of ram and some SSDs for the l2arc cache so most things end up being cached. I use zfs snapshots for the clone systems.

This works well, and performance falls somewhere between an SSD and a Hard drive for gaming load times... with one exception.. boot times for the diskless systems is horrible. Like 2 minutes each.

It looks like you are booting your windows off VHD and putting the differential on the local SSD? Any benefits of doing that over just running everything from the backend server?

I'm thinking about getting an SSD for mine and using that for the boot partition of the systems, and then having steam on an iscsi mount off the backend server. That should give great performance, and fast boot times. But I wouldn't be able to rollback the OS to the master state like I can do now.

Yeah, so what did you do software wise?

Comment Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (Score 2, Informative) 329

People don't do enough research and buy the wrong stuff. If you need fast writes, you get the Intel X25-E. If you need fast reads, the Intel X25-M is fine. If you need the SSD to take a punishing amount of writes over the years, you get the X25-E again. If you aren't planning on punishing it with writes, the X25-M is again fine. If you need cheap, then you get an extra helping of crappy write I/O. :-)

If you want to have monstrously fast storage, you build a raid with zfs, and use one or two X25-Ms for the L2ARC cache and a mirrored (through zfs) X25-M pair for the zil cache.

I'd rather use SSD to supplement traditional storage rather than to run straight off it. But that said, I have been running my mythtv box off of an 8GB Transcend compact flash for the OS for over two years now with great results. It is a gentoo system, so I compile stuff on it all the time. Of course it has a mysql database that gets updated daily because of the schedules it pules down for mythtv. No problems there, and no regrets.

But more to your point, the problems that plagued crappy SSD controllers and designs are being worked out, and probably somewhat soonish won't be a relevant issue anymore for most people.

Comment Re:With SSDs, who needs it? (Score 1) 329

SSDs are tiny compared to the spinning rust variety.

But here is where ZFS kicks butt. You can attach SSDs to be the read and/or write cache for your large array of magnetic disk. You use an MLC SSDs for read cache, and a SLCs for write cache. If you do this you effectively turn your big slow array into crazy crazy fast storage.

I set up a opensolaris/zfs setup like this at home. I connect to it from my gaming pc, and have my apps installed on an iscsi target on opensolaris through regular gigabit. Do you know how crazy fast games launch? All games? It is like I am playing them all from a ram drive. I probably can't express how awesome it is.

Also, from a recent conference on ZFS it looks like they will have the ability to increase/decrease widths of strips, encryption, and single instance storage soon. Single instance storage will be great for me since my home systems get their disk from the server like I mentioned about.


Submission + - Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream (

djpretzel writes: "Today OverClocked ReMix released its ninth album, Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream. The album, made by fans for fans, honors the recent 10-year anniversary of the Square Enix PlayStation video game Final Fantasy VII with 45 arrangements of composer Nobuo Uematsu's original score. Available for free download at, Voices of the Lifestream is not affiliated with or endorsed by Square Enix. More than 40 artists from the OverClocked ReMix community contributed more than three hours of music to the album, with interpretations covering a variety of genres and styles from jazz to electronica to rock to symphonic."

Submission + - Final Fantasy VII Rearrangement Album Released!

KingBahamutX writes: OverClocked ReMix released a rearrangement album today titled Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream (VotL). This album is a 45 track saga encompassing various genres, including jazz, trance, rock, contemporary dance, and hip hop, and has been in the making for about 2 years. It features many prominent artists of the community, such as djpretzel, zircon, pixietricks, Star Salzman, bLiNd, Mustin, and much more, and in many cases, VotL showcases some of these artists' best work.

As a result of these efforts, VotL has already garnered much praise, in advance and current, such as from industry composer Tommy Tallarico, famed for his soundtracks and his Video Games Live concert series, who has said, "OC ReMix has done it again! I'm always impressed with the amazing talent that comes from the OCR community. This album is a further testament to that quality and passion. It's an honor for video game composers around the world to have their material be a part of the OCR community. This album rocks!"

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