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Old 03-22-2005, 09:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Quick Paging file question...

Never dealt much with paging files, so asking this...

I updated my RAM today, from 384 to 768 mb. (from 1x128 + 1x256 to 1x512 + 1x256).

As result of this, I'd like to make sure my paging file settings are correct.

They are currently as follows:

Paging file is on C, which is the drive containing the OS.
Space available on C is 40+ gb.
Set to custom size; Initial size 576, max 1152.

Total paging for all drives:
min 2 mb
recommended 1150
currently allocated 576


Should I make changes to this, seeing as I now have 768 mb of ram instead of 384? Just trying to make the most out of the machine's performance.

I'll hafta say adding more memory has increased the responsiveness of apps and the OS in general visibly.
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would suggest removing the page file from the system disc, and putting it on another (assuming that second disc isn't *really* slow). That way any reading/writing to and from the page file won't delay the OS. The size is a bit tricky; it depends on your OS version, how you use your computer, what programs you use, etc.

I'll assume you use Windows XP. I'd suggest turning on your computer, doing what you do normally (games, programs, etc), and then looking at the task manager. Check the "commit charge"; that gives you an indication of your current memory use, your limit (ram + page file), and your peak use. If that peak use is way lower than your limit, you can safely reduce your page file size.
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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the page file as dragonlich said should not reside on the system disk. the rule of thumb has been 1.5 times the real memory for the virtual memory.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The old 1.5xRAM rule of thumb survives from Win9x and terrible paging code & system leaks. It isn't very relevant for anything recent.

As Dragon said, watch your peak vs. limit numbers and size accordingly. If you have enough RAM (peak below physical) then set DisablePagingExecutive = 1 and allocate a minimal amount of disk to the paging file. (ideally on another disk) This allows software to run that requires VM but almost eliminates swapping by the system. If you're a heavy Photoshop user you'll need to bump it up more.

DisablePagingExecutive is:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\DisablePagingExecutive

I usually don't start micromanaging VM until I have 768MB. You have enough to begin paying attention.
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Old 03-22-2005, 09:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with the above posters. 1.5x(system memory) is an old rule. I usually set the paging file to a size equal to my current RAM. Also it is a good idea to put the paging file on a seperate disk if you can (not just a seperate partition)

run compmgmt.msc at the Run... command and navigate to Disk Management (Snap In) to check on your disks. and see where the paging file is located.

also I would set the minimum and maximum size of the paging file to be the same value. In your case I would set it to 768MB. This also speeds up the computer a bit (because it is not constantly resizing the paging file)
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you have enough memory, just disable it completely and do not worry about it. At least 1GB memory should do you fine. I have that and I usually have several programs opened at once and I am never at more than 500MB of memory. Performance gain is nice as well.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Disabling VM works unless you use software that requires it. i.e. Some MSOffice programs, some games, Photoshop, misc others. Even with gobs of RAM it isn't a fix for everyone.
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Old 03-24-2005, 05:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Disabling VM (the Paging File) can also have the opposite effect and slow things down. When you close a program a lot of times Windows will put that program in the paging file. Next time you start the program again it will start from the paging file, instead of needing to be re-pieced together off the hard disk (that's the technical term "re-pieced-together" ) This makes for faster load times. Trust me, the VM is there for a good reason. Don't disable it unless you know what you are doing, or you try it and you think it works for you. (But if your computer starts to really slow down - remember that paging file!)
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