Hi, this is my first post so forgive me if I ve done something wrong, because
this is my first experience with a forum post which works through a mailing
I am bumping this topic because as a long time pokertracker user who's tried
to maximize the performance of his system for years, this topic has been the
most useful in terms of understanding the type of things that would help on
that front. It's become a bit of an ancient scroll full of wisdom if you
Having said that, I ve got certain issues with my setup and I would like to
hear the answers of the people here. Let me get into it:
*1. My Hardware Setup.* I ve got an Intel i7 860 with 16 GB of RAM, an Intel
X-25M G2 160GB disk and a 5750 Radeon card.
*2. My Software Setup.* I am using Windows 7 x64, but the database -and my
poker playing- is installed in a Virtualbox VM running Windows XP x64. I
have assigned 1 processor (out of 16) and 12 GB of RAM in that machine.
*3. My Database and its uses.* Before I came to post this, I checked its
size through the PG admin and it's 31 GB. In contrast to the OP, I usually
play around 18 tables, but they can sometimes -not often- get as high as 24.
I also looked into my HUD and apparently, it displays 12 statistics for each
*4. What prompted me to consider a hardware upgrade.* My Intel drive has
gotten full, so I ve decided to upgrade to either a 240GB Intel 520 or the
new 256GB Samsung 840. This will allow me to move the VM to the new extra
drive probably giving me some extra speed boost. However, the fact that my
motherboard only supports SATA 2 and 16GB of memory has me wondering whether
I should upgrade my motherboard as well. If I do upgrade, I am also
wondering whether the 32GB of RAM supported by the 1155 platform is going to
be enough or whether I should buy a 2011 based one allowing for 64GB of RAM.
All other things being equal, I d rather not. Another option is to wait
until the Hasswell CPUs come out.
*5. Why do I need so much memory? * Well, sometimes I dabble with photoshop
- photoshop CS6 is the next thing I am getting after the upgrade- and 4 GB
for my main OS are less than I would prefer. I am also interested in adding
a third VM that's going to use another 2-4 GB. Last but not least, each time
I ve added more memory, postgresql performance has improved. So, should I go
with an 1155 motherboard, I will have 8GB allocated to my main OS, 4GB
allocated to may secondary VM and 20GB allocated to my poker playing VM.
Besides the fact I am not sure whether 8GB is enough for my main OS -and in
any case you can always turn the VM off-, I am wondering if 20GB is enough
to be completely carefree.
This question is prompted by the advice in this thread that my memory
allocation should be larger than my database size. Since my database is
31GB, do I really need more than 32GB of memory for my poker VM, if I want
to have top notch performance?
*6. It's been already said that it depends on how much of your database you
put to use. * I wish I could understand how to use the tools suggested in
this thread in order to measure that question. What I do know is this. My
database goes back to 2010. When I am at a table, most players are players
that started playing recently. However, there are other regular players with
whom I have playing history going back to 2-3 years. So I am guessing that I
am using the full breadth and depth of the database.
*7. Overall, I am pretty pleased by the performance of the database, but as
things stand, there are two issues:* The first is that when the number of
tables get high -let's say around 24- I am experiencing lag, less so now
that I ve got 12 GB or RAM, more pronounced when it was 8GB of RAM. Needless
to say, experiencing lag when you ve got 24 tables open is the last thing
you want to be happening, precisely because you ve got less time available
to make decisions to begin with.
The second issue is that the more tables I ve got open, the more behind
stats tend to be. Not by much, but enough that on some occasion it can make
a difference in your decision making. For example, if I or some of my
opponents have played 25 hands in a table, the HUD may be showing stats for
22 or 23 hands. Which doesn't sound like much, but it such a small sample
size, it can make the stats -and thus the resulting decision making- be
skewed greatly in one or the other direction
*8. That pesky CPU. * As I ve said I ve only got 1 CPU out of 16 devoted to
my poker playing VM. Why? Pokertracker has a housekeeping function which
allows you to optimize the database. So I ve ran several experiments and I
noticed that the less cpus I assigned, the faster the process finished. For
example with one CPU assigned to the VM, the operation ends in something
like 4 min. But with 3 or 4 it takes up to 15 minutes. I am guessing that
this has to do with the turbo mode of the 860, but I can't tell for certain.
I do not know however, whether the increased speed in this scenario where I
am doing one thing at a time is relevant in a scenario where I am running
the poker client and a multitude of tables at the same time.
9. *What about the GPU.* In the past, I ve upgraded my graphics card and I
ve seen a decrease in lag. Supposedly, the gpu shouldn't matter, but besides
my experience I know that if I turned the hud off while continuing to
import, any lag I experience simply vanishes.
10. So to sum up.* Given all the information I presented above:
a. What amount of memory is optimal for my 31GB database regardless of cost?
b. How many cpu processors should I assign to my VM?. Should I try assigning
2-4 CPUs for actual play? And if I do, is there an objective way to measure
c. Given the kind of different traits that postgresql demands from hard
drives in terms of sequential and random writes and reads, which SSD should
I get, the Samsung 840 or the Intel 520?