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16GB Pagefile.sys on SSD

Last response: in Windows 7
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August 27, 2012 7:06:41 AM


I've been looking into the best configuration for my computer's pagefile.sys
size for the last couple of days now & to be honest I'm still no better off, I regularly
visit the site & have previously gotten some really helpful & friendly advice so I'd
like to ask the community here for some guidance on this issue.

I work as a Graphic Designer & mainly use the system for DCC (Digital Content
Creation) so the SSD drive has Windows 7, Photoshop, Illustrator & Indesign
installed on it. I try to keep everything off the SSD as much as possible but with
the operating system, Adobe suite & other general programs I'm running out of
room. I've just recently started exploring some 3D application's like Zbrush, Google
Sketch-Up & Autodesk 3ds Max, nothing serious yet but I think I'll be making a
purchase pretty soon in the future especially with Zbrush.

I initially had the default on with windows self managing the pagefile.sys for me
but it was allocating 16GB of space following the 1.5 - 2x formula but that's space I
really could be using. I've just recently changed it to from the default 16GB & set
values of 4GB for Min & 8Gb Max & have noticed an overall performance increase so
I'm tempted to reduce it even more but I really don't want any problems or issues
arising, is 4-8GB still rather large or should I go back to windows self managing it for
safety's sake. What's the best solution for the SSD drive I've been reading so many
different opinions with some people arguing the point for turning it off completely.


Thanks in advance for taking the time to read the post, I look forward to hearing
your advice.

~~~~~~~~~~~
Computer Specs
~~~~~~~~~~~

Monitor: IIYAMA E2773HDS 27" LED WIDESCREEN, HDMI/DVI-D HD1920x1080
OP: Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
CPU: Intel® Core i7-2600k Quad Core (3.40GHz, 8MB Cache) + HD Graphics
Motherboard: ASUS® P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3: PCI-E 3.0 READY, SLI, CROSSFIREX
RAM: 16GB KINGSTON HYPER-X GENESIS DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz, X.M.P
Graphics Card: 2GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 560 Ti - 2 DVI,HDMI,VGA
1st Hard Disk: 120GB INTEL® 320 SERIES SSD, SATA 3 Gb/s
2nd Hard Disk: 500GB SEAGATE Barracuda SATA-III 6Gb/s HDD, 32MB Cache (7200rpm)
3rd Hard Disk: Western Digital Elements 1TB USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive

More about : 16gb pagefile sys ssd

a b $ Windows 7
August 27, 2012 7:51:58 AM

if you need a pagefile, i.e. if you are using a lot of ram, then put it on the HDD and leave it large, otherwise, make it really small 1GB fixed, preferably also on the HDD.
a b $ Windows 7
August 27, 2012 7:59:16 AM

If I were you, then I'd certainly disable the pagefile on the SSD. Shift it to the next fastest drive, preferably the platter drive. And I'd let the system manage it.
For graphics processing the 2GB on the 560Ti is ample enough and 16GB of RAM is for most purposes overkill.
So you really don't need a pagefile so to say, but , to be on the safe side you could give the same 4-8GB pagefile on the other drive.
Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
August 27, 2012 8:04:22 AM

You cant just not have a page file as some things require one for compatibility even if its not actually going to use it.
I would reduce it in size and put it on the HDD as others have said.

Mactronix :) 
August 27, 2012 8:19:12 AM

Thank you guys for the quick suggestions, looks like
I'll be moving the pagefile.sys off the SSD to the 2nd
hard drive & as I have the space on it let windows
self manage it again.

thank you 13thmonkey, alyoshka, mactronix
a b $ Windows 7
August 27, 2012 8:34:57 AM

I recently built a system and set up a 2-disk RAID0 scratch disk, I dumped the swapfile (system managed) on that and it flies, the performance gain was well worth the cost and effort.
a b $ Windows 7
August 27, 2012 8:39:21 AM

don't let it self manage, fix the size, it'll stop it fragmenting on the HDD

on SSD's thats a whole different issue.
a b $ Windows 7
August 27, 2012 8:53:05 AM

@13thmonkey, do you mean this on a raid array or hard disks in general.
a b $ Windows 7
August 27, 2012 9:11:44 AM

i think both (I don't believe that raid makes a difference to how space is allocated on a HDD), hdd's update the same sector the data was originally in, but if the pagefile grows then it needs extra space, and if there is no space just after the end of the pagefile then it fragments. SSD's as you know can't update the same spot and hence have a different issue.
August 27, 2012 9:11:56 AM

Thanks again everybody, 13thmonkey thank you for the extra tip to prevent
it fragmenting, could you suggest a size I've over 230GB free on the 500GB
SEAGATE so size isn't an issue I'm sure you can tell but I'm abit out of my
depth here.

