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SSD's and Pagefiles

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Is it true that when using SSD's with Windows that you cannot have the pagefile on the SSD due pagefile size? And you need allocate Memory for Pagefile usage instead. Just curious about this as i have never heard this before.

 

 

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You can have a paging file on SSD, in fact there's no dodging it on an intial normal Windows install.

 

The thing is that you want to minimize write cycles so it's highly advisable to create one on a mechanical HDD once install is complete and delete the one on SSD.

There's also potential for trouble on SSD in that pre Win Vista versions don't necessarily create partitions that are 4K aligned. But there's utliities around that can check/correct that for you.

 

The other advisable things are to put Documents/Settings elsewhere, consider running without System Restore, don't enable Hybernation (I don't think you can put the Hyber file on a non-boot volume).

 

There's guides around if you look. Bottom line is ensure there's not too much write activity going on to the SSD.

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Putting a page file on a mechanical drive may make sense in terms of reducing writes to the SSD, but it's also a little bit backwards: you want your virtual memory to be on the fastest drive you have so it has the quickest access speeds.

 

I currently have a ~6GB page file on the SSD, and a larger 16GB one on a HDD. That's 22GB of virtual memory on a system with 16GB of actual RAM. For reference, Windows 'redommends' I have less than 5.5GB of VM total. I only set static page files sizes so I don't have to worry about how much space they take up on the disk.

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In a large Ram system, the paging file wouldn't get many hits unless there's plenty of programs running.

Unless there's some huge amount of action going on, the difference shouldn't even be noticable.

 

There's plenty of misinformation about VM size. The best advice is generally "enough to run everything you have to run and some left over".

Realistically you probably want ~ 768 Meg minimum regardless of Ram size, and then size the paging file such that it + your amount of installed Ram is at least 4 Gig.

But with the price per Gig of mechanical drives, really there's not much reason to skimp. And yes, size it yourself to avoid it being fragmented.

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Why not put your page file on the M2 SSD if you have one ,would that not be better.

 

With some RAM being as a Page File ,that should be faster still.

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Up to you - depends if you want to live with the extra write cycles going to the SSD.

 

Windows will generally use the page file even if it's not really needed. Loading certain modules then paging them out during startup is a method used to keep lesser used parts of the OS within quick reach.

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Modern SSDs can cope with quite a large amount of data written to them, techreport.com undertook a test with several consumer-grade drives to see how they would fare and the article they wrote when the last drives died is here:

 

http://techreport.com/review/27909/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-theyre-all-dead

 

the last drives had somewhere in the order of 2.4 petabytes written to them before they failed. The amount of writing that would need to be done to kill an SSD early, if it were done to a mechanical drive, would result in one hell of a racket from the drive. I can't remember hearing a mechanical drive doing that just from paging data.

 

As for putting the pagefile in the very system RAM that it is supposed to augment, that strikes me as rather silly. If Windows is going to put something in the pagefile to free up RAM then what have you gained by using up more RAM to hold what Windows is kicking out of it?

Edited by Mordenakhnen
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Looking at the article, it's not really many writes until the first failures occur.

 

Still, it comes down to personal choice. Of the last 8 or so mechanical drives I've taken out of my main machine over about 10 years, only 1 or 2 have been because they were failing. Often it just comes down to replacing a drive before it starts faltering or because it's been superceded by something with way more capacity (a mix of both in my case).

With SSDs though you're probably shortening the life considerably by using as the sole drive or in a high write activity situation.

 

As for Ram being used as a paging target - it's partly due to shortcomings of the hardware and OS. If an intermediate slower but much cheaper RAM was available then boards would have slots for it and we could have "expanded RAM" as a paging/cache device.

In fact IBM compatible mainframes brought about the idea of doing that back in the late 80s - the lower performing memory could be used as space for data or by the system as a sort of fast paging area.

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Putting a page file on a mechanical drive may make sense in terms of reducing writes to the SSD, but it's also a little bit backwards: you want your virtual memory to be on the fastest drive you have so it has the quickest access speeds.

 

 

Actually it's a whole lot of backwards IMO. Shoving the pagefile on to a conventional HDD totally defeats the purpose of an SSD and that is the fast reads and writes.

Same goes for those numbnuts who shift temp folders to mechanical drives. If you are going to move everything that benefits from an SSDs performance off the SSD then you may as well just use a mechanical drive for everything.

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I have 16gb in my rig so I dropped the pagefile down to 2048 (just to be safe) and left it on the SSD.

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I don't bother with any of this "SSD write optimizaiton" stuff. Absolutely no point.

 

A normal consumer desktop or laptop wouldn't be able to write enough data kill the SSD. Anandtech did a report on it as well, like TechReport, and they found that you would have to write data all day long for 5/6 years to kill the drive.

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6459/samsung-ssd-840-testing-the-endurance-of-tlc-nand

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i leave it on the SSD and just turn off superfetch and prefetch.

I assume this is enough 'write saving' for a consumer level drive. Its one more than 99% of people bother doing.

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Has anyone tested a M.2 SSD with a SSD to see if it really does speed up caching.

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i leave it on the SSD and just turn off superfetch and prefetch.

I assume this is enough 'write saving' for a consumer level drive. Its one more than 99% of people bother doing.

I just upgraded to a Samsung 850 EVO SSD, so had my old 30GB Kingston SSDNow doing nothing. It's now a swap drive. :P

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Curiously, what do you expect to see if\when a swap drive like that begins to fail?

Are the errors and symptoms much like faulty RAM?

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You'd start getting SMART errors before it caused problems like that, I would imagine.

 

But regardless, if the duty cycle is in the petabytes, and the device does any kind of wear-levelling, I wouldn't be concerned.

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Curiously, what do you expect to see if\when a swap drive like that begins to fail?

Are the errors and symptoms much like faulty RAM?

 

 

You'd start getting SMART errors before it caused problems like that, I would imagine.

 

But regardless, if the duty cycle is in the petabytes, and the device does any kind of wear-levelling, I wouldn't be concerned.

Worst case is that the SSD goes into "LockWrite" mode if i remember correctly. All that means is that data can be read from the drive, but it cannot be written to.

 

Most poeple will switch out their SSDs before that happens.

 

I've got an old Corsair Force 120GB drive which i run 2 VMs on. It also compiles Cyanogenmod for me daily. It's been buzzing along for 5 years now :)

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Reading a post on Facebook their seems to be a big following trying to find out why SSD's fail a lot in the Business scene.

 

What they found was the Structured I/O in writing to SSD's the problem ,with SQL the biggest offender. Continually writing small packets and with large amounts of data stops the SSD writing in a sequential manner and forces it to write in the Structured format ,it causes latency in all areas. But this is changing as Hardware designers are re-designing Hardware I/O ports to allow this at the same time increase SSD write speeds.

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