Agree that Swap file should be 2.5-3 times size of RAM?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Pretender, Feb 26, 2004.

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  1. Pretender

    Pretender Registered Member

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    Seeking opinions of tweaking Virtual memory to increase the swap file minimum (initial) and maximum to 2.5-3 times the size of the amount of RAM installed on a system. Note: This is using the same amount in both minimum (initial) and maximum. What do you think?
     
  2. MikeBCda

    MikeBCda Registered Member

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    Obvious first question, what OS?

    Back on my old 98SE, I needed to make a major upgrade to memory -- as I'm sure everyone agrees, 32 meg just ain't enough for anything these days, especially on the net. A friend in one of my groups made me a present of some extra chips to bump it up to 128 meg, which was a big help.

    I'd heard that Win fixed the swap file at a default of 1.5x RAM, but a couple of dealers I use regularly pointed out that in 98SE if it's set to dynamic then Win just uses what's necessary at any given time so it's constantly changing size.

    I'm on XP-Home now, and I'm not sure where to go with it. It's got 256 meg, and the OEM-dealer set the page (swap) file to "custom", 372 to 744 megs. Because XP handles memory and resources totally diff from 98SE, I haven't a clue whether I'd be better off changing it to the equivalent of dynamic, i.e., "set by system" (or however it's worded.

    So I'll be curious to see what others have to say too.
     
  3. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    My xp pro has it set at 756 by default and it seems to work there just fine. This may not work for every one but you can look ay my signature and see how much ram I have and everything is copasetic. ;)
     
  4. sick0

    sick0 Registered Member

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    lets say for example that i have 1 gigabytes of ram, would i set my paging file to 3 gigabytes? i dont think so! its an obvious waste of disk space. Win XP handles memory and paging file more efficiently than before so it really depends on the OS and the amount of memory you're using. just do a trial and error and see what size works best for you. goodluck!
     
  5. Pretender

    Pretender Registered Member

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    The question I posted to begin this thread was due to a link on msn.com yesterday 2/26 about 6 ways to tweak a system for improved performance. I didn't see why there would be a need to mess with the size and that's whay I asked for imput here from others. Perhaps it would be a way to go if one were experiencing performance problems.

    Here's the link to the page:

    http://msn.pcworld.com/howto/article/0,aid,114162,00.asp
    Added URL tags - Pieter http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=19869
     
  6. StAnger

    StAnger Registered Member

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    Counterquestion: you buy loads of RAM. The more and the faster, the better. Then you increase the virtual memory, so Windows will use your comparatively slow HD in stead of all the fast RAM. Why? o_O
     
  7. Pretender

    Pretender Registered Member

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    Doesn't make any sense to me either. Can't figure out how they decided that this is a good perfomance tweak!?!
     
  8. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    I have 1024 Meg of ram and have my paging file/virtual memory set at 512 Meg..... You can monitor your paging file usage under Windows Task Manager (see attached).... My page file usage very seldom goes above 320 Meg, so I have it set with both a min and max size of 512 Meg just in case.... My system works just fine with these settings... IMHO, at least with my system, the recommended min of 1536 Meg would definitely be overkill.....

    HTH....

    Regards,
    Kent
     

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  9. Pretender

    Pretender Registered Member

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    I can't figure out why they would suggest this as a speed tweak. Seems to be just a waste of disk space in my opinion.
     
  10. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    I agree with you totally ;) ... As far as either Win Xp Home or Pro is concerned, I have seen very few systems use more than 320 Meg or so in their paging file.... And I can see no difference in either speed or performance with a page file of 512 megs or one of 1536 megs or more *puppy* ....

    Regards,
    Kent
     
  11. gerardwil

    gerardwil Registered Member

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    Hi All,

    In my opinion you dont need a PF at all with 1024 RAM.
    Only slows down.

    Regards,

    Gerard
     
  12. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Because I am used to having a lot of files open at once, and transfer large files often, if I had only 256 mb of RAM i would probably create a partition on my second drive for the page file and max it out at 4 GB. Because then I wouldn't bother defragmenting it, i would just reformat it often. I don't consider it a waste of hard disk space, better than programs freezing, and so forth. It's interesting that the memory manager is the only process that has a priority of zero. It makes sense, but you can see why you run out!

    Just out of curiosity I have started setting my memory allocation priorty from the default (prioritization of my programs) to background services and system cache. I am reasoning that most of large file conversions and such take place in temp folders and scratch discs, so maybe keeping system cache freer will speed up moving them in and out of their temporary locations.
     
  13. CrazyM

    CrazyM Firewall Expert

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  14. gerardwil

    gerardwil Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I have two more tips to keep your RAM clean and to take full advantage of RAM (Windows XP)
    Always make a backup of your register first

    Go to:

    start > run > regedit
    Then go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    In the right window rightclick > new
    Name it: AlwaysUnloadDLL
    Ridghtclick on that neme and give it a worth of 1
    Then click OK.

    This will unload the DLL 's when a program is finished.

    The next one will force XP to fully use RAM go to

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
    Look in the right window for DisablePagingExecutives
    Dubbelclick and give it the worth 1

    Leave the register and restart the computer.

