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Thread: Pagefile & Ram Guide For Nt/xp

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Pagefile & Ram Guide For Nt/xp

    http://www.arstechnica.com/tweak/nt/pagefile-1.html

    an excerpt:
    Windows NT RAM & Pagefile Optimization
    by Cśsar

    Unlike the MacOS (for example), NT was designed to use virtual memory without regard for the amount of RAM in your box. Even if you have a 768MB of RAM, NT still wants a pagefile, and NT will still use it. Itís for this reason that knowing how to optimize your overall system memory configuration is so important. It doesnít matter if youíve got 128 or even 256MB of RAM Ė if your pagefile isnít in tip-top shape, youíre taking a performance hit, and that extra RAM you paid for isn't truly paying off. But how much RAM do you need in the first place? Well, it depends - there's no real simple formula, other than to say that if you have less than 128MB of RAM, you're suffering.
    Excellent article/guide on tweaking the pagefile and settings for memory. I found it very interesting and informative and I hope you do too. It says for NT, but I think that applies to XP since it is built on the NT technology.
    BB

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    Member tons of fun's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Thanks...

    Very useful....thank you!!!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    no problem.

    One word of advice, write down the default values just in case something goes wrong, or just change it back to let windows manage it.
    BB

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    Member tons of fun's Avatar
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    Thanks....

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    Mr.BB, I don't understand this article too well, so I wanted to check with you. I set the max pagefile size to recommended as I found it set at 768 - 1500. I understood that the initial size and the max should match. Judging from my commit charge peak, is this still too excessive? I ran NAV, Adaware, photoshop, defrag, and DL a file all at the same time. In the SS it peaked at 382k but with a 1280k limit. Why does it not reflect my 768k max setting?

    Screenshot here

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    Booger?

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    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    I think pagefile is used after your ram is used, so if you have 256MB of ram, and 350 MB of pagefile, and the programs you are using don't require all of it, you more than likely will never hit the peak.
    For example, you run 5 programs totalling 300MB, and you have 512MB of ram, and 256MB page file, it will most likely balance the two so that neither one is overtaxed...
    taking a certain percentage from RAM and a certain percentage from pagefile..
    not all ram or all page file..
    Does that make sense? So you set the page file very high just in case it ever becomes taxed...
    But remember page file uses HDD space to make the virtual ram, which by the way is a lot slower than hardware based RAM..

    I doubt you will ever use the max pagefile, the most i have ever used was about 600Mb of ram and page file... gaming, while downloading, etc...

    hope that helps,
    BB

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    er.............so did I set it right? (screenshot above)

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Yes it would seem that it is correct,
    BB

  10. #10
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    With 512mb of RAM I set my pagefile to Min-768, Max-768.

  11. #11
    Precision Processor Super Moderator egghead's Avatar
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    i dont use a page file:

    is that good?

    396mb ram
    ------------------------------------------------------------



  12. #12
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    I'd at least go with what MS says egghead:

    What Microsoft says
    Microsoft wants you to have RAM + 12MB of Virtual Memory available for the system, regardless of how much RAM you have (some documents say RAM + 11, but most of those relate back to NT 3.1). The reasoning for this is because Microsoft designed NT to dump the system's memory to the pagefile in the event of a crash (a setting you can turn of). So, you need at least as much pagefile as you have RAM (at least so far as this reasoning goes). The additional 12MB is for overhead in said crash eventuality. So, if you have 128MB of RAM, MS would tell ya to set yourself up with 140MB of virtual memory.
    But if you are strapped for HDD space, and you aren't running programs that are going to use more than your available physical ram, then I don't see why it'd be a problem...
    I have never ran XP without a pagefile so I don't really know.

    I think it would be safer if you had more ram say 512mb-1gb of ram, but if it works, then it works.
    BB

  13. #13
    Precision Processor Super Moderator egghead's Avatar
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    thanks big booger:

    i dont seem to get crashes but what you posted makes sense

    if i crashed and i have no page file

    i could loose alot of stuff

    as long as my disk stays error free
    i'll be glad

    but if m$ starts writing $%^&*(&^^%$ everywhere
    and writing over directories

    i'll give it 2gigs


    i'll experiment
    ------------------------------------------------------------



  14. #14
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    well, my first post on this forum, and I know this is an old thread, but there's a lot of misinformation that needs to be set straight

    this free pagefile deffrag program...


    most of you have the wrong idea about the swap in xp.

    xp is a paging os...the only way to get around that is to run dos.

    THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT; the page file will always be active, though you will hardly ever use the paging file.

    what's happening, is the page file is always ready, and getting ready, and that's the pf activity that you see;

    RAM IS ALWAYS USED BEFORE THE HARDRIVE INFORMATION.

    NOW, those of you that have dissable expansion...foolhardy.

    the pf will only expand when the commit charge reaches the commit limit...never before...doesn't want to doesn't try to.

    therefore, if the pf is expanding, it obviously needs to expand you are suffering perfirmance by not allowing expansion.

    is expansion desireable?...no...but the way to avoid expansion is to raise your initil minimum, you don't prevent expansion by disabling expansion.

    that's the same thing as removing the safety net under the tite rope, because falling into the tite rope is a bad thing...

    my recomendation, initial minimum=2x ram, with expansion enabled to 3x that figure.

    DO NOT MISSREAD THE ADVICE THAT 1.5 IS THE RECOMENDED VALUE...IT'S NOT!!!

    in xp, 1.5 is the minimum allowed AS THE INITIAL MINIMUM... EXPANSION... IS STILL REQUIRED WITH THIS ABSOLUTE MINIMUM SETTING .
    Last edited by perris; October 22nd, 2002 at 01:02 AM.
    perris

  15. #15
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    So you're saying, for me, the standard windows setting is right? Because that is where I found my settings. Very close to 2x-3x. (recommended windows setting)

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