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Windows 7: Pagefile.sys

17 Aug 2011   #171
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Just to throw my 2¢ in here...

<flame suit off>
While this article title would lead one to think it is intended to document configuration for 2008R2 servers, it applies 100% to other OSes (XP, Vista, Windows 7) and the article does cover those briefly:
How to determine the appropriate page file size for 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2008 and or Windows 2008 R2

Some salient quotes from the article, stressing Microsoft's official positions:
Quote:
There is no specific recommendation for page file size. Your requirements will be based on the hardware and software that you use and the load that you put on the computer.
Quote:
However, as the amount of RAM in a computer increases, the need for a page file may decrease.
Quote:
The more RAM that you have available or is added to a computer, it generally tends to decrease the size of the page file needed. If you have enough RAM installed in your computer, you may not require a page file at all, unless one is required by a specific application. This all depends on how much virtual memory is used by your system and/or applications installed.
With all that said, however, there is indeed one thing people don't think about when running without a paging file, and I'm glad it was called out in the article:
Quote:
Question: How about not having a paging file?

Answer: There are administrators that feel not having a page file results in better performance.


But having a page file means Windows can write pages on the modified list out to the page file, which makes that memory available for more useful purposes such as processes or file cache.

Thus, while there may be some workloads that perform better with no paging file, in general having one will mean more usable memory being available to the Operating system.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a proponent of leaving the paging file alone in most circumstances, and for most users. However, I also understand there are systems out there with 128+GB for servers, and 32+GB of RAM on even desktop machines. If you want to tweak, please follow this KB article (including steps for determining the commit limits of your usage behavior and patterns) and you should be safe. However, do remember that you are modifying the way the modified page writer works, thus running the risk of impacting some of the cache performance of the OS, as well as removing the ability to page in times of severe commit pressure (and thus bugchecking becomes possible).

My position is, it's *your* machine - do with it what you will. But only do it once you have *all* of the answers and facts, and have done your own performance research to make sure you don't run the risk of crashing, and you can live with the potential for a cache performance hit you may take when running without a paging file.

</flame suit off>


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Aug 2011   #172
Teerex

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate SP1
 
 

Quote:
Pavel Lebedinsky
24 Nov 2008 11:06 PM

By the way, there are actually 2 separate reasons why pagefiles are necessary.

The first reason is to allow dirty pages that are never (or very rarely) referenced to be moved to disk, freeing up more RAM for other purposes.

The other reason is to enable better use of *virtual* memory, given that physical memory is allocated on demand. Remember that when a process calls VirtualAlloc(MEM_COMMIT) there are no physical pages allocated at this time. Physical pages are only allocated when the app accesses virtual pages for the first time. This is good because it makes committing pages a relatively cheap operation, so apps can commit memory in bigger chunks, without having to worry about each page they may or may not use.

Now, even though committing memory does not allocate physical pages, it still guarantees to the application that reading from/writing to the committed pages will never fail (or deadlock). It might be slow if other physical pages have to be moved to disk in order to make room, but it will eventually succeed.

In order to make that guarantee the memory manager has to assume that every committed page in the system might eventually be written to. And that in turn means that there has to be enough space in the physical memory and all the pagefiles combined to hold all the resulting data. In other words, the total commit charge has to be less than the system commit limit. Once the limit is reached, the memory manager will refuse to commit any more memory, even if there is still plenty of unused (free+zeroed) physical pages, or plenty of unused space in the pagefile.

In a sense, pagefiles are like stormwater ponds. Most of the time they are (almost) empty, but they have to be large enough in case a big storm happens.
Some more techspeak on this topic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2011   #173
medeiom

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cluberti View Post
Just to throw my 2¢ in here...

My position is, it's *your* machine - do with it what you will. But only do it once you have *all* of the answers and facts, and have done your own performance research to make sure you don't run the risk of crashing, and you can live with the potential for a cache performance hit you may take when running without a paging file.

</flame suit off>
I couldn't agree more as I have been running without a Pagefile for over 18months and without any crashes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Aug 2011   #174
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

For those that want to turn off page filing; just do it and be happy. For those like me and many others that use page filing, do it and be happy. Most important to those that don't really know what to do. IMHO and doing a lot of reading on this subject, I would recommend letting Windows 7 take care of your memory and page filing.
I like most people here try to give help and information that help others.
Microsoft has spent millions of man hours and dollars creating Windows 7. They didn't put page filing in their operating system just because they had nothing else to do. Page filing might not be needed on every computer in the world but it works great on all the computers I have used.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2011   #175
Otase

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

As for me i dont let windows manage it while having 8gb or less,
with 8gb ram i would set Page file Min/Max to 1024mb just to be safe
and be done with it lol.

Reasons are: use memory ram in more efficient way and less/or no fragment to the disk at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2011   #176
OldMX

Microsoft Windows 10 Professional / Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Otase View Post
As for me i dont let windows manage it while having 8gb or less,
with 8gb ram i would set Page file Min/Max to 1024mb just to be safe
and be done with it lol.

Reasons are: use memory ram in more efficient way and less/or no fragment to the disk at all.
Oh boy, really, you are not smarter than Microsoft Engineers, leave pagefile as system managed, unless you have a very small dic..i mean SSD and every gb of working space is really needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2011   #177
pallesenw

Windows
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by OldMX View Post
you are not smarter than Microsoft Engineers
That phrase is getting old.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2011   #178
JimLewandowski

 
 

From the command line:

wmic process list full | find "PageFileUsage"


WMIC has all kinds of goodies.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2011   #179
Otase

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by OldMX View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Otase View Post
As for me i dont let windows manage it while having 8gb or less,
with 8gb ram i would set Page file Min/Max to 1024mb just to be safe
and be done with it lol.

Reasons are: use memory ram in more efficient way and less/or no fragment to the disk at all.
Oh boy, really, you are not smarter than Microsoft Engineers, leave pagefile as system managed, unless you have a very small dic..i mean SSD and every gb of working space is really needed.
Whats the point leaving system managed if it is fragmenting HDD everytime it will acess it
even 512mb fixed min/max values is enough for pagefile with an 8gb ram,
i just leave 1024mb to make the favor for pagefile.

Only one thing i dont recommend for anyone is disabling it lol.

Note: (Only pointing my opinion)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2012   #180
miki69

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

I've found this article making comparison with/out pagefile:
The Windows 7 Pagefile And Running Without One » TweakHound

Cheers,
Miki
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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