Does moving the virtual memory improve performanc?

  [DELETED] 23:33 10 Jan 2006

I was reading through a list of tweaks and one suggested that if your system has more than one harddrive performance can be improved by moving the virtual memory to a seperate drive from the operating system. I've tried it, and although the logic sounds convincing I don't notice any benefit.

Should this give any boost to performance, and if so is it worthwhile for the average home user?
Are there any disadvantages.


  Diodorus Siculus 23:39 10 Jan 2006

No disadvantages but little obvious advantage without some sort of sensitive benchmarking tool.

On a machine with plenty of RAM you probably won't notice much.

Having said that, mine is on a secondary hard disk!

  [DELETED] 23:48 10 Jan 2006

It may depend on the type of bus that connects your HDD's.

(This is only a theory) It may be that if you have both HDD's connected to 1 IDE channel (daisychained master/slave setup), you may find that there is little performance difference, as the data has to pass through 1 channel, which will have a finite bandwidth & data transfer speed.

However (theory again), if you have the drives running on 2 seperate IDE channels (2 connectors running from your system board, 1 cable for each drive) then the difference may be more marked.

The same benefit would be apparent for SATA drives which run from seperate channels and cannot be daisy chained.

The reason for the increase in speed, if you run your swap files/virtual memory on a seperate drive, is due to the fact that the heads of the HDD have to run backward and forwards, exchanging data to/from the swapfile with the OS if they are both on the same drive. If they are on seperate drives, then one drive can concentrate on picking the info from the swap file, whilst the other drive can organise presenting the data to the OS and vice versa.

Clear as mud? I hope not.

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  [DELETED] 23:53 10 Jan 2006
  [DELETED] 23:55 10 Jan 2006

With a Gb of RAM and two SATA drives (one system, one backup) i had been running the Page File on it's own partition on the backup drive.

Moved it back to the C Drive and noticed no loss.

  [DELETED] 01:03 11 Jan 2006

Thanks for all the responses. I'm trying the double-virtual mem option as per an iten in Chegs's post. I'll see if I can notice any difference with that, although Damian's idea about a single ide makes sense.

  [DELETED] 02:07 12 Jan 2006
  [DELETED] 10:15 12 Jan 2006

I have 2 SATA HDDS, with 2.5X page file set on each. When I did this (as opposed to just the HDD the OS is installed on) I did notice an improvement in overall performance. I haven't measured/quantified it but it is definitely noticeable.

  [DELETED] 10:29 12 Jan 2006

I've just tried this. 1 Gb RAM installed

Set C Drive to 2560 Min and 2560 Max

Set D Drive to 2560 Min and 2560 Max

Rebooted. Checked settings all OK. click here

However if i show all hidden files only the Page File on the D Drive shows. 2.50 GB (2,684,354,560 bytes)

The C Drive doesn't have one!

Also Page File Defrag click here also only shows the D Drive one.

I know it's possible but what might i have done wrong?

  [DELETED] 10:47 12 Jan 2006

Sorry Paul I'm not around my home machine at present. I will have a look this evening and see if I can throw any light on it.

  [DELETED] 21:41 12 Jan 2006

Hi Paul,
I have checked my settings and they appear exactly as per in your screen shot from
control panel>system>sysem properties> performance>advanced>virtual memory.
How are you trying to identify the page files on your C and D drives (without the use of page file defrag, which I haven't installed)?

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