Understanding optimal drive config and page files

Joined
Oct 8, 2004
Messages
27
Hello all. Im a bit confused on the preferred set up when it comes to using SSDs, mechanical drives, and how it all relates to page files as well.

I am looking to get a 2TB WD Black drive and a 256 840 Pro SSD. My plan was to use the SSD for my OS AND my applications, and the data to reside on the WD. (i should note I have some older WD black and green drives as well for additional data used less often).

I guess what Im wondering
1. Would it be better to maybe get two 128 SSDs, and have one for the OS and one for the Applications?
2. Where do I put the page file for windows? The SSD? Best to leave off the main OS drive?
3. I know this is getting into another topic but my new build will have 32gig of ram. Ive also read that a page file isnt necessary after 8gigs. Is this true?

Thanks all
 

bao__zhe

Weaksauce
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Apr 18, 2012
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3. I know this is getting into another topic but my new build will have 32gig of ram. Ive also read that a page file isnt necessary after 8gigs. Is this true?

Depends on your workload. If you are using PS/3D modelling with large workset then it's best to leave it on. if it's only for gaming/internet browsing then you can turn it off. In general, monitor your RAM usage and see how much your typical workload uses. To be safe, you should leave it on in case there are spikes in RAM usage, even for a brief period.

I have 32GB too and I turn it off.

EDIT:
Although unlikely, If you use XP or some old system then leave it on.
 

westrock2000

[H]F Junkie
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Jun 3, 2005
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1. 1 Big SSD is generally better then 2 smaller SSD's because the bigger SSD gets bigger by having more memory chips to read and write to at the same time. So it will always have better speed for all operations. You can put 2 SSD's in RAID0 and get similar (or better) performance, but that introduces other issues as well. So going with 1 big one is the easier path.

2. Use any modern SSD like any other hard drive. Don't treat it "special", they all just work now.

3. I have disabled Page Files before and had no problems EXCEPT on the odd occasion that all the memory got consumed (which can always happen if you have a program that gets unruly). That being said and going back to #2, just don't worry about it. SSD's love to crunch data, especially when multitasking. You will not hurt the life of your SSD.
 

REDYOUCH

Supreme [H]ardness
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Mar 17, 2001
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I have been running with no page file on a Windows 7 x64 systems with no ill effects.
 

bigdogchris

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I guess what Im wondering
1. Would it be better to maybe get two 128 SSDs, and have one for the OS and one for the Applications?
It doesn't really matter as long as both OS and applications are installed onto the SSDs. To keep things simple and in Program Files, I'd say get the larger SSD.
2. Where do I put the page file for windows? The SSD? Best to leave off the main OS drive?
The best location for the page file is on the fastest drive, which is the SSD. Microsoft explained a couple years ago that page file reads and writes are primarily very small amounts so putting the page file on an SSD is optimal since SSD's have virtually zero latency and can quickly access small files.
3. I know this is getting into another topic but my new build will have 32gig of ram. Ive also read that a page file isnt necessary after 8gigs. Is this true?
Contradictory to what some people here want you to believe, a page file is always necessary. If it wasn't necessary, wouldn't Microsoft program Windows to turn off the page file automatically for certain amounts of memory, just like they automatically disable the defragmentor on SSD's, right? In theory if you have a lot of ram the likelihood of using the page file is minimal, but that doesn't mean you don't need one and just because your computer hasn't crashed without one doesn't mean you don't need one.

My argument is, you want programs you are currently using to be loaded into ram. So without a page file, your OS cannot dump out data it doesn't need, thus freeing up room for your currently loaded applications. Circumventing this process with huge amounts of memory is just compounding the problem. Your OS doesn't change the way it works because the page file is disabled, it thinks you have one. More memory means more data is loaded into ram which increases the likelihood of unneeded data that should be paged to make room for data you are working with. It's a no win situation.

My solution is to set the page file to a negligible amount, say 500MB, then set the maximum size to your ram amount. This way if you do need it, even if it's rarely, you have access to it yet still retain virtually all of the space. Mine is set at 400MB and even with 8GB, my system rarely consumes more than 200MB of page file capacity. Still, when the day comes I need it, the page file will be there. Until that day comes, it sits at 400MB. Honestly, there is no argument against doing it this way and is absolutely superior to not having a page file.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 8, 2004
Messages
27
Thanks all. Interestingly enough I read an article from anand today showing the 840 EVO 512gig being faster than the 840 Pro 256 and 128 SSDs. Maybe Ill look into that and be done with it.

On the page file, right now (havent upgraded yet and running a 5yr old machine) i have 8gigs RAM (max allowed by my Abit IP35Pro) and have set the min and max page files to a higher amount, but both identical. I had read this was the preferred way to do this. The last posters post contradicts this.

Thanks again!
 

brutalizer

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Oct 23, 2010
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WinXP requires a page file for some software. I had a game which would not function when I turned off the page file.
 

RVWinkle

Limp Gawd
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Oct 20, 2004
Messages
173
It doesn't really matter as long as both OS and applications are installed onto the SSDs. To keep things simple and in Program Files, I'd say get the larger SSD.
The best location for the page file is on the fastest drive, which is the SSD. Microsoft explained a couple years ago that page file reads and writes are primarily very small amounts so putting the page file on an SSD is optimal since SSD's have virtually zero latency and can quickly access small files.
Contradictory to what some people here want you to believe, a page file is always necessary. If it wasn't necessary, wouldn't Microsoft program Windows to turn off the page file automatically for certain amounts of memory, just like they automatically disable the defragmentor on SSD's, right? In theory if you have a lot of ram the likelihood of using the page file is minimal, but that doesn't mean you don't need one and just because your computer hasn't crashed without one doesn't mean you don't need one.

My argument is, you want programs you are currently using to be loaded into ram. So without a page file, your OS cannot dump out data it doesn't need, thus freeing up room for your currently loaded applications. Circumventing this process with huge amounts of memory is just compounding the problem. Your OS doesn't change the way it works because the page file is disabled, it thinks you have one. More memory means more data is loaded into ram which increases the likelihood of unneeded data that should be paged to make room for data you are working with. It's a no win situation.

My solution is to set the page file to a negligible amount, say 500MB, then set the maximum size to your ram amount. This way if you do need it, even if it's rarely, you have access to it yet still retain virtually all of the space. Mine is set at 400MB and even with 8GB, my system rarely consumes more than 200MB of page file capacity. Still, when the day comes I need it, the page file will be there. Until that day comes, it sits at 400MB. Honestly, there is no argument against doing it this way and is absolutely superior to not having a page file.

The argument against having a dynamically sized page file is that it ends up being non-contiguous and fragmented. It's not really a problem with an SSD but it's still some nonsense solution. It's true that you don't really need a page file but instead of of inventing some half-baked voodoo, just leave it at auto. You can easily google what auto means, 1.5 times your total ram and no more than 4 gig.
 
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