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Windows 7: Move Paging File?

04 Apr 2010   #11
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Once you installed your additional 4GBs of RAM, have a look into Resource Monitor > Memory tab. On the top it shows you the Hard Faults/sec. If that row is zero or mostly zero, any manipulation of the page file will buy you nothing (because it is not being used). And my guess would be that a 6GB system will not use it. My 3 and 4GB systems do not use it. So there is really no point jumping thru 9 hoops.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2010   #12

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) SP1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tepid View Post
I will only say that.. you should always run with the recommended Page Files settings by MS.
ram x 1.5 = MIN
ram x 3 = MAX

Or if you have more than 4G of ram,, then both min and max should be 4092M.

It used to be true that moving the page file to a separate drive would increase performance dramatically, mostly due to the low end nature of PC's back in the day.

All modern PC's today are so fast that there will be no performance gain by either turning off the page file or moving it to another drive. However, this may change with SSD's only in the fact that, having the page file on a separate SSD drive will help if the SSD's are susceptible to Lifetime Write cycles. Meaning they will go bad quicker the more times they are written to. Then I could see moving it, maybe.

Many will argue my statement, but I stand by it after having tested these things for the last 12+ years.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2010   #13

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Ok so I'm getting mixed responses. Because I'm getting 6GB, should the paging file just be disabled? Also, Tepid, would MS settings be the same at 6GB? I'm just using this rig for gaming. So confusing!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Apr 2010   #14

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Omlet,

Since some programs may require the paging file to run properly and not get a "Out of memory" error, you should keep the paging file enabled and set to be managed by the system (Windows 7). I would recommend to leave the paging file to be on the same drive that Windows 7 is on (ex: C ) unless you have a second internal hard drive to put it on instead to help a bit with performance.

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2010   #15

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Omlet View Post
Ok so I'm getting mixed responses. Because I'm getting 6GB, should the paging file just be disabled? Also, Tepid, would MS settings be the same at 6GB? I'm just using this rig for gaming. So confusing!
Indeed this is getting confusing... But you know why?

There's no set rule for this. It's going to depend entirely upon your software, system config and the way you use the machine.

I get by on 2gb with no swap file because I seldom open more than 2 or 3 windows at a time, don't game and really don't much of an artistic talent... So I get away with it.

The next person might need 6 or 8gb ram and a 10gb swap file because they are computing "the answer to life, love and everything else"... and dearly hoping the answer is not "42".

There are some things that hold generally true...

First a system managed swap file that grows and shrinks with usage is very likely to become more and more fragmented over time... and, surprise, most defrag tools can't defragment it because it's locked by the system. This is where the suggestion for making min and max sizes the same comes from. That way the swap file occupies a fixed space on your disk, doesn't fragment and doesn't need much maintenance at all... Thus it ends up consuming less system resources.

The right size, is the smallest size that works for you. Bigger is not better... the bigger it is the more maintenance it needs and the longer that maintenance will take. I've seen windows hesitate for 30 and 40 seconds while thrashes hell out of a 30gb swap file... So start small and increase the size only as needed.

For the rest... well that depends whether you're sending email or solving lunar trajectories...
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