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Any point in putting the Windows 7 page file on a virtual ram disk?

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June 23, 2011 11:17:04 PM

I'm updating my system for the first time in about a billion years (in computer years), and I am wondering if there would be any benefit to having a small virtual ram-disk to put the windows 7 swap file on?

I plan on running 16 gig so it's unlikely that I'll run out doing any of the things that I typically do, but I'm not sure how efficient Windows 7 is about paging stuff to disk.


Oh, and does anybody know if the Intel Smart Response can be configured to use hardware raid-0 SSDs as the system cache? I could see putting a whole pile of those cheap, tiny SSDs together into a 64 gig cache but I'm not ready to use them as a primary system drive.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2011 2:47:40 PM

In theory things in RAM only need paged out when there is no enough space so you are going to page things from RAM to ... RAM.

By running a RAM disk you'll get the overheads of doing this plus you'll get more page faults than if you just used all your RAM as RAM.

So I would not use a ram-disk as swap disk!

I don't believe Windows 7 is any worse at paging to disk than any other OS? In any case the performance of a drive will mask any OS differences.

Don't really understand what you mean by a system cache. My understanding of the Intel Smart Response is to use SSDs to act as a cache for slower hard drives. This caching mechanism is likely to be done through the southbridge chipset whereas hardware cards will go through the northbridge chipset. So I doubt hardware cards can be used with this Smart Response feature?

If you don't trust SSDs as a drive why on earth would you accept it for a cache? The data in the cache is as important as the information in storage! Would you let your CPU's level 2 cache be less reliable than level 1?
June 24, 2011 5:41:14 PM

I don't mean that I don't trust them, I just can't afford enough space to suit me right now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the PCM storage is in production and stable by the time I graduate and can actually afford it.

PCM SSD
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June 24, 2011 6:14:42 PM

I'm running 16 Gigs of RAM and I got rid of the page file altogether. It has never caused a problem and I do some pretty intensive 3D modeling and graphic work.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2011 9:50:46 PM

Zafaron_96 said:
I don't mean that I don't trust them, I just can't afford enough space to suit me right now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the PCM storage is in production and stable by the time I graduate and can actually afford it.

PCM SSD


Sorry my mistake, I guess I made an assumption there.

Max Collodi said:
I'm running 16 Gigs of RAM and I got rid of the page file altogether. It has never caused a problem and I do some pretty intensive 3D modeling and graphic work.


Well from what you've seen. Paging is an operating system feature and should really be enabled regardless of available RAM. The correct implementation will never page if there is available space. I'd much rather let my system decide if it needs to page rather than to disable the feature and potentially lose my work when the system runs out of RAM.

October 27, 2011 1:51:57 PM

i know this is an older post but i thought i would throw my 2 cents in...

I have been messing with ramdisks and ssds for the last several weeks. As well as playing with the SRT.

When the PF is enabled it does get written to even if you have more than enough RAM. It isnt that much or often but it does. Disabling it does help with read speeds when loading large files such as games. And there are some games and apps that require the PF. They are getting more and more rare, but there are still a few. I have 24Gb ram and have had my PF off from day one on this build. Only one game said i didnt have enough virtual memory.

As for the SRT, even a small older SSD will improve any HDD. Some cases it may be unnoticable, other cases its like night and day. If you have a board that supports it... i suggest you doing it.

For Ramdisks they are VERY FAST with r/w speeds... but alot of games and apps will not run when installed from them. But....(here is where i know i am going to get someone telling you otherwise) with Ready Boost on a Ramdisk it is also another way of using a SRT type setup. I do not know it they can be used for the SRT, but with RB it does work. I have tested different sizes and different format settings and i found you only need a 256mb ramdisk at default 4096 cluster size. Any other setting and size does not change the performance of it.

NOW, on the other hand it is going to be different for you. I have 2 systems, A. QX9650 and B. I7-980x

On system "A" i can easily tell if readyboost on a Ramdrive is off or on. On system "B" it is not noticable at all. The only way i can tell, "without looking" is in the performance ratings. My HDD speeds goes from 6.5 to 6.7 with it on.

On both system the PF is off and ready boost is active on a Ramdisk.

Hope this helps you or someone else out. Any questions let me know.
February 7, 2012 10:48:53 PM

I, too, realize this is an older post - but I thank you for your 2 cents!

I have a build with a QX9650 & it is fast, but I'm always looking for ways to improve performance. I found your post while researching using SSDs for scratch, pagefiles, etc. Unfortunately, my mobo/chipset is not SRT capable, but Ready Boost is worth a try on a ramdisk.

I haven't used ramdisks for a long time, but I may just try adding a small one to use for Ready Boost - never thought of that! You're sure that anything over 256Mb is overkill?

Thanks again!
February 8, 2012 1:20:32 AM

TWBoyd said:
I, too, realize this is an older post - but I thank you for your 2 cents!

I have a build with a QX9650 & it is fast, but I'm always looking for ways to improve performance. I found your post while researching using SSDs for scratch, pagefiles, etc. Unfortunately, my mobo/chipset is not SRT capable, but Ready Boost is worth a try on a ramdisk.

I haven't used ramdisks for a long time, but I may just try adding a small one to use for Ready Boost - never thought of that! You're sure that anything over 256Mb is overkill?

Thanks again!


if you have enough ram just disable pagefile, readyboost, and if you have an SSD disable indexing. i have the same chip with only 4gb of ram and only 2 or 3 times i have got an error about virtual memory too low. 6gb and over all that isnt needed.
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
a b $ Windows 7
February 8, 2012 1:29:06 AM

no
February 10, 2012 1:05:37 AM

laughatyou said:
if you have enough ram just disable pagefile, readyboost, and if you have an SSD disable indexing. i have the same chip with only 4gb of ram and only 2 or 3 times i have got an error about virtual memory too low. 6gb and over all that isnt needed.


Thanks, but now I'm confused. You are now saying to disable readyboost. - But in an earlier post you wrote:

"NOW, on the other hand it is going to be different for you. I have 2 systems, A. QX9650 and B. I7-980x

On system "A" i can easily tell if readyboost on a Ramdrive is off or on. On system "B" it is not noticable at all. The only way i can tell, "without looking" is in the performance ratings. My HDD speeds goes from 6.5 to 6.7 with it on.

On both system the PF is off and ready boost is active on a Ramdisk."

Since my system is built with a QX9650, I thought your advice was to have the ready boost ON via a ramdrive.

After studying more about ready boost, it does seem that using it via a RamDisk is pointless, as well as trying to assign the pagefile to a ramdisk. It is redundant.

EDIT - I just found a method to use the Windows Performance Monitor to monitor all or select aspects of the Ready Boost Cache. It IS being used, even though my Ram Usage has never maxed out! - So it IS providing some added caching benefit to system performance, and it is not just functioning as added Ram, which some people believe.
Therefore, it does make sense to me to keep the 1GB Ramdisk I created & dedicate it to Ready Boost. The resulting data transfer rate is MUCH faster than a USB storage device.
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