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What is the best setting for configuring virtual memory under Windows Xp Service Pack 2

Posted on 2007-12-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I have just upgraded all of our workstations running XP with new ram modules (replacing the old ones)

All workstations now have 1024MB of DDR-RAM (or DDR2-RAM). All motherboards use Dual Memory channels (so installed the new modules in pairs of 2 x 512MB)

Under virtual memory settings, the VM size seems to be linked to size of available ram,the installed memory was 256MB Ram, the settings were :

Minimum size : 768MB
Maximum size : 1024MB

So that is a value of 3X Ram size for minimum value, and 4x Ram size for maximum value.

Should i just recalculate those numbers (3X and 4x available memory) or leave the control up to windows itself ?
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Question by:ggc2
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14 Comments
 
LVL 8

Accepted Solution

by:
devil_himself earned 200 total points
ID: 20426155
How can I optimize the Windows 2000/XP/2003 virtual memory (Pagefile)?
http://www.petri.co.il/pagefile_optimization.htm
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Expert Comment

by:VoxSis
ID: 20426157
Well all I can tell you is that I have 2 GB of ram (on XP) and my virtual memory is
initial: 1536
maximum: 3072

I think that the minimum (initial) value should be 0.75 X RAM
and the maximum 1.5 X RAM, when you have large amount of RAM memory (1GB an up)

Hope this will help you
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 100 total points
ID: 20426172
Make a fixed pagefile of min=max=1.5x the amount of RAM. In your case that would be 1.5 GB.
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LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:and235100
and235100 earned 200 total points
ID: 20426254
I agree with rindi - 1.5x physical ram for max custom value and 1.5x physical ram for min custom value.

But this might be different for your situation - if you are doing a lot of graphic work - then you will probably need more virtual memory - 2.5x max and min.
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LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:and235100
and235100 earned 200 total points
ID: 20426258
From Microsoft:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308417
"The recommended minimum size is equivalent to 1.5 times the RAM on your computer, and 3 times that figure for the maximum size"
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Expert Comment

by:kadadi_v
ID: 20426313
If you are not having any virtual memory errors or any applications problem then do not make any changes in the default value ...yes let windows decide the settings of virtual memory.


Regards,

V.K.
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Expert Comment

by:majidhajali
ID: 20426548
Hi,
Microsoft recommends the amount of virtual memory is 1.5 by your ram, for you the minimum amount of virtual memory that Microsoft recommends is 1536 Mb.
remember that your maximum VM size is about 2 x RAM , but this value shouldn't very large. because as same as few virtual memory makes your system slow, very large amount of VM makes it slow too.
And another point, it's a good practice to set min and max VM to same size, because increasing VM when windows wants take more space for VM, makes your system slow for few seconds or minutes.
CONCLUSION: set min and max amount of VM on a same size. I think an amount between 1600 and 1800 is good.
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Expert Comment

by:mcse2007
ID: 20426553
All try moving your pagefile and house it to different partition drive which will give you better performance.
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LVL 32

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by:and235100
ID: 20426963
Yes - but if you don;t have a full pagefile on the system volume - you will not be able to analyse a full memory dump - in the case of a blue screen problem.
Leave it on the C: volume - the performance difference is negligible with newer hardware.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 20427355
The small memory dump is sufficient to analyse a crash, for that all you require is a pagefile on C that has 64mb size.
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Expert Comment

by:mcse2007
ID: 20430517
in the short term yes,  but files get fragmented, more applications get install that are hungry in resources,  Local C drive a mass of huge data etc., hence performance degrade so in the long rung it will be beneficial for the o/s  to move the pagefile into dedicated partition drive for optimum performance which industry practice.
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Expert Comment

by:kulvinder_10
ID: 20430926
Fix the sixe of virtual mem to 1.5X or 2X of your physical mem.

Fixing the size of V.M will remove the overhead on system to increase or decrease the VM when needed.
These days we have lots of space on the HDD so set the FIX size of VM for uerself.

It will improve the performane of your system
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Author Closing Comment

by:ggc2
ID: 31413358
Thanks all for your responses !

i set the min & max pagefile size to 1.5 X fysical ram setting (no graphical work needed)

best setting was apparenlty on c: drive small pagefile off 64mb (if case of an vmm dump)
and the pagefile on a separate hard disc on preferably another ide controller (having 2 sets of hard disk controllers instead of one)

that last was not an option since they are all fitted with a single harddisk.

note : moving the pagefile to another partition seemed not logical to me, since  the hd controller should "cover my ground" (i think) and has to be moved more often.

so for now, everything is ok ,and a slight system improvement has been noted by the users.

Thanks again
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Expert Comment

by:and235100
ID: 20448438
Hope that the comments given were useful.
Thanks.

I must point out though - you cannot do a complete memory dump (not a kernel or small) without 1.5x your physical ram.
The complete memory dump is the best thing you can have to troubleshoot bluescreen issues - it gives you access to all the information possible.

Also - mcse2007's comment about long-term performance degradation is one opinion, of course, but with a 70Gb C: partition on a SATA II drive - and maintenance tasks such as a defrag schedule and regular deleting of temp files (with your program files stored on a separate partition)  - you will see virtually no improvement by shifting your pagefile.
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