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raptor day is numbered.

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January 17, 2007 4:45:35 PM

"Solid state drives promise to be much faster than traditional hard drives. Since there are no moving parts, the drives can reach sustained read speeds of 62 MB/s and have an access time in the sub-millisecond range. Regular hard drives typically have access times between 8 and 19 ms. In addition, SSDs promise to enhance battery life by a few minutes."
http://www.tgdaily.com/2007/01/17/adata_ssd_128gb

More about : raptor day numbered

January 17, 2007 5:22:31 PM

This is still much too expensive and has too low of a capacity to become mainstream anytime in the near future. One of these as a boot drive and a standard hard drive as storage sounds good though, just wish the transfer rate was a bit better.
January 17, 2007 7:46:29 PM

1) 128GB, too low capacity 8O ? Raptor come with 26, 73 and 150 GB
2) too expensive. 4 montsh ago I bought a 1GB Kingston USB memory and now for the same price, I can buy 2´GB.
3) I have never tried but less than milli seek time means several times faster than 15rpm hdd.
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January 18, 2007 6:51:28 AM

Quote:
Those will be several hundred dollars and we expect A-Data's drive to be at least one thousand dollars.


Too expensive.
January 18, 2007 8:12:43 AM

Prices will come down fairly quick as with all new tech. as they become more mainstream and they start becoming mass produced, I predict that the premium will drop to be close to (but still higher than) traditional magnetic. Plus, the hybrid drives should help provide a stop gap offering the best of both worlds, if they ever get released.
January 18, 2007 8:44:54 AM

It's a very good replacement for the magnetic spinning disks we use today, by it's still very expensive. Maybe next year or two well, see some much more affordable version and could be the mainstream on performance storage.
January 18, 2007 9:15:30 AM

Is it not possible to create an IDE/SATA interface into which you plug a large (4gb perhaps?) CF card, format it as NTFS and use it as a boot drive? I'm sure I've read about such a device somewhere...

get a couple of them... OS on one, swap on the other... Normal hard disk for apps/data. That'd kick ass!
January 18, 2007 9:32:47 AM

Theres the Gigabyte i-ram if thats what you mean, you'll need sticks of RAM to put in it though.
January 18, 2007 9:57:05 AM

if these are somewhat affordable, would they work in any pc that has a SATA/IDE (depending on which model you get) connector? i.e. could i stick the 2.5 inch 128GB drive into my lappy?
January 18, 2007 11:27:28 AM

Quote:
1) 128GB, too low capacity Shocked ? Raptor come with 26, 73 and 150 GB
2) too expensive. 4 montsh ago I bought a 1GB Kingston USB memory and now for the same price, I can buy 2´GB.
3) I have never tried but less than milli seek time means several times faster than 15rpm hdd



1. 128GB may be enough for average joe but for most people on this site nowhere near enough. My main storage array is 1.28TB, that's exactly 10x more than this, so to get that much storage with these would cost around $10,000. Not a bargain by any means.
2. $1,000/128GB puts us at around $7.8/GB, my array, including costs for a raid 4 controller, puts me at $0.49/GB for redundant, faster storage with perfectly acceptable seek times
3. The seek time may be better but the STR is much much lower than my array. I'll stick with mechanical SATA and SCSI drives for the time being.

Also, these have limited write cycles, and reliability is very important to me.

In a few years this may start finding it's way into mainstream notebooks and maybe even desktops, but for now it doesn't really have a place. Though it does look exciting it's still way ahead of it's time, once the technology matures and the price comes down I will definitely have a few of these for boot and programs, though I don't see myself giving up my storage raid anytime soon.
January 18, 2007 2:06:12 PM

Quote:
1) 128GB, too low capacity Shocked ? Raptor come with 26, 73 and 150 GB
2) too expensive. 4 montsh ago I bought a 1GB Kingston USB memory and now for the same price, I can buy 2´GB.
3) I have never tried but less than milli seek time means several times faster than 15rpm hdd



1. 128GB may be enough for average joe but for most people on this site nowhere near enough. My main storage array is 1.28TB, that's exactly 10x more than this, so to get that much storage with these would cost around $10,000. Not a bargain by any means.
2. $1,000/128GB puts us at around $7.8/GB, my array, including costs for a raid 4 controller, puts me at $0.49/GB for redundant, faster storage with perfectly acceptable seek times
3. The seek time may be better but the STR is much much lower than my array. I'll stick with mechanical SATA and SCSI drives for the time being.

