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Author Topic: Anyone else using Ramdisk in Windows 7?  (Read 13616 times)
kyrathaba
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« Reply #50 on: September 01, 2011, 05:32:25 PM »

Quote
I prefer chugging enough memory in my system and not worry about the pagefile - but it's only an option if you can always having enough physical memory available.

It sounds, then, like I could easily get by with no swap file.  I have 6 GB RAM, and run pretty light in terms of both the number of simultaneously running apps I use, and the heftiness of those apps in terms of memory usage.  About the heaviest app I use is Firefox, and I've got it under control with Firemin.
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« Reply #51 on: September 01, 2011, 05:35:43 PM »

My RAM usage usually stays between 30-35%.
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40hz
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« Reply #52 on: September 01, 2011, 05:50:50 PM »

Dunno...maybe I'm just lazy (or stupid) but starting with XP I just set a fixed pagefile size to the maximum amount the system automatically determines when it's allowed to manage memory. And I have never experienced an OOM situation doing it that way.

As Stoic pointed out earlier, Windows is actually very good at managing it's memory space. So unless you have some very unusual requirements, most tech voodoo and deviation from the basics seldom nets a benefit worth pursuing. And with an operating system as locked down (and with so many undocumented subsystems) as Windows, it's not like you can always know what your mucking around with system and low level settings will do.

To me, life is far too short to bother with most of that unless I need to fix something that's broken. And most times, throwing in some additional RAM accomplishes the same thing faster and better anyway.

Ramdisks are another story. I use them (on servers) for rapidly updating temporary file caches and logs. But that's not something most people (except engineers or graphics pros) would ever need to worry about on a workstation. My feeling is that if you really do have a legitimate use for a ramdisk, you already know when, where, and why you need to set one up.

The people who do America's Test Kitchen  and Cooks magazinehave a philosophy I apply to much of the system tweaking I do. They're always asking." What does the extra work get you?" When Cooks publishes a recipe, they try out every variation (ex: 'milk heated' vs 'at room temperature' -or- should you use plain yogurt or sour cream) they can get their hands on. When they're done (they once tried 35 different recipe variations for sugar cookies!) they can tell you exactly what matters and what doesn't. What's a legitimate concern, and what's just old-wives tales.

Some of the most interesting and beneficial comments come when they find something fussy and persnickety that does make a difference. Because at that point, it becomes necessary to decide if it's worth the extra time and money. One recipe called for some extra steps and a seasonally hard to find ingredient. Their conclusion? It was the best recipe - but not really worth it for the added expense and inconvenience it entailed. The runner-up recipe gave the taste testers 99% of what the ideal recipe did - but with considerably less work and fussing. Conclusion: go with the runner-up for most occasions.

I approach system tweaks and optimization the same way.

In my field of business there's a saying: The first 90% of a project consumes 90% of the budget. The last 10% of the project consumes and additional 90% of the original budget.

I found that to be pretty much the case.  Grin

Just my tuppence. Thmbsup
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« Reply #53 on: September 01, 2011, 05:52:50 PM »

Quote
Don't see the point of those fixed size partitions these day, really - for the same reasons as my arguments against the fixed-size windows paging file. There were technical reasons for it back in the olden days, but Linux has supported file-based swap for a while now.

It supported file based swap when I was using it. It's just that partition based is more efficient. Read how it works with partition based swap before making assumptions.

I notice your post is filled with implications such as "blindly follow" etc.

So your remedy is to blindly follow you instead of my 16 years of experiences using and watching my systems? Tsk tsk.  Debate tactics rather than argument.

btw I took swap off. I don't need it now that I have Bookmark Sentry to fix my Chromium bookmarks. smiley

In these arguments everyone ignores usage.  People who have 20 windows open constantly are going to use more ram than people like me who have a couple open and close what's not needed.  I don't run 20 Tabs in Chromium.  The usual for me is 3.  "What's best" shouldn't even be asked until you ask "how to you use your system?"  Otherwise it's just tail chasing.

« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 05:57:12 PM by MilesAhead » Logged

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« Reply #54 on: September 01, 2011, 06:12:08 PM »

In my field of business there's a saying: The first 90% of a project consumes 90% of the budget. The last 10% of the project consumes and additional 90% of the original budget.

I found that to be pretty much the case.

Yepper, that sounds about right to me too. Wink

I just spent the better part of this week doing an SBS2000 to Server 2008 std migration. which included a decades worth of tax & accounting software.
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f0dder
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« Reply #55 on: September 02, 2011, 09:36:23 AM »

Quote
Don't see the point of those fixed size partitions these day, really - for the same reasons as my arguments against the fixed-size windows paging file. There were technical reasons for it back in the olden days, but Linux has supported file-based swap for a while now.
It supported file based swap when I was using it. It's just that partition based is more efficient. Read how it works with partition based swap before making assumptions.
Care to back that up with facts, for recent kernel versions? smiley. Same as with Windows: allocate a intelligently sized swap file, and it won't fragment. As for access, here's from LKML:
Quote
> 3. Does creating the swapfile on a journaled filesystem (e.g. ext3 or
> reiser) incur a significant performance hit?

