Question about performance impact based on location of swap file

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Cyber Akuma

So, I have a rather convoluted Frankenstein setup. My original system setup had two SSDs in RAID0 as the OS drive (I know I know...), since I had 32GB of ram the default Swap and Hibernation file sizes took up a lot of space on those SSDs, so I disabled hibernate and manually set the swap file to have a max size of 8GB since in my tests even when I intentionally overloaded the system with as many tasks as I would ever do at once it never hit even 6GB of usage.... granted this was when I first built it years ago. 
Few years later I was having issues, and assuming it was the SSD, imaged the OS to a spare 5400RPM HDD I had of the same size as the array at the time..... on top of the massive impact to performance this caused, I was getting out of memory errors. Windows REALLY loves to use Swap even if you have tons of RAM free.... so due to both the performance impact and how I had low free space left, I got a cheap 128GB SSD and tossed my swap file on there, with no size limits anymore. 
Anyway, much later I finally confirmed my SSDs were fine, so I imaged the HDD back to the SSD array. But now I am wondering what to do with the Swap file. The SSDs in RAID0 are using up the only two SATA6Gb ports on my motherboard, so the SSD that's housing the swap (and some other app's temp folders) is running off of only SATA3Gb. 
Would the fact that the OS drive (that also holds all my apps and games) is constantly reading and writing and running several programs at once while the Swap SSD is only housing the Swap file and other temp files make any difference in swap performance in making it a better candidate to have my Swap file on? Or would the impact of the Swap file also being on the same SSD as a heavily used make it more beneficial to put the Swap file on a different drive, even if that drive is using Sata 3Gb instead of Sata 6Gb? 
Or would any difference in Swap performance if I go either route be so negligible that it does not matter?

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Microsoft's guidance has always been to let Windows manage the swap file.  Advice about setting it to a static file sized at 1.5x RAM dates back to the Windows XP era (and before) when slower HDDs and single-core CPUs were the norm.  Microsoft Knowledgebase Article #2860880, How to determine the appropriate page file size for 64-bit versions of Windows is the current arbiter of good page file determination for Windows.


There's also a good article on TechNet about page files called Page File - The Definitive Guide.  It gives information on how to measure memory usage to determine what size of a page file you need, which could be useful if you do not want to let Windows manage it.  As for location, it recommends putting the page file on its own physical drive only if it is getting heavily used, such as in a server environment.  It might make sense to do this on a workstation, too, if the workstation was being used for some disk I/O-bound activity like digital video editing.




Aryeh Goretsky


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