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Storage solution for pagefile... wat do?

hat

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#1
In my main system I have 2 drives. The main drive carries the OS, programs, installed games, etc..., then I have a storage drive I use for long-term storage of downloads, game installations, etc. I don't want to put my pagefile on the system drive, as I don't want that slowing it down, and I don't want it on my storage drive either, because it's only a 5400rpm drive, and because I don't want it constantly being used by the pagefile in hopes to extend its lifespan.

Ideally, I'd like an external hardware RAMdisk to store my pagefile on. I know I have the option of using a software RAMdisk, but I've always had some goofy issue or another with those, so I would prefer a hardware disk. Anyone know where I could get one for a reasonable price? I PCI-E, SATA, or even IDE are all viable options... all my PCI slots are either used or blocked off by something else. I would also consider any other ideas not involving a RAMdisk.
 
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#2
why not one of them fast usb3 memory sticks?
 

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#3
why not put a fixed size page file on your system drive ?
 

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#4
I tried playing around with pagefile settings once and it never made any perceptible difference to performance; I'm sure a benchie would show something.

Therefore, I just leave it on auto and let Windows manage it as it sees fit. If you have a fixed size one, it's possible for Windows to start running out of system resources one day, which can lead to blue screens and other undesirable effects.

However, if you're still keen to optimize it, then I suggest getting something like a 320 or 500GB drive and using it exclusively for the pagefile. These are now cheap as chips, so you've nothing to lose. A faster drive like a Caviar Black may possibly make a perceptible difference.

But seriously dude, just leave it on auto. ;)
 

hat

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#5
why not put a fixed size page file on your system drive ?
I've already got the OS and my games on there, I'm afraid adding a pagefile to it would make things a bit sluggish.

why not one of them fast usb3 memory sticks?
I don't know about running a pagefile over USB... especially since I only have USB2. I know USB3 drives are still faster than USB2 even in a 2.0 slot, but I don't want to be plugging up my USB bus with that.


I tried playing around with pagefile settings once and it never made any perceptible difference to performance; I'm sure a benchie would show something.

Therefore, I just leave it on auto and let Windows manage it as it sees fit. If you have a fixed size one, it's possible for Windows to start running out of system resources one day, which can lead to blue screens and other undesirable effects.

However, if you're still keen to optimize it, then I suggest getting something like a 320 or 500GB drive and using it exclusively for the pagefile. These are now cheap as chips, so you've nothing to lose. A faster drive like a Caviar Black may possibly make a perceptible difference.

But seriously dude, just leave it on auto. ;)
I could get another hard drive, but I would rather have something with lower latency than a mechanical hard drive.
 
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#6
then go for the cheapest ssd you can find? :eek: I don't see how a ram disk will be cheaper than a ssd

kingston ssdnow 40$ for 8gb - plenty for a page file...and if the speeds are too slow for you, move to the 16gb one. But then at that point I'd consider putting my os on a ssd
 

qubit

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#7
@hat: whatever you do, don't run a pagefile over USB! The pagefile goes right to the very core of Windows memory management, so if it gets disconnected for any reason, you'll get the awfulest blue screen possible. Nasty. :)

If you want an idea of what kind of performance benefit you'll get from optimizing your pagefile, then try turning it off for a bit. That's the fastest performance possible and it doesn't make a huge difference, so whatever way you optimize that pagefile, the improvement will be marginal at best.

Remember to turn it back on afterwards though, as you do run the risk of running out of system resources this way.

If you want to see some numbers, I know there's sites out there that have tried out all this, with benchmarks. Perhaps google for these and then you can make a more informed decision?
 

hat

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#8
If I put pagefiles on the system drive and storage drive at the same time, will Windows use them both evenly or just hit the system drive until it overflows to the second one on storage?
 
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#9
If you want an idea of what kind of performance benefit you'll get from optimizing your pagefile, then try turning it off for a bit. That's the fastest performance possible and it doesn't make a huge difference, so whatever way you optimize that pagefile, the improvement will be marginal at best.
Unfortunately Win7 doesn't let you operate without a pagefile at all, it'll create one automatically when booting. There's a thread around here somewhere where someone tried using Win7 without a PF (forced) and programs kept crashing. It's a shame, as I never had a pagefile with XP and I don't like having to have the space allocated for one.

If I put pagefiles on the system drive and storage drive at the same time, will Windows use them both evenly or just hit the system drive until it overflows to the second one on storage?
Using multiple page files split over two or more physical disks is an even better idea, because your disk controller can process mul¬tiple requests to read or write data concurrently.
Looks like it uses them evenly.

Source.
 

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#10
If I put pagefiles on the system drive and storage drive at the same time, will Windows use them both evenly or just hit the system drive until it overflows to the second one on storage?
Good question, but I have no idea. I'll bet Microsoft has a knowledgbase article on it if you care to google for it.
 
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#11
If you have enough memory, the pagefile will not get used so much you would notice any performance drop (unless you do some really funky stuff)
Why don't you test it yourself? Launch performance monitor and see whether pagefile.sys produces any noticeable disk activity.
 
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#12
In my main system I have 2 drives. The main drive carries the OS, programs, installed games, etc..., then I have a storage drive I use for long-term storage of downloads, game installations, etc. I don't want to put my pagefile on the system drive, as I don't want that slowing it down, and I don't want it on my storage drive either, because it's only a 5400rpm drive, and because I don't want it constantly being used by the pagefile in hopes to extend its lifespan.

Ideally, I'd like an external hardware RAMdisk to store my pagefile on. I know I have the option of using a software RAMdisk, but I've always had some goofy issue or another with those, so I would prefer a hardware disk. Anyone know where I could get one for a reasonable price? I PCI-E, SATA, or even IDE are all viable options... all my PCI slots are either used or blocked off by something else. I would also consider any other ideas not involving a RAMdisk.
Open Box: OCZ Onyx OCZSSD2-1ONX32G 2.5" 32GB SATA ...

or

Corsair Nova CSSD-V32GB2-BRKT 2.5" 32GB SATA II In...

both should work fine for pagefile
 

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#13
Having your page file on your system drive is not going to slow it down in any perceptible manner. Set a static page file of 4 GB so it doesn't become fragmented from expanding/contracting and getting shifted all over the disk. Then forget about it. You'll never overfill it unless you're doing extremely heaving multimedia development or hosting an extremely large multi-user database.

Do not forgo a page file completely as that will negatively impact performance, although probably still not perceptibly.

Buying a new device to host your pagefile is going to have a very high price for little to no benefit.
 
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