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Pagefile on windows 7. Do you even need one?.

post #1 of 74
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I have 4GB ram, do I even need a page file. If so, what size?. Just trying to get some general info because on XP I had it disabled and it was fine ^.^.
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post #2 of 74
I saw someone on here say that they tried disabling the page file on windows 7 with 4gb of ram and it didn't like it, ended up crashing. You could perhaps make it smaller, but I think with 4gb getting rid of it wouldn't be wise.
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post #3 of 74
The page file is basically wannabe RAM. MS's Technet states that page file should be 1.5 times the ram that you have. If you're runnin at 4gb's of ram then you don't need that much. However there are some programs that are out there that are written to utilize it. In that case you want to run 1:1 ratio. I know I took the long way around a short bush to say that. set your page file to 4gb's (that'll allow easy swap) and forget about it.
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post #4 of 74
i think pagefiles is not only use after ram used up, that can be the reason, (ok, i'm just guessing)
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post #5 of 74
After 98 no one has demonstrated any advantage to disabling the "page file". Sure all kinds of anecdotal crap on the Internet. OK yea sure you have 8GB's RAM and a 12GB HDD sure disable as you lack the HDD space. But if someone did have that config I would want to address more serious emotional and intelligence issues than page file.

I think Slowrider's advice is for the most part OK. But if you let Windows manage it will be 1:1.5 and if Windows needs it, can take more.

Why do some think setting page file size is important in the 1st place? Old school it had to do with fragmentation. If we follow the above advice of setting size it will reserve so fragmentation will not happen. Well if you let Windows manage it will do the same but at 1:1.5 (unless you added RAM then 1.5x original amount when installed). But when Windows manages if it ever thinks it wants more it can create. Yes it will fragment but if needed it is there.

I have run without a page file. I think for many in many cases running without will have no bad effects. That is not my issue. My issue is you gain nothing so why even do. I mean a few MB's on a large current HDD is not an issue.

Further said some have a mistaken belief that if the PF is there it will be used? Incorrect if it is not there what would go there will just be dumped. Windows keeps things likely to be used more up front. That first means in RAM, second if you have an asymmetrical dual channel RAM config set up it will keep the most likely to be requested in the part that is running "true" dual channel (128bit), hence why asymmetric and symmetric perform very close.

There is no reason running on current hardware and OS XP or above to ever play with PF.
    
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post #6 of 74
Don't disable the pagefile. Probably hundreds of thousands of man hours have gone into improving the memory manager since XP (and all informed commentary said don't turn it off then either).

You need a pagefile unless you have 16+GB RAM.
Edited by spazbob - 1/24/09 at 6:36pm
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post #7 of 74
Do not completely turn off pagefiles. If you do, then crash reports (from BSODs, etc) do not get generated. Also Windows will eventually turn it back "on" since some processes need a small amount of "virtual RAM" (aka the pagefile).

Usually I suggest a 128-256 MB pagefile for those with more than 2 GBs of RAM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spazbob
You need a pagefile unless you have 16+GB RAM.
I don't think that's true. If Windows is turning back on the pagefile for some tasks/processes even though I have more than enough RAM, then logically even with 64 GB of RAM, Windows would still need the pagefile to have some space allocated to it.

As for why crash report generation needs the pagefile, I can only guess. Perhaps one day I'll find a good technical white paper or article that explains the reasoning for it.
Edited by Acreo Aeneas - 1/24/09 at 7:27pm
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post #8 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acreo Aeneas View Post
Do not completely turn off pagefiles. If you do, then crash reports (from BSODs, etc) do not get generated. Also Windows will eventually turn it back "on" since some processes need a small amount of "virtual RAM" (aka the pagefile).

Usually I suggest a 128-256 MB pagefile for those with more than 2 GBs of RAM.



I don't think that's true. If Windows is turning back on the pagefile for some tasks/processes even though I have more than enough RAM, then logically even with 64 GB of RAM, Windows would still need the pagefile to have some space allocated to it.

