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Thread: Page file on separate drive?

  1. #1

    Default Page file on separate drive?

    Would it be smart to put the page file on a separate drive from the OS for better performance? Is any particular format optimal or should it be left unformatted?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Page file on separate drive?

    It would certainly make things faster but then again if you're running into swap, you're going to be slow anyway.

    So the solution is - don't go to swap. Get more memory. Yes, it's easy like a summer rain!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Page file on separate drive?

    Maybe openSUSE isn't the same, but right now, Windows Task Manager reports 1100000 K physical memory available and a 920 MB page file. Thus, aren't there some situations where the OS/programs prefer to use the page file, perhaps to leave the physical memory free for presumably more important processes?

    If I install more memory, then I think it stops working in dual channel. I can only use two memory slots (of four) in dual channel and don't want to dispose of my current dimms (2 x 1GB).

  4. #4

    Default Re: Page file on separate drive?

    1 GB for normal use under Linux is quite a bit.

    You will not be noticing much use of the swap other then if you get into maybe 3d rendering or something else that is going to be very resource intensive.

    I run my laptop on 512 MB and can't say I find any real hit, since it I use the laptop for normal every day stuff, and Linux does very well.

    Linux is much better at managing memory and utilizing the occasional swap compared to Windows.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Page file on separate drive?

    If you don't notice any real system lag then more RAM may make less difference for you system.

    In some cases if it is slower for display it could be a video driver issue rather then anything to do with RAM that is slowing a computer down under Linux.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Page file on separate drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by seanspotatobusiness View Post
    Would it be smart to put the page file on a separate drive from the OS for better performance? Is any particular format optimal or should it be left unformatted?
    In Linux, while the "page file" can be a literal file on the root partition (as it is in Windows), it is almost always set up as its own partition as "swap".

    While the basic concept is the same between Windows and Linux (i.e., virtual memory), it is implemented differently. Windows uses the page file dynamically, and certain data and code are always swapped out to the page file. In Linux, the entire physical memory is used before going to swap. Linux holds applications and data in cache that Windows swaps or flushes.

    So, you don't want to use Windows rules to estimate what you need for RAM and virtual. Create a 1GB swap partition. Don't add RAM at this time (and whenever you do, you're right, it's important to keep it dual-channel). Then see what the performance is. But again, the swap file will not really effect performance, unless it's actively used, and that is unlikely.

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