September 11, 2011

uTorrent 3.0

This evening I tried upgrading from uTorrent 2.2.1 to uTorrent 3.0. After a few hours I switched back again.

I have a dedicated torrent computer which runs 24/7. I'm seeding about 200 torrents, of which maybe 20 are active at any given moment. (And that is how I've gotten my BakaBT exchange rate up to 10.7.)

When I first started doing this, I let uTorrent use as much upstream as it wanted, and Comcast capped me at 240 kbytes per second. So I set uTorrent to limit at 200 kb/s and it's been like that ever since.

With all the versions of uTorrent I've used up to 2.2.1, it's always saturated the uplink, if it possibly could. There are occasional events which can cause my uplink to falter a bit, but the vast majority of the time it's right at the rail. But with 3.0 it only averaged maybe half that.

And nearly all of what it was using was on the one-and-only download I've got running right now. I'm trying to get the 1080p raw for "Sacred Blacksmith", which has been a bit painful because there isn't a reliable seed for it. It comes and goes, but over the course of a couple of days I've managed to reach 92%. I've also done a fair amount of uploading on that torrent, and right now my ratio is 1.09.

Under 3.0, that was pretty much the only torrent I was doing any significant uploading on. There were a bunch of others where I was running maybe 2K/s, and I was running anything from 50K to 150K on this one. The rest of my bandwidth went to waste. In the few hours I tried 3.0, I don't think it ever saturated the line.

They've completely rewritten the strategy code which allocates bandwidth, somehow. I looked all the way through the configuration frames and I couldn't find anything that would make it work the way I want it to. Which is to say, to work the way 2.2.1 does, which divides the upstream evenly among every leech irrespective of the torrent they're on.

It looks like 3.0 prioritizes torrents where your exchange rate is low. And once your exchange rate tops a certain threshold, it says "To hell with those guys; what have they done for me lately" and chokes them.

So I retreated back to 2.2.1 and I'll be staying with it.

UPDATE: Actually, I did find what I think was controlling that. There was a field which defaulted to "150%" which seemed to indicate that when it reached that upload threshold (which either means 1.5:1 or 2.5:1) then it would crank back. But the documentation also said that changing that field in the setup frame would only affect new torrents. I would have needed to change all the existing ones individually -- and I have 161 running. (I used to have 220, but a couple of weeks ago I trimmed it back quite a lot.)

Manually changing the settings on 161 torrents is not my idea of a good time. That's why I retreated.

When new versions appear, if they do, I'll be watching the change history closely to see if they did something about it. But for the time being there doesn't seem to be any good reason to upgrade. It didn't look like it really offered me anything I don't already have with 2.2.1. why did I upgrade? Well, the one seed on that torrent that I seemed able to connect to wasn't ever giving me any bytes. It was also running uTorrent 3.0. I wondered if they might have done something strange, and maybe if I was running 3.0 then that seed would start feeding me.

Answer: no. So there wasn't any reason to stay with it, and I retreated to 2.2.1.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 07:26 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 638 words, total size 4 kb.

1 uTorrent 2.2.1 works pretty well; I'm not sure what more I'd want out of it.  Maybe an option to tell it to finish one particular file ASAP and ignore everything else until it's done.

(Always annoying when I'm downloading a long series and my viewing catches up to my downloading.)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 12, 2011 09:22 AM (PiXy!)


Maybe an option to tell it to finish one particular file ASAP and ignore everything else until it's done.

What you do is to stop the other downloading torrents. It isn't that hard.

The only feature in 3.0 that looked really useful was that they'd made it easy to use for large private file transfers. Looks like it's possible to set up a 1-to-1 transfer session without using a tracker. (Though I could be mistaken about that.)

But it isn't something that comes up much for me, and when I need to send something like that to someone else, I upload it onto my server and let them download it using HTTP.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 12, 2011 09:54 AM (+rSRq)

3 Thanks for taking the Bullet, I think I'll stick with 2.2.1 too.

Pixy, you can set priorities on individual files in a torrent in the files panel, and you can also prioritize torrents.  I think between the two you might get the effect you want.

The big issue I have with uTorrent is that when it's running, I get a LOT of timeouts and failed connections in Firefox, even if it's not even close to maxing out my bandwidth.

That and the RSS feed matching is not particularly reliable.

Posted by: Mauser at September 12, 2011 12:42 PM (cZPoz)

4 I have the latter issue with not being able to match feeds, but not so much with Firefox timing out.  Of course, I'm bittorrenting off of a different computer with a very high-bandwidth pipe (18mbit) though it's still uTorrent 2.2.1.  I have a hard time getting it to upload specific files; it wants to send up the last few or nothing.

Posted by: ubu at September 12, 2011 12:49 PM (i7ZAU)

5 The BitTorrent protocol is a series of transactions. If client starts hunting for a specific piece within the torrent, it may take a very long time.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at September 12, 2011 02:10 PM (9KseV)

6 Asking for specific pieces mostly just reduces the number of leeches that can share with you. It can reduce the amount of data you get from seeds, if they're also trying to "optimize" the protocol, but in general, it works out well if you want, say, just the short omake that were inexplicably left out of a US Blu-ray release. I did this recently for Daimaou, where I had no desire to spend days downloading the entire series to get a handful of 3-minute clips.


Posted by: J Greely at September 12, 2011 02:26 PM (fpXGN)

7 Typically I'll set all the little 1k text files that self promote the various hosts (Some of which seem to have no connection other than re-tracking  a series) to not download at all.

Posted by: Mauser at September 13, 2011 04:26 AM (cZPoz)

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