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efstroup
virtual memory
on Nov 20, 2002 at 1:52:12 am

Have noticed rec from Videoguys for putting the "swap file" on the video drive, not on the boot or primary drive. Does this mean the Virtual Memory under System Properties in Device Manager, or something else? I have a 3rd hard drive with Photoshop on it. Would putting the virtual memory on the video drive interfere with image work off the 3rd drive? Thanks, Dan


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David LaBorde
Re: virtual memory
on Nov 22, 2002 at 4:07:47 pm

Assume when you say virtual memory you are talking about the pagefile (Win2K or XP). If so first set the pagefile min and max to same size. It is best to have the Initial and Maximum size the same as Windows will map out one size on the disk and not keep resizing (with use) and cause more fragmentation. Second I have found that with Premiere RAM (size) X 2 is the best value in Win XP. Third setting your pagefile to clear at shutdown will optimize things further. When starting up a new editing session I like to start with the pagefile clear. This way it doesn’t become as fragmented – it stays contiguous. This can be a big help before intensive editing sessions. In Win 2K this required a registry change but now it can be done easier in XP (note the registry change is still possible). In XP go to Start > Control panel > Administrative tools > local security policy > Local policies > security options then fine the option > "Shutdown: Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile" right click then Properties + enable and then hit Apply button. Please note this will increase your shutdown time especially if you have a large pagefile like I do (RAM X2 = 2 Gig).

Finally placing you pagefile on separate drive can really help things. When the paging file is on the boot partition drive, Windows is performing disk reading and writing requests for both the system folder and the paging file together. When the paging file is moved to a different drive, there is less competition between reading and writing requests. Moving the page file to a different partition on the same physical boot drive will not accomplish this as the disk sensor can only access one partition at a time. Some advocate utilizing a separate hard drive and partitioning part of it for the “Pagefile” only. However, utilizing this approach sometimes can get you back into the same fix we just discussed (if the other partition is utilized while swapping is taking place). This is why it is not advisable to place a “pagefile” on the same hard drive used to store video and audio (these also receive frequent accesses during editing). It is also not wise (or any help) to put the pagefile on any of your video drives for the same reason.

Hard drives have become very cheap and most of us even have one or two smaller drives lying around. The ultimate is to take a spare drive and utilize it for nothing but the “pagefile”. On most video editing systems the video/audio drives are attached to a RAID or controller card (IDE or SCSI). CD / DVD drives are usually attached to the secondary port on the MOBO and the system drive attached as Master on the Primary IDE port with nothing on the secondary (slave channel). The “pagefile” drive can be place here. The drive can be formatted and file placement will start (and stay) on the fastest section of the disk. It will also become less fragmented with use and access will only be dedicated for swapping. It is beneficial to have at least a ATA-33/66 HD to gain optimum access time (burst rate). If you can place the file on a SCSI drive – all the better. I have my page file set on a separate drive used for nothing else and never have crashes in Premiere (at least not for a long time). I sometimes reboot after long edit session (under my terms not Premiere lock-up) - just to clear the page file and be on the safe side.

There are a few things you need to know. If you completely remove the paging file from the boot partition, Windows cannot create a dump file (Memory.dmp) in which to write debugging information in the event that a kernel mode STOP error message occurs. This can lead to extended downtime if a debug procedure is necessary to troubleshoot the STOP error message. It is wise to keep at least 128 MB on the OS boot partition. Windows is design to utilize the other drives set for paging before utilizing the boot drive. This is a whole bunch of stuff but may be quite worthwhile to spend time doing – Hope it helps.

David LaBorde


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