Page file size for Windows 10 64bit With 8 GB of RAM.

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Osaban, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    I've read somewhere that the amount of page file should be for an 8 GB of RAM machine between 12 GB and 32 GB of RAM. When I access the page file tab on my computer it shows 1280 MB, which is automatically managed for all drives.

    Now it is clear that the 1280 MB currently automatically allocated is way lower than the minimum of 12 GB. So should I change the settings to custom size and set it to 12 GB or more? Or just leave it alone and let Windows manage it?

    https://www.poweradmin.com/blog/paging-file-percent-of-usage-counter/

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Osaban,

    My computer with 8 GB of RAM has a 1.3 GB pagefile.

    My computer with 32 GB of RAM has a 4.8 GB pagefile.

    Both are Windows managed pagefiles. Your link has outdated information.
     
  3. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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    My machine with 16 GB of RAM has a 2432 MB Page File, Windows managed.
     
  4. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    On my main computer which has 12GB of RAM, my Windows managed pagefile is over 10GB in size. I've never taken much notice of the size before and was surprised to see it's so big. But nonetheless, I'll still let Windows manage it.
     
  5. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    My machine: 8 GB RAM / Page file 1.280 GB, @Brian K 8 GB RAM / PF 1.3 GB, @Krusty 16 GB RAM / PF 2.432 GB, @roger_m 12 GB RAM / PF 10 GB, all Windows managed page file are very consistent, so why this big page file on yours Roger?

    I did a test, I've opened all tabs on Chrome and all heavy programs (Photoshop, MS Office, etc.) and my RAM memory usage hit 7.3 GB (out of 7.9 nominal). Then I checked the value of the page file allocated by Windows, it was 6.385 GB, more than the normal value but not even close to the 10 GB of Roger's computer. My computer's speed was the same even with this phenomenal load of RAM.

    I wish to know which is better between 'managed' and custom' when the system is heavily stressed for lack of RAM memory. I use Shadow Defender (a virtualizer software) which under specific settings uses a lot of RAM, and once after a long session my system suddenly slow down to the point that even task manager would take ages to launch. It only happened once, but the RAM available was all gone, why didn't page file step in then?
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
  6. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    It's most likely because sometimes I have an excessive number of Chrome tabs open.
     
  7. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    I think my previous post was not clear enough, opening more than 100 tabs in Chrome + Photoshop + office, my RAM memory in use was about 7.5 GB with only about 400 MB available, my page file at this very moment was 6.385 GB when it is only 1.280 GB in normal circumstances. 6.385 GB is the maximum I get when all memory is used, and it is still just over half of your computer in normal circumstances...

    Never mind the whole thing seems more complex than I thought for my understanding, it is good to know that the page file on my machine has the same values as other computers with the same RAM memory...
     
  8. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    @Osaban I just had 191 Chrome tabs open. While RAM usage exceeded 80% at times, the pagefile usage (monitored with Performance Monitor) stayed below 25%. So the excessive pagefile size remains a mystery.
     
  9. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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    The same machine with a previous install of Windows had a much larger page file. I put that down to several BSODs experienced at the time. Related?
     
  10. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    No! Absolutely not! Leave them alone!

    Contrary to what some want to believe, and worse, what some want everyone else to believe, the developers at Microsoft - can't speak for the marketing weenies and some of the execs - but the developers really do know what they are doing when it comes to managing virtual memory. I mean they have over 30 years of empirical data to draw on.

    They made the PF size "dynamic" intentionally - so that its size could adjust automatically as needed based on the configuration of your computer and how you use your computer. Essentially, no two computers in this world are set up with the exact same hardware or software configurations. And no two computer users use their computers the same way. That is why no silly formula (like 1.5 x RAM) makes sense.

    What is virtual memory? Essentially it is RAM + the Page File. If have 8GB of physical RAM installed, that already is a HUGE amount of RAM, more than most users need for normal computing tasks. If your system, based on how you use your computer, needed 12GB for paging, Windows would have made the PF 12GB! It really is that simple.

    So that nonsense to set your PF manually using some formula is just that, nonsense.
    Another bit of nonsense you might hear is if you have lots and lots of RAM, disable your PF. Again - nonsense. If you look at the lame excuses people use for disabling, you will typically see, I disabled it and I didn't see any difference, or it didn't break anything. Is when is "it didn't break anything" ever a valid excuse to disable something that is enabled by default by the designers of that product?

    It does not matter how much physical memory you have installed. Even if you have 128GB installed, Windows will still use the PF for things like crash dumps and lower "high priority data".