Also, these have limited write cycles, and reliability is very important to me.

In a few years this may start finding it's way into mainstream notebooks and maybe even desktops, but for now it doesn't really have a place. Though it does look exciting it's still way ahead of it's time, once the technology matures and the price comes down I will definitely have a few of these for boot and programs, though I don't see myself giving up my storage raid anytime soon.

hey, please remember that I am talking about Raptor, not normal hard disk or storage capacity
January 18, 2007 2:38:28 PM

Just want to mention that the 128 SSD is a 2.5inch form factor drive... it's not meant for a desktop... i'm sure they could fit quite a bit more memory into a 3.5inch desktop drive...

now, for laptops, it's great... my laptop currently only has a 120 gig harddrive in it... in a few years when the price comes down (and storage rates increase) it'll be ideal for notebooks...
January 18, 2007 2:40:57 PM

Try 36 Gb/74Gb/150. I really do not know where you arrived at 26Gb & 73Gb? Do your research before you post.I own two of each,and i have to agree with the other post.To expensive and to new to go out and buy one.
January 18, 2007 3:02:38 PM

Looks interesting but like others I will wait a year or two after it debuts before buying it as a main drive so they work out the issues.

Something else to liquid cool to make sure it doesn't get too hot from lots of use.

And yes I"m sure it will be very expensive at first but then so are the raptors, but I've never regretted spending a single penny on any of them.
January 18, 2007 3:03:04 PM

Actually, I think that 128GB is way too large.

Please give me reasonable priced SATA II 16GB (or even just 8GB) drive that I can install in my desktop. I will install just system and basic applications on it, then use normal large capacity HD to store most data (and swap file). That makes the most sense to me....
January 18, 2007 3:05:43 PM

Quote:
Try 36 Gb/74Gb/150. I really do not know where you arrived at 26Gb & 73Gb? Do your research before you post.I own two of each,and i have to agree with the other post.To expensive and to new to go out and buy one.


stop defending your overpriced crapy drive purchase. This technology is better in every way to the raptor drives. Deal with it and the price. This is a true upgrade to HDD. Over priced raptors imo are only for people that think they are getting the "best".
January 18, 2007 3:07:05 PM

I think the exact numbers are irrelevant as his point was still made. The Raptor hard drives came in three sizes, two of which were below the A-Data 128GB drive mentioned, therefore mentioning capacity as a concern in respect to the Raptor drives made no sense...and if you want to nitpick about meaningless information...
Quote:
To expensive and to new to go out and buy one.

It is spelled "Too" when you want to express something as excessive or greater than another.

I think the new drives sound good, but hope the prices will come down.
January 18, 2007 3:08:08 PM

On a price/performance level,those drives are still very pricey.Maybe in a year or so the prices will drop off,but until then I'll stick with the traditional hard drives as they are still within my pocket books reach.Goodluck.

Dahak

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January 18, 2007 3:11:42 PM

The article doesn't mention the write speed of the flash array. Flash usually stinks in this area. While the lifespan of flash has improved greatly, putting something that is constantly being rewritten like the windows disk cache on the flash could rapidly burn through its limited number of write cycles.

Soon, we'll be seeing raptors with perpendicuar recording and other hard disk advances that will move the target further out. I think raptors will have a market for at least a few more years.

It will be years before the cost of solid state is competitive. For the same money, you can get a RAID5 or RAID6 setup of 7200 rpm drives and get far more storage, far more performance, and far more data security.

The new 15krpm 2.5 inch drives might obsolete the raptors before solid state drives get a chance.
January 18, 2007 3:15:57 PM

I don't know about buying the 128G, but buying the 64G and using it as your O/S drive might not be a bad idea if the price isn't too exhorbinant. Like many here, it will be interesting to see what this is like in a year or so when prices come down as they recoop their R&D costs. Solid state drives have been a long time in coming and there have been many, many drive ideas over the years.

