Amazing Droid performance increase


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  1. AndroidsOfTara

    AndroidsOfTara Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I just installed Swapper 2 on my Droid today. I am quite simply blown away with the performance increase on my Droid. It feels like I have a new phone.

    I've been running with CyanogenMod 6 and a P3Droid 1GHz low voltage kernel (1GHz max, 250MHz min). The phone ran well, but I ran into a problem with the Droid's minuscule 256MB RAM.

    I have started listening to a lot of podcasts with the NPR app and Google Listen while using the browser with a few windows open. The NPR and Google Listen apps would be annoyingly terminated by Android as the browser started sucking up too much RAM.

    I got compcache working which prevented the podcast apps from closing. This was nice, but the phone would gradually become so laggy that it would be unusable and I've been rebooting the phone once or twice a day to speed it up.

    I gave up on compcache today and decided to try using swap. I repartitioned my SD card with a 32MB swap partition and installed the Swapper 2 app. Swapper 2 is set to start on boot and use the partition rather than using a swap file.

    I've been playing with this configuration for hours and I am amazed at the performance of the phone now. There's almost no lag anywhere and starting up and switching between big apps is extremely quick. I haven't needed to reboot once.

    The only concern I have is a premature wearing out of the SD card. I'm using the 16GB card that came with the Droid. I believe it's a class 2 SD card and I wonder if I'll get even better performance with a class 6?
     

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  2. emdmao

    emdmao Well-Known Member

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    I believe class 2 is the highest speed that the Droid will handle (maybe 4, not positive). A class 6 won't have any effect.
     
  3. es0tericcha0s

    es0tericcha0s Well-Known Member

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    Definitely noticed an increase in speeds between 2 and 4. With a class 2 I could hardly play Assassin's Creed at all as it lagged and paused too often to be fun. I upgraded to a class 4...problem solved. Runs very smoothly now. Just an example...
     
  4. Lock-N-Load

    Lock-N-Load Well-Known Member

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    good review. I saw you posted in my thread on the same topic. I was surprised that more did not respond.

    Because of that claimed concern I read about on the web concerning a swap app/file prematurely wearing out the SD card is 1 of 2 reasons why I eventually uninstalled it. No one can prove that is true, but there is some logic I suppose. The other reason was that with a 500 mb swap file size, I did not notice anything really. Now, I did not partition my card like you and use a partition (I didnt even recall that as an option) so maybe that is why I did not notice enough of a diff to keep using it. Maybe using a partition on the SD card is better than using a swap file on the SD card?

    EDIT: how did you partition your SD card and does doing so erase the card?
     
  5. vincentp

    vincentp Well-Known Member

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    Is there a list of current kernels that have swap support?
     
  6. AndroidsOfTara

    AndroidsOfTara Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I copied all the data on the sdcard to my computer and then used the partition option in rom manager. I made a 512MB sd-ext partition, a 32MB swap partition and the rest for data. I then copied all of my data back.

    With the price of sdcards getting cheaper all the time, I think the speed is worth it. It really is crazy fast.
     
  7. AndroidsOfTara

    AndroidsOfTara Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I don't know. I switched from Chevy's to P3Droid's for the compcache support. I have read that Chevy's doesn't support swap either.

    In addition, I'm enjoying P3Droid's more because OpenVPN support is compiled into the kernel rather than needing to load a module.
     
  8. Lock-N-Load

    Lock-N-Load Well-Known Member

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    how would one know if the kernel is supported?

    if you can start the app and run it, have it confirm it made the swap file and you can see the swap file (with something like Root Explorer) then it seems to me that the kernel is supported, no?

    I am trying it again on a JDLFG kernel - and the swap file is there and confirmed it seems - and set it to 32mb, 20 swappiness, safe unmount/remount checked. but I admit paranoia about the SD card wear out theory.
     
  9. ndoren

    ndoren Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Ok, I'll risk looking like a fool to ask a stupid question.

    First, it's well known that flash memory does suffer from a loss in performance (and eventual failure) due to "wear." This is particularly problematic when a specific address (or set of addresses) is written to repeatedly, more than other parts of memory. Once that particular part of memory is "worn out," the device is basically ruined. Fortunately, newer flash chips have built-in "load leveling" technologies in order to minimize localized wear spots. I believe this is true for the external micro SD cards that are commonly used in our Droids. This prolongs the chip life by spreading around write cycles to different parts of the chip, even when a user (or OS) thinks it's writing to the same location. That "magic" is all abstracted from the user.

    That being said... isn't the internal 512 Mb RAM (256 Mb for ROM, 256 for apps) ALSO NAND flash? Thus, isn't the internal swap just as likely to cause "wear" to internal memory, as it would to the SD card if swap is moved there? Seems to me if I'm going to wear out the memory due to frequent write cycles, I'd almost rather wear out the SD card than the internal flash. At least I can replace the SD. I can't replace the internal memory. Neall
     
  10. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

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    Neal, you make some valid points, let's see if I can answer them.

    First of all, if you partition the SDCard and have the entire partition dedicated to SWAP, does the SDCard still distribute written bits across the hardware / medium? If so, then that would be awesome - but that seems unlikely to me if multiple partitions are used.

    In contrast, though, f multiple partitions are used, and you wear out one partition, will that kill the entire SDCard?

    Finally, All you never wanted to know about Flash memory....

    Flash memory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  11. YankeeDudeL

    YankeeDudeL Well-Known Member

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    Yanno, every time I think I got a handle on this whole cell phone thing, you guys through out all this crazy jargon and I realize how much of a noob I really am.
     
