So, following #3, all we have to do now is use simple methods to improve the performance of your PC/MAC.

The Pagefile
If you have 2 or more disks then you can move your windows pagefile onto the second disk. The pagefile is used by windows when the memory is used and so it caches some of it’s data using the pagefile. Moving it away from the disk that holds your Operating System will improve performance as it will utilise both disks rather than trying to read/write from a single disk while working.
The only exception to this is when your OS disk is much faster than your second disk (see SSD below) in which case it’s quicker leaving it as-is

Disk Performance
Disks vary in performance, but are getting faster all the time
The fastest disks you can get today are SSD (Solid State Disk) and are basically the same as a keyring memory stick, but with a bigger capacity and set in a laptop HD case. Unfortunately they’re still an emerging technology and so they’re not cheap (£1 per 1Gb at the time of writing).

But the benefits are:
No moving parts – virtually indestructible (take note laptop users 😉 )
Not affected by magnets – it’s all silicon and solder

To elaborate the speed difference, regular SATA hard drives (HDD) have a seek time of approx 0.18ms (milliseconds). Pretty fast for sure, but becasue SSD have no moving parts, their seek time is about 0.01ms. Doesn’t sound like much, but when your system tries to access 2,000 files during a boot-up it shows.
Added to that, regular SATA HDD have a read/write transfer rate of about 70-80Mb/s maximum. SSD transfer data is about 220mb/s


To put it in perspective, I installed a Samsung PB22-J 128Gb disk on my system and used Ghost to copy from my old 40Gb C partition on my old 320Gb HDD to this new disk leaving 78Gb spare (my old disk has been added to my external backup pool).
My old disk would boot my system from start to screen up in just over 60 seconds. Now it gets to screen up in 22 seconds.
I set the spare 75Gb as an S drive and only use it for pagefile and scratch data for photoshop and other applications

Honestly, 128Gb is excessive for what I do, 64Gb would have been enough (40Gb+24Gb scratch), but it’s good to have a little wiggle room just in case.

Scratch Space/Disk
Lots of programs and operating systems use temporary areas to perform tasks in the background or write temporary files. By allocating the scratch space to use either a fast disk (SSD) or a second disk then this will also increase performance as you won’t be ‘stealing’ disk time from the operating system/program disk.

Well, that’s about it. I’ve kept this series fairly simple so that most people can follow the logic and theory behind the principles I’ve written.
Feel free to comment or ask questions below

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