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Windows 7: Pagefile disabled...wow

07 Apr 2010   #1
onetroubledguy

 
 
Pagefile disabled...wow

First off, my comments are based 100% on personal experience with a disabled pagefile. If you find it useful, then great. I'm running:

Windows 7 Ultimate - 32bit
Conroe Core 2 Duo E6600 - 2.88ghz (oc'd)
G.Skill 4GB DDR2 - 5-6-6-18 timings
EVGA 9800 GTX+
ASUS P5B Deluxe Wifi-AP

I know it has been beaten to death (the pagefile) as far as what size to set, what drive to use, should windows manage it, etc. I've done the 1.5x RAM thing for years until yesterday, when I decided to try it disabled just for kicks. Wow. It has been a very noticeable improvement in most areas with memory usage (or lack thereof) being the most obvious.

For example (and I'm not sure why this happened before) my Photoshop CS4 and Firefox tended to climb (rather quickly) in memory usage until they were practically unusable, as if a memory leak existed. Simply restarting the exe would "fix" the problem, but it was annoying no doubt. Anyways, with the pagefile disabled, that problem is gone entirely. Other programs eat up much less memory as well.

Overall, the best way for me to describe the difference is everything feeling much "snappier". Whether or not I can say the same 3 months from now remains to be seen, but I don't see why it would be any different. Anyone else experience the same?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Apr 2010   #2
tw33k

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) SP1
 
 

Good to hear. I've been playing around with different settings/different drives etc, but never turned it off. Been thinking about it and now I think I might have a go.

edit: got home from work and set to nop page file. My PC is pretty fast but now, OMG! Executing apps, particularly MS Office programs, is lightning fast; almost instant!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2010   #3
Desslok

Windows 7
 
 

Interesting. I read an article maybe a year ago, about how soon it will be better to turn off pagefile, especially on 64 bit systems that have a good deal of RAM, especially fast RAM. SEems like 4GB may be the sweet spot. It's kind of like how several years back when broadband internet was gaining speed, it became faster to turn off Temporary Internet Files, as having to read from cache was slower than just grabbing the new copy off the fast connection. I haven't tried turning off pagefile yet myself, maybe I'll give it a try now.

Edit: look at the first couple lines of this KB article:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/889654
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Apr 2010   #4
Scotteq

Windows 7 (x64)
 
 

Regarding Pagefile:

*Source* Memory management stress testing: Lol, I love 7


Quote:
We are now discussing which is faster at paging, RAM or HDD - the answer is obvious...RAM! What needs to be explained, is how using RAM-based-Paging affects the swapping process and ALL contents within the memory system.

Windows (Vista and beyond) will try to max out your memory usage with items that you consistently use. With this form of memory management, the purpose of paging is to keep a sorted list of all objects and relieve RAM of the more redundant objects. Think of a pagefile as being a clone of what's currently in RAM + what COULD be useful, but just isn't at that time. Even though they don't belong in the RAM, they still benefit by being sorted and kept in a special place. This is why having your pagefile located in the proper place can be important. Non-fragmented pagefiles located at the beginning of good-performing disks can ensure that our sorted data loads MUCH faster. Problem is, Microsoft's implementation of Pagefile-configuration doesn't include any automated quality-control. If your pagefile is scattered about or located in a low-performing location, it MAY - in some situations - increase the responsiveness of your PC by disabling the PF. However, you should note that overall it will be the opposite effect. Here’s why:

If you load up a program called 'Ms. Piggy', she's going to boss everyone around until they decide to go to another room (aka the pagefile). If the building has no other room (pagefile disabled), they're going to either leave the building completely, or partition the first room. This partitioning will cause Ms. Piggy to place her purse in the other room, and force all but the very-most-VIPs (if not everyone) to go home. When Ms Piggy’s number is over, we run into a problem... We will have to call up some cab drivers, get them to go to everybody's house and pick them and/or their stuff up and bring it back to the office. There will be traffic along the way, and maybe even a few jams…this may take a LONG, LONG TIME. On the other hand, had we actually had a pagefile - the VIPs could stick around and observe Ms Piggy's performance. At the moment it ended, the VIPs could’ve started working immediately. All the secondary staff and related files could also be brought back in from the nearby storage area. Maybe that storage area was located on another floor, maybe it was a mail-room, doesn’t really matter cause it still beats having to travel across town.

Again, EVERYONE should understand that this ONLY pertain to a Windows OS of Vista and beyond (greater than XP...). In windows XP, RAM is NOT properly used by the OS in any manner; Paging takes on a virtual-memory-like role as opposed to the queuing-role that is used in Vista and 7. BUT!!! Because XP doesn't use extended amounts RAM except when required, using that space as an enhanced-paging-file can be a possible way to trick Windows into keeping more objects inside RAM. This is why Disabling/enabling a PF in XP can be a matter of discussion, in Vista and up, it generally can-not.

XP: If you have LOTS of RAM...and aren't in threat of any programs going bonkers due to a lack of a large-PF - disabled can offer benefits.

'Vista and beyond': RAM should be filled down to 0MB free by the OS. Programs should load faster and quieter, PF usage handles all the tracking and relocation of lesser-used apps/data in the background. No benefits should be gained by disabling a PF.

The arguments of NO PF are based almost ENTIRELY on the XP loophole. It does not hold true for later operating systems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2010   #5
tw33k

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) SP1
 
 

Update: My file backup program, Second Copy, didn't like the loss of a page file so I set it again on the SSD. Now I have to decide to leave it as is or get a new program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2010   #6
ahstanford

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

I also disable pagefile and I'm running Win 7 Home Premium with 6GB DDR3 RAM.

I haven't had any problems, though I just disabled it today.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2010   #7
CommonTater

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by onetroubledguy View Post
First off, my comments are based 100% on personal experience with a disabled pagefile. If you find it useful, then great. I'm running:
...
Overall, the best way for me to describe the difference is everything feeling much "snappier". Whether or not I can say the same 3 months from now remains to be seen, but I don't see why it would be any different. Anyone else experience the same?
FWIW... I ran a single installation of windows 2000 from 1999 to 2006, then a single installation of windows XP from 2006 to April of this year, and now Win 7... All with the page file turned off.

I also disable a lot of crap in windows itself... automatic updates, system restore, etc.

I've worked this way all this time... My OSs don't constantly grow and consume more space, they don't become progressively slower, once stable they stay stable... and most of all they run 100% error free (well except for the ones I cause )

I don't run monster aps... mostly just compilers, text editors and Office....

Frankly I wouldn't do it any other way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2010   #8
Packet

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

i really like this article by "The" Mark Russinovich on virtual memory:
Mark's Blog : Pushing the Limits of Windows: Virtual Memory

he refers to page file usage and needs.

personally, in win2000, i used to limit it to 320 mb (with a gig of ram). now, for XP & 7, i just let it be system managed.
having said that, i'm intrigued by that KB article now
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2010   #9
Desslok

Windows 7
 
 

This is also good for using a small SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2010   #10
onetroubledguy

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tw33k View Post
Update: My file backup program, Second Copy, didn't like the loss of a page file so I set it again on the SSD. Now I have to decide to leave it as is or get a new program.
Everything is still running solid for me, although I have yet to try and backup anything. I'll give it a go with Acronis and see what happens.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Pagefile disabled...wow




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