Ram on Pagefile... is it worth it?

vbimport

#1

System: CPU: AMD FX 4100 @ 4.2 Ghz (prime 12 hour stable)
Mobo: Crosshair V AMD 990FX
Ram: 8 gigs Mushkin @ 2133 mhz (not overclocked but beyond 1866 supported by CPU still stable)
Graphics Card(s): 3 Radeon 7970’s Windforce OC which are at 1 Ghz factory clock
(2 cards get disabled in XP but Motherboard System Resources still locate memory to the cards; don’t worry I use them in win 7)
OS: Windows XP 32-bit Home SP3

Software: Super Speed RamDisk Plus 11.7.971.0
Benchmark: FarCry Benchmark All settings Maxed 1080p 4x msaa

I did some benchmarks today

I loaded FarCry 2 benchmark. The way i am figuring out how long it takes to load is by actually videoing the loading screen with my cell-phone. Cell phone is only accurate to the exact second with recording.

With Pagefile on Ramdisk Size of ramdisk 3950
From click start to actual benching start
It took 34 seconds load
Here are Results from running the benchmark

Loop 1
Ave 49.10
Max 95.77
Min 29.88

Loop 2
Ave 49.23
Max 93.82
Min 30.40

Loop 3
Ave 49.01
Max 43.37
Min 30.11

With page-file on OS drive.

Loaded in 35 seconds (within err. of possible difference due to random stuff) so pretty much the same loading time as with Pagefile on Ramdrive

Results of benchmark

Loop 1.
Ave 49.11
Max 95.59
Min 29.01

Loop 2
Ave 49.06
Max 92.89
min 30.04

Loop 3
Ave 49.16
Max 93.36
Min 28.87

Conclusion:

I fear that there is no real world improvement.(By initial benches of FarCry)So before I tell people how to do any of this I will try to find-out if its actually faster to do this…

Background:

The only reason I am Paging on a Ram Drive is because I had an interest in it and the 4 gig of ram limitation in XP left me with 4 gigs of unusable ram(i have 8 total). Not all freeware programs unlock the 4 gig barrier and allow the access of the ram that the system is not allocating by default nor do they support pagefile on the ram. (if you know of a free program that does I couldn’t find it) So i purchased Super Speed Ram Disk.

I feel it is not useful in Windows XP for a gamer unless you have more than 4 gigabytes of ram and some spare money.

What I found was the more I added video cards added to my computer the more my physical ram available shrinked. With one Radeon 7970 My Physical Ram was sitting at 3.2 gigs. This was the same amount as with one Radeon 4870. With 2 Radeons it went to 2.9ish with three Radeons I am at 2.71 gigs. This is seen in the My Computers Properties. More ram was allocated to Hard-drives as it would make sense with more hardware added.

My next benchmark tonight is 3dmark06… old but fun to do.

I will try to think of other programs that take a long time to load or use lots of ram that cause lots of paging. If you know of any possible benchmarks I can use I’ll be interested to see if there is a change.

I have alot of games I can see myself testing Mass Effect 1/2 with the High Resolution Pack for Characters that seems to take forever to load. I think COD series has long loading bars. Those are just on the top of my head.


#2

With Pagefile on OS drive:
3DMarks 18158
SM2.0 Score
6756
HDR/SM3.0 Score
9296
CPU Score
4722
Game Score
N/A
GT1 - Return To Proxycon
57.02 FPS
GT2 - Firefly Forest
55.57 FPS
CPU1 - Red Valley
1.57 FPS
CPU2 - Red Valley
2.27 FPS
HDR1 - Canyon Flight
117.1 FPS
HDR2 - Deep Freeze
68.82 FPS

With Pagefile on Ram Drive:
3DMark Score
18152 3DMarks
SM2.0 Score
6718
HDR/SM3.0 Score
9354
CPU Score
4694
Game Score
N/A
GT1 - Return To Proxycon
56.47 FPS
GT2 - Firefly Forest
55.49 FPS
CPU1 - Red Valley
1.56 FPS
CPU2 - Red Valley
2.25 FPS
HDR1 - Canyon Flight
118.26 FPS
HDR2 - Deep Freeze
68.82 FPS

Again no difference


#3

With page-file on OS drive.
Loop 3
Ave 49.01
Max 43.37 (typo) should be 93.37
Min 30.11


#4

So i just timed Mass Effect 1 loading time.
This is non-steam version. I am running “Text Mod” with a mod that is in a forum under a heading “Higher resolution textures for characters (PC Mod)”

I am not using the ultra version. I am using the optimized version.

This game with the mod takes forever to load:

Here are the results:

With Pagefile on the OS drive:
Loading takes 5 minutes

With Pagefile on the Ramdrive:
Loading takes 4 minutes and 53 seconds.

So a full 7 second lead with Page-file on the Ram-drive.

I am downloading a picture that is 400 ish megabytes

I will test how long it takes to load the picture using “gimp” or if it even loads for our next test.
Or I’ll do something with it Maybe some sort of Sharpening filter for comparison.


#5

How many times did you run the same tests?
While I also think that the speed improvement is almost unnoticable,running a benchmark program is not always enough to prove a point.
You need a program that heavily relies on pagefiles,like a cad or 3d modelling program.
I’ve put my pagefile on a ramdisk too,because

A:I don’t want it on my SSD,for wasting space and tear and wear on that SSD.
B:I want an empty,cleaned pagefile on every reboot without taking ages to shutdown my computer.
C:Because some programs/games rely on it to work well,otherwise I would disable it,since I have 12 GB of RAM…


#6

yea i only ran it once a bit lazy i know…(the benchmarks and me)
Its hard to say… I always feel like the system is a bit more responsive on the ramdrive…
but i was trying to proove that it is more responsive… but so far I really have nothing that prooves it. Im also noticing that I have a few things that may have caused problems… with Ram Disk… and my benchmarks.
The 11.7 ram disk is a bit different than 11.5 I think theres an extra step required to make the ram drive hold the page file…however. so i gotta make sure im running with the ram drive properly…again!

Theres other problems with my tests. I’ve been letting the virus scanners run in the background with both tests…(with or without ram drive page) i think that causes some randomnimity wierd results…but the results were so similar it almost didnt matter.My reasonings for having virus in the background was so that i would use more ram and cause the system to page and see more differences in results. but its not working.

I was hoping for a sweeping win… so i could be conclusive and not run anymore tests…but I’d have to look into what i have that uses the pagefile alot.

yes i agree more benchmarks need to be done. I also think that some of those results are wrong now that i notice whenever i turn the ram drive off and put it back on i missed a step. it was actually off…

i just opened that 444 meg tif file through gimp and it actually opened up faster without the ramdrive pagefile… for some reason that doesnt seem right to me. I really should not run virus in the background… that might be causing it.

I’d have to do it again. and again. maybe after wednesday i will have more free time to do it properly.


#7

Thank you so much for posting campcreekdude! I hope more people will be able to post benchmarks so we can see what results are on other systems too!