My normal daily workflow is pretty heavy that's why I went with the highest
specs I could afford. Normally I'd have Illustrator, photoshop & indesign all
running at the same time, really I just kind of think of them all as one
massive program as they each have different strengths so I'd be threading
different elements through them with the linked feature. Plus I've taken a
real liking to Zbrush so it could soon be music & pushing a file back & forth
through Zbrush & photoshop.

Actually just thinking I have all the scratch disks for all the adobe software
going to the 2nd hard drive that I'll be moving the pagefile.sys to will that
have any effect worth mentioning if windows is using the pagefile.sys &
photoshop & Illustrator are using their scratch disks?

Thanks again
a b $ Windows 7
August 27, 2012 9:13:08 AM

i'd say go with 16GB.
a b $ Windows 7
August 27, 2012 10:28:00 AM

ok thanks for that, with ssd the wear leveling algorithms won't allow the same cells/sectors to be used until they have to be used.
a b $ Windows 7
August 27, 2012 10:59:24 AM

but if you change 1bit of data, its a whole page read-write-assign ready for erase for an ssd, for a hdd it just changes that bit, once it finds its logical block. Hence for changing data at only a bit level ssd's aren't great, where data is being changed in bulk they are just as 'efficient' as hdd's. hence why I think that for pagefile they are not a great choice. I have 2x30GB OCZ solids, which I was using 1 for pagefile, the other for scratch. these are pre-trim and it choked and caused a blue screen. In a nearly full ssd with trim and little provisioning, the same could happen where the drive responds slowly whilst waiting for trim to kick in, or some garbage cleaning to work.
a b $ Windows 7
August 27, 2012 12:11:16 PM

And thats one of the main reasons I've never been keen on SSD drives, great for read operation but not so great for writing, until they sort out the write wear issues I'm only going to use them when absolutely necessary, the battery backed ram drive (I think gigabyte did it) option looked way more appealing I wonder why they never pushed it any further especially now ram being soo cheap.
a b $ Windows 7
August 27, 2012 1:40:02 PM

especially on the smaller processes where the number of cycles was halved from c10k to 5k writes. But the speed at which they are growing means that by the time my 128GB OS drive is even close to wearing (maybe 5 years) i'll be ready to buy something a lot bigger or faster, preferably both.
a b $ Windows 7
August 27, 2012 2:04:40 PM

that's true, but I always have this small niggling feeling of being ripped off due to the wear leveling issue, I know things inevitably cease to function over time but planned eventual failure shouldn't be a how things are designed.
a b $ Windows 7
August 27, 2012 3:05:55 PM

If possible, I'd create a small partition on the front nof the HD and put ya page file, scratch files, temp files there. Why ?

1. The outside edge of the HD is twice as fast as the inside edge.

2. Create the page file at a fixed size so as not to result in it becoming fragmented.

3. Adobe, Autodesk and other programs that manipulate large files do a lot of writing to disk.

4. In the past, the recommendation was always to make the page file partition FAt32 because the NTFS file protections are unnecessary on temp files and it eliminates the overhead associated with those protections. I'm not aware of any comparisons under Windows 7 tho.

August 27, 2012 3:24:37 PM

Creating a scratch partition is a good idea (in Linux it's required) especially so you can move all your Adobe scratch files off the drive where the programs themselves are located.
August 27, 2012 3:30:44 PM

@JackNaylorPE thanks for your suggestion that's definitely something I'll be looking further into, I've never really thought about hard drives that way before.

Seriously everybody the feedback I've got on this is just brilliant, I really appreciate everybody taking the time to post their thoughts, even if some of it is going completely over my head.

:-)
August 27, 2012 4:16:01 PM

hairystuff said:
that's true, but I always have this small niggling feeling of being ripped off due to the wear leveling issue, I know things inevitably cease to function over time but planned eventual failure shouldn't be a how things are designed.


It's not really planned eventual failure but more a weakness in the technology. I'd love a cheap 10TB SSD that can read/write at 1GB per second and never wear out, but it just can't be done!

I'd recommend an SSD to anyone these days. They are cheap, and so much faster than a mechanical HDD that nowadays I will never use a computer that doesn't have one.

Bear in mind that HDDs fail as well. But there's an important difference in HOW they fail. A dead SSD is one that you can read from but not write to. A dead HDD allows neither, with a significant risk of data loss. Plus the longevity of an SSD is far longer than the upgrade cycle - for me at least.
!