I haven't tested whether there's a real perf benefit for this, but have always thought that it's optimal to have one drive/array for system and apps and second for pagefile and backups/infrequently accessed data.
Assuming you have multiple drives, the best place for the pagefile is the middle of the most-used partition on the least-used drive.
Why is swap space on windows used when you have enough physical ram to handle the processes? As opposed to it not being used until it's necessary on linux?
There is no such thing as "swap space" in Windows (NT anyway). Swapping and paging are not the same. Don't confuse them.
Windows "backs" pages of memory in the pagefile. I should note that it doesn't back every memory page in the pagefile. Things like EXE and DLL code are already backed in their on-disk files.
Notice that I used the word "backs". The pagefile is (loosely) mirroring the contents of RAM. This means that when an app does need to get paged to disk, it's already in the pagefile. The RAM can just be marked as free.
If this wasn't done, when an app needed to be paged out, Windows would have to write the modified pages to disk right then and there. This would increase the disk thrashing when a system gets maxed out.
Yes Windows is using the pagefile. Is it actually running programs from the pagefile? Probably not. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't understand this.
I feel that Task Manager is to blame for some of this. The way that it reports pagefile usage is misleading. If you want to get an idea for how much of your pagefile is really being used, run Perfmon.
FYI, You are incorrect when you say that Linux doesn't use the swap space with lots of physcial memory. It does something very similar to what I have described above.
Darn, I was hoping you'd have at least one PC/104 board there.
Although, I must say this is probably one of the best videos I've seen on Channel 9. This relates more to my line of work. I wish there were more videos about things like XPe/WinCE and driver development. I would love to see a video on the new Windows Driver