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I have read quite a bit about the placement of page files lately (researching my question) and have not found an answer specific to my question, so hopefully someone here can help.

New system being built:

  • Windows 7 pro 64bit 16GB RAM
  • AMD FX-8350 8 core processor
  • C drive: (OS only) Intel 330 120gb SSD. Currently has the page file on it.

Also... have a WD 2TB HDD which I will partition out for Applications, and data as separate partitions.

My question is about the pagefile being moved to the HDD to keep the SSD only for the OS. Since the SSD has limited writes to each cell the thought is to preserve the SSD by having the pagefile not on it.

I generally set my pagefile to a fixed size = RAM + a little more.

The plan would be to move the pagefile to either a separate primary partition on the HDD, or include it in say a data partition, again, on the HDD not the SSD.

With the current configuration mentioned above, would I be better off leaving the pagefile on the SSD and not worry about the impact of constant read/writes to it, or move it to the HDD?

What would be the performance hit moving it to the HDD? Is there a difference there (on the HDD) if it is in its own partition or shares with a partition with the data or less used partition?

One last consideration, is that AutoCAD is one program that will be used on this PC (not professionally) but in a learning environment.

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Hi Will...Thank you for your input. What you say makes sense and supports my thoughts on the SSD drive longevity. considering what you say you run concurrently and the RAM it consumes then I'm guessing that at most times when AutoCAD in not running, I should be OK with a minimal swap file. For times when running multi apps with AutoCAD, then having a larger swap file on the HDD would still make sense. Can judge if more RAM needed after the fact. Since I have 2 TB on the HDD to play with, I will start with a 16GB swap file-fixed size so allow for a total RAM swap if ever required. thx Again – Garry Apr 28 '13 at 22:00
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You have two options really:

  1. Put it on the SSD for better performance from your page file. This will DRAMATICALLY shorten the lifespan of you SSD if you are frequently writing/reading from your pagefile.
  2. Based on the amount of RAM you're running, you could potentially disable the pagefile in its entirety (or just hide it on the HDD).

I'm running Win 7 Ultimate with 12GB of RAM, frequently gaming, photoshop, etc and I never hit 12GB. But even if I do, I tossed a small page file on my HDD to handle the case. It increases stability.

Seeing that you're planning to use AUTOCAD, you may want to think of investing in a bit more RAM but definitely keep a pagefile around. RAM is cheap and you'll get far better performance keeping all of that info in RAM rather than needing your pagefile.

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According to this post Intel did some research, and the pagefile on a typical Windows system has a 40:1 read to write ratio. Not going to stress your SSD, especially if your have lots of RAM. – Jordan Morris Jan 5 '14 at 1:15

Put it on the SSD to get the best performance.

Should the pagefile be placed on SSDs?

Yes. Most pagefile operations are small random reads or larger sequential writes, both of which are types of operations that SSDs handle well.

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Yes, pagefiles increase pagefile perfomance dramatically. – Keltari Apr 28 '13 at 19:47
thanks for responding. I know that the SSD can handle the swap file operations handily, but it is the constant usage on the SSD that I am wondering about. If the swap is on HDD it relieves the usage on the SSD, but how much of a performance hit will it incur? And should it be in its own primary partition or no different than in a partition with data for instance? – Garry Apr 28 '13 at 19:53
wow, i cant type. I mean SSDs increase pagefile performance dramatically. – Keltari Apr 28 '13 at 19:58

I have been told that using an USB Memory Stick (USB 3.0 and of significant read/write performance) is the way to go. When the memory stick gets beat up or fails, just replace it. Saves the SSD. Disclaimer: I have not done this but will be going down this path real soon.

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With 16 GB of RAM you probably never gonna need a pagefile so you can put it wherever you want or even turn it off (that is what I would recommend to you). But if it's gonna be used one day, then best performance you get if you set it on SSD and HDD (basically on each physical disc in your system).

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Thank you for your input. much appreciated. – Garry Apr 28 '13 at 22:01

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