really advantage to turn off virtual ram ??

Posted on 2003-02-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I have heard many people said if your system a lot of ram ( 1GB or more ) you can have better performance as your windows will fly with RAM instead go back to the virtual ram. So is this true ?
Question by:kevinng
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Expert Comment

ID: 8011196
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Expert Comment

ID: 8011197

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PublicFatality earned 150 total points
ID: 8013178
yes it is true, but 1 project in photoshop (or any equally huge program) will probably eat up 1gb of ram in no time.  Without virtual memory your machine will give you a low memory error.  I don't recommend shutting off the swap file.  Instead, I recommend that put the swap file on your fastest drive (yes I know you need leave a small one on your bootables drive ~250mb)  and set the maximum and minimum for swap file size to approximately 3 or 4 times your physical memory.  That means you will set the min and max to the same value.  For exmaple if you had 256mb of RAM set the min and max swap file size to ~768mb (256x3)  This is just a rough sketch and you can set it to any size you want.  BUT their is an advantage to having the min and max same size, that way when windows is swapping out memory its not wasting time constantly resizing that swap file, whihc leads to better performance

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Author Comment

ID: 8017611
So There is no other alternative but have to use the virtual memory ? what about 2GB and use some software fresh up the memory once a while so, would be avoid the bottleneck with hdd speed compare to ram ?
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 8017883
The point here is that the more physical memory you have, the less you will use and/or need virtual memory. That doesn't mean you should delete your pagefile - you should still leave your system with the option of using virtual memory - Windows uses virual memory for storing things that haven't been accessed in RAM recently, regardless of the amount of RAM available.
That doesn't negate the fact that having more memory will significantly increase the performance of your pc in most instances. Keep in mind that all subsystems rely on each other, and any bottleneck will slow things down. A 486 with slow IDE drives won't benefit much from 2GB of RAM! Also, depending on how many applications you run, and how big those applications are, there will be a point where adding more memory will become irrelevant. PublicFatality gives the example of Photoshop with big projects, but in my experience, 1GB of RAM is way more that enough for the typical desktop user out there.


Expert Comment

ID: 8022175
JP, I agree, 1GB of RAM should be adequate for most desktop users.  However, the photoshop example was explaining with virtual memory turned off... you can see how that can be a problem, especially if more then 1 project is open.


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