  12. SoDroid

    SoDroid Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Completely agree lol! That's why I just look for JohnGalt's posts to get more education :D
     
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  13. Lock-N-Load

    Lock-N-Load Well-Known Member

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    First, great little write up. It would be great if it could be confirmed if the stock 16gb SD card that came with the D1 is "wear leveling" capable. If it can be confirmed, it would ease ones mind about setting up a swap.

    Second, the D1 does not have 512, it has 256.. and therein is why this whole swap concept can be very useful. If I had 512, I would not even need the swap file.
     
  14. Lock-N-Load

    Lock-N-Load Well-Known Member

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    Also I noted that if you have this app running you will not be able to mount your SD card to your computer, you have to stop the Swapper app to get that ability back.
     
  15. ndoren

    ndoren Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Let me know the crazy jargon you are referring to, and I'll try to give a few quick definitions. We are all here to learn. Neall
     
  16. ndoren

    ndoren Well-Known Member Contributor

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    I'd certainly agree if you are running a swapfile on the card. You either mount to the computer, or to the Droid. However, is this still true if you put the swap on a separate partition? I thought the whole concept of partitions (from my linux world) is you can mount/unmount individual partitions from a single drive hardware without affecting the other partitions. Seems to me the guy authoring the swapper app could have written his program to do just that. Or maybe it's an Android limitation. Neall
     
  17. ndoren

    ndoren Well-Known Member Contributor

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    I don't think the decoding logic on the chip would have any awareness of partitioning. It's a virtual concept. I'd have to believe that wear leveling goes across partitions. In that case, there really would be no way to wear out a part of memory based on the partition there, any more than to wear it out due to a file there, and in either case writes are leveled.

    Here is one discussion of this, which tends to agree with my premise:
    Samsung puts the kibosh on SSD reliability worries - Engadget

    I still tend to think we could wear out the internal Flash at some point, too.
     
  18. UBRocked

    UBRocked VZW Nexus Please!!! VIP Member

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    Actually saw this post a few days back and decided to give it a shot. I think I had tried this once before...either this app or another app or built into a ROM. Didn't notice much of a difference before.

    Now, I am seeing improvement. With as many apps as I have installed, I have noticed even on a good ROM built for speed, I was seeing some lag with apps like Homerun Battle. I partitioned my SD card and created the swap partition and currently have it set to 48MB and Swappiness to 20 (although I have little reason for choosing these values other than they looke good to me).

    Lag from the games is gone. My ROM was running smoothly but this seems to have just made the overall system run faster with less time between app switching (although some apps load a little slower). All in all...I'd say it's a nice boost for the Droid and worth a shot if you haven't tried it already.
     
  19. Lock-N-Load

    Lock-N-Load Well-Known Member

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    I think the guy authoring the app has so so english at best :)
     
  20. Lock-N-Load

    Lock-N-Load Well-Known Member

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    agreed.. it seems no real rhyme or reason for the selections I made on mine other than a logical "sense" of what seemed right.

    for example, I have 12 GB left on my card.. so one wonders, why not make a a HUGE swap file? why stop at 32 or 48?

    plus, what does "swappiness" really actually mean? why set a swap file of 48mb and then only allow 20 of swapping?? assuming that is what swappiness implies. and, why even have swappiness when if you even got this app and turned it on and set it to 48, would that not mean you want 48??

    and as per my comments above, "safe unmount" and "safe mount" seem to do nothing as you can only mount to the computer if you turn this app off.. so what is the point of those settings? It implied to me it would allow safe unmounting and safe remounting of the swap file if you decided to hook it up to your computer real quick. it does not.
     
  21. Lock-N-Load

    Lock-N-Load Well-Known Member

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  22. androidlover14

    androidlover14 Well-Known Member

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    Dude.........what does swapper even do. Downloaded the app and I don't even know what it does. I feel uneducated when I get into that app....lol
     
  23. Lock-N-Load

    Lock-N-Load Well-Known Member

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    if you don't understand that app, likely not one you want to mess with.

    but if this thread did not explain it, I will do so quickly: in this case, a swap file is a way to use the SD card as a place to store memory and data files and thus, use the huge 16GB card we have to make up for the lame and small 256MB memory we have on the D1 phones. this app writes memory and data that would otherwise have to fit into your available phones memory (well less than 256 at the end of the day given all the apps we load) to the larger SD card and theoretically, make things move faster and speedier as it grabs more memory and room off the SD card to process data as it needs it rather than only having the 256MB to use which is never really 256 to begin with as we use much of that for loaded apps and system processes that will not be closed when resources are low. get it, got it, good.
     
  24. The_Chief

    The_Chief Accept no imitations! Moderator

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    I suppose one would have to start with a freshly formatted SD card to create the partition? Space is at such a premium on my 16GB card there is no way I can accommodate a swap partition... but a 32GB card is on my Christmas wish list and THEN I can play around with it. SO is this something I'll want to do as soon as the new SD card is formatted?
     
  25. Lock-N-Load

    Lock-N-Load Well-Known Member

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    you wouldn't "have" to do it at the start of a new card. you "could" do it anytime and just backup your SD card contents to the computer, partition the SD card, move contents back to the larger partition. but heck, I know there are some apps for the mac for example that allow for partitioning, repartitioning, removing partitions all with the data on the card and no moving it back and forth. so if you had a 32gb card with 15gb data on it, with these apps that can partition real time, you could partition some of that remaining 17GB. you would just have to pull your SD card and put it into an adaptor and attach to your computer (or maybe even just attach the phone via USB - but I would likely pull the SD card to do it).
     

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