Something I remember hearing about in the mid 90s was crystal drives where they used a laser to write data into the atomic bonds between atoms in a crystal. The problem was that the drive was highly susceptible to shock and even a minor shock of less than a G would throw off the laser used to write the data thus making it impossible to regain the data. The projected data storage in the mid 90s was along the lines of a TB per 1" cube (when HDs were strugling to get to 8G in size).
January 18, 2007 3:35:35 PM

Quote:
"Solid state drives promise to be much faster than traditional hard drives. Since there are no moving parts, the drives can reach sustained read speeds of 62 MB/s and have an access time in the sub-millisecond range. Regular hard drives typically have access times between 8 and 19 ms. In addition, SSDs promise to enhance battery life by a few minutes."
http://www.tgdaily.com/2007/01/17/adata_ssd_128gb


It's not just the Raptor's days that are numbered. All of us and all the things we play with are changing and will go away at some point, replaced by something faster, lighter, cheaper and/or sexier. Or, any of the above could just turn to dust over time and not matter anymore. But nothing is forever except change.

Still, WD doesn't need to worry about losing many Raptor sales to SS drives just yet. Give it a few years and most of us will have SS drives or something even better.
January 18, 2007 3:42:03 PM

62MB is a little slower sustained transfer than a Raptor, or even a Seagate 7200.10 750GB drive.

Sub Millisecond access times are cool, but not worth $1000 plus to anybody except people running database servers and similar.

Both NAND and NOR flash have a limited number of read/write cycles.... not something I would want in my system hard disk, where windows is constantly editing data.
January 18, 2007 3:44:03 PM

Quote:

hey, please remember that I am talking about Raptor, not normal hard disk or storage capacity


Yeah and many pepole (heare at least ) put 2 raptors in raid 0 if they want more storage. Which also gives much better (upto double) the performance too. total cost is like $400 for 300GB of screaming fast raid array.

The same in these new flash drives woiuld cost at least $2000 (i f 1 is at least $1k).

Also, what they are really keeping quiet about is that flash memory is only good for 100,000 writes before it dies. Thats OK for USB thumb drives or whatever, but when you start using it for a system drive, 100,000 writes to the same sector can happen pretty damn quickly, especially if you run a shitty operating system like MS Windows, as Microsoft can't get their paging algorithms right, and for some reason windows does about a hundred registry writes a second even when youre not running any apps ( run regmon if you don't beleive me).

The real reason the hard drive industry are pushing this tech. is that its going to force everyone to replace their hard drives much more frequently, pobably like every 2 years or so, and they're gonna be much more expensive.
January 18, 2007 3:51:00 PM

Quote:

Also, what they are really keeping quiet about is that flash memory is only good for 100,000 writes before it dies.


That is true for single cell. However, firmware of drives is designed to avoid repeating writes to single cell - it spreads writing across all capacity of drive. That way you would need to rewrite all data on the drive 100000 times to have it die. That equals predicted lifetime of HD.

Quote:

Thats OK for USB thumb drives or whatever, but when you start using it for a system drive, 100,000 writes to the same sector can happen pretty damn quickly, especially if you run a shitty operating system like MS Windows, as Microsoft can't get their paging algorithms right, and windows does about a hundred registry writes a second even when youre not running any apps.


Yes, pagefile would be better placed on normal HD. Why waste expensive flash capacity to something that is not used too much anyway?
a b G Storage
January 18, 2007 4:17:25 PM

Quote:
...
Something I remember hearing about in the mid 90s was crystal drives where they used a laser to write data into the atomic bonds between atoms in a crystal. The problem was that the drive was highly susceptible to shock and even a minor shock of less than a G would throw off the laser used to write the data thus making it impossible to regain the data. The projected data storage in the mid 90s was along the lines of a TB per 1" cube (when HDs were strugling to get to 8G in size).



That is called Holographic storage technology. They are out @ 300gb per disk (size of CD). It has been in development since 1960's (?) and I expect to eventually replace hard drives, though some new recording technologies for magnetic hard drives, such as Heat Assisted Recording, and others, will challenge the validity of Holographic storage.
a b G Storage
January 18, 2007 4:23:19 PM

So does anyone else here agree that the new technology eventually means the end of Raptors as the title suggests? In a year or two at most?

