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Which of these drives should the pagefile be on?

Synomenon

Lifer
Dec 25, 2004
10,523
5
81
I've got these two drives in my notebook:

Mushkin 240GB Atlas mSATA SSD



Intel 300GB G3



I installed Windows 8 Pro. x64 on the Mushkin drive. Should I have installed it on the Intel instead?

Also, if Windows 8 is better on the Mushkin drive, should I keep the pagefile on the Mushkin drive as well or move it over to the Intel drive? I usually create a static 2GB pagefile.
 

KingFatty

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2010
3,034
1
81
I think to fully answer the question of where to keep the pagefile, it would depend on how much RAM you have?

If you have a lot of RAM, your system may show no change where the pagefile is, because it is never used to enhance any performance anywhere.

Actually, maybe you'd be able to play around and try moving the pagefile between different drives to see if it makes a difference, for science. It would be interesting whether Windows 8 is concerned about where the pagefile is, if you have a lot of ram?
 

onething

Member
Oct 30, 2012
49
0
0
It kinda depends on what you're doing. My rule of thumb is if you have more than 4gb, just disable the page file altogether for general use. With 8gb, there's very little that could use all that memory.
 

Synomenon

Lifer
Dec 25, 2004
10,523
5
81
I have to keep a small pagefile. Some programs I run look for one / won't run without one.
 

onething

Member
Oct 30, 2012
49
0
0
Sounds like it's just the software giving you a hard time for that. If you need one, make the absolute minimum size of a pagefile on any drive. Like 10mb or whatever it is. You won't notice a difference.
 

Nothinman

Elite Member
Sep 14, 2001
30,672
0
0
It kinda depends on what you're doing. My rule of thumb is if you have more than 4gb, just disable the page file altogether for general use. With 8gb, there's very little that could use all that memory.
You shouldn't disable your pagefile unless you have a very well defined and strictly enforced workload like an embedded system. Did you also remove your seatbelts from your car to make it go faster? Because the net effect is about the same.

Synomenon said:
Thanks onething. Anyone else care to chime in?
Generally the best performing, least used drive is the best choice. Chances are you won't see a difference regardless because once you're in a situation that you're paging significantly enough to notice the additional latency of disk I/O will overshadow any minor tweaks you can do.
 

KingFatty

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2010
3,034
1
81
The consensus seems to be no, you won't really notice, because the operations done by the OS would complete so near each other on both drives, it would be almost like within the window of your reaction time. As a hypothetical, you could set up one SSD with your OS installed and your stuff all set up. Then, clone the first SSD to the second, so you have 2 mirrors of each other, both being bootable.

Then, you can select which of the SSDs to be your primary drive for booting up, in the BIOS section. As a blind experiment, bring up that page on your BIOS, then close your eyes and have a friend randomly set one of the drives. Use your computer without knowing which was selected. Tell your friend to randomly pick a day and change the setting when you aren't around. I bet you never notice.

But seriously, you could actually do the math and calculate how many milliseconds you will save between the two drives. It's negligible.
 

lubomir

Junior Member
Oct 29, 2010
4
0
0
I personally tend to disable swap file completely, too. I do this since 2001 and the worst thing that happened to me is that Firefox crashed when I had it on 4GB RAM system with 100+ windows opened. Those windows were re-opened after Firefox restarted... yeah it was really "a real nightmare" ;)

I do office work. For Photoshop, Premiere, Red Epic and video-processing it would be a different story. It's very simple : just use your system to the max you can and open Task Manager. Notice the digital Memory counter, right below CPU utilization graphs - how much does it read ? If less than you have physical memory, you DON'T NEED swap. Turn it off. I usually consume around 3.5GB of memory with all my applications running at the same time.

The issue is : WMM, windows memory management, is stupid and uses physical RAM and swap file as "one joint space" and does not distinguish between them. So if you have 4GB RAM and 6GB swap, it will behave like if you had 10GB of "some memory". It is really stupid to use part of this "available memory" for example for disk cache operations - as it is located on the disk. Imagine swapping out any part of running applications just to free up memory for disk cache :) clever, very clever.

Buying more RAM and disabling swap will also change behavior of your applications. Memory management does not have the possibility to behave in described ineffective ways. All applications suddenly consume less memory than they used to. Woooow. All applications suddenly switch instantly - they have "nowhere to go" and must remain in physical RAM. Buy more RAM if your system is slow, this is the biggest, simpliest and cheapest performance boost. Don't scratch your head over SSDs for too long. Always try to fit all your data, even if you do Photoshop, to physical RAM. Buy 32GB if needed, no obligations. It costs 100$ today. If you need it, it will pay off in a day or maximum two - your productivity will be much higher. Disable swap with 16GB or 32GB RAM.

