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Compact Flash card for swap file.

Last response: in Storage
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March 17, 2008 6:51:50 PM

I was thinking about getting a 8 GB CF card and an IDE adapter for $50 for my swap file. The card should have great seek times and ~20MB/s read times. Now I'm wondering if this should help my overall performance or not.

When it comes to swap file access, is the data very small and fragmented so that the low seek times would be beneficial or is the slow transfer rate probably going to be a huge bottleneck? Also, this would also unload my only HDD from the burden of the swap file access.

Overall, would this help my system out or just be a waste?
March 17, 2008 7:13:20 PM

I vote for waste. If it were a good idea, I imagine many more people would have done it by now. My laptop has an SD card reader and I guess I could try this at home myself.

You have a 3 GB system... does your board/OS allow for you to go up to 8 GB? At that point, I'm not even sure a swap file would be necessary.
March 17, 2008 8:10:19 PM

I agree with Rodney here.. probably a waste.

as a side note.. MOST card reader adapters are USB based (even ones built into pc's), so you may get even crappier performance..
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March 17, 2008 8:28:52 PM

I'm running Vista 64 and have 4 ddr2 slots so 6GB or 8GB would be no problem at all. I would opt to ditch the swap file, but I have seen a few places online where people have said that some software depends on the swap file and not having a decently sized one causes instability.

As for the card reader, I'd probably get a device like this which shouldn't bottleneck the card.

I wish Vista were like Linux where you can reduce the "swappiness".
a c 155 G Storage
March 17, 2008 9:52:48 PM

Since flash drives have a limited number of write cycles(they do wear, not in a physical way).

For normal use there is plenty of write cycles....but for something as demanding as page file, you can quickly destroy the card.

One option may be gigabytes I-RAM. This device takes 4 old DDR(Yes i said DDR) sticks and has a maximum capacity of 4 gigs per card. The access times are something like 0.1ms(thats vs the rators 7-9ish). Connecting to the system is done by a sata port(only sata 150, but for paging its more then good enough). The speed does not quite get to 150 megs/sec(more of a 130ish area) but the speed is almost always solid across the full 4 gigs.

Since the interface is sata you can put them in raid too...

I myself am stuck with the idea of Vista + 8 gigs or XP plus 3 ram and 4 i-ram. Ohhh the choices...

Note: if you loose power for a long time(24 hours) the onboard battery will not be enough to keep it running(as long as there is power even when the computer is off the card does not use the battery), this is why page file is a good idea as it can be recreated.

Hope this gives you some ideas.
March 17, 2008 9:59:17 PM

If you're running Vista just pop one in a card reader and readyboost should activate. It will help load times just not enough to really impress me.

There is no advantage to removing the swap file. It's a idea carried over from the dos and 9x days. However what you could try is downloading Ramdisk that will work for vista and making that your swap file. With 8Gb of RAM using 1 or 2Gb for a swap file would be a good use of under utilized ram.
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