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- Hugh Sutherland
August 17, 2008, 7:58 am
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this may not be the best newsgroup for this but here goes
I want to put my pagefile(swapfile) on a second hard drive. Should that
pagefile be on a NTFS or FAT32 partition? also would it make sense to make
a hidden partition (no drive letter) say max 4096MB atthe staert or the end
of the second harddrive?
On Sun, 17 Aug 2008 03:58:22 -0400, "Hugh Sutherland"
Doesn't make a significant difference, pick based on whether
you have some other need, for example if you have other OS
that can't do NTFS well or at all and that OS needs be able
to access the partition then pick FAT32, or if you must be
able to store files 4GB or larger, pick NTFS. FAT32 also
supposedly has a performance penalty on very large
partitions, above about 40GB. IOW, it tends to be faster on
smaller ones and gradually the edge goes to NTFS the larger
the partition is.
For the pagefile? No, not necessarily though if you were to
use FAT32 then a smaller first partition could make some
sense instead of one huge partition (assuming a semi-modern
drive with high capacity relative to the pagefile size).
Given how inexpensive memory is these days, having ample
even excess real memory for caching is most important. Next
most would be putting the pagefile on the beginning of the
first partition of the 2nd drive, set to a fixed minimum
size fairly large (depends on the jobs you do but perhaps
2GB) so that much doesn't get fragmented, with no upper
limit on size.
If you had quite a bit of free memory, a few GB at all times
you might even consider putting the pagefile on a ramdrive
instead. The idea there is that you'll never actually need
to use the pagefile in place of real memory but that
regardless of this the OS still accesses it to allocate
memory space it will never use... or of course just disable
virtual memory altogether if your OS supports it.
These are all fairly minor differences in performance since
memory has become so inexpensive that systems shouldn't be
paging large amounts of data much if ever. If a system were
to need be paging 2-4GB, even 1GB of data the system would
be unbearably slow to use by today's standards.
If you have enough RAM - turn off the page file facility completely. Windows
XP (for one) will use a swapfile whether it needs to or not (despite what
you may read elsewhere), so from time-to-time, it will degrade performance
by a few percent. It uses the swapfile so that there is always plenty of RAM
available, however it doesn't know how much RAM you are 'about' to need, so
errs on the side of caution.
NB - only turn off your swapfile if you have plenty of RAM. A fair goal
would be to never use more than about 75% with everything open that you
could ever need. If you have no swap file and you do fill the RAM, then
either the application, or more likely, the entire operating system will
crash and lose data.
Applications that require lots of RAM include photo editing, video
manipulation and any kind of multimedia or gaming application.
If you do decide to use a swapfile, then make it a good size - at least the
same size as your physical RAM and make it a fixed size, or a large minimum
size, to avoid fragmentation of the file. A few years ago the recommended
size for the swapfile used to be 1.5x the amount of RAM.
An aside - does anyone know the following: If Windows XP can only address
4GB of RAM, then in a system with 2GB of physical RAM, is there any point
making a swapfile larger than 2GB - would it ever be used over the 'total'
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