    If free disk space is so limited there is a concern it will run out, then the user has failed to properly maintain their computer. The correct solution is to clean out the clutter, delete unnecessary user files, uninstall unused user-installed programs, move user-installed programs to a secondary drive, and/or buy more disk space.

    The only time it is beneficial to change the default settings is when you have a secondary drive that has better performance specs than your boot drive. Then you might want to enable a Windows managed PF on that drive too. I said "too" not "instead of". This is because Windows 10 is smart enough to use the fastest drive for its most important PF tasks. Crash dump data is always written to the PF on the boot drive.

    Bottom line: Unless you are a true, bonified, expert in virtual memory management with advanced intimate knowledge of Windows 10 on that specific computer, leave the default settings alone!!!!! Just let Windows manage your page file. It knows how to do it - and do it very well!
     
  11. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    OK, thanks Bill for your proverbial no nonsense approach to explaining Windows inner mechanisms, my original query was prompted by a once upon a time slowdown of my computer which led me to think that perhaps it was linked to insufficient page file.
     
  12. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Yeah - those things happen but more likely caused by something else eating up your system resources (RAM and CPU cycles). Many years ago, when 4GB of RAM was considered a huge amount, and page files were fixed in size, that might have been a factor. But not today.
     
  13. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Interesting thread. My 1TB SSD has several partitions and I'm wondering if the non-system partitions should even need a page file? ...and if so, why?
     
  14. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Each physical drive benefits from having a PF. But separate partitions on the same drive don't. This is because even with SSDs, data is accessed sequentially, one segment at a time. If multiple chunks of data could be access at the same time on the same drive, then multiple PFs might help.

    With multiple physical drives, data from each physical drive can be accessed simultaneously. So PFs on each drive is worth it.
     
  15. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    I don't believe you can create a page file per partition on the same drive. The options are per drive, not partition.
     
  16. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    On my system it seems that this is possible:

    upload_2020-12-3_20-27-18.png

    C: and W: are two partitions on same drive, same as D: and T:
     
  17. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    @Minimalist
    Very interesting. Though it would be pointless to do.
     
  18. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    On mine as well (for each of my 5 partitions) ...that's why I asked in the first place!

    In fact, it allows me to set a System Assigned/Managed page file for each partition!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
  19. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    It would make sense that you could because the OS sees the partitions as separate drives - hence the unique drive letters. The partition tables are kept on the drive and it is the drive controller that deals with those issues.

    But as noted, it would be pointless to do it. In fact, having multiple page files on the same drive might even degrade performance - at least on hard drives.
     
  20. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    @Bill_Bright, @Brian K, @xxJackxx, with a total of 8 GB RAM on my laptop I am seeing both my RAM and Page File each at 55% consumption. Seems to me that's quite high (for both) considering that I only have Chrome (2 tabs) open at this time! Even if that seems about right to you, why so much paging with 45% of my RAM still available?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
  21. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    So I will say this then if you have more questions, following proper forum etiquette, you need to start your own thread.

    You do NOT have only Chrome open at this time. Windows is running and may be performing several "housekeeping" chores like indexing, SSD maintenance tasks, HD defragging and more. Also it is likely and I hope you still have your anti-malware solution running. Windows using your RAM is a good thing, not bad. As long as you are not running out of RAM, don't worry about.

    :( And people need to get away from and forget the totally inaccurate and silly notion that Windows uses the Page File as some sort of "overflow" pool for when their system RAM is full. That is total wrong and nonsense!

    AS I SAID ABOVE, it does not matter if you have 128GB of RAM installed, Windows still likes to see and will use a PF. And that's a good thing! It allows Windows to stuff higher priority data in system RAM and lower priority data in the PF. In your case Windows is leaving ~1/2 your system RAM available so when needed, it will instantly be available. It will not have to waste time shuffling lower priority data out of system RAM.
     
  22. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    My mistake. I have not had a disk with multiple partitions on it for many years (other than the hidden system partitions, which is something the OS sets up, not me). I know Windows knows a disk from a partition as it shows that clearly in disk management therefore I did not expect it to present the option for multiple page files on a single disk. I agree with Bill that it would likely decrease performance, at least on a spinning disk. I don't know if the option for multiple page files per disk based on partitions is something that was added over time or if I remembered this incorrectly. I certainly would not do it in any case.

    I always go with using the fastest as the system disk with 1 page file (system managed) on that disk. If that isn't fast enough then RAID 0 or 10 will speed things up. :D
     
  23. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Understand if we enable PFs on all physical drives and we let Windows manage them (the preferred and recommended setting), Windows will automatically select the fastest disk. In other words, we don't have to go with the fastest disk - Windows does it for us.
     
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