I believe so. They have a ton of new tech out there as far as memory modules go. I think not only will we see faster SSD's in the near future, but ones that last a lot longer and have more space. And when the prices drop to Raptor prices (yea it'll be a while) they'll have a lot more space than any raptor we have today and it'll be considerably faster. As well as energy efficient, completely silent, and quite literally the same performance across all parts of the drive. No more partitioning your OS drive for performance purposes. I'd buy one (or two and RAID the sucka's).
January 18, 2007 4:24:26 PM

Quote:
...
Something I remember hearing about in the mid 90s was crystal drives where they used a laser to write data into the atomic bonds between atoms in a crystal. The problem was that the drive was highly susceptible to shock and even a minor shock of less than a G would throw off the laser used to write the data thus making it impossible to regain the data. The projected data storage in the mid 90s was along the lines of a TB per 1" cube (when HDs were strugling to get to 8G in size).



That is called Holographic storage technology. They are out @ 300gb per disk (size of CD). It has been in development since 1960's (?) and I expect to eventually replace hard drives, though some new recording technologies for magnetic hard drives, such as Heat Assisted Recording, and others, will challenge the validity of Holographic storage.

They weren't using CDs for this, they were using physical crystals, much like you see in Sci-Fi shows of a crystal inserted into a panel and then the computer read the data off the crystal. Best recent example would have been from Babylon 5.
a b G Storage
January 18, 2007 4:29:54 PM

The technology is still the same, though the material has changed over time.


The idea still uses 2 laser beams, one to write, and one as a reference beam.
They have tried using cubes of serious material, crystals, plastics, ....
January 19, 2007 10:41:52 AM

Quote:
So does anyone else here agree that the new technology eventually means the end of Raptors as the title suggests? In a year or two at most?

I believe so. They have a ton of new tech out there as far as memory modules go. I think not only will we see faster SSD's in the near future, but ones that last a lot longer and have more space. And when the prices drop to Raptor prices (yea it'll be a while) they'll have a lot more space than any raptor we have today and it'll be considerably faster. As well as energy efficient, completely silent, and quite literally the same performance across all parts of the drive. No more partitioning your OS drive for performance purposes. I'd buy one (or two and RAID the sucka's).


Well... I think in 2 years or so, most "enthusiast" hard drives will be 10k rpm anyway, probably with 500gb on a single platter with improved seek times and larger cache. I think the raptors that exist in 2/3 years will be 10k+ drives...
January 19, 2007 11:41:50 AM

...yeah (from what i had read awhile back), WD has no real need to release a 15K+ rpm raptor yet, or one with PMR, being perfectly competetive still as they are... again, they have no server market of their own to protect, which most hdd manufacturers do (which is why you dont see much higher rpm consumer hdds yet, because it would compete directly with their own server products) plus raptors are comparatively inexpensive hdds for server use anyhow (low seek times, decent str, no expensive scsi controller, and acceptable MTBF)... ...when 15K+ rpm raptors become necessary, well see them (along with them having PMR, hybrid storage, etc)... now, unless WD happens to change that, and drop the raptors entirely, this is more than likely the way things will go, within a couple years probably
January 19, 2007 12:01:52 PM

I think once these start becoming more mainstream, 10 and 15k drives will become more standard(and drop in price considerably) and the 7200rpm drive will go the way of the 5400. What do you guys think?
January 19, 2007 12:04:31 PM

Other than limited writes, isn't the actual write speed a problem with flash at the moment? So what if it can read at any speed if it cannot write at an acceptable rate.... Any thoughts on this? Have the write rates greatly increased?

wes
January 19, 2007 12:09:02 PM

Well,

saying the raptors days are numbered technically is correct. But you could say that about anything. Of course, what lies inside of a raptor will be replaced with something else faster eventually. They might still call it a raptor though. So, other than to be a tard and start a little war with raptor fanboys, what was the point of this thread?

Oh yeah, Core 2's days are numbered! :o  :roll: :idea:
January 19, 2007 12:18:12 PM

yeah, thats what i was thinking too... the [raptor] name will probably still remain in some way, but the actual technology involved will more than likely have changed... 'whenever change is necessitated'... such as, intel had no need to reinvent (and even drop) the pentium line, until it start losing ground, and just wanted a clean slate
January 19, 2007 12:29:26 PM

Quote:

Also, what they are really keeping quiet about is that flash memory is only good for 100,000 writes before it dies.


That is true for single cell. However, firmware of drives is designed to avoid repeating writes to single cell - it spreads writing across all capacity of drive. That way you would need to rewrite all data on the drive 100000 times to have it die. That equals predicted lifetime of HD.

