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Thread: Best way to have your WinXP swap file set-up for speed




  1. #1
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    Jan 2004
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    Hi all,

    when looking at RAM size options for my new PC, somebody told me that although 512MB is the best size for new PC's if I go to 1GB I can setup a RAM Drive and put my XP swap file on it which would boost my PC speed heaps.

    Is this true?

    If not should I just put the swap file on a separate partition like the Tutorial says? Or leave it on the C: drive? I use a really good at clearing up my space, so I haven't put the Swap file on a seperate drive just yet, but as a new install of XP is on the cards for the new PC, I just wondered what I should do.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2003
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    I try to avoid putting it on a partition on the same disk, because the disk head just has to work that much harder trying to read/write to it AND the rest of your drive where Windows or whatever game/app you're using is located.

    That's just theory to me but what I do is put it on a seperate physical drive.

    FX5900 - 3DMark2001 [20,566] - 3DMark2003 [7,281] - Aquamark3 [56,694]
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  3. #3
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    if you are going to move it be sure to move it to a partition that is accessed through a separate mass storage device controller to the boot partition - ie if you have two hd's on the same ide channel, moving the pagefile to the other hd will slow things down when the pf is accessed.

  4. #4
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    Well, soulburner was right there. Here's the thing, if you have Windows on one drive, it doesnt matter if you put the page file in another partition, its still on the same physical drive and the heads still have to work for the pf and the system files. Therefore, if you have a second drive, put it on that drive. Don't disable the page file on your system drive though, leave about 30MB (non-adjusting) just in case. In times of extreme load, say gaming, and your system is using all of the pagefile and then a virus scan pop or something comes from the system drive, it'll save a major slow down :thumb: . : peace2: Mista K6
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  5. #5
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    One problem that you can run into if you put your swap file on a separate HD, is that if you replace that HD with a bigger one, make sure you put swap file back to your system drive before you remove the old HD. otherwise BSOD

  6. #6
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    Jan 2004
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    1. and if you've moved your pagefile completely - instead of as mista k6 suggested (having 2) - windows can't write debug info to disk when bsod occurs. still no point having pf on 2nd hd on same ide channel as boot partition - perf increase only noticed if pf is accessed thru separate ide/scsi/raid controller to that of boot partition.

    2. wtf did m$ ever define system and boot partitions the way they did instead of vice versa when %systemdrive% defines the drive holding the windows root directory (ie on the boot partition)

  7. #7
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    All the definitive answers from a Microsoft MVP are here.

    For example, from the guide comes this:
    Should the file be left on Drive C:?

    The slowest aspect of getting at a file on a hard disk is in head movement (‘seeking’). If you have only one physical drive then the file is best left where the heads are most likely to be, so where most activity is going on — on drive C:. If you have a second physical drive, it is in principle better to put the file there, because it is then less likely that the heads will have moved away from it. If, though, you have a modern large size of RAM, actual traffic on the file is likely to be low, even if programs are rolled out to it, inactive, so the point becomes an academic one. If you do put the file elsewhere, you should leave a small amount on C: — an initial size of 2MB with a Maximum of 50 is suitable — so it can be used in emergency. Without this, the system is inclined to ignore the settings and either have no page file at all (and complain) or make a very large one indeed on C:
    Read the guide, it's only a few pages long and very informative and the most accurate and reliable source.

  8. #8
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    Yup I run Windows off my Raptor (SATA) and my PF (100-800mb) on Drive C (IDE).

    FX5900 - 3DMark2001 [20,566] - 3DMark2003 [7,281] - Aquamark3 [56,694]
    Ti4400 - 3DMark2001 [16,028]

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