Question Installing A SATA SSD For Games/storage, is it a bad idea to set a split page file on your two SSDs/Is There Any Specific Route To Take To Format?

ShangWang

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I am well aware that in most scenarios setting your page file to automatic is the best way, however I just prefer to have a static set page file for my own OCD reasons and am asking these questions based on hypothetical results and would greatly appreciate any answers.

I have a few questions about making a static page file for two SSDs and installing a new SATA SSD for storage/games:

If you have two SSDs and are using a static set page file, should you split the page file size equally between the two SSDs? For example if I wanted to divide 5120mb between to drives, each drive has 2560mb of page file min and max.

Is this useful/good for performance in any way, or does it lead to problems in some way?

If a page file is needed, which drive would be utilized for the page file first/are both drives used equally as much for a page file?

The drive I'm installing is the Samsung 870 EVO, when I install it is there any specific format method I should follow in disk management to make sure it's at it's best performance, or does it not really matter?
Samsung 870 EVO 500GB SATA 2.5" Internal SSD (MZ-77E500B/AM) [Canada Version] : Amazon.ca: Electronics
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The drive I'm installing is the Samsung 870 EVO, when I install it is there any specific format method I should follow in disk management to make sure it's at it's best performance, or does it not really matter?

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If you have a NVMe drive installed while the SATA mode was RST with optane, will it affect performance whatsoever? What if you install a second SSD that is SATA connected and switch to AHCI mode to install it, will only one drive be able to function when you start the computer, or is the NVMe drive not an issue with whatever SATA mode was enabled when it was installed?
 
I don't know how one can have more than one pagefile. And for sure, you're paying too much attention to such mundane question. Having enough RAM makes this even less important.

As for formatting: The only thing you can choose is the block size, and I'd suggest leaving it to default. Again - you won't see any performance gains or loses, but you might see big underutlization if you store a lot of small files.
 

ShangWang

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I don't know how one can have more than one pagefile. And for sure, you're paying too much attention to such mundane question. Having enough RAM makes this even less important.

As for formatting: The only thing you can choose is the block size, and I'd suggest leaving it to default. Again - you won't see any performance gains or loses, but you might see big underutlization if you store a lot of small files.
Thanks, I know how little of a difference it makes, but I'm just curious about whether or not it CAN make a difference.

I actually already upgraded to 16GB and find that sometimes I still do sometimes run out of RAM if I'm not careful with my program managing.

Two page files are possible if you have two drives, you can manually set the virtual memory for both to any size you want and what I'm doing is setting a size for both that are equal and combined is the page file size I want.

From what I know the drive that is the least active would have its page file utilized as priority, so if that drive was the faster one it would technically mean better page file performance.

Since I'm planning on installing games on both drives, I thought it'd be a good idea to distribute the page file through the two drives equally so one or the other gets more page file usage while a game is running, and so they both get equal page file write wear as well.

I am wondering if doing this split method has any actual issues or flaws to it other than the fact it's not being automatically managed.
 
If so concerted about effect of page file location on your gaming, you should invest in more RAM instead of more storage. Keep your page file as is (C:), install your games on D: (separate drive), and enjoy the game. Life's too short to worry about such things.
 

ShangWang

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Do whatever provides you the most relief from your OCD symptoms. It is a very difficult condition to deal with.

What will make you feel best?

Do that.
Thank you for understanding, though I am not exactly looking for advice on what to do for the page file, I am more so asking about how exactly what I'm doing will have any affect on performance/the health of the drive if it even has any effect.

Do you know if the reasoning behind my split page file makes any sense and if there might be an advantage to some degree with what I'm doing, or is it all just useless?
 

ShangWang

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Wherever you have the page file now, leave it as is.

Add other drives as needed, with no pagefile.
I see, but what if you run games on that separate drive/run into a BSOD?

Does the OS drive only need this page file to be able to successfully reboot/make a BSOD log and other drives that have the game installed which you were playing has no effect or repercussion by having no page file?
 

USAFRet

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Thank you for understanding, though I am not exactly looking for advice on what to do for the page file, I am more so asking about how exactly what I'm doing will have any affect on performance/the health of the drive if it even has any effect.

