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Windows 7: Pagefile.sys

04 Feb 2010   #21
madtownidiot

 

One partial tweak is to go to hkey_local_machine\system\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management and set DisablePagingExecutive to 1. That will prevent the kernel from being paged and still leave pagefile available for a memory dump if one is needed.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Feb 2010   #22
BunBun

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BugMeister View Post
you won't actually use the pagefile unless your RAM overflows..
so there's no need to worry, even if you do have a pagefile..
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by madtownidiot View Post
One partial tweak is to go to hkey_local_machine\system\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management and set DisablePagingExecutive to 1. That will prevent the kernel from being paged and still leave pagefile available for a memory dump if one is needed.
I was gonna say that yes the page file is still used by the kernel regardless of how much ram you have free...

However I didn't know about that tweak! I will have to check that out. Thanks!

Although I find windows start pageing stuff between 80-90% memory used which is where I consistently keep my memory usage (I am a multi tasker...).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2010   #23
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

I don't think putting the Page File (which IS part of virtual memory, BTW) on an SSD is a good idea. SSDs have a limited number of write cycles. Although the newest ones are much better than earlier versions, it is still much less than HDs.

I see no advantage to disabling the PF. In fact, I see little reason to dink with it all, except perhaps, to move it off the boot drive, IF you have two or more hard drives installed. I think too many people feel they need to dink with it because that's what people did with Windows 95. Window 7 is not Win95, Win98, or XP. Microsoft engineers are pretty sharp people and since there's no reason for the Marketing weenies to get their fingers into the workings of the PF, the engineers have been able to refine it very well. So the bottom line, IMO, as long as you have enough free disk space, leave the PF alone and let Windows manage it. It can do it better than you.

Also note that putting the PF on a different partition from the boot partition provides no advantage. A different physical hard disk does, but not a different partition.

The best environment for the best performance is to have plenty of RAM (3 - 4Gb or more) and a decent hard drive, preferably with 32Mb or larger buffer, and lots of free space left. If you have two drives, moving the PF the 2nd drive may improve performance, but with a modern system and plenty of RAM, it will not likely be noticeable, or more importantly, measurable. If you do have a 2nd drive and you want to move the PF to it, I recommend the PF be the very first thing you put on that drive, perhaps in a small partition by itself.

As far as defragging, you never have to defrag the page file, but a heavily fragmented hard drive can adversely affect the PF.
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05 Feb 2010   #24
BunBun

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Yeah I don't think a page file is healthy for a SSD drive.

However how can you not see the performance benefit of keeping everything in RAM vs having somethings accessed from a much much slower pagefile?

FYI I never disabled my pagefile in 95. I started this with XP once I had in excess of 1GB of RAM. Back in Win 95 days it was too costly to consider disabling the pagefile as RAM was too expensive. That is no longer the case (at least for me).
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05 Feb 2010   #25
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by medeiom View Post
I'm running Win7 Ultimate 64bit with 8GB of RAM. Is it necessary to set a specific number for the pagefile.sys? Right now I have it set to "No paging file".

Please advise.

Thanks all.
Back to the original question, Windows likes to see a page file. There is absolutely no reputable source (a real testing facility) that has reported any gains from disabling the page file. If you find one, link it here. If the idea is to save disk space then set a small minimum and watch your usage. Even though you have 8Gb, you should set your system to use a page file and let Windows manage it. Current versions of Windows have memory management figured out.

Quote:
However how can you not see the performance benefit of keeping everything in RAM vs having somethings accessed from a much much slower pagefile?
Who said otherwise? Not me. So of course running from RAM is better. That is why the very first thing I said was necessary for the best environment is a bunch of RAM.

Some may think 3 to 4Gb is no longer "a bunch", but it is more than enough for most people, in a properly designed and balanced system coupled with a decent horsepower graphics card and an adequate CPU. A good graphics solution is a necessity in today's graphics intensive computing world. Almost everything we do is through or with graphics. With a decent graphics card, the CPU can hand off (remove out of system RAM) many more tasks and much more quickly than if using an entry level card, or worse, on-board graphics that "shares" a significant chunk of RAM. And it takes very little CPU horsepower to hand off tasks.

3 - 4 Gb is today's "sweet spot", even for most 64-bit systems. Beyond 4Gb and the return on your money is minimal. Less than 3Gb and the performance loss is significant - primarily because the system has to use and wait on the page file more frequently. If you watch your Memory Usage in Task Manager, it is hard to get it above 3Gb doing "normal" computing tasks, even with many windows open.

I currently have open several browser sessions and 10 tabs, MailWasher Pro Beta, and a 24 page Word doc and only using 1.36Gb of my 8Gb. I am no where needing the page file, but my performance is not hindered because there is a page file either.

Now, if you already have a really good graphics card, adequate case cooling and a quality power supply with enough headroom for more RAM, and you are running a 64-bit OS, I don't see where more RAM will hurt anything but your wallet.
Quote:
Back in Win 95 days it was too costly to consider disabling the pagefile as RAM was too expensive. That is no longer the case (at least for me).
And 128Mb systems were common and 256Mb of total RAM was something to brag about. A decent size "swap file" was essential and you would not consider disabling it. That's how the old rule of thumb 1.5 times the RAM for the page file size came about. That rule is still used today, though it is outdated. Not only because RAM is much larger and faster, but hard drives are much faster too.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister
I often find that the pagefile is not very active in my typical operations. Putting a small partititon for the pagefile has no impact on drive space, because it is so small.
Exactly. If you are crowded on drive space, it is time to uninstall unused programs, or buy a bigger drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2010   #26
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

On the other hand, even with only 4GBs of RAM on my primary rig, I find that something is stored in the pagefile, even though there is plenty of space remaining on the RAM. Obviously, this overage is not very active, but it seems that it would be retained in the RAM, until it got full.
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05 Feb 2010   #27
brady

 

It would depend on what's using the ram. Applications and services don't have access to your full range of ram. Some intensive applications can access 'more' than upper or lower level modules but still not to the full range.
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05 Feb 2010   #28
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

I don't think any of the apps that I use would be considered intensive, but I still think that there is enough room for them, because when I look at the Task Manager, the majority of RAM space is titled as "available" or free". If I understand correctly, the first group means space that is occupied, but can be used if needed. To me, the kind of means that those unused processes could be put into the pagefile, and be almost as good as where they are. I do have CleverCache installed, which reduces RAM usage slightly, but according to it's stats, it's only saving about 130MBs of space. Out of 4GBs only ~1.6GBs is actively occupied...according to the Task Manager.

I had thought about adding more RAM, because I have read many here say that the system would run better with more than I have, but I fail to understand that reasoning.
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05 Feb 2010   #29
brady

 

When you show that you have plenty of RAM available but you still notice your pagefile is or has been used, just means that you ran an app that prompted cpu architecture to swap the RAM. It's normal for all systems with an active pagefile. RAM doesn't just refer to the memory sticks you have in slots. RAM encompasses everything it's able to store information into.
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05 Feb 2010   #30
monkeys breath

windows
 
 

i suggest under 4gigs of ram a page file, over 4gigs no page file.
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 Pagefile.sys




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