How to setup Swap files with multiple drives for optimal performance ?


im looking for some advice on how i should setup my swap file(s) in winXP 32bit sp3 in order to get the biggest potential performance boost. I have 4 physical sata drives (7200rpm) and 4gb ram. Googling this sort of topic brought up way too many different opinions so i was wondering if theres some estabilished opinion about this in the tom's community. My system is meant primarily for 3d gaming and gaming screen capturing (fraps). When i run everest osd during game+screencapture, i dont see any of my system resources being fully depleted or bottlenecking anywhere, im not trying to fix anything particular by the swap file settings.

Also two additional off-topic questions:
- Does it help performance if i install my game to separate drive from where my OS is? (mmo games, huge worlds and loads of textures having to be loaded during playing)
- When screencapturing games, does it help performance if i have screencap software installed on separate physical disk from my OS and the game? (im recording to a separate drive already)

I know these things won't make a huge impact, but im already fine, i just want to make sure that my stuff is optimized.

Thanks in advance for any sort of information!

q6600@3.4ghz 380fsb
asus p5e64ws evo
corsair 4gb ddr3 7-7-7-20
hd4870 512
4 answers Last reply
More about setup swap files multiple drives optimal performance
  1. The best is to use your fastest drive or velociraptor hopefully, to run the OS and programs only. No personal files on the dedicated OS drive. Put your personal files on other drives.
    Plug all of your drives in, set the bios to boot your dedicated OS drive first (after your repair or fresh install), do a repair install of the operating system (or a fresh install, better).
    Your hardware (added drives) will not be configured optimally by windows, until you do a fresh or repair install of the OS.
    The directions for a repair install are posted in this forum, sixth post from the top.

    Of course, back up all of your personal files before doing repairs or configurations, etc...
  2. Swap file, best practice. Set min - max size to same, for 4gig of RAM, 2 gig swap will be plenty, but can go higher if you want. This prevents any fragmentation of the swap file as Windows adjusts the size if it.

    Place the swap file on a non-OS and possibly a non-application drive, that keeps the heads from seeking back and forth as the drive moves from system files to the swap file.

    Some people say don't even make a swap file, but Windows will always use some disk for scratch/swap space. Some will also say, don't set a set max or Windows will crash. It won't, Windows will just adjust a bit to use more space.
  3. Thanks, gonna give that a go.

    Does the same sort of principle apply to game installation and game screen recording? Should i have say OS on C:, game on D:, swap file on E: and then record the screengrab heavy uncompressed footage to F: ?
    And what about the screen recorder software itself, does it matter where that is installed ? (it uses like 15% cpu power but no idea about hdd, no idea whether the screengrabbed data have to go somewhat "through the recorder software" first before getting saved to the recording target drive.

    (i havent found a software that would show me exactly how much each drive is being utilized or how much disk bandwidth an application uses, so i cant diagnose that myself for now)
  4. I don't think you'll see much difference with the OS and game on separate drives. Same with the screengrab - it generally sits idle except for the fraction of a second when you use it.
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