Do you know if the reasoning behind my split page file makes any sense and if there might be an advantage to some degree with what I'm doing, or is it all just useless?
"health" of the drive(s) in relation to the pagefle is irrelevant.

Performance? Well, I'd expect that having the pagefile spread across multiple drives would incur a tiny penalty. The system would have to manage that across the drives.
tiny, as in only seen in artificial benchmarks, under rigorous testing, and in hundredths of a second.

I expect the time you've spent just in this tread, creating the question and replies, is more than the cumulative difference you'd see over a year.

But, test for us....

Assuming your current pagefile is NOT on an HDD, test and document the performance over 2 months.
Then, change the pagefile settings, to have it on more than one SSD.
Again, test and document for 2 months.

What happens?
 

ShangWang

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"health" of the drive(s) in relation to the pagefle is irrelevant.

Performance? Well, I'd expect that having the pagefile spread across multiple drives would incur a tiny penalty. The system would have to manage that across the drives.
tiny, as in only seen in artificial benchmarks, under rigorous testing, and in hundredths of a second.

I expect the time you've spent just in this tread, creating the question and replies, is more than the cumulative difference you'd see over a year.

But, test for us....

Assuming your current pagefile is NOT on an HDD, test and document the performance over 2 months.
Then, change the pagefile settings, to have it on more than one SSD.
Again, test and document for 2 months.

What happens?
Thank you for that info, if having the page file spread would probably decrease performance, I guess I'll just keep my page file the same on my current OS drive and have no page file on my new drive for games/storage.

As you said, it probably wouldn't make much of a difference but then again I was just too curious if there WOULD be and what it is, sorry again for my over worrying.

If there are no issues with having no page file on a non-OS drive, I'll stop worrying about it and keep thing as it is.
 

ShangWang

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Splitting the page file makes zero sense with SSDs that was only back in the old days with hard drives and little ram. in case one channel got busy the other could write at the same time
Thank you, I have one more thing to ask about having a second drive:

If it's not the OS drive, will it be forced to write anything on boot up? Essentially if this second drive had no page file and I never accessed it/wrote anything to it while connected, would it write any cycles whatsoever/would the drive start wearing out in any way the moment it's installed if it's doing nothing?
 
When you install windows make sure only one ssd is connected. After it boots when finished you can power down and connect the second ssd. That way no boot files will be on second drive
 
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Colif

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If you have two SSDs and are using a static set page file, should you split the page file size equally between the two SSDs? For example if I wanted to divide 5120mb between to drives, each drive has 2560mb of page file min and max.
You only need one on one drive
Also, leave its size auto. It might start as X size but if it needs more and you restrict it, you could get out of memory errors. Just let windows manage it.
Win 10 only use page file if you run out of ram. As stated above, if you running out of ram, buy 32gb new set and replace what you have. More ram you have, the smaller page file needs to be. Mine is only 5gb
having it in 2 places just creates another point of potential failure.
page file used to write dump files, if you crash and had page file on 2 drives, it just looks like trouble to me.

if you curious how it would work out which to use first if you did have two...
The most relevant information I could find was an article on optimal configuration of the page file under Windows XP.
The article states that Windows will use the page file located on the volume with the least activity. This means that there is no pattern defined.
So, it is arguable that the most likely way that Windows handles multiple page files is by maintaining a table of where each memory page is located. Where a page winds up depends largely on which volume was least active when it got paged out.
https://superuser.com/questions/379659/windows-page-file-on-multiple-hard-drives

I would guess that if you playing a game, it would be a toss up if the drive it is on is more busy than C. I would just leave it on C to avoid complications.
 
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I am well aware that in most scenarios setting your page file to automatic is the best way
Automatic is not the best way. Automatic settings tend to use excessively large pagefile. This impairs performance.
If you have two SSDs and are using a static set page file, should you split the page file size equally between the two SSDs?
Is this useful/good for performance in any way, or does it lead to problems in some way?
There's no point in splitting pagefile.
If a page file is needed, which drive would be utilized for the page file first/are both drives used equally as much for a page file?
Mutiple pagefiles get utilized in random. Generally pagefile on OS drive / smaller pagefile gets filled up first.
If you have a NVMe drive installed while the SATA mode was RST with optane, will it affect performance whatsoever?
There's no point in using optane with SSD. SSD operations doesn't get improved with it. It is meant to be used with HDD.

