Windows 7 x64 pagefile, scratch disk, temp files, etc

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Hardware' started by abhiroopb, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. abhiroopb

    abhiroopb New Member

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    I have the following desktop: TechComet: My Gadgets

    My “MO” is generally to keep things “default” unless there is a good reason why I should change the way something is set up.

    An example is that I read SSDs wear out over time so it is better to put the paging file on a separate disk. Hence, I created a dedicated partition on my 1TB HD and put my paging file there. The partition is 10GB and the paging file can go up to a total of 9GB (I have 6GB of RAM).

    I have read articles that I suggest I move my Photoshop CS5 scratch disk of my SSD onto a separate hard drive. Hence, I made my paging file partition bigger and put the scratch disk there. I don’t deal with a lot of massive photoshop files, so this shouldn’t be a big deal, but again I want the best performance with the least hassle.

    So, my questions are:

    1. Where should the paging file be placed and approximately how big should it be?
    2. Where should the Photoshop scratch disk be placed?
    3. Should I move my temp folders off my SSD (i.e. move them to my HD)?
    4. Are there any other hardware or optimization tweak that would benefit the speed or longevity of my system?

    Again like I said I don’t like trying out every obscure hack, for one thing there is so much disagreement over these hacks that it is difficult to figure out what is the best thing to do.

    Anyway, thanks for helping!
     
  2. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    1. First, understand Windows 7 manages memory and the Page File much better than previous versions of Windows so leaving the defaults as is is not a bad thing - especially on a large drive with plenty of free disk space. That said, I always put my page file as the first thing on my secondary drive. Putting it on a partition on the boot drive really does not offer any performance gains because the drive heads have to stop what they are doing to move to the page file. But if on a second drive, the boot drive can do its thing while the secondary drive's PF can still be accessed. So moving it to a partition on the boot drive is really only for the user's convenience.

    2. I think you just need to try it both ways and see what works best for you.

    3. There's a trade off - temp files help speed up performance. So having them on the SSD helps performance. But temp files change often so that means there will be lots of R/Ws and that puts wear and tear (electrically speaking) on the SSD. I prefer to put my applications on the SSD - but that's me. And I note I have a decent i7, 8Gb of RAM, and decent HD so a couple extra milliseconds does not bother me.

    4. Most "optimization" tweaks are gimmicks and I tend to look with a distrusting eye at programs that promise to make you computer run "better than new" - this is especially true with Windows 7 which, as noted earlier, manages memory and other resources better than all previous versions of Windows. My best advice is to keep your systems updated and patched and keep the clutter under control. I regularly use CCleaner but understand after running a cleaner, boot times are increased for the first boot because many files are not deleted until during the next boot. Also, if you deleted prefetch files, performance will be degraded until you train Windows to your normal use. I never delete my fetch files for that reason - especially since they constantly evolve to meet your habits anyway.

    I am always amazed at how some many people assume they know better than the teams of top notch programmers at Microsoft that do nothing without a consensus. That said, Windows is optimized for the "normal" user - and that 's about 90% of us. If you are one of the 5% at either end of the extremes, then these hacks may benefit you, but don't count on it. Sadly, many will swear up and down how much better their systems run, but in most cases, it is the placebo effect, and not true performance gains - just in the head. And even more sad is many of these changes are put in place without backing up critical data or the registry first.
     
  3. abhiroopb

    abhiroopb New Member

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    Apologies for not responding sooner.

    1. Why is the page file accessed at boot at all? From my understanding I assumed that it was something that was just read when you ran out of RAM or for other specific situations.
    3. I have read about the wear/tear on the SSD, but according to most reports even with the limited number of writes it should still last for many many years. In fact someone mentioned that a SSD can outlast a HD (with the same usage).
    4. Absolutely, not worth the pain of something breaking.

    Anyway, I finally decided that it would be best if I kept my settings “as is”. I like to have optimal settings, but since there is not a lot of consensus on what is “optimal” it is probably best to go with what Microsoft decided was the right way to go. In any event, it isn’t as though using one set of settings over another is yielding any performance decrease or gains.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  4. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    1. Who said it was?
    2. ?
    3. "Should" last for years? Perhaps, though not certain if the PF is on there. But since they have not been around yet for years - we can only guess. But in any case, hard drives have a proven record for lasting many years - some 10 or longer. I don't think SSD can match that yet.
    4. Right.
     
  5. abhiroopb

    abhiroopb New Member

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    1. Sorry I misread "boot drive" as requiring it to be accessed during boot.

    2. I decided to keep the scratch disk on the SSD (boot drive)

    3. Fair enough, but I think after about 4-5 years I think it will probably be time for an upgrade anyway!

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Not me. I buy drives with 5 year warranties and I expect them to last at least that long. And in most cases, they do - easily.

    That said, I still keep a current back up and I feed all my hardware good, clean power from quality supplies, and all my computers are on a good UPS with AVR.
     

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