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JimboJones
31-01-2005, 03:36 PM
I've got about 5 gigs free space between C and D drive. C is just windows and D is where I install apps and games. I'm thinking about allocating the free space for D drive and move the Swapfile from C drive to D drive because I have all my games and apps install on D drive. The reason for this is because I noticed that when you move files within the same partition, its a lot faster than moving into another partition. I think this will decrease loading times for games like BF1942 which uses a lot of Swapfile.

But I heard that having the Swapfile in its own dedicated partition also gives performance boosts? What do you think I should do?

Heres a screenshot of my partition layout:
http://img166.exs.cx/img166/3900/partitions0rz.jpg

Rob99
31-01-2005, 03:46 PM
If you want to realy boost the swap file you need a second HD not just a partition.

Graham L
31-01-2005, 03:47 PM
Files are moved quicker inside a partition than between partitions because the files aren't moved inside a partition. Just the directory entries are changed. That's very fast.

You probably won't gain by putting the swap on a different partition.

John H
31-01-2005, 04:00 PM
My son has my old backup computer with a 4Gb drive, running XP Home. He was running out of space, so I installed another spare 4Gb drive, and shifted his data over to that. Then I put SP2 on the original drive, and it is now worse of than before I started! Only 395Mb left! :badpc:

I notice the paging file on my computer (presumably another name for swap file?) is min 768Mb max 1536Mb, so presumably my son's swap file is also a substantial size, and shifting that to the data HD would give a bit more elbow room. Could I shift the swap file to the second HD?

Are there any downsides to doing this? I am totally ignorant of how to shift it - could anyone enlighten me (not wanting to take over this thread of course...). Thank you.

John

John H
31-01-2005, 04:13 PM
Oh, oh. Laziness comes with being a member of such a responsive group...

I thought I should check with the Dark Side of the Force, and there it is, after some convoluted searching. Support article 307886 "How to move the Paging File in Windows XP".

Duh. :blush:

Graham L
31-01-2005, 04:15 PM
Putting the swap/paging file on a different drive might be faster, depending on which drive is active most . There should be no problems ... (famous last words ;)).

Putting a swap file on a different partition of the same drive can slow things down because the heads have to move a considerable distance between partitions. The ideal for performance is a swap file on its own drive, on a non-shared controller.

tweak'e
31-01-2005, 06:40 PM
to add to graham.....

you will notice that one partion is often faster than the other. haveing the swapfile on the fastest will increase perfomance. usually the faster partitoin is the first one.

John H
31-01-2005, 09:04 PM
Interesting, Graham and tweak'e. I can't believe I am quoting Microsoft as an authority on anything other than price gouging, but in their How to, they say this:
"You can increase the performance of Windows, and increase free space on the boot partition, by moving this file to a different partition."

There are no qualifiers - just the above.

John

tweak'e
31-01-2005, 09:20 PM
well MS is correct....provided the different partition is faster than the old one ;-)

saikou
01-02-2005, 01:30 PM
Hi,
I have my pagefile(swapfile) on a different drive, and on a different IDE controller from my main drive. But honestly, I don't notice any performance increase. Perhaps I would if I benchmarked it...

Although keeping your pagefile a fixed size is a good idea to prevent it from getting fragmented as it expands.

John H
01-02-2005, 01:45 PM
Hi,
I have my pagefile(swapfile) on a different drive, and on a different IDE controller from my main drive. But honestly, I don't notice any performance increase. Perhaps I would if I benchmarked it...

Although keeping your pagefile a fixed size is a good idea to prevent it from getting fragmented as it expands.

Thanks for that info. On my son's computer it would be on a different drive, but the same IDE controller. Is the latter a particular issue I should avoid?

I think it may be an idea for me to try giving it a fixed size on my computer. I will try that out and see what happens, and then if there are no particular issues, I will try that on my son's PC as well.

Thanks (I might have taken over this thread - hope the original author has got the info he wanted...)

John

saikou
01-02-2005, 02:59 PM
Thanks for that info. On my son's computer it would be on a different drive, but the same IDE controller. Is the latter a particular issue I should avoid?

From what I've read, being on a seperate controller is supposed to be the best setup. It's due to the fact that only one request can be sent to a controller at a time, so if you have 2 drives on a the same controller, the CPU has to wait (until the first request is completed) to contact the second drive. That's my understanding anyway.

But as I said, on my system the performance increase is so subtle that I don't see it(if it's even there). Likewise with having the pagefile a fixed size. But you never know, all these tweaks might add up over time...

I'm gonna keep doing them anyway. :nerd:

Metla
01-02-2005, 03:11 PM
Making it fixed size causes your comp to crash when it needs more pagefile.

Your better off letting XP manage it, that way when it needs more then it can go ahead and use it.

If you want to be picky about defrag then disable the swap file before running a defrag,then enable it afterwards.

Graham L
01-02-2005, 03:18 PM
MS might be right ... when the boot partition gets full, it can take longer to do disk operations because there can be more fragmentation. Shifting an enormous swap file to another partition will certainly improve performance in that case. Anything which frees space will do that.

Most of the time the maximum performance of swap files doesn't matter on PCs. Single user systems don't need it. People benchmark such things because the benchmark programmes exist. If they've got enough spare time to run the benchmark, they've got too much performance. ;)

On timeshared real computers, the swap device is critical. Many systems used very expensive "head per track" drives to get user spaces loaded and restored at the maximum rate. Even with that, from time to time everyone experienced "thrashing".

