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Why it is bad to store the page file on a RAM disk?

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post #291 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-20-2014, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haizea View Post

Mark Russinovich:
-snip_
No, I shouldn't create a separate thread when the post is relevant to the OP. OP tells the bad of it, which I agree with, but I also posit the occasional beneficial aspects. The OP states that putting a large pagefile on a RAMDisK is bad. This is correct. You waste RAM and negatively impact your system and can crash it. If you have the large amounts of RAM to even consider putting a 4GB pagefile on a ramdisk, you do not need a pagefile at all unless you are an Extreme multitasker that utilizes all your memory(in which case you should buy more RAM instead). At this point the only reason you need a pagefile at all is for the extremely rare compatibility reason, in which case a 16MB pagefile on a ramdisk is all you need and will not negatively impact the system at all, while in specific instances instead increase your systems 'snappiness'.

"The entire point of a paging file is to allow your system to remain stable and operational when you have exhausted your free physical RAM."
If you are exhausting your free physical RAM on a consistent basis, you shouldn't be messing with Ramdisks at all, let alone putting large pagefiles on it like a moron, instead you should go out and buy more RAM. This is completely irrelevant. You shouldn't even be thinking of using a RAMDISK, let alone disabling a pagefile or sticking it on one unless your peak commit running every conceivable application you would multitask on is at least 2GB's less then your maximum physical RAM.

"Second, you are actually lowering performance, since now paging will happen more often"
Paging will Not happen more often if you follow the aforementioned guideline of peak commit being significantly less then your physical RAM, and windows pages inactive applications out unnecessarily regardless of what you do.

Ultimately, the bottom line is Ramdisks themselves are for people with tons of extra Ram. You shouldn't even give a sideways glance to one if you have anything less then 8GB's, and even then, only if your peak commit is significantly less then your physical ram. If it is not, then you shouldn't even Have the ramdisk you would ill-advisedly place a large pagefile on in the first place. If it is... then you don't need a pagefile period unless you have a program that needs a small one.

"And a better option, surely not for you: The MAXIMUS VI HERO with Ramdisk."
While the boards are of nice quality, the RAMDISK software they use is basically the same as the freeware ramdisk software offered by others and is in itself no reason to buy that board. They both perform identically and do the same functions, except the ROG software's '80% of available memory' maximum is dangerously excessive and could lead to problems. End users would likely be configuring this in idle state; anyone who naively sets it to 80% then fires up Skyrim will run out of memory and BSOD with or without a pagefile. Either way, bad idea. Could possibly solve it by dynamically resizing it according to system commit though, but not sure if possible.
I also cannot put it in my laptop.

"No edition of Linux or Windows has included the ability to create a virtual disk based on RAM. You have to go back to the old MSDOS to find something like that. Why?"
Because windows by and large targets mainstream users with little knowledge and average equipment who shouldn't even mess with settings like that, so why bundle them for the temptation? A ramdisk done wrong by the average end-user can only cause problems, so it saves itself tech service calls by omitting it.

I have already covered every reason you would use a ramdisk for this purpose multiple times, and the how and why. You continually argue in irrelevant circles, and are a brand-new random poster on the forum, thus I have come to the conclusion that you are a simple troll and am not going to repeat myself further.

If I wanted to continually say the same things over and over to a rock wall I would stand in the Grand Canyon and yell; at least the echo will save me the trouble of repeating myself.

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post #292 of 328 (permalink) Old 06-20-2014, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haizea View Post

Mark Russinovich:
........
No edition of Linux or Windows has included the ability to create a virtual disk based on RAM. You have to go back to the old MSDOS to find something like that. Why?

It is very easy to use what you refer to as a virtual disk in RAM using linux. It's called tmpfs. Furthermore, many distributions default to mounting /tmp as tmpfs (RAM).
As a part of the boot process (linux) a temporary filesystem is loaded into RAM (initrd).

