An age old question:
I have a system with two hard drives. The first is a 10000-rpm 70GB drive. The second is a 7200-rpm 120GB drive. There is 1GB of RAM.
Given this scenario, which of the following locations of the swap-file (SF) would be optimal, in terms of performance (i.e., which would most likely yield the least access time)?
(1) Place the SF in a first 2GB partition on the Fast drive. The OS would be loaded into an imediately subsequent partition.
(2) Place the OS in a first partition on the Fast drive. Place the SF on a 2GB partition immediately following the first partition.
(3) Place the OS on the Fast Drive. Place the SF in the first partition of the Slow drive.
(4) Place the SF on the Fast Drive. Place the OS on the Slow drive.
(5) Other Suggestions??
Keep in mind, that I would like to XP to maintain the ability to create a memory dump, if necessary. Therefore, per Microsoft's suggestion, some of the swap-file should be resident on the boot partition (cf. http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=314482
If the drives were the same speed, I would likely opt for the third configuration. However, since the drives are not the same speed, the rotational latency of the Slow drive must be taken into account, as such latencies are often not trivial relative to the seek time. Advice I've read generally suggests placing the swap-file on the fastest drive. Others insist the swap-file should be on the first partition of a secondary drive (if possible). This begs the question then: where should the OS go? The guidance on the web is somewhat inconsistent and, at times, contradictory.
Please assume that the virtual memory system will be sufficiently taxed so that the placement of the swap-file would actually make a difference.
Another question: Some have suggested that the partition containing the swap-file should be FAT, as opposed to NTFS, essentially because FAT is simpler (e.g., no evaluation of access rightsand generally uses larger clusters, etc.). I think this view is somewhat simplistic and does not take into account the overhead in using a cluster size different from XP's default. There may be some merit, though, to using this scheme for a relatively small partition containing one file (namely the swap-file). The advantages of FAT's simplicity and usage of a larger cluster may supercede the superior efficiency of NTFS, for small volumes (cf. http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/Windows/2000/server/reskit/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/Windows/2000/server/reskit/en-us/core/fncc_fil_yula.asp
). I don't know if 2GB (see above; clearly this discussion does not apply to FAT16) would qualify as "small volume". Is this nonsense (as I suspect), or is using a FAT partition a good idea in this case?