Windown Boot Drive

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by th3_hawk, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    I was looking at my drives today and noticed something a little odd...

    My boot drive is a Samsung 970 Evo Pro 500GB purchased about 6 months ago. But the numbers look a little strange. Read and writes... I would have expected that being the boot drive without any games installed on it it would have fairy light use, mostly reads... but for some reason it's showing only 4TB read but nearly 11TB written?
    upload_2021-1-24_20-31-12.png


    I've just noticed that it's nearly constantly writing 7 - 15MB/s to that drive too even though I am installing a game ATM to another drive. Task manager only seems to show the disk activity related to that game install. Pausing the game makes this activity go away, so it's like it's caching all the files on C before moving them to E... but it doesn't seem to be reading C drive at all... so shadow copy for some reason? It seems odd.

    FYI I'm running the latest Windows 10 (Version 10.0.19042 Build 19042).

    Drive temps are also quite high, but from what I read this is somewhat normal on the drive... The second drive is essentially under the GPU and it happily sitting at 37C.

    My second NVME drive (a 1TB Kingston A2000) looks more like what I would expect, minimal writes, LOTS of reads. Pretty amazing that it's it ~2.7TB of writes on a 1TB drive too, I would have thought it would be much closer to 1TB since I have essentially filled the drive once and not really deleted and re-installed anything.

    upload_2021-1-24_20-36-18.png



    So I'm interested, what do people's write and write stats look like for their boot drive vs their game storage drives?
     
  2. bonox

    bonox Member

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    My boot drive writes nosedived since i turned off the pagefile and a lot of logging services.
     
  3. kogi

    kogi Member

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    That is does look weird, only drive in my system, about 7 months old
    Screenshot 2021-01-24 221758.png
     
  4. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

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    That does seem high - mine is at 13TB after 27 months. For starters, do you have a pagefile on that drive?
     
  5. Wozzernux

    Wozzernux Member

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    This link has methods to reduce writes from active web browsers.

    Yours has a 5 year / 300TBW warranty, if your write rate maintains then it's another 55k hours to hit 300TBW.

    Bought mine used from OCAU over the years so CDI stats are grossly innacurate, but my usage so far is:

    Sammy 950 Pro 256GB, 7360hrs, 26TB writes, 7TB reads, pagefile present
    Sammy 850 Pro 1TB, 9500hrs, 49TB writes, unknown reads (CDI doesn't detect?), games + shadowplay scratch drive
     
  6. OP
    OP
    th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    That's more what I would expect, a bias towards read for most people.

    Yes, pagefile on there, but I'm also running 32GB RAM, so while I have only booted up this morning for a little while, I have Chrome, Webex and Excel currently open and the pagefile is more token, although it's currently allocated up to 10,240MB (auto system settings). I get into the 20GB+ range, although I've never seen it get near the limit.

    upload_2021-1-25_8-41-0.png

    Doing a straight up conversion, yep, about 6 more years of 24/7 operation could hit that limit. The other way, I built this machine in August 2020 which equated to about 0.07TB / day since then, extrapolating that's about 12 more years to hit 300TB...
    In either case the cost of replacing a boot drive once every 5 years or so isn't exactly large and chances are I will want more storage space anyway.

    Interestingly, CrystalDiskInfo give you power on hours and write stats for all drives, but reads only for my NVME drives and not the SATA SSD. HWInfo64 does show reads for the SATA SSD too.
     
  7. Wozzernux

    Wozzernux Member

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    I forgot to mention I've always run a fixed pagefile on the boot SSD, typically it's my fastest storage device.

    Manually set to half my RAM size and never had the "low virtual memory" message while gaming, even with 50 Firefox tabs in the background :thumbup:
     
  8. OP
    OP
    th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    At the end of today this is where I now sit and I have to wonder why the computer feels the need to page anything at all? Surely it's better to just not bother until it's needed or at the very least if actual RAM usage gets to 80%?
    upload_2021-1-25_16-38-8.png

    Really though, after the earlier calculation it's largely falling into the not something to worry about pile :D
     
  9. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Here are my stats, 500G drive is the OS drive, 1TB drive is the Games/storage drive.

    Sammy.JPG
     
  10. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    No. Using a page file for graceful process degradation improves performance rather than waiting until the last minute for on-demand stuff.

    If we didn't need page files, we wouldn't have them at all. They are still very much required, even in the modern world.
     
  11. bonox

    bonox Member

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    Sadly though, for consumer OSs there's no logic in application between my laptop with 2GB of RAM and my workstation with 160GB ram as far as pagefiles go. I've never had an issue turning windows pagefiles off once all my main boxes got to 128GB each, so i'm sticking with(out) it.

    edit: and you still see the odd piece of crap writing even with 2020 dates on it saying you should have a page file some fixed multiplier of your RAM size. Great, i'll just buy another 240GB SSD purely for a pagefile shall I? :p
     
  12. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    "Not having an issue" is not the same as "optimal".

