Originally Posted by selectstriker2
In today's world with 4/8/16 GB of RAM the need for a page file is really non existent. I don't have a pagefile on my sig rig currently and haven't had any issues.
Originally Posted by AMD_Freak
I don't run paging files / restore none of that garbage, that's what RAM is for.
Originally Posted by sixor
leave space for pagefile + 2gb at least, windows is weird when you have less than 1gb free even without pagefile
but come on, please disable that dumb pagefile, it is some crap from the past
I know this is a common myth floating around here and elsewhere, but the paging file is not just some "old crap from the past." The paging file is a highly useful and performance boosting tool. The oversimplified purpose of the paging file is to cache files that are stored in the RAM so that the RAM can be used for other stuff. But in theory, even if you had infinity RAM, you'd want a paging file. But why?
Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX all have incredibly complex and competent memory managers. It's their job to manage the memory allocation between the CPU cache, the RAM, and the hard drive cache (the paging file). As your computer is processing tasks, it is swapping data back and forth between these memories in order to optimize system performance. Ultimately, for anything to be calculated, it has to end up in the CPU cache, which gets fed directly to the processor for processing.So how does the paging file add value?
Any time you open a program in Windows, it needs to allocate memory so it can do its thing. The problem is how it gets data into that memory. Ultimately, the computer has to read the data from the hard drive. If the program was recently opened, then Windows may have that data already cached in memory, but if the program was opened a few days back, or you used a memory-hungry application in the meantime, likely all that data will have to be read from the hard drive. If you have a paging file, however, Windows will store that data to the paging file in a nice sequential manner. Then, when you open the program, yes you'll have to read the data from the hard drive, but it will be in a place and manner that allows Windows to quickly put it into the memory. This is especially true for programs like Microsoft Word. And if you have common documents you open frequently, then those documents will also be stored in the paging file for easy access.So why would I need a paging file if I have infinity ram?
Even if you have infinity ram, you'll probably be shutting the computer down once in a while. This is where superfetch and the paging file harmonize to create performance bliss. Superfetch's purpose is to quickly and painlessly fill the RAM with those programs that you use frequently--especially on startup. This is why you'd find cached data for your AV and firewall programs, steam (if it starts on boot), Skype, X-fire, etc, and most importantly your OS. Now, that's all well and good, but what about programs you don't use frequently? That's where the paging file comes it. It basically acts as a super fetch for the programs you've most recently used. This way, if you are working on, say, your thesis, the paging file would be storing the data related to your document editor and your thesis document. Now, those will be quickly and easily available for the memory to grab.But I still need more convincing!
It really comes down to this: In the worst case scenario with
a paging file, your memory is full, and therefore Windows writes stuff to the paging file to free up space in the memory. In the normal case, Windows is going along with almost no need for a paging file, but as programs minimize and/or are closed, it (as a background process) writes that memory data to the paging file. If the RAM is needed again, it will clear those memory blocks for a new program. If the program comes back, then either it will get its old memory allocation back, or it will quickly get its paged data pulled into memory. In the worst case scenario without
a paging file, your memory is full and programs start to crash left and right because they are out of memory. In the normal case, Windows just chugs along without the paging file, but as programs close, it just sits there. When a new program needs that memory space, it clears it and provides it to the new program. When that old program comes back, it has to repopulate the memory with reading from the HDD and re-processing the data to determine the correct values in the memory.
For this to happen, you really don't need a paging file much larger than 2 to 4 GB. The old adage about 1.5X your memory was because memory was rare, and the paging file was used primarily as a live cache to the RAM. But since it rarely is used for that purpose anymore, and even if it is, the need will be small, the paging file doesn't need to be very big. Basically, the benefits are numerous, and the only downside is a "wasted" 2-4GB of space. But with hard drive space as cheap as it is, is it really that much of a loss?