I am redoing the storage on my computer. I am going to run 2 WD Caviar Black 500GB drives in RAID-0 as my boot/program drive. I am going to be running a single 1TB Caviar Black as a data drive.
I am running XP Pro x32 SP3.
Is it better to have the virtual memory on my RAID0 boot array or on the separate data drive?
I have 2x2gb Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800 at 4-4-4-12 timings. (3.25gb available)
My motherboard is a MSI K9A2 CF V2 with the latest BIOS running a Phenom II 945 at stock speed.
Also, does your system have extremely low RAM that you suspect it will make use of the swap-file other than very infrequent access?
If you have at least a decent amount of RAM, the swap file is hardly used; so the performance and location of this swap file is a non-issue for modern systems. With 4GB and up, you can also safely disable the swap altogether, which does not disable virtual memory by the way. The risk here is that apps who use too much memory will be killed; where in the case of a swapfile, your apps do not crash but run as slow as a Pentium 1 PC, because the 4000MB/s memory bandwidth is now downgraded to 1MB/s disk access with terrible latencies. So choose your pick; both scenario's are a disaster and you want to avoid having memory shortage at all.
Memory shortage on modern systems with common setups occurs only with malfunctioning programs that try to allocate as much memory as possible in a very short time. With swap file enabled; this will make your system lock up / respond very poor. Without swap, the process would simply be killed as soon as it 'misbehaves' and starves the memory subsystem.