    This is entirely unrelated to the topic of swap versus no swap. Having *some* swap is still optimal. Ye olde recommendations to make it a multiple of your RAM have been dead for eons.

    I run HPC / super computer and VFX render clusters where individual nodes have 1TB of RAM each, but still have 2-4GB of swap per node, again because it's absolutely optimal to have *some* swap.

    In 2021, let Windows manage your swap, and be done with it. Stop fiddling for fiddling's sake.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2021
  13. bonox

    bonox Member

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    so what's your view of putting a 4GB swap file on a ram drive then if the goal is purely to avoid piles of needless writes to flash memory drives? Serves absolutely no purpose at all from a performance point of view, but you've still got a swap file fpr the reasons you've noted..
     
  14. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    Agreed. Microsoft knows you have SSD or NVME. They know if you've got gobs of ram. If running without a page file was optimal, they'd do it. It's not. They don't.
     
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  15. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    "Piles of needless writes" is hyperbole. That, and wear levelling exists in modern flash devices to deal with it.

    I say again, stop fiddling for fiddling's sake. You're fixing nothing but your own baseless OCD.
     
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  16. OP
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    th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    Since this popped back up, I figure I might as well provide a little update. As per my last comment, it doesn't practically matter, life span will be more than long enough for anything I am going to use it for.

    The boot drive is up to 11.5TB, but according to my calculations that's slowed from an average of 66.4GB/Day for the first 163 days to 52.5GB/Day over the last 18 days. I'm back at work (from home) but still using this computer so my usage has changed to more work and less gaming, but still an oddly high number.

    Which leads to one of my theories... I noticed that there was lots of io writes showing in task manager from nvidia which I think was nvidia capturing highlights, while it's capped at 5GB (per game) and even that goes back a couple of weeks (because I suck and don't do so many things that are capture worthy :p ), but I guess it's constantly recording?? This was absolutely writing to the main boot drive, so it's now pointing at the SATA SSD instead. In 19 days that device was written nearly 1.5TB of data despite only having 666GB of files on it (and I don't think I have deleted anything). That's an average of 78.58GB / Day, although to be fair to that drive, I have installed 600GB+ of games in a short amount of time, so that is skewed upward. I'll monitor them both over time and see if the writes to the main drive continue at this rate or not?

    For some reason, NZXT CAM was also at the top of the io list, no idea why it would be there? Seems to be a heft amount of logging going on there that I don't need. In any case, I don't need that anymore so have just turned it off.
     
  17. bonox

    bonox Member

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    i've got machines on old 64 and 32gb boot drive ssd's, a few hiding behind controllers that don't support TRIM elegantly, so i would definately say that a pagefile constitutes "piles of needless writes" - thanks for your assertion that it's hyperbole to be writing repeatedly to a few gigabytes of space on a disk - you think wear levelling really works when the disk is practically full?

    I'm still actually interested in an logical answer to creating swap file on ramdisk - you seem a smart guy with lots of practical experience - would it work as a soft buffer, or is it pointless if the applications i'm running get along just fine without it?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
  18. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    What do you want me to say here? Don't use SSDs and controllers that don't support TRIM on a modern desktop.

    I mean, I love retro computing for lolz too. But I don't use old shitty hardware to do my day job.

    And if you're bragging about top-notch SSD/NVMe drives and 160GB RAM workstations, you're not using some rubbish 32GB SSD from the previous decade.

    Yes. This is why drives have spare cells you can't write to as an end user.

    Look, it's your computer, do what you want. But your swap file OCD doesn't change how Windows kernel memory management works.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
  19. bonox

    bonox Member

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    Never said anything about to notch ssd or nvme, that all came from other posters. And most of my gear is four generation old server gear which makes for cheap and reliable combos of large core counts and heaps of ecc ram although getting gpus in the workstations can be tricky without riser cables. They are also generally running Server 2012 and 2016 so still genuinely interested in a proper answer to the question of windows swap files on ram because they are otherwise very happy with the os and apps on a small old intel ssd and working space on my nas.

    The other not insignificant point is that I used to run firefox to interface with ilo 2 and that was capable of writing tens of gigabytes per day to the disk because of it's 15 second session save state routines. The disk wouldn't care how much reallocate able space was available, it would ask be gone in a few hours and the disk would lock up because the raid controller wouldn't pass through trim. Turn that stuff off and the swap file, no problems. Now, about that swap on ramdrive?
     
  20. bonox

    bonox Member

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    Oh, on the high performance side, two of these servers are booting off sd flash cards which are worse than ssd but have the same issues
     

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