What's the best setting for virtual memory?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by sweater, Oct 25, 2006.

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  1. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

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    For Windows XP Pro SP2 with 256MB RAM, what's the best setting numbers to use in the initial and maximum number?

    In the past, I use 384 and 786 but I always got msg that I am low on virtual memory. As of now I just use to tick the System manage size.
     
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    If you get that message, it prolly means you get something that leaks and gets bigger and bigger.
    As to setting up virtual memory, how many hard drives you have?
    Mrk
     
  3. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

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    I have two HD, 20Gig each...all in all a total of 40Gig HD..;)
     
  4. Banshee

    Banshee Registered Member

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    Maybe you need more ram. I would suggest you let the xp handle virtual memory.
     
  5. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    since u still receive messages about virtual memory, try using 1024 for min and max. and like banshee suggested, considering buy more ram.
     
  6. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    Place the pagefile on the other hard disk.
    Mrk
     
  7. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

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    You mean, use the number 1024 for both the initial and the maximum setting? o_O
     
  8. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    sweater, I would agree with Mrk's advice, but only if your 2nd drive is about as fast as the system drive. If it is appreciably slower than your system drive, leave the paging file on the system drive.

    In either case, it's best to set the max and min values the same and in your case I would suggest 1024MB (or 2048MB if you have lots of free space on the drive).

    More RAM is also very good advice!
     
  9. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    yes. i suggested 1024 as it is bigger than 768, and i suggested u use the same number for both min and max for performance/fragmention reasons.
     
  10. charincol

    charincol Registered Member

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    Not neccesarily true in every case.

    On my girls' computer, the main HDD is 10GB and even using a 2nd 10 yr old 1gig HDD improves performance on it quite a bit by offloading the pagefile I/O to the 2nd HDD controller and heads. (A 420MB HDD with the pagefile on it gave roughly the same performance as having the pagefile on the system drive [C].)

    It all depends on how much the pagefile is being used. If it is alot, then moving it to a 2nd drive will make a dramatic difference. Since both drives are ~20GB, then they should have similar performance.

    Windows XP has a sweet spot for "virtual memory" of around 2 gigs regardless of your installed RAM. Forget the rule of thumb that says RAM x 1.5 = Pagefile size. Virtual memory (to expain it simply, but not exactly) is the combined total of your RAM and pagefile size. I have 1GB of RAM, so I have a pagefile of 1GB (min and max size set at 1024). Someone with 2GB of RAM would probably only need a 20MB pagefile (Windows whines and cries in the closet if there is no pagefile at all) and it wouldn't matter where it's located cause it would hardly be used.

    sweater, Start with a pagefile on your 2nd drive aroung 1.75GB(1792MB) in size [1.75GB(1792MB) pagefile + 256MB RAM = 2GB(2048MB) Virtual Memory]. Make sure you set 1792 for both min and max so the whole pagefile is created all at once. This will prevent fragmentation of it which will degrade performance. If you don't have enough space for one that big, it's not a big deal, just adjust.

    Ideally, to set up the pagefile, you might want to use a Partition Manager like PartitionMagic to create a new partition at the front of your 2nd drive slightly larger than the pagefile size. (You can even use Windows native Disk Management Tool but you will need to transfer everything on your 2nd drive somewhere else first, cause it'll destroy all data on that drive. PartitionMagic can create a new partition and leave your data unharmed.) That way it will stay there as a whole file and can run as fast as possible. (The beginning of your drive has the fastest disk access.) If you want to go this route, I can post a small .reg file that will turn off the "Low Disk Space" notification or you can google and figure it out for yourself. (It will annoy you to death if you go this route.:ouch:)

    Of course, doubling you RAM to 512MB will make the biggest difference if you can afford it.
     
  11. InfinityAz

    InfinityAz Registered Member

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    Put a paging file on each drive. Windows will automatically choose between the least busy drive. Use 1024 min and max for/on both.
     
  12. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    While I don't doubt the results reported by charincol (nothing about computing is cast in concrete), it is the exception rather than the rule.

    In any case, the most important aspect of placing your page-file on a 2nd drive is to be sure to place that 2nd drive on a separate cable from the system drive (ie., do not set it up as a slave to the system drive). If it is slaved to the system drive, you will not achieve the desired results!
     
  13. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    interesting advice charincol. apparently i already have my pagefile at the right size.

    1536mb pagefile + 512mb ram = 2048mb virtual mem :D :thumb:
     
  14. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    See http://www.standards.com/index.html?PageFileUsageMonitor.

