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Windows 7: Ideal W7 disk setup

23 Jul 2009   #21
weh

Win.7.Ult.x64
 
 

Assuming you have plenty of physical memory, the page file is almost superfluous. You still need it simply because windows is designed to use it and some applications expect it to exist; however, dedicating a physical drive to the page file is overkill.

I've set up my uber-workstation this way:
  • C: -- 2-drive RAID-0 array (using ICH10R); 2x 150GB WD VelociRaptors; OS (incl page file) & Apps
  • D: -- 2-drive RAID-1 array (using ICH10R); 2x 1TB WD Caviar Black RE3; Users & general work space
  • E:, F:, G:, H: -- 8-drive RAID-6 array (using Adaptec 5805); 8x 1.5TB WD Caviar Green; additional storage
  • I:, J: -- optical drives
  • K: -- 3x 1-drive backup; 3x 1.5TB WD Caviar Green; full backup weekly + incremental backup daily, rotating the 3 drives on a weekly basis



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Jul 2009   #22
swarfega

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by saverio View Post
In anticipation of a fresh install of W7 when the retailbox ships, I'm playing with various configurations for storage and looking at various scenarios.

I'm thinking of ditching my RAID 0 array and looking at setting the disk controller up as AHCI now that 7 supports this out of the box.

I'm thinking of the following:

Drive 1 Sytem and programs

Drive 2 pagefile (what sort of capacity woudl suit this?)

Drive 3 User files perhaps partitioned for x2 user (or would a drive for each user be better)

Drive 4 dumping ground for pictures, downloads etc.

What are your thoughts, and if you had say two to four drives kicking around how would you organise your PC?
Thats more or less what I have

c: WD Raptor X/150 in RAID 0 for OS and programs
d: WD Raptor 36gb for pagefile and browser profiles
e: Samsung F1 1Tb for games
f: Samsung F1 1Tb for f:\users\<account> files and folders and general dumping place
z: Samsung F1 1Tb in eSata caddy for Music collection

@weh: you should move the pagefile off the OS drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2009   #23
weh

Win.7.Ult.x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by swarfega View Post
. . .
@weh: you should move the pagefile off the OS drive.
On my old 32-bit XP system, I dedicated a 36GB Raptor to page file use. However, with 12GB DDR3 1600 ram, there is no point. The page file is used so rarely that it just doesn't matter. Having an extra spindle for the page file is a waste of a perfectly good drive that can be used for something else.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Jul 2009   #24
swarfega

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

True then I guess with that amount of ram.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2009   #25
Antman

 

If two people purchased identical processors, RAM and other components, put them on matching boards, installed matching OS, installed matching applications, plugged them into the same power strip -

They Would Have Two Different Systems As Soon As They Booted!

No two systems are identical. No two performance modalities are the same on the same machine. There is no answer to the question about the page file other than - it is integral to the design of the operating system for reasons not limited to memory capacity.

Yes, put it on a separate volume where possible. No, do not use a dedicated volume.

Computer science - computer technology. Two different things.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2009   #26
bummpr

Windows 7 x86 and x64 - RTM
 
 
Simple Pleasures...Yah

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
I'm probably alone in my own simplistic world, but i likely wouldn't put multiple drives into a single workstation computer unless I really had a need for massive amounts of disk space.

I don't like or use RAID0 because the failure potential is 2x and I just don't seem to have a need for the performance shown mostly within benchmark utilities to justify the potential for lost data.

I don't do a RAID1 mirror either at home...because I honestly feel that many files are deleted on accident and a RAID1 doesn't really prevent that from happening. I just prefer to backup regularly using something like robocopy to an external drive..which I can keep offsite in case my house burns to the ground.

While you can get a performance increase from having the page file on another drive....I'm not sure with the speed of drives today if the benefits are really that obvious anymore. I'm sure some can make the argument for it...but over the course of a day...I just don't think that the real world performance gains are worth it.

So, I would rather just have a single drive, consuming the least power and leading the least amount of cable clutter in my box. I do often keep a second hard drive mounted as a "sandbox" area and when a new OS comes out, I simply move the power and the SATA cable over to the playground OS and run from there.
DITTO!!! It seems to me that hardware performance (and now OS performance!) has reached such a high level that "performance tweaking" is an activity that may be fun to do but yields no real or tangible benefits. (I confess...I still indulge occasionally but more often than not end up reversing my "tweaks".)

I think Antman and others here have observed many instances where someones intended performance tweaks would have either resulted in disaster or at least reduced the overall performance of the system.

I am slowly learning to enjoy the simple pleasures of accepting the "default" world.

Cheers!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2009   #27
mikinho
Microsoft MVP

6x W2K8 R2 (x64), 6x W7 7600 (x64), 2x Gentoo (x64), 1x Ubuntu 9.04 (x64), 1x pfSense (FreeBSD)
 
 

It is more than just performance tweaking, it is also convenience. I reformat my systems frequently, with WAIK it is a piece of cake getting my system to an acceptable operating level. If I didn't seperate my data, user profiles, etc reformatting would be a much bigger pain.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2009   #28
Antman

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mikinho View Post
It is more than just performance tweaking, it is also convenience. I reformat my systems frequently, with WAIK it is a piece of cake getting my system to an acceptable operating level. If I didn't seperate my data, user profiles, etc reformatting would be a much bigger pain.
Exactly. Modularity.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
...While you can get a performance increase from having the page file on another drive...I'm not sure with the speed of drives today if the benefits are really that obvious anymore...but over the course of a day...I just don't think that the real world performance gains are worth it...
Depends on what you do in your real world. I also offput more than just the page file. My goal is to achive simultaneous I/O, mostly writes, across multiple controllers. I not only edit/encode/recode video, I work with datasets containing (potentially) millions of records. The video is for fun, the data stuff is making a living.

My arguments are not just for theoretical amusement. It is a matter of scale. As far as being worth it, it always comes down to "What do you want to do today?"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2009   #29
HerrKaLeun

W7 Pro 64
 
 

I have some doubt about all the stripping RAID options, even the ones with parity. Here they are explained. I know most of them have options to restore data if a drive fails. But what if the RAID controller fails and I get a different model that uses a different stripping algorithm, how does that piece my data back together reliably?

I'd prefer a RAID 1 (which I have), maybe a 1+0 to speed up performance. However, if the controller fails, I still can just take one HDD and have all the data without relying on the RAID controller. Right now I have an Intel southbridge 10R. If my board fails and I get another 10R board, will it still repair the strip? Maybe once my board fails I want to move to something newer, will the stripped data still be recoverable?

I don't think the page file on a different drive gives me much advantage. First, adding enough RAM is cheaper, more reliable, and improves performance overall. My pagefile probably is negligible. I still have 3+ GB "free memory" + what is cached. If I had money, I'd put W7 and all installations on an SSD and all data on a RAID 1 (or RAID 1+0 if speed matters for that). W7 improved speed so much over Vista, at Vista times I thought of a separate HDD for the OS. but now it only would be unneeded luxury.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jul 2009   #30
Konceptz804

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Why are you giving up the raid 0 array? I could never go back to a single drive for my OS...ever
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 Ideal W7 disk setup




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