The irony of the user-friendly systems is that the layers of user-friendliness are by necessity layers of complexity. The systems are offloading the tasks of system management from the relatively smart super-powerful human brains and moving it onto a relatively stupid piece of complex and fragile system management software. ---linuxtoday

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post #293 of 328 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 07:49 PM
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i have to disagree with OP.

having pagefile in ramdisk is not bad at all.

it definitely improve perfomance in games that uses a lot of page file >> watch dogs by ubisoft.

i also have tried running uniengine heaven benchmark in both cases pagefie in hdd and ramdisk.

pagefile in hdd min fps > 9 to 10
pagefile in ramdisk min fps > 20 to 22

the overall benchmark score ramdisk setup slightly higher but those min fps is very important cause that
is what usually cause micro stutter in games.
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post #294 of 328 (permalink) Old 07-23-2014, 02:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x720ftw View Post

i have to disagree with OP.

having pagefile in ramdisk is not bad at all.

it definitely improve perfomance in games that uses a lot of page file >> watch dogs by ubisoft.

i also have tried running uniengine heaven benchmark in both cases pagefie in hdd and ramdisk.

pagefile in hdd min fps > 9 to 10
pagefile in ramdisk min fps > 20 to 22

the overall benchmark score ramdisk setup slightly higher but those min fps is very important cause that
is what usually cause micro stutter in games.

Neither of those need pagefile. I assume you are either having somewhat little ram (windows tends to throw stuff to pagefile even if you have lots of unused ram), or using up nearly all of your ram, or otherwise having something else affecting the results. Try disabling your pagefile to see what I mean. Also, the minimum FPS does not mean anything. Even when a random solar ray happens to fly from the Sun through your computer may trigger enough randomness to drop your minimum fps to a very low number. Even just shouting near your computer may be enough to trigger a minor latency that will tamper with the minimum fps, but cause nothing noticeable. rolleyes.gif

You should be looking at the average FPS results over a multiple runs in identical conditions to see if there is any difference.

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post #295 of 328 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 12:45 PM
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Has anyone done anymore research into this with Windows 8.1 maybe???

I ask because I use two older SSD's on a RAID 0, and also have 16GB of system RAM.

I currently use a pagefile, and when playing Crysis 3 I see system RAM usage go over 4GB, but I see pagefile usage go from roughly 2GB to over 4GB, telling me that over 2GB of information is swapping on my harddrive. This leads me to believe that either Windows, or the game itself, is not doing a very good job of managing my available RAM.

Not to mention it's leading to unnecessary read/writes on my already aging SSD drives....

Should I move the pagefile to RAM (seems like additional cycle time would be needed to make use of the pagefile, since it calls upon the pagefile, then redirects information to the RAM, and then back)
Or should I just disable it altogether???

Any known issues completely disabling it?

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post #296 of 328 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 01:05 PM
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Surely somebody here can answer this question.

I have a Server with ~12 VM's running on 4 SSD's in RAID5. Each of these VM's have plenty of RAM so I don't think they'll need to do too much swapping of the pagefile very often. What is your take on adding a 5th SSD and dedicating that SSD to hold the pagefiles of these VM's? I believe this should help cut down on IOPs incurred on the RAID5 as well as HDD usage per VM. As far as I know, the PageFile should be ~ 3 times the amount of RAM your system (VM) has.


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post #297 of 328 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent Smith1984 View Post

Has anyone done anymore research into this with Windows 8.1 maybe???

I ask because I use two older SSD's on a RAID 0, and also have 16GB of system RAM.

I currently use a pagefile, and when playing Crysis 3 I see system RAM usage go over 4GB, but I see pagefile usage go from roughly 2GB to over 4GB, telling me that over 2GB of information is swapping on my harddrive. This leads me to believe that either Windows, or the game itself, is not doing a very good job of managing my available RAM.

Not to mention it's leading to unnecessary read/writes on my already aging SSD drives....

Should I move the pagefile to RAM (seems like additional cycle time would be needed to make use of the pagefile, since it calls upon the pagefile, then redirects information to the RAM, and then back)
Or should I just disable it altogether???

Any known issues completely disabling it?

