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Moving my Pagefile to my RAID '0' HDD's

Tags:
  • NAS / RAID
  • Pagefile
  • Hard Drives
  • Battlefield
  • Western Digital
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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February 10, 2012 9:06:36 PM

Hi Lads and Lassies!

For those who dont already know I have a WD 500gb 16mb HDD and use this as my OS drive. Also, I have two 80gb 8mb HDD's setup as a RAID '0'...I own a PC solely to play BF3 morning, day and night!!!

One has a question for you, and it is as follows;

I would like to know what benefits if any would I get if I moved my pagefile to the blank RAID '0' drives I have setup. I have BF3 and Win7 64bit installed on my 500gb drive and nothing else...

Any performance tips welcome!

:sol: 

More about : moving pagefile raid hdd

February 10, 2012 9:15:04 PM

My setup is:
1x stick of 4GB Kingston DDR3 1333
P67A-GD53 Motherboard
HD6850 1GB GPU
Intel Core i5 2500k CPU
WD 500GB,16MB,7200rpm SATAlll 6G/bs
2x 80GB,8MB, 7200rpm(RAID'0')3G/bs
Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit
a c 128 G Storage
February 10, 2012 9:18:45 PM

Those 80Gb HD's will be horrendously slow compared to today's modern drives.

Personally, I have never seen an observable gain from RAID in gaming.....I'm not alone.....taken from old post, have not verified links still valid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID_0#RAID_0

RAID 0 is useful for setups such as large read-only NFS servers where mounting many disks is time-consuming or impossible and redundancy is irrelevant.

RAID 0 is also used in some gaming systems where performance is desired and data integrity is not very important. However, real-world tests with games have shown that RAID-0 performance gains are minimal, although some desktop applications will benefit.[1][2]


http://www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=2101
"We were hoping to see some sort of performance increase in the game loading tests, but the RAID array didn't give us that. While the scores put the RAID-0 array slightly slower than the single drive Raptor II, you should also remember that these scores are timed by hand and thus, we're dealing within normal variations in the "benchmark".

Our Unreal Tournament 2004 test uses the full version of the game and leaves all settings on defaults. After launching the game, we select Instant Action from the menu, choose Assault mode and select the Robot Factory level. The stop watch timer is started right after the Play button is clicked, and stopped when the loading screen disappears. The test is repeated three times with the final score reported being an average of the three. In order to avoid the effects of caching, we reboot between runs. All times are reported in seconds; lower scores, obviously, being better. In Unreal Tournament, we're left with exactly no performance improvement, thanks to RAID-0

If you haven't gotten the hint by now, we'll spell it out for you: there is no place, and no need for a RAID-0 array on a desktop computer. The real world performance increases are negligible at best and the reduction in reliability, thanks to a halving of the mean time between failure, makes RAID-0 far from worth it on the desktop.

Bottom line: RAID-0 arrays will win you just about any benchmark, but they'll deliver virtually nothing more than that for real world desktop performance. That's just the cold hard truth."


http://www.techwarelabs.com/articles/hardware/raid-and-...
".....we did not see an increase in FPS through its use. Load times for levels and games was significantly reduced utilizing the Raid controller and array. As we stated we do not expect that the majority of gamers are willing to purchase greater than 4 drives and a controller for this kind of setup. While onboard Raid is an option available to many users you should be aware that using onboard Raid will mean the consumption of CPU time for this task and thus a reduction in performance that may actually lead to worse FPS. An add-on controller will always be the best option until they integrate discreet Raid controllers with their own memory into consumer level motherboards."

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1001325
"However, many have tried to justify/overlook those shortcomings by simply saying "It's faster." Anyone who does this is wrong, wasting their money, and buying into hype. Nothing more."

http://jeff-sue.suite101.com/how-raid-storage-improves-...
"The real-world performance benefits possible in a single-user PC situation is not a given for most people, because the benefits rely on multiple independent, simultaneous requests. One person running most desktop applications may not see a big payback in performance because they are not written to do asynchronous I/O to disks. Understanding this can help avoid disappointment."

http://www.scs-myung.com/v2/index. [...] om_content
"What about performance? This, we suspect, is the primary reason why so many users doggedly pursue the RAID 0 "holy grail." This inevitably leads to dissapointment by those that notice little or no performance gain.....As stated above, first person shooters rarely benefit from RAID 0.__ Frame rates will almost certainly not improve, as they are determined by your video card and processor above all else. In fact, theoretically your FPS frame rate may decrease, since many low-cost RAID controllers (anything made by Highpoint at the tiem of this writing, and most cards from Promise) implement RAID in software, so the process of splitting and combining data across your drives is done by your CPU, which could better be utilized by your game. That said, the CPU overhead of RAID0 is minimal on high-performance processors."

Even the HD manufacturers limit RAID's advantages to very specific applications and non of them involves gaming:

http://westerndigital.com/en/products/raid/http://weste...
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February 10, 2012 9:26:18 PM

Thanks for the info matey, already read these threads before...I understand for Gaming the benefits are sometimes minimal if any.

I am simply curious to know if my pagfile is moved from my 500GB to the RAID will there be an improvement? has anyone ever tested this and had a result? The fact I am on BF3 is a bit of a red herring :D 
February 10, 2012 11:26:46 PM

There are a few separate issues you bring up.

1. Probably most important - you say all you use the machine for is gaming, spec. a GPU intensive FPS. That for the most part will color every other decision you make viz. performance and/or hardware (or should anyway, unless you do actually use the computer for other stuff, and are merely being hyperbolic as to your extensive gaming).

2. RAID 0 will improve storage responsiveness, but as the poster above me extensively covered, games in particular, don't really leverage HDD (or SDD) assets that extensively. i.e. they don't read/write tremendously, so while a few things could conceivably be quicker, say loading a level that is stored on the harddisk, the dominant variable will be some mixture of GPU rendering, internet connection speed, and RAM.

3. Moving the Page File (or more commonly outright deleting it) is a venerable debate in the hardware community, with seemingly veteran bit-heads on either side of it. If you move it to another drive, will there be a performance increase? YES.

The CPU will communicate with the page file through a different "track" as it does your system drive, allowing some simultaneous communication, which is always faster.

How much performance? For games, as noted above, very little if any at all. The page file is cache, essentially, and games need to run off RAM (even there, they can quickly saturate all available memory). They won't be using cache for anything that affects observed performance.

For other things though, moving the page file could be beneficial, I just don't have any real experience with it - MANY people online talk about moving the page file though, so if you search a bit, you'll come up with all manner of information about it.

February 10, 2012 11:27:31 PM

Something I've always wondered actually, bit of an edge case, was what happens to an OS RAID system that dies (say RAID controller dies) gets rebuilt in another machine, but is missing the page file (because it was saved to another HDD that is now absent when the newly restored OS looks for it).

I believe... the OS will simply CREATE A NEW PAGE FILE when it can't find it, and at worst, will just notify you that it can't find it, but function well otherwise - I haven't seen anyone ever talk about this.
February 10, 2012 11:32:50 PM

commissar_mo , Thankyou for you input!

After doing my research I have discovered the same sort of debate and have just decided to put it on the RAID'0' drives...I do use my PC for other things and not just BF3, I use it for booting up and shutting down too :D 

What pagefile size should I set it to? should I let windows manage that or do what we used to do on XP and do it as double the installed RAM ect...?

Thanks again all
February 11, 2012 11:02:50 PM

From what I've read, Windows 7 has good coding on this, and manages virtual memory quite well - so I would leave it as such.
!