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Are SSDs worth it for page file only when using lots of RAM

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September 2, 2012 5:05:46 PM

Hi everyone,

I need recommendation about whether one or two SSDs (in RAID 0) will be worth the money spent in my specific case. If so, which ones should I use. The important specs:
Mobo: ASUS P8P67 Pro
32 GB RAM
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit.

Usage:
Image processing on large CT scans.

Problem:
Despite having 32 GB of RAM, I still manage to run out of RAM and thrash the page file. I already have the maximum amount of RAM supported by my motherboard. Using any more RAM would require upgrading to a Xeon processor and a new motherboard, which is way out of my budget.

I want to use one SSD, or two lower capacity SSDs in RAID 0, only for storing the page file. I have two questions:
1. Am I likely to see a significant improvement by adding SSDs in my specific use case and is it going to be worth the money spent. Maybe this question is too open ended to answer.
2. I'd like a suggestion from the community on what SSDs will be the best choice.

By budget: approximately R2,500 - R3,000.
Preferred shops: http://www.prophecy.co.za and http://www.rebeltech.co.za

I've looked at the following options, but can't make up my mind.
http://www.prophecy.co.za/vtx425sat3128g-vertex-series-128gb-sata3-p-116153.html
http://www.rebeltech.co.za/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14&products_id=1177
http://www.rebeltech.co.za/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14&products_id=6647

Thanks for the advice.
a b G Storage
September 2, 2012 9:03:53 PM

In your case, you are using the page file because the computer actually needs to.

You are an ideal candidate for SSD.

RAID0 will give you the best performance but make sure you have a good disaster recovery plan in place.
September 2, 2012 9:14:02 PM

Thanks Dr_JRE. A few questions:

Does the maximum number of IOPS make a significant difference if I'm only using the SSDs for the page file? I'm not familiar with the read/write pattern for page files in Win 7.

Do I understand correctly that SSDs using MLC NAND flash get significantly slower if you use more than half of the drive for files that are being accessed continuously? In which case, for a 64GB page file I'd have to have 128GB of SSD space.
Related resources
a b G Storage
September 2, 2012 9:29:41 PM

1) Yes but IOPS numbers published by storage device manufacturers do not guarantee real-world application performance.

2) Yes, you will want to buy bigger than you need. this is true with mechanical hard drives as well. After 50% is used, performance starts bottoming out.
September 3, 2012 9:29:13 AM

The OCZ Vertex 4 128GB seems like a good choice that is within my budget and it advertises RAID support.

Would two of those in RAID 0 saturate the bandwidth of my motherboard?

What settings do I need to change in Windows to make sure that it gets the best possible performance out of that drive?

Best solution

a b G Storage
September 3, 2012 10:57:22 AM
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Here's the deal; It seems that board has a second 6GB/s sata controller operating on the PCIe bus that supports AHCI only. you should plug your OS drive into these navy blue ports if it is not currently RAID. This way you will be distributing the workload and allowing the SSDs full bandwidth.

1) Read: "Useful SSD articles - part 2"
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/270102-32-useful-arti...

notably: "Solid State Drive (SSD) Tweaks for Windows 7"
http://www.computing.net/howtos/show/solid-state-drive-...

2) move the hard drive to the navy blue port closest to the motherboard.
Read: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/196922-32-switching-s...

4) Once that's all out of the way; Install both SSDs into the grey SATA ports.

5) Enter the BIOS Setup during POST.
Go to the Advanced menu > SATA Configuration, and then press <Enter>.

6) Set the SATA Mode for the Intel® P67(B3) to RAID0

7) Press F10 to save and exit
September 3, 2012 11:30:13 AM

Best answer selected by chippies.
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