Certain information after a BSOD becomes unavailable, due to some weird reason Microsoft chose to dump some of the diagnostics data onto the pagefile instead of a dedicated file. At least last time I checked, this may have changed. If the BSOD in such case is repeatable, just re-enable pagefile and you're back to the old situation. Also some badly coded programs/games (very old ones) specifically checks for pagefile size and refuses to start without a proper pagefile, one example being Imperium Galactica II game, which requires specifically 512MB pagefile. So nothing non-revertable issues with completely disabling the pagefile. And yes, the windows swapping when theres free memory is a known annoyance of the Windows itself. Windows considers minimized applications as "inactive never to be used again" and throws them very easily into the pagefile even if you have over 30GB of free, unused ram. That's what happened to me when I did a few experiemnts with different apps. Gets annoying as hell since restoring the minimized app takes a lot longer because it has to be loaded to the ram again...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lacrossewacker View Post

Surely somebody here can answer this question.

I have a Server with ~12 VM's running on 4 SSD's in RAID5. Each of these VM's have plenty of RAM so I don't think they'll need to do too much swapping of the pagefile very often. What is your take on adding a 5th SSD and dedicating that SSD to hold the pagefiles of these VM's? I believe this should help cut down on IOPs incurred on the RAID5 as well as HDD usage per VM. As far as I know, the PageFile should be ~ 3 times the amount of RAM your system (VM) has.

It heavily depends on what you do and what you want how much pagefile you should have, in my opinion, if you require 3x pagefile compared to system ram, you are having too little ram. usually 1-2x system ram amount is the maximum recommended (as far as i remember, windows itself recommends 1.5x). If you do require that much pagefile, I'd say it's better to put those on another drive that's not part of the RAID, since there's no need to keep redundancy on the pagefile, since a failing "pagefile ssd" has same effect as a failing RAM or a CPU or a mobo: just the running session crashes (most likely), but all saved data remains intact. Only if your server has memory mirroring enabled and other redundancy features enabled, the pagefile on the ssd might be the weak spot.

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post #298 of 328 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 05:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Microx256 View Post


It heavily depends on what you do and what you want how much pagefile you should have, in my opinion, if you require 3x pagefile compared to system ram, you are having too little ram. usually 1-2x system ram amount is the maximum recommended (as far as i remember, windows itself recommends 1.5x). If you do require that much pagefile, I'd say it's better to put those on another drive that's not part of the RAID, since there's no need to keep redundancy on the pagefile, since a failing "pagefile ssd" has same effect as a failing RAM or a CPU or a mobo: just the running session crashes (most likely), but all saved data remains intact. Only if your server has memory mirroring enabled and other redundancy features enabled, the pagefile on the ssd might be the weak spot.

thanks for the feedback. Yeah these aren't your heavy duty VM's. Just a bunch of Windows 7's, most are idle all day with 1CPU and 4GB of Ram. The only ones that see the most action are 3 VMs that I use as test environments for various software.

Thanks for the info.


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post #299 of 328 (permalink) Old 02-06-2015, 07:10 AM
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Thread Resurrection! I've read the whole 30 pages, as Windows' sub-par memory management is something I've taken an interest in over the years. In theory it makes no sense to put a pagefile on the Ramdisk, but as many have hinted here, Windows is often overzealous and aggressive in its paging. As a summary of this entire thread, I want to be able to reconcile two statements with about ten others smile.gif

Mark Russinovich said "Yes, putting the pagefile on a RAM disk is ridiculous."

...and...:
Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn 
Although I am quite sure that my original point has still been missed, which was to debunk the "myth" going around that the page file on a RAM disk actually increases performance. It won't.

Okay so we have two rather strong claims! I find it tricky to reconcile the above quotes with the following posts...:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero4549 View Post

I have to say I disagree. Just because you have enough RAM that the pagefile shouldn't be touched, doesn't mean it wont be touched.