None at all.  The kernel generates a map of swap offset -> disk blocks at
swapon time and from then on uses that map to perform swap I/O directly
against the underlying disk queue, bypassing all caching, metadata and
filesystem code.
(The question is a bit different, but the implications are the same).


I notice your post is filled with implications such as "blindly follow" etc.

So your remedy is to blindly follow you instead of my 16 years of experiences using and watching my systems? Tsk tsk.  Debate tactics rather than argument.
It's a piece of opinion - take it for what you like. IMHO it's got good arguments going for it, and it's worked fine on my laptop (which doesn't have endless amount of memory) for years. The fixed-size argument is something I've seen regurgitated for years, and I don't agree with it - so obviously I'm going to object when I see it given as as a suggestion to others.

"What's best" shouldn't even be asked until you ask "how to you use your system?"  Otherwise it's just tail chasing.
Indeed. And while YOU might not run out of memory, you can't really know about other people's usage patterns... and thus suggesting that setting a maxsize isn't really a good idea.

PS: the one argument for swap partitions I can think of, is if you want to control the physical location on disk for access time reasons... but if you're about to do that, then you have a server with severe memory problems, and should be investing in more RAM, seriously. And just as a preemptive snarky comment safeguard: system pagefile != database scratch areas.
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« Reply #56 on: September 02, 2011, 12:37:17 PM »

Quote
Linux has supported file-based swap for a while now.
Hold the phone!
What's that?... File based swap?
(startpage-google-yippy-duckduckgo)

You mean like this?
http://blog.mypapit.net/2...-have-swap-partition.html

That's awesome!  Thmbsup
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« Reply #57 on: September 02, 2011, 01:06:30 PM »

For record, I have swap turned off on 8GB system and I guess I'll be fine for a couple of years.

Fixed size swap: good if you are like me and constantly have all hard drives 99.9% full (I cannot help myself  undecided ).
Unlimited swap size: if it happens that Windows needs a swap size of more than 2x your physical memory, it will be extremely sluggish, practically unusable. In my opinion, it is better when an app crashes due to unavailable memory than waiting 5 minutes until Windows swaps-in the task manager so you can kill it yourself.
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« Reply #58 on: September 02, 2011, 01:45:25 PM »

@f0dder, I think it's pretty much a distinction without a difference. Again we are back to usage. If some dude loads up his 10 GB spread sheet once every six months and thereby forgets to account for it in settings due to the infrequency, it could conceivably crap out on him. Your settings may safeguard in that case.  But I never use 10 GB spread sheets. So I don't see the advantage of guarding against what's never going to happen. I don't loan my PC out for others to use.

For me, min=max when using swap at all is more than sufficient.

I'm not about to load Linux to gather stats. If they improved swap file that's fine but by the very nature of file systems I would tend to guess the partition swap is a lot closer to the low level calculations that file systems use to manage the files. Therefore it's awfully likely there's another layer on top of that for the file system that's not there for the partition management. t's pretty much who owns how many blocks on the partition where. Can't get much simpler. One virtue of running a slow 486 with 12 Mhz bus was that any optimizations could be felt viscerally. I didn't have to run a benchmark.  The machine was so slow I could see and feel the difference in responsiveness.  Also watching the disk LED. Partition was noticeably faster. I ran comparisons when setting up my swap scheme(and yes I ran them forward then back to disallow any file system caching).

Swap Partition placement does make a difference.  Since my 2 physical drives had such a speed and size disparity I was prevented from doing all swap on the non Linux drive.  But I put the swap partition on the fast disk hosting Linux between the 2 partitions I used for Linux file system.  Tended to swap back to center rather than making wide swings to fetch. Not much thrashing at all esp. with supplemental swap on the other physical drive.  Also I did have settings if the universe changed and I had some giga-unimaginable memory requirement, a swap file was created on the fast disk.



But either method would work. Right now I'm back to running no swap since I tend to use light weight processes. Resource meter tends to show this machine running with almost a GB of memory on Stand-by. I don't think it's going to crash loading Firefox if I already have Chromium open.

But, if someone used either method I don't think they'd notice the difference. All I can tell you is in all these years of running swap min=max whenever I check it with PageDefrag it shows one big chunk. Like years after I set it up that way. Once I got a PC with 2 GB then I got away from swap altogether. My 8 GB machine sure doesn't need it for my use.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 01:58:16 PM by MilesAhead » Logged

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« Reply #59 on: September 02, 2011, 02:23:52 PM »

If they improved swap file that's fine but by the very nature of file systems I would tend to guess the partition swap is a lot closer to the low level calculations that file systems use to manage the files. Therefore it's awfully likely there's another layer on top of that for the file system that's not there for the partition management.

Actually, swap in Linux is a lot more accessible and tweakable than it is in Windows. And better documented. If you have multiple swap spaces you can prioritize which gets used first. You can  temporarily or permanently tweak what set of conditions triggers a swap ("swappiness"). You can also very easily enable or completely disable swap from the command line. I tend to do that on machines with a lot of RAM. I'll enable swap only if I'm doing something that needs it. Then I'll disable it afterwards.

