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Virtual Memory

I just recently downloaded a program that allows me to see how much virtual memory my system is using.  I was wondering if someone could explain to me what it is and is it better to let windows do it?  I would like to do it but i dont know how much to allocate for windows to use.  but with this program i have it seems that it starts out about 50mb and now its up to 200mb of virtual memory.  Is this normal?  by the way the program is called "2x2mas infobar"   thanks
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patrickhinckle
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patrickhinckle
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boom23Commented:
To get better performance, you shold set your virtual memory at a fixed value. Goto system properties, click on performance then to virtual memory. Select the drive you want your swp file to be in. Now if you have 32mb of memory, set your virtual memory to 80 (minimum 80, maximum 80), if you have 64mb, set it to 160(min160, max160). It is recommend to set to system memory x 2.5 hope this help!!
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dew_associatesCommented:
Hi Patrick,

The following is a good readers digest size expanation of virtual memory issues.

In order to provide more memory to applications than is physically present in
the computer in the form of RAM, Windows uses hard disk space to simulate RAM.
The amount of RAM in the computer plus the size of the paging file (also known
as the swap file) equals the total physical memory, or virtual memory, size.
Windows uses a dynamic paging file that remains at a size of 0K until it is
needed. The paging file can grow to use all the available space on the hard disk
if it is necessary. This is the default setting for the paging file. You should
use this setting if possible.
 
If you have limited hard disk space, other applications may reduce the amount of
virtual memory below that needed by Windows and its applications. If this
occurs, choose the "Let me specify my own virtual memory settings" option button
on the Performance tab of the My Computer property sheet. You can use this
option to set a minimum and maximum size for the paging file.
 
You can also choose to use no virtual memory. You should use this option only if
there is enough RAM to meet all the needs of Windows and the applications you
run.

While there are a multitude of opinions as to what works best, letting windows handle this function or setting it manually, most of this is dictated by two things, (A) What components make up the PC and what software is being used, and (B) how you use the machine. In Windows 95, at times, you could improve system performance by setting the minimum virtual seeting to zero and the maximum to somewhere around 2 to 4 times the physical memory of the machine. Microsoft redesigned most everything when Windows 98 came out, and tests have proven that on the average PC, using most testing software such as Excel Macros and Quake, little difference could be seen between automated settings and manual settings.

The size of the swapfile or virtual memory will grow and shrink with use, so yes that is normal.

If you need more, ask!

Dennis
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patrickhinckleAuthor Commented:
OK, Thanks for all the info.  I have 128mb of ram.  So i will just let win98 manage it for me.  Thanks for the info on the manual settings though.  I may need it one day.  
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dew_associatesCommented:
You're quite welcome! If you find that you have additional questions about this issue, please return here.
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