I've had 12 GB since I built this rig in 2009 and aside from programs literally designed to use ALL available RAM with absolutely no top limit (for instance, fractal rendering), I've never really used more than half of it (3/4 if you count standby). Despite that, my pagefile is consistently used (although usually only to a minor degree unless running certain programs).
Quote:
Originally Posted by LosNir View Post

Nothing fancy running, just IE8 (puke.gif) with about 25 tabs open.
Page file usage is about 2.7GB (!!!! doh.gif) where RAM usage is 3.23GB out of 16GB.
Do you call that a decent memory managing? I don't.
Quote:
Originally Posted by heckheck View Post

I had a dramatic performance increase using Illustrator when I created and moved my pagefile to RAMDisk....................As a 32 bit application, they only ever allocate less than 2GB of memory, but they seem to have some way of making use of more via the pagefile, or so I have always assumed based on the disk thrashing when using the program with the pagefile on disk (remember the system had gobs of memory, but still thrashed).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonky Sausage View Post

Or just look at the comment below your previous one to realize how poorly Windows handles memory management that it freaks out over inactive memory allocation.........................placing the page file on a RAM Disk has been nothing but smooth sailing, especially compared to the stuttering caused by placing it on a HDD as experienced by more than a few of us here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by B.Turner View Post

I have an Intel Xeon (W3540) processor @ 2.93GHz with 24GB (tripple-channel) 1600MHz RAM. You suggest that the page file will will rarely be used,l but as I look at the Resource Monitor (WIN7) I see the page file is not only the process with the highest total bytes/second, it has a horrible response-time (22ms) - where other processes have 4ms or less access time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladislav73 View Post

doing 5gb on ssd It was good for me , too but putting that 4gb on ram disk it is even smoother. (but it should be just my sensation)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garzhad View Post

3.) Wants to eliminate the delay from unminimizing programs because Windows is a 'tard and unnecessarily pages things when there's tons of RAM available simply because you haven't actively used it in a few minutes.
....
Afterthought: A much better option would be for Microsoft to let users configure the Pagefile better, such as by disabling unneeded paging out of 'inactive applications' and only using the pagefile for crash dumps and if RAM usage Actually starts approaching the limit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by x720ftw View Post

it definitely improve perfomance in games that uses a lot of page file >> watch dogs by ubisoft. I also have tried running uniengine heaven benchmark in both cases pagefile in hdd and ramdisk:
pagefile in hdd min fps > 9 to 10
pagefile in ramdisk min fps > 20 to 22

Any one of those quotes by themselves would just be a curious anomaly. But collectively, they entertain the idea that Microsoft's management of memory is an ongoing concern. This does make sense because people (even MS's top devs!) are only human and make mistakes. And the whole system must be backwards compatible, and redoing from scratch would be an ordeal in itself. They'd never admit to such though.

From the above, it is apparent that even with say, 256GB of free RAM, Windows would perversely try to use the pagefile (even though it shouldn't because RAM is so plentiful!). As at least an option, why can't it just wait until more than 75-90% of physical memory is used up first before the swapping kicks in? That would be such a simple and effective solution.

Granted, SSDs alleviate (read 'hide') the problem to a large extent, but that doesn't get round the fact that we've had to put up with the problem for so long, nor does it mean that the pagefile in a Ramdisk won't offer a performance boost over the pagefile in an SSD let alone a HDD. We're talking latency here; countless "micro-delays" experienced when switching tabs, navigating the filesystem, or playing a game. It's death by a million lags.

So finally, to return to the original quotes:
Quote:
which was to debunk the "myth" going around that the page file on a RAM disk actually increases performance. It won't.

It won't in theory, but it does in practice.

Quote:
"Yes, putting the pagefile on a RAM disk is ridiculous."

In theory yes, but not in practice due to design flaws from Microsoft.
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post #300 of 328 (permalink) Old 08-02-2015, 05:19 AM
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I absolutely agree that allocating RAM to have RAM is ridiculous, but real world is not theorical, but practical: that is, when some software exists and claims virtual memory, you can have all physical memory you want, but you need to allocate swap file somewhere to have that software to be happy and working.
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