    Gerard
     
  15. MakoFusion

    MakoFusion Registered Member

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    This tweak was used more so back in the day when RAM was expensive and 128 MBs was the norm. As a rule of thumb if you have less than 128 MBs of memory and wish to get a small performance boost you can use this trick. However with today's greeding applications this is now been bumped up to 320 MBs of memory or less.

    For best performance make a new partition or better yet put the .swp file on a second hard disk drive. This way your main hard disk can read while your second hard disk writes to the cache at the same time. You can even make a small partition for it on the second drive a little bit larger in size than the actuall cache itself. Keep the min and max sizes EXACTLY the same to keep "paging" and "thrashing" down to a minimum. It takes more time to resize this file and then it become unfragmented over time! Use a program to defrag it and if min and max are the same it will stay defragged.

    Anything above 512 MBs with the exception of heavy use graphics editing software should bring the disk cache smaller than the amount of RAM just in case you need a little bit more but I doubt you will. This might be the case if you have heavy application use with 512 MBs of PC100 or PC133 SDRAM. Anything more than this amount especially on today's DDR and duel channel motherboards will work VERY nice with no need for disk cache at all.

    PC133 = 1.06 GB/s
    DDR400 = 3.2 GB/s
    DDR400 w/duel channel slots = 6.4 GB/s
    7200 RPM drive = Not more than 100 MBps

    As you can tell this is a huge differance in speed even with PC133 slower SDRAM memory. 'tis possable with up to 2 GBs of memory to create a memory drive however you have to save all changes to the hdd. And it will also have to read from your hdd every reboot to store it into memory again.
     
  16. controler

    controler Guest

    OPTION #1: Windows NT Server uses a large system cache while NT Workstation does not. If you have NT Workstation and enough RAM, you should try enabling this feature and see if your computer works faster. You can always change it later.

    OPTION #2: Windows NT is allowed to page parts of its kernel (the heart of Windows). This only happens if a lot of programs are opened, but it will slow down your system badly. For maximum performance, you should deactivate this option.

    NOTE: Do not deactivate this option if you want to use standby power functions (Hibernate etc.)!

    OPTION #3: By default, all 16bit applications are run in the same memory-space of Windows. If one of these applications crashes badly, it can happen that it's the end of all other 16bit applications also. To prevent this, every 16bit application can be run in it's own process. This requires more memory, but it's safer.

    Important Note: If you are having 16-bit applications run in separate memory processes, only one 16-bit program can access 16-bit DLLs that are normally shared at a time. This may result in crashes or errors in some 16-bit programs if they try accessing as 16-bit DLL which is already being used by another 16-bit application. However, generally this is not a concern as 16-bit applications seldom require use of the same 16-bit DLL files at the same time.

    You can manualy edit your REg as has been mentioned, you can use windows to edit your swap-page file and cash or you can use other programs that you have grown to like. X-Setup Pro has grown on me for many reasons. It actualy helped me find a keylogger I forgot I had installed to test (Spy Lantern)
    You can also use a program like Diskeeper to defrag your Swap-Page file on boot.

    Now for some screen shots.
     

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  17. controler

    controler Guest

    X-Setup Pro Cache settings

    You can see how I have mine set for now.

    On an Windows XP Pro with PIII 850 ,768 mb RAM
     

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  18. controler

    controler Guest

    After reading my above post , you are now wondering how a program
    like X-Setup Pro can find a keylogger if you don't have TDS-3 or if it is an unknown keylogger?

    Screen shot below should answer your question :D
     

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  19. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    MakoFusion, and Controller, and Gerard -

    I have awarded you all a karma cookie for sharing so many ideas on how to speed up the computer. I hasten to add that it will be some time if ever before I understand.

    To Controller - You appear to be saying that asigning more cache to the system will slow down performance since it will not be available to your programs (i am guessing). I get that you know alot about this topic, however what made me question it is that it seems to me that most programs use a pretty limited amount of memory, and a reletively large amount of processer time. Forgeting graphics for the moment, what happens when you burn CD's and DVD's? With my software I have the option of direct drive to drive burning or drive to hard drive temp file to drive. My guess (emphasis on guess) was that XP's system cache is used heavily.

    I would test it out, but I am not even sure i understand it enough to do so. For instance, some people said that if you have no page file then your system is running totally with RAM memory. And we saw the screenshot where it shows flat pagefile usage...However, i wonder if there is actually another factor at play. I noticed, while looking at my task manager that XP seems to do a funny thing. It seems to set you amount of cache based on the sum of the page file size and the memory size. since we observe that the page file size is flat, my guess was that means that it uses up ram cache before hard drive cache.

    Okay, here is my question: is it possible that people who assign less size for page file, in turn are assigned less unallocated memory by the o/s, with the ironic result being that it actually goes to hard drive page file usage before it would on the same system with a larger amount set for the page file? Further, is it possible that the same system with a larger page file, again ironically, would actually use the page file less than the one with the small page file?

    I don't really expect an answer to this, but if i can't figure out the info that you guys posted i will post again in the future.

    - HandsOff
     
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