The PDP8 Edusystem-20 which handled 20 users (using BASIC on Teletype terminals) with 32 kilowords of memory had a head-per-track 32 kword disk, so the monitor ("OS") would be fast enough. User files went on the moving head disks.

John H
01-02-2005, 08:55 PM
Well, I took a punt and shifted the pagefile to another drive on the same IDE controller, and made it a fixed size as well.

Rebooted, and thus far I can't see any difference either way, but then I haven't been doing any intensive stuff on the thing (what is intensive anyway - I only do word processing, editing photos, internet, spreadsheets etc. Plus LAN and WLAN networking between three computers)? The only games I play from time to time are the ones that come with XP!

However, if I wanted to go back and make it a flexible size, is there a formula for calculating the max size? Windoze says somewhere you should allow a minimum size at least the same as the amount of RAM on your PC. I noticed on the two computers I have tried this on that they both had recommended sizes, but they were different even though both are running XP Pro and have the same amount of RAM. They were both more than the amount of RAM on each PC. Should the max size be a multiple of 64 or something? The main PC was certainly a multiple of 64 but that may have been coincidence...

Just guessing here! Thank you - this should be the last question!

Elephant
01-02-2005, 09:42 PM
to add to graham.....

you will notice that one partion is often faster than the other. haveing the swapfile on the fastest will increase perfomance. usually the faster partitoin is the first one.

True in a way. I see nothing about keeping the swapfile on a separate partition and keeping this as a fixed size on one fixed hard drive.

With enough RAM there would be no need for a large swapfile.

If the swapfile is on a different partion it will help with a defrag as the swapfile on C: is not able to be defragged as it may be in use.

broad55
01-02-2005, 10:05 PM
i have recently installed a second hard drive (40gig) and moved my page files (swap files/virtual memory) to it and also temporary internet files. it is conented via a different channell than the origonal drive and i have found that this works wonders, and (i think this is how it works) should i get a virus i can wipe my hard drive clean at the drop of a hat as it dosent contain any of my data or operating system. info can be obtained from page files and OS at same time as they are in seperate drives hence the increase in speed.

Rob99
01-02-2005, 10:15 PM
Welcome broad55

Good luck with your bright idea. Let us know how you get on when you get your first virus.

tweak'e
01-02-2005, 10:19 PM
True in a way. I see nothing about keeping the swapfile on a separate partition and keeping this as a fixed size on one fixed hard drive. pass.....proberly because i never mentioned anything about useing a 2nd hardrive (and if the other hardrive is on the same IDE you won't gain anything anyway)


With enough RAM there would be no need for a large swapfile. true.....with the exception of XP (not sure anout 2k) as you need the swapfile to be over twice the size of the ram.


If the swapfile is on a different partion it will help with a defrag as the swapfile on C: is not able to be defragged as it may be in use. its not the "inuse" bit thats the problem. the swapfile defrag problem occurs when the swapfile RESIZES. useing a fixed or a large minimum swapfile size fixes that.

saikou
02-02-2005, 12:17 PM
Making it fixed size causes your comp to crash when it needs more pagefile.
For a while I had my pagefile set to only 64MB (in a vain attempt to make WinXP use more Ram - which of course it refuses to do..) and it never crashed. All that happened was that a ballon would pop-up saying that the pagefile was too small and that Windows was increasing its size.

Metla
02-02-2005, 12:23 PM
uh.....Then it wasn't a fixed size then was it?

Seeing as how Windows was resizing it and all.......

saikou
02-02-2005, 01:12 PM
It was fixed - for my part. But even when you set the pagefile to a fixed size (ie. the minimum and maximum sizes both being the same), Windows will still resize if it sees fit.

Scouse
02-02-2005, 02:26 PM
Is this of any assistance? Here... (http://pcworld.co.nz/PCWorld%5Ctipworld.nsf/PrintDoc/F6F040EEA6909F0ECC256BB5000F3B52?OpenDocument) :cool:

Murray P
02-02-2005, 02:42 PM
Is this of any assistance? Here... (http://pcworld.co.nz/PCWorld%5Ctipworld.nsf/PrintDoc/F6F040EEA6909F0ECC256BB5000F3B52?OpenDocument) :cool:


Why 384MB, is this a little outdated?

BTW, I have mine set to 960MB in win2k (512MB ram). For all drives as it happens although, I don't know what this is supposed to mean because there is not option to customise it, and if you could, why would you?

tweak'e
02-02-2005, 02:46 PM
pcworld tipworld needs a kick up the @#$%.

setting the min/max the same will stop the swapfile resizeing. however if its not big enough win9x will just crash and Xp will tell you its making it bigger.

the BEST optoin is to make sure the minimum amount is large enough, this stops windows from shrinking it while letting windows increase it if it needs to.
with XP do not reduce the swapfile size smaller than default (which is based on the amount of ram installed).

384 meg is a @#$% size as every pc is different. some pc's today have 1 gig of ram therefore XP requires over 2gig of swapfile.

John H
02-02-2005, 04:50 PM
The recommended size on my pc (WinXP Pro, 512Mb RAM) was 768. I have changed it to a set size of 1024MB - double the RAM size. It is on another drive. All seems to be going well. CRASH!!! Oh well...