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grant123
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:18 pm    Post subject: USB3 HD latency high? Reply with quote

The mpd client cantata is very laggy when scrolling through album art which is stored on my USB3 hard drive. If I unmount the drive, scrolling is very fast as it uses cached images at that point. I filed a cantata bug and the author says no one else has complained about this and there must be a problem with my hard drive setup. Can I test the drive's latency or something?
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should be able to use the normal tests on a USB3 HDD, not any different than USB2 except speed. You can try hdparm -t on it just like any other hard drive, to see how it does for sequential reads. See if there are any messages showing up in dmesg.

At one point I had an SSD on USB3 and it was not a problem at all. Getting 170+ MB/sec through USB3. The SSD is now on a 6Gbps SATA port so it's not likely to see USB3 again.

USB3 however is still under development and who knows what shows up from time to time.
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grant123
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this OK?

# hdparm -t /dev/sdb
/dev/sdb:
Timing buffered disk reads: 218 MB in 3.00 seconds = 72.62 MB/sec

Is that a good benchmark to diagnose the type of problem I described?
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creaker
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it is good read speed if your drive is not a SSD. With my Seagate FreeAgent I have 73.22 Mb/sec.
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grant123
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can I run a test specifically for latency instead of throughput?
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can try bonnie++ or iozone to check out iops, etc.

I haven't seen too many cases where hdparm shows up fairly good and iops isn't already as high as it could be for a specific hardware without a kernel fix, but I could be wrong.
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wait a minute...

If you do hdparm over and over again on your USB3 drive while scrolling through album art that's *not* stored on that USB3 drive, how bad is it?

Perhaps your USB3 controller is not doing DMA properly?

Does it work better when you hooked up to a USB2 port?
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grant123
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked it on a USB2 port and unfortunately it's no better.

I scrolled through the album art that is already cached and it's fast, even if I run the hdparm test on the drive while I'm scrolling. As soon as I get to the uncached art, it becomes very laggy again.
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grant123
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cantata author added a couple directives that completely fixed this. For anyone else having this problem, add the following to the [Global] or [General] section of ~/.config/cantata/cantata.conf or ~/.kde/share/config/cantatarc:

maxCoverFindPerIteration=0
maxCoverUpdatePerIteration=1

*Highly* recommended mpd client.
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is very weird. USB HDDs shouldn't be that slow to cause UI slowdown...
Bleh, crappy software...
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