Quote:

Thats OK for USB thumb drives or whatever, but when you start using it for a system drive, 100,000 writes to the same sector can happen pretty damn quickly, especially if you run a shitty operating system like MS Windows, as Microsoft can't get their paging algorithms right, and windows does about a hundred registry writes a second even when youre not running any apps.


Yes, pagefile would be better placed on normal HD. Why waste expensive flash capacity to something that is not used too much anyway?

Windows uses the pagefile a lot, even when ram is available. Thats what I meant in my earlier post by " Microsoft can't get their paging algorithms right".
January 19, 2007 12:31:09 PM

Quote:
Try 36 Gb/74Gb/150. I really do not know where you arrived at 26Gb & 73Gb? Do your research before you post.I own two of each,and i have to agree with the other post.To expensive and to new to go out and buy one.


stop defending your overpriced crapy drive purchase. This technology is better in every way to the raptor drives. Deal with it and the price. This is a true upgrade to HDD. Over priced raptors imo are only for people that think they are getting the "best".

You're wrong. The tech is not better in every way, it's better in only a few ways. What makes you claim the raptor is crappy? I'm guessing it's because you can't afford one. Raptors are quite a bit better than any traditional drive, take a look at Tom's HDD charts and you'll see the Raptor consistently outperform all others by a fairly wide margin in all but some categories. True, they're too small to be the only HDD in a system, but for a system or game drive they excel. Keep your biased, idiotic statements to yourself, do some more research on these "amazing" solid state drives, and think before you post.
a b G Storage
January 19, 2007 12:48:34 PM

You must have read the charts upside down.




Anyway, a 32gb raptor is great for a windows partition. 2 32gb raid 0 raptors = 64gb which is even better. Just put all the games you want to load fast on this partition, and everything else (i.e. music) on another drive.


Note: 32gb is an example. The lowest sized raptor is still spacious. The higher the density though, the faster they become, so you would gain performance by going with the 128(?) raptor, or what ever the latest sized one is.
January 19, 2007 12:50:55 PM

I think it will take a lot longer before you see the IDE and SATA type drives phased out. Think of the milliions of computers that have this type of drive. As long as they remain cheap, have a large capacity, are some what fast and are making money they will be around for a long time to come.
January 19, 2007 12:51:25 PM

Quote:

hey, please remember that I am talking about Raptor, not normal hard disk or storage capacity


Yeah and many pepole (heare at least ) put 2 raptors in raid 0 if they want more storage. Which also gives much better (upto double) the performance too. total cost is like $400 for 300GB of screaming fast raid array.

The same in these new flash drives woiuld cost at least $2000 (i f 1 is at least $1k).

Also, what they are really keeping quiet about is that flash memory is only good for 100,000 writes before it dies. Thats OK for USB thumb drives or whatever, but when you start using it for a system drive, 100,000 writes to the same sector can happen pretty damn quickly, especially if you run a shitty operating system like MS Windows, as Microsoft can't get their paging algorithms right, and for some reason windows does about a hundred registry writes a second even when youre not running any apps ( run regmon if you don't beleive me).

The real reason the hard drive industry are pushing this tech. is that its going to force everyone to replace their hard drives much more frequently, pobably like every 2 years or so, and they're gonna be much more expensive.

With all due respect, this is a bit of an idiotic post.

First, there have been articles written about RAID0'ing Raptors, and there is never a doubling in performance (except for synthetic benchmarks which really do not matter anyway). Especially in the context of this discussion; RAID 0 only improves sequential transfer rate, which is already superior for Raptor so big whoop. It actually lowers (just a little bit) seek times, which were identified as one of the advantage of SSHD.

Secondly, in case you didn't read it, the HD industry is pushing this tech for one segment only, and that's laptops, and that's primarily due to the energy-efficiency of the tech. And also, in that segment there are no Raptors (so to the original poster of the thread - you're probably wrong; there will be a place for both technologies, they are meant for different things). Please note that I understand that you didn't bring Raptors up, but don't make incorrect blanket statements re: why the industry is pushing what.

