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If you can spare the RAM, i'd stick the world on a ramdisk (I did when hosting a MC server and it makes an appreciable difference versus the terribleness of disk IO)

Could you expand on this more? My friends and I just got up and running on our own beefy home server and it'd be nice to take advantage of the massive amounts of RAM on it.

Google for something like: your os name + "make a ramdisk"

You'll also want to look into making sure the save data is persisted to durable disk across reboots/power loss.

Others have expanded a bit, but it depends on what you're running it on, a tmpfs setup is your friend on linux and even for windows there are free alternatives :)

Of course you will probably want to incorporate something that copies the ramdisk contents to somewhere a little more permanent ever so often, set an interval you're comfortable with losing data within! (but given the huge improvement i'd say it is worth it!)

If you are running off a fast SSD for storage I'm not sure that the RAM disk method will get you noticeable perf improvements; but I don't have any data for this so appreciate any corrections.

RAM is easily ten times as fast as a nice SSD.

That doesn't mean it necessarily makes a difference. If your bottlenecks are CPU speed and disk latency, an SSD will remove 99% of the time spent waiting for disk, and even an infinitely fast ramdisk can only give you another 1%.

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