Just check it - there's nothing to be lost. If you have problems and some application crashes, enable swap again. One reboot, that's it. And you will know for sure.


I absolutely agree with "you won't notice the difference between your two SSDs". Second here or there, you are just splittin' hairs. Worthless. If you start up Windows in 11 seconds or 10.2 seconds is totally meaningless - how often do you reboot ? 94892 times a day ?? If you start up Photoshop in 5.2 seconds or 4.1 seconds, does it really matter ? If you open Word in 1.9 seconds or 1.1 seconds, is it really ANY difference to your economy ? YOU SPENT MUCH MORE TIME READING THIS TEXT THAN YOU WILL SAVE IN A WEEK BY HAVING FASTEST SSD. Yes you really did. Moreover, your work is not always limited by disk I/O and I really really doubt there is a single person on this planet who can load up storage to the maximum possible extend ALL DAY EVERY DAY EVERY SECOND.

Did you count valves on your car ? Yeah it's tremendously important for Americans to have V8, right ? Any time, any car. V6 owners are loosers pchew... and then you drive 55mph on highway [!!!!!!!!], dammit ANY 4V can do that without blinking an eye !
 
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GPz1100

Senior member
Jun 10, 2001
353
3
81
I'd be careful about disabling swap completely. On my system (p8z77 deluxe 32gb 3770k), i get weird bsod's when it's disabled. Running who crashed points to the intel lan driver as the likely cause. I tried enabling a small swap on drive other C, but same issue. Ended up making a ~900MB swap on C and windows 8 is happy.
 

Mfusick

Senior member
Dec 20, 2010
500
0
0
I think you should install the OS to your fastest drive and keep page file on that as it is.

WTF would anyone do any different ?
 

lubomir

Junior Member
Oct 29, 2010
4
0
0
Windows 8 is extremely new, drivers and everything will be updated many many times. Believe me. It will be solved in time.

Absence of swap file is definitely not the root cause of your BSODs. Size of swap file will not protect you agaist BSODs. I understand your situation but that's not the cure, believe me.

I have to admit one thing : having 90MB swap file is definitely better than having 10GB file. Technical reason is very simple : current storage is able to deal with 90MB extremely easy and "fluently". That's just nothing. If it had to deal with 10GB data, that's a whole different story right ?

So yes, should I be in your shoes, I would also enable as-small-as-possible swap file and be happy. Sure it's better to have three seconds of performance lost daily than a BSODs with unsaved data several times a week.




>> I think you should install the OS to your fastest drive and keep page file on that as it is.
>> WTF would anyone do any different ?

spread the load, dude, spread the load. If I have operating system/applications/whatever located on first physical SSD, having a swap on second physical drive is definitely advantage - sure speaking about comparable technology, not Samsung 840Pro versus Intel X-25. While first disk is loading data/whatever, second disk can perform paging operations. You have heard about much better performance when people RAID together two SSDs, have you ? Yes I know RAID is something different than two separated drives, but comparable principle is there.
 
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Nothinman

Elite Member
Sep 14, 2001
30,672
0
0
I think you should install the OS to your fastest drive and keep page file on that as it is.

WTF would anyone do any different ?
I/O contention. It shouldn't be much of a factor with an SSD, but with spinning drives the additional latency can be noticeable. And if you're at the point where you're using the pagefile then free memory is already low enough that you're already seeing a slowdown so adding more latency just exacerbates the problem.

But you should never run without a pagefile despite what a few loud people put on the Internet. If MS can't make a closed system like WinRT run without one, why should you think your unpredictable PC load would fare well without one?
 

GPz1100

Senior member
Jun 10, 2001
353
3
81
@lubomir, Assuming your reply in post #15 was directed to me, I agree completely. While lack of a swapfile should not cause a bsod, some buggy software may be. No doubt intel will update its nic driver in the future. For now, *900*MB on the boot drive is enough to satisfy whatever was causing the bsod. Which, I should add only occurs during the shutdown/reboot process. So it may very well be a combination of several things.
 

jhansman

Platinum Member
Feb 5, 2004
2,760
28
91
FWIW, with 16GB of RAM, I set aside 1GB of my SSD for the pagefile, and see no need to increase it or move it to another drive.
 

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