In terms of limited writes - that is true and is an obvious drawback. Seems like everything is a choice, and, at the end of the day, SSHD, at least for now, are marketed to fulfill a very specific need. We'll see if things change as the tech matures.
a b G Storage
January 19, 2007 12:58:13 PM

As I understand it, limited writes on flash medium are almost worked out, even under heavy use. Most flash drives now carry a life time warranty, and someone on these forum calculated how long a flash drive would last being used as the scratch/page drive with windows loaded on it.... was quite a long time *years.
January 19, 2007 1:04:13 PM

I was quite sure of he same, Compita, they wouldn't push a technology that immature. They did advertise it at CES as the notebook system drive, and one of the benefits was better page file performance (the demo was perfomance of an inferior laptop, in term of RAM, IIRC).

Also, one thing I forgot to mention, but in the portable segment you are compeing with a different class of HDs altogether (in terms of performance; 5400 RPM is still commonplace).
January 19, 2007 1:05:30 PM

What do you mean? They're consistently at the top of the charts, go look for yourself.

Access Time - Raptor wins by 66% margin.
Windows Startup performance- Raptor wins by ~1% margin
Read Transfer- Raptor wins
Write Transfer- Raptor wins
I/O performance- Raptor wins

The only thing they lose badly is interface transfer performance. Drive surface temperature is middle-of-the-pack, and PCMark file write performance they lose narrowly to the Samsung Spinpoint. So they're mildly warm and lose two synthetic benchmarks? If anyone here is guilty of inverse visual contact with the charts, then it is you.

My point was the SSHDD's are NOT superior in every way to a Raptor, as some moron earlier claimed. Other than access time and power consumption, they simply aren't mature enough to compete. I think they'll eventually be great, they'll probably start in notebooks and migrate to desktops as their performance increases and price drops.
a b G Storage
January 19, 2007 1:19:02 PM

OH i was joking about that. Clearly Raptor is in the lead compared to most other hard drives,... i mean if they were not, we wouldnt be arguing would we?



The day a Raptor's foreseeable useful life is limited, is the day all hard drives have their day marked too.
January 19, 2007 1:30:23 PM

Quote:
I think once these start becoming more mainstream, 10 and 15k drives will become more standard(and drop in price considerably) and the 7200rpm drive will go the way of the 5400. What do you guys think?


Seagate is getting great performance on huge HDs with their perpendicular technology. Going to 10 or 15K is not trivial to do on a large production scale and all you have to do is look at the prices charged for high RPM drives to see that it's cost/GB is limiting to many apps. So considering how storage needs are steadily increasing, I'd expect new HDs to focus on meeting the size need while getting speed increases through perp or some other tech related to the read/write head and the magnetic media.

Raptors will still be viable two years from now...
a b G Storage
January 19, 2007 1:36:56 PM

what happens when Raptor stops at 150gb production, and the 1.5-3tb drives are out in 2 years?


Then 150gb (regardless of the actual space requirements for the user) will look like a 256mb thumb drive does today.
January 19, 2007 1:41:20 PM

GAY! :lol: 

The raptor will continuing making great high speed hard drives.
Rumors have that they are in a protoprype 15,000 rpm hard drive with storage capacity of 200gb.
I'll try to find the article magazine. I beleive it was in November's issue of Ght'z magazine
a b G Storage
January 19, 2007 1:45:06 PM

Why is 15/18k the RPM limit of a drive? Stupid centrifugal forces. Wouldn't a 50gb 100k RPM PDR hard drive be beter?
January 19, 2007 1:45:11 PM

Pagefile??

Install 2+Gb of RAM and just turn the damn thing off - it's just a hangover from the days when physical memory was very expensive. I've been running with 2Gb RAM/no pagefile for nine months now with no stability issues at all.

Comptia - Nice Wankel!!
a b G Storage
January 19, 2007 1:55:06 PM

Thanks... and ya I keep my pagefile @ 512MB (with 2gb ram).

I install my games on flash drives (highspeed 4gb), and use my hard drive for vid editing and various things.


Dont need a page file with 2GB of ram unless you use A LOT of ram at once.
Recommended settings is to put your Page file at 1.5x your ram size (under 1gb), and 50% less then ram size if over 1gb.
January 19, 2007 2:01:50 PM

I agree why do you need a pagefile for XP on a home desktop computer. The new system i built 4 weeks ago with 2 GB ram has no paging file. The ram usage hasn't got above 80% even when using multiple programs that use a lot of ram. If you are doing CAD work or other programs that can use large amount of ram you might need it but for a typical home/gaming computer most people wouldn't need to run a paging file. With Vista and the amount of ram it uses i think that 4GB would be the needed amount of ram to run it fine without a paging file.
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