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Thread: Here's how I got ARMA2 to perform smoothly using RAMDISK

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Doxshund View Post
    so basically you need another hard drive and win xp.
    You can set the paging file to a secondary HD in Vista too, it actually makes this game run smoother.

  2. #22
    ^^^Lmao

    Btw i have Arma 2 on its own partition by itself...does that make any difference?

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by WMike20052 View Post
    Btw i have Arma 2 on its own partition by itself...does that make any difference?
    In the same physical drive ? Dont think so.

  4. #24
    Would setting up the paging file on the secondary partition on the same HDD (where the game is not installed) improve FPS?
    Phenom II X4 955 (OC @ 3.6 GHz)
    GTX 570 Classified (OC Heavily)
    12 GB Dual-Channel DDR3
    M4 Solid State Drive
    No Hard Drive

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by JuggernautOfWar View Post
    Would setting up the paging file on the secondary partition on the same HDD (where the game is not installed) improve FPS?
    Placing the page file on another partition of the same HD doesnt simulate the benefits of having two hard drives since the read head of a single drive can still only seek information from one place at a time.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by thales100 View Post
    Placing the page file on another partition of the same HD doesnt simulate the benefits of having two hard drives since the read head of a single drive can still only seek information from one place at a time.
    That's exactly what I was thinking... sad.

  7. #27
    No, you cannot put a page file on RAM, that's where the data is to begin with.
    RAM holds data that is being worked on by applications that are open.
    Some of this data is not being accessed as frequently so it is temporarily moved to a paging file on the hard drive to make room for higher priority data.
    Ideally, you would like to have enough RAM so that you never need to page anything because it a slow process to write it to disk, then have to read it back into RAM when you need it again.

    Unfortunately, it happens, especially if you have a lot of background programs running or low memory. If you have a secondary, physical hard drive (partitions don't count) then you can make use of the full speed of both drives. If you already have ArmA2 installed on your other drive, then you are already making use of both drives. However if your Windows and your ArmA2 are on the same drive, then move your paging file to a second drive. You can do it through the Control Panel, just google for instructions.

    It's not gonna be a big performance boost. Defragging your hard drive would probably provide more of a boost depending on how fragmented it is.

    Not many people have 16GB of RAM, (I only have 4GB on 32bit windows, but I am fine with that) so another poor man's version of this tweak is to get a USB 2.0 Flash Drive (your motherboard also has to support USB 2.0). Most flash drives have slow write speeds, but their read speed is actually very fast. You don't have to reinstall ArmA2, just copy your install folder to the flash drive and change your shortcut to run the game from there. Just don't let anyone know you're running ArmA2 from a flash drive, they'll probably be dicks and pull out the stick while you're playing the game.
    Last edited by tcp; Oct 14 2009 at 21:01.

  8. #28
    Regarding pagefile, partitions and so on:
    The problem is that Arma 2 has to access the harddisk very often. Accessing the harddisk is VERY slow in computer terms.
    The pagefile (a part of the harddrive that Windows uses to "extend" the main memory) will also be accessed fairly often on most running systems.
    So, how to gain something?
    Having the pagefile on a different PHYSICAL drive than "your other stuff". So when Windows is accessing it, it is still "slow" because of being a harddisk, but it is faster than having it on the same drive because there will less mechanical movement in the harddisk to access it (it allways accesses the same "space"). The same goes for your other disk. Again, computer terms: mechanical movement => slow.
    Having Arma 2 on a seperate partition for itself can be a benefit, because it may be easier (faster) to defrag that partition, so you might actually do it more often, especially after patching or deinstalling/installing mods. Defraging your harddrive => your data is "more in one place" => less mechanical movement => you know the deal.
    Keep in mind that IIRC in XP you need around 20% of free disk space (partition space) to run a defrag properly.
    In XP at least, you can set your virtual memory (pagefile) to be of fixed size (rather than let Windows determine needed size on the fly). Doing so might also improve your system speed.

  9. #29
    Lots of questions - let me try to answer.

    I have steam version, do I have to install again or like you said, just move the folder?
    It depends. If you want to start Arma2 from within Steam, you need to reinstall. If you don't mind, you can just start arma2.exe from the folder on the ramdisk (or create shortcut to your dektop).

    Could you please help us idiots setup a RAM disk? I've got 6 GB of memory, 4 of which ArmA II never touches, so that may help.
    It very much depends on which RamDisk software you use. I only have experience with RamDisk plus (and tried it the first time with this exercise), and it was pretty painless. I would suggest though that you read the FAQ/Helpfile that comes with the program carefully. (http://www.superspeed.com/)

    In regards to your RAM - 6GB is not enough to get everything into the ramdisk. The folder with all the assets (pbo files and such, I'm not at my gaming PC right now), which is the stuff you want to have on the RamDisk, is 8.2GB alone after a fresh installs and might be bigger with addons/mods.
    What I would suggest in case of less than 12GB RAM (besides adding another 6GB) is to to be selective. Use Process Monitor from Sysinternals, set a filter to only monitor your Arma 2 directory, play for a while, identify the files that are being read from most in ProcMon, and move these files to the RamDisk. You can then create NTFS symlinks to the files you moved from the original directory to the RamDisk (in Vista and above, the command is mklink x:\filename.extension y:\filename extension, in XP you need tools).

    This might in fact be a rather clumsy way to achieve some of the benefits - I guess the best solution is to buy more RAM. If you are really into ARMA2, it is well worth it.

    So this only works for people who have a shitload of ram, or does it use hard drive space?
    Without workarounds (see above), yes. My ARMA2 folder is 8.5GB. You need at least 12GB RAM to be able to create a 8-10GB Ramdisk. Even this might be too small if you have lots of custom assets files - your mileage may vary.

    What size is Your Arma II folder? My Arma II folder is 11.4GB with a few addons and the CAA1 mod
    I am not an expert with mods and assets - could someone check whether they use their own pbo's ?
    Last edited by qwertz; Dec 31 2009 at 19:44.

  10. #30
    My ArmA2 is 12.8GB! CAA1 is 2.73GB. Steam game cache is 7.8GB. That's 2.27GB of addons!
    Let's see if I install 32GB of RAM it might just be enough to install Windows and ArmA2 into RAM. I'll need either a VM or some kind of RAMdisk bootloader. Any suggestions? LOL j/k.

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