TLDR -
1st - have enough ram. This is the most important thing. Then pagefile gets used minimally.
You can't disable pagefile though. This breaks operation of virtual memory subsystem.
2nd - put pagefile either on HDD or SSD with highest write endurance. Set it so small initial size (1GB for example) and large max size (10GB for example).
It will grow as necessary.
 
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ShangWang

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When you install windows make sure only one ssd is connected. After it boots when finished you can power down and connect the second ssd. That way no boot files will be on second drive
Thank you, but I'm not talking about windows installation, I'm talking about writes that are done when you power on the laptop.

I think it only applies to the OS drive but I'm curious if a secondary drive also writes anything at random if I never run any games installed or touch the drive at all when I start it up my computer since I'm curious about any wear if I have it connected but don't use it.
 

ShangWang

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You can't disable pagefile though. This breaks operation of virtual memory subsystem.
Thanks, though are you saying I shouldn't disable page file on my secondary non-OS drive? Others are saying I should and there isn't an issue there, but I myself wouldn't mind keeping at least a small page file on it.
 

ShangWang

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My OS drive is the NVMe drive which supposedly is faster, so should I do vise versa or just not put a page file on the secondary SATA drive?

Will you get somehow worse page file performance by placing most of the page file on the OS drive?
 
My OS drive is the NVMe drive which supposedly is faster, so should I do vise versa or just not put a page file on the secondary SATA drive?
Will you get somehow worse page file performance by placing most of the page file on the OS drive?
It will cause more writes to OS drive.
Since SSDs have limited writes, this will cause your SSD to exhaust available writes and die sooner.

Some may try to convince you that SSD writes are inexhaustible and it will live for 20 years.
Well this is not exactly true. With excessive write workloads you can exhaust all available write endurance in couple of years.
And then you will wish you had been more careful with unnecessary writes to your expensive SSD.
 

ShangWang

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It will cause more writes to OS drive.
Since SSDs have limited writes, this will cause your SSD to exhaust available writes and die sooner.
Do you mean that in general having a larger page file on any drive will cause it to die sooner, or will the OS drive especially get more page file writes?

In any case since my SATA SSD is newer, it's better to put the larger page file on it?
 
Do you mean that in general having a larger page file on any drive will cause it to die sooner
Not any drive. Just SSD.
or will the OS drive especially get more page file writes?
Depends on virtual memory settings. Bigger pagefile will obviously receive more writes than a small one.
Set pagefile size on OS drive to minimum size allowed.
In any case since my SATA SSD is newer, it's better to put the larger page file on it?
It's better to have enough ram, so pagefile gets used minimally.
Set pagefile to drive, where writes have no importance (like on a mechanical HDD) or
where you don't care about your SSD dying.
 

ShangWang

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Not any drive. Just SSD.

Depends on virtual memory settings. Bigger pagefile will obviously receive more writes than a small one.
Set pagefile size on OS drive to minimum size allowed.

It's better to have enough ram, so pagefile gets used minimally.
Set pagefile to drive, where writes have no importance (like on a mechanical HDD) or
where you don't care about your SSD dying.
Yes, of course. I do have enough RAM as mentioned I only run out if I am careless.

I'm assuming you are saying to only set a minimum to OS because it's the more important drive and should get less writes, so I will do that.
 
One thing to keep in mind is, if the page file option is left to system determined, the OS will learn over time what the page file usage is and adjust it accordingly. I have 32GB of RAM and since I rarely get close to using all of it, the page file when I last checked was something like 2-4GB.

Also the page file may not be written to with a bunch of data per se. While I haven't verified it, I have a theory that because the OS will overprovision memory requests from apps, it will simply move the unused memory pages to the page file if something needs to be paged out. Since there's literally nothing to copy, there's no write to the page file.
 

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