    My system as 768MB memory.
    4 OS are installed.
    OS are on C, F, G and J drives.
    J is the main OS.
    C is on one disk drive.
    F and G are on a 2nd disk drive.
    J is on a 3ed disk drive.

    I have 64MB fixed-size page file on C.
    I have a variable size (128-1088MB) page file on F.

    rarely does use exceed 128 in the file on F.

    The messages you getare annoying, but do not stop processing.
    I used to use a 64-1088MB on F, but certwin #@$@%%$ apps cause that to be exceeded.

    Use the PageFileUsageMonitor to see what you need.
    You can set the program to run continuosly and report at set time intervals.
     
  15. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    If one has more than one physical drive, do not put a paging file on the PHYSICAL drive on which the OS lives. Can make a marked performance difference.
     
  16. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

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    From my experience, for computers with:
    128MB RAM: Recommended pagefile I/M sizes set to 128(I)/256(M)
    256MB RAM: Recommended pagefile I/M sizes set to 256(I)/512(M)
    512MB RAM: Recommended pagefile I/M sizes set to 512(I)/1024(M)
    1024MB RAM ( I think 1024MB is also called 1GB RAM :doubt:): You most likely do not need a pagefile with this amount of physical memory installed in your computer.

    For computers with integrated graphics, the amount of physical RAM reported may be slightly smaller due to the nature of integrated graphics, which shares physical memory by default. Memory consumption settings for integrated graphics can be changed from the system BIOS. You can just ignore the slight difference in the amount of RAM reported.
     
  17. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    With Win 2000, and later, not much page file is really needed.
    Up until about 2 years ago, I rarely exceed 32MB use.
    Now, I rarely exceed 64 + 128, and that's only due to some nasty apps.

    Best is to use the Pagefile UsageMonitor to determine what is really used in a typical period.

    THen, if you have 2 physical drives, set up a smallish fixed-size page file on 1 drive, say 32 or 64MB, then set a variable-length page file on the other drive, say 64MB or 126MB minimum to say, 1088MB, if you have 768MB of memory.

    The lower bounds will vary depending on the use reported by PageFileUsageMonitor.

    Put the vriable length page file on a physical drive other than the drive on which the OS lives.

    If you have only 1 physical drive, then make the minimim the same, but increase the maximum.
     
  18. charincol

    charincol Registered Member

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    The drive the pagefile is put on ideally should be as fast as the system drive. It's just that every computer I've built from Win98 and on has almost always had a performance increase even if the 2nd drive is significantly slower. That's just been my experience. Then again, I have always made sure they weren't on the same controller which, as you pointed out, is very important so the HDD controller doesn't have any more I/O requests than necessary.

    However, I don't agree with InfinityAz about putting a pagefile on both disks (unless the system's pagfile is only a few MB's to satisfy Windows). Obviously sweater's machine is already paging quite a bit on the default pagefile that's on drive C, otherwise he wouldn't be asking for help. So either the pagefile will do the same thing and bog down the system drive like it's already doing, or Windows is always going to be choosing the pagefile on the 2nd drive. Either way, it probably won't accomplish much. (In a system with 3 or more drives, this makes sense, as long as there's not a pagefile on the sytem drive.)
     
  19. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Very interesting thread as I've always found this subject of best size to set the virtual memory quite a confusing one over the years.

    It's great reading the various ideas about all this again.

    Can I ask what would be best in my situation. Running XP Home I have 512MB RAM with one 40GB HDD. My current setting for the page file is 756MB min and 1512MB max. Would it be better to set these the same to avoid fragmentation and if so what figure would be best suited to allocate.
     
  20. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

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    I recommend 512MB users set pagefile sizes to: 512MB(I)/1024MB(M) When my pagefile was set to system managed size, I got low on virtual memory errors non-stop. Better if the pagefile matches the amount of physical memory installed in your computer. Pagefile is not recommended if you have 1024MB or 1GB of RAM.
     
  21. gerardwil

    gerardwil Registered Member

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    After all advices also have a look here: PageDefrag

    Gerard
     
  22. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    Both Pagedefrag and Contig are very nice little apps. Have been using it for quit some time. And FREE.
     
  23. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    So what if I let it be managed by XP itself, I never got low VM message except if I r4un three or four AS/ AV scanners at atime.
     
  24. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Hi nadirah,

    I was coming round to thinking that the min/max should be the same but you have suggested different figures there and so this kinda makes me think there is still a lot of conflicting advice on this subject. This always was the case for years, maybe still is. But I'll try your values for a while anyway to see if any improvement is noticed or not.
     
  25. InfinityAz

    InfinityAz Registered Member

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    Lots of page file information and misinformation out there. Check out Tweakhound's advice.
     
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