As for why crash report generation needs the pagefile, I can only guess. Perhaps one day I'll find a good technical white paper or article that explains the reasoning for it.
The point is, most programs when requesting memory request much more than they will ever need (a program like WMP might request as much as 300MB for example). This requested memory often doesn't get get used, and so it gets flagged as "can go in pagefile" but because you probably never use it there's no performance penalty.

However, if you have no pagefile, this requested memory has to be fully allocated in RAM. So WMP suddenly needs 300+MB of RAM allocated to it (and therefore not to other programs) even though it might not be being used. At this point 4GB becomes very small if you're trying to play a game and leave itunes/azureus running in the background because "I've got 4GB, I can multitask". A bigger program like Photoshop will request gigs of RAM at a time.

For this reason, a pagefile of a few hundred MB is as pointless as no pagefile at all.

Leave it set to 1.5x your RAM. If you want to play around with it, fine by me, and I'll even apologise for posting crap if you show me a single benchmark that shows any benefit whatsoever from doing so.

[edit] Oh and about the probably needing 64GB thing - if anything, this proves the point: Windows is simply not designed or optimised to run with a tiny/without any pagefile.
Edited by spazbob - 1/25/09 at 12:34pm
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post #9 of 74
I have a more "subjective" opinion, since it's not based that much on hard facts, but more on observations on tenths of rigs I've owned or configured.

Since I crossed from Win 98 to Win 2000 I found that I could increase the "snapiness" of the HDD by disabling the PF. Since at the very beginning I had 128MB for Win 2000, when I reached the 128MB limit by loading a game the game was swiftly cut-off. No reboots/BSOD. Now for Win 2000 I found 512MB to be a good point where you can use a fair amont of apps without reaching the limit.

FWD to 2009, I found these to be the minimum ram limits for which the OS/software is stable (remember, it's statistical, not scientific) for someone that does not use CAD/CAM software:
- Win 2000 SP4 - 1GB
- Win XP SP3 X86 - 2GB
- Win Vista SP1 X86/X64 - 4GB

I'm looking forward to test Win7, it looks stable. Still, I'll do 3 things as soon as it boots: disable automatic updates, enable hibernation on the power button, and disable PF.

Without entering too much in details, unless using CAD/CAM (I've seen 6GB+ files in finit element computations) and unless you have unstable RAM OC, I would advice among the first things to do, to disable the PF.

D.
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post #10 of 74
Have fun with disableling pf in win7. I have a comp with 2 tera drives and 16 gigs of ram, page file set at 100000mb on a seperate partition with 200 gigs and TWO dual core processers, trust me fastest thing I have ever seen. PF is always used, it is use for more than just replacing missing ram, some programs strictly use it, I know, I have wrote some of them. DO NOT DISABLE PF in window 7. If you have 4 gigsram, set pf at 6gigs nothing less or you can go as high as your system will allow you to go, experiment. The higher I go the faster she goes but remember the allocation you set is taking HDD space so watch that. Also everytime you change pf you must restart, the first startup will be slow because the programs that are demanding the space are trying to wright to it, don't worry you will see big differance after your first startup.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dragosmp View Post
I have a more "subjective" opinion, since it's not based that much on hard facts, but more on observations on tenths of rigs I've owned or configured.

Since I crossed from Win 98 to Win 2000 I found that I could increase the "snapiness" of the HDD by disabling the PF. Since at the very beginning I had 128MB for Win 2000, when I reached the 128MB limit by loading a game the game was swiftly cut-off. No reboots/BSOD. Now for Win 2000 I found 512MB to be a good point where you can use a fair amont of apps without reaching the limit.

FWD to 2009, I found these to be the minimum ram limits for which the OS/software is stable (remember, it's statistical, not scientific) for someone that does not use CAD/CAM software:
- Win 2000 SP4 - 1GB
- Win XP SP3 X86 - 2GB
- Win Vista SP1 X86/X64 - 4GB

I'm looking forward to test Win7, it looks stable. Still, I'll do 3 things as soon as it boots: disable automatic updates, enable hibernation on the power button, and disable PF.

Without entering too much in details, unless using CAD/CAM (I've seen 6GB+ files in finit element computations) and unless you have unstable RAM OC, I would advice among the first things to do, to disable the PF.

D.
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