Good two part article on it here. Part-1 gives the main details. Part-2 gets into tweaking.

You can also temporarily or permanently swap to either a swap partition - or a swap file on a regular partition. That comes in handy if you ever discover you didn't create a big enough swap partition for your requirements. A swap file fixes the problem very nicely until you  around to resizing some partitions (also easy to do in Linux) to give you a bigger space if you prefer to keep swap on its own partition.

Yessir! Swap is a whole 'nother beast on Linux.  Thmbsup

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« Reply #60 on: September 02, 2011, 02:28:12 PM »

If they improved swap file that's fine but by the very nature of file systems I would tend to guess the partition swap is a lot closer to the low level calculations that file systems use to manage the files. Therefore it's awfully likely there's another layer on top of that for the file system that's not there for the partition management.

Actually, swap in Linux is a lot more accessible and tweakable than it is in Windows. And better documented. If you have multiple swap spaces you can prioritize which gets used first. You can  temporarily or permanently tweak what set of conditions triggers a swap ("swappiness"). You can also very easily enable or completely disable swap from the command line. I tend to do that on machines with a lot of RAM. I'll enable swap only if I'm doing something that needs it. Then I'll disable it afterwards.

Good two part article on it here. Part-1 gives the main details. Part-2 gets into tweaking.

You can also temporarily or permanently swap to either a swap partition - or a swap file on a regular partition. That comes in handy if you ever discover you didn't create a big enough swap partition for your requirements. A swap file fixes the problem very nicely until you  around to resizing some partitions (also easy to do in Linux) to give you a bigger space if you prefer to keep swap on its own partition.

Yessir! Swap is a whole 'nother beast on Linux.  Thmbsup



I know.  See my previous posts esp. the one with "round robin" in the text.
It's almost unbelievable Windows has done nothing in all these years regarding swap.
Maybe those guys from DEC quit and nobody else at Redmond has the talent.

I wonder if anyone has info on Windows 7 prefetch vs. swap?  I have a feeling it does stuff like swap stuff out so it can prefetch stuff on the preferred list in.  It would be interesting to know if setting page file max would have any effect. It might be more conservative if it knew there was a limit other than free disk space? Probably no way to know for sure.

But those type of tweaks was what made Linux an adventure.  What killed it for me was the editors. The only thing Windows-ee was Kylix ide editor. It just got distracting trying to remember how to navigate in Emacs.  And the help was weird. Kind of needs total immersion to really do it well. I always had the Windows partition crutch. Pretty much had to as some devices I had to initialize with Windows.  Then once warm I could boot Linux and use 'em. smiley

Even today if I ask about a Linux editor that feels like a Windows editor I get the same suggestions I tried then.  Word processors when I want a text editor. The ones I found with Windows type hotkeys tended to be configured in lisp or python. Just kept me from thinking about what I was typing because I had to think how to type what I was typing.

But it was fun.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 02:32:35 PM by MilesAhead » Logged

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« Reply #61 on: September 02, 2011, 02:39:12 PM »

It's almost unbelievable Windows has done nothing in all these years regarding swap.

Oh...I wouldn't be surprised if they did. They're probably just not sharing it.

In some respects I can understand why. In a well designed system, the system itself should take care of that without the user needing to get involved. And considering the number of Windows users who aren't "technical" (one of the drawbacks of being The Desktop of the Masses), maybe it's better that it's been dumbed-down at the user level.

And in all fairness, you can either view the ability to screw around with swap as a feature of Linux. Or proof positive that it wasn't implemented properly to begin with - hence the need for its tweakability.

Once again it's: [glass half empty | glass half full]  depending on who's doing the talking. Cool

« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 02:42:52 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #62 on: September 04, 2011, 10:19:26 AM »

With systems these days having so much memory any user will struggle to find a way to actually take advantage of it, I don't see the point in having Microsoft wasting their time improving the "tweakability" of the swap file, frankly. And Windows does an excellent job managing the swap with the default settings, or at least that's my experience.

I guess having the perfect swap setup is quickly approaching the snake oil status, pretty much like all the optimization tricks that no longer bring quantifiable benefits today. Unless you're OCD about it *ahem*
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« Reply #63 on: September 04, 2011, 11:09:29 AM »

I guess having the perfect swap setup is quickly approaching the snake oil status, pretty much like all the optimization tricks that no longer bring quantifiable benefits today.

Well said! And likely very true too. Thmbsup

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« Reply #64 on: September 04, 2011, 02:18:11 PM »

Ram disk is so Win98 anyway.


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« Reply #65 on: September 04, 2011, 02:21:06 PM »

I guess having the perfect swap setup is quickly approaching the snake oil status, pretty much like all the optimization tricks that no longer bring quantifiable benefits today.

Well said! And likely very true too. Thmbsup



You mean if I go to "my really damn quick PC" dot com it won't make my PC really damn quick, even though I'm running with only 7% free disk space and have 44 windows open?
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« Reply #66 on: September 04, 2011, 02:48:56 PM »

That depends on how much malware the site is going to push. More malware, higher likelihood of a Windows format+reinstall, and thus a faster computer. Until you ran out of disk space again, that is.
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