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Windows 7: SSD and Page File question

02 Jan 2016   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
SSD and Page File question

Googling this gets a million answers of course (all seemingly disagreeing!). However...

My PC has two 500GB Samsung EVO 850 SSDs. No other hard drives, apart form numerous larger external HDDs for backups etc. It is used just for gaming - MS Flight Simulator - and I don't need more space than that. (It is also linked on my home network to two other PCs which have a lot of storage space...).

I used to set the page file to 1GB min and max size on my C drive. However, I was getting OoM errors in Flight Simulator. With Win7 x64, 16GBs RAM, and plenty of available disc space showing, the message "Your computer has run out of memory. Flight Simulator will now close" was very unexpected (not to mention 'unwelcome'!) and clearly not accurate! My FS9.exe file is patched to '4GBs', for those who are aware of this sort of thing.

As part of the troubleshooting, I let Windows manage my page file instead, which means I have a 16GB file now. A bit silly, when, according to my desktop 'widget' it is hardly ever touched. So far, no more OoM errors and FS shutdowns, though it's early days - I only made the change a couple of days ago.

My question: What I'd like to know is whether letting Windows manage the page file on the SSD is a good idea. Obviously the fragmentation is not an issue, but what are the advantages and disadvantages of allowing a system managed file on an SSD (or even on a standard HDD)? Wear and tear? (Seems that the old idea of fixing the same min and max size is rather out of fashion now in any case)...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2016   #2

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

There is a widespread misconception about what a system managed pagefile means. The usual idea is that Windows will continuously resize the pagefile according to need. A reasonable assumption, but wrong.

What it does is really very simple. It sets the initial size of the pagefile according to how much RAM you have. The formula varies according to what OS you are using and how much RAM you have but usually means the pagefile is set to RAM size. The maximum pagefile size is then set to double the initial value. That is all. There is no continuous resizing of the pagefile.

The initial pagefile size will almost always be adequate. If it is, then no pagefile resizing will ever happen, even after years of heavy use. This is easily shown by observation of the size of pagefile.sys in Windows Explorer. If the initial size is too small it will be increased as needed. The minimum increase is quite large, 16 MB in my testing with XP some years ago. The idea being to avoid doing this very often. The pagefile will revert to it's original size when possible, but often this will not be possible. It will revert on a reboot.

The only real disadvantage of a system managed pagefile is that it may waste considerable disk space if RAM size is large.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2016   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

Thanks, that is helpful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


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