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Another Pc question for the techies

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by lowlight_junkie, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. lowlight_junkie


    Nov 28, 2005
    Hoping one of you experts can help me out here. I have 3 x Hard disk drives in my PC which are:

    80 gigabyte standard UDMA 100 IDE drive this is my windows installation drive.
    2 x SATA 120 gigabyte drives one of which is used for storage and the other of which is totally empty.

    I am trying to find the best and fastest swap file configuration for both windows and PS CS2.
    I know I should really install windows on one of the SATA drives but I have had it stable for so long I cannot bear to reinstall XP.
    Could anyone let me know the best configuration for this setup?
    The PC is a Athlon 2800+ with 1gb of dual channel memory on an Abit NF7 motherboard if that makes any difference.
    I have been told that I need to set a static 4096mb swapfile for windows on an empty and preferably my fastest drive. I was also advised to do this for PS but I cannot find a way to make it a static one as PS seems to delete it on exit.
    Any help greatly appreciated
  2. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    Photoshop ideally should have a scratch partition on the fastest disk you have. Depending on your version of PS, this partition could be anything from 8 to 32 GB or even bigger.

    PS deletes its scratch file ~PSTxxx.tmp when the program exits. If PS has to allocate space on a non-dedicated disk partition, the repeated creatition and deletion of these often huge temporary files will fragment the partition making it much slower and more inefficient. So putting the temporary files on their own partition is a recommended suggestion, also making the clean-up and regular defragmentation of the partition easier.
  3. lowlight_junkie


    Nov 28, 2005
    Hi Bjorn, so If I was to fdisk my empty drive and create a 32GB partition solely for the use of Cs2 this would speed things up? I then presume it would be pointless to use the remaining space on the drive for anything that I would be looking to access whilst CS2 was running as this would create problems due to two lots of access requests on the same physical drive.
    Or am I miles from the mark here? Would it be worth creating several partitions (one on each drive) for CS2? And last but not least does the location and size of the windows swap file have any bearing on CS2's speed or is that neither here nor there?
  4. moffo


    Oct 20, 2005
    Central TX

    I think you've got it. You could devote the entie 120GB drive as a single partition to CS2, but I suspect the performance would be just as good with a 32 GB partition. You could leave the rest of the drive as a backp of files that you intend to eventually move to storage (so long as you don't try to actively work wth them from CS -- but saving from CS to a partition on the same drive should have negligible impact.)

    And even if you don't want to move Windows to the other SATA drive, you might considering putting your windows swapfile there.
  5. lowlight_junkie


    Nov 28, 2005
    Hi Michael, what I have just done is using partition magic I have created 1 x 32 GB partition on each sata drive. The first partition for photoshop to use is on the drive that is totally empty, the second on the sata drive I use for backup.
    Would it now be usefull to create a static 4096mb sized windows swapfile on the non CS2 partitions of these drives or would the drive access from windows interfere with the CS2 access on the same physical drive?
    Hope this is making sense, I'm talking myself in circles!! :) 
  6. moffo


    Oct 20, 2005
    Central TX
    No way to absolutely be sure, but I suspect that, so long as CS2 has all the memory it wants (and it certainly should), then having the windows swapfile on the same physical spindle as the CS2 secondary should have minimal impact so long as you're not running a couple of other memory hogs.
  7. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    Hello Chaz,

    If you haven't seen it already, have a look at this thread and the links in there:


    This may answer some of the questions.

    If you're running PS and no other memory-consuming applications at the same time, having PS programs on one disk, the pictures on another one, and the scratch disk on a third drive may improve performance. This allows Windows to load, for example, a plugin from one disk, while loading or manipulating an image on another disk.

    Another setup considering your configuration (two 120 GB SATA drives) could be RAID. This would allow you to use both SATA drives together as if it was one disk. A write cycle would then write one fraction of the RAM to one disk and another part to the other disk, firtually at the same time. This can increase read and write times significantly. However, there is a big disadvantage to this: if one disk fails, you may be loosing the data of both disks :frown: . There are several RAID modes - just search the Internet for more explanations. RAID is used extensively on file or web servers where disk performance is critical. You may need a RAID controler for it, if your motherboard doesn't support it (mine does). It's just another idea to consider.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  8. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  9. lowlight_junkie


    Nov 28, 2005
    Hi Heiko and Paul, as ever a wealth of information and many options. I have to admit I REALLY like the idea of moving the windows installation. I had heard of Ghost in the past but have to admit to having no idea what it done.
    I am pretty sure I know someone who has it so I will look into that and see what my options are.
    Once again thanks to everyone
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