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pagefile setting

Posted on 2009-12-19
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what is the best pagefile setting for 3gb memory
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Question by:pwarren1212
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by:senad
ID: 26088199
That is plenty of memory so 700 MB is enough.
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by:pwarren1212
ID: 26088221
what should be the minimum and maximum setting be
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senad earned 375 total points
ID: 26088261
300 -700
Pagefile usually gets used when RAM gets filled up.
3 gb memory is plenty and enough for almost all applications.
However if you play games (COD 2,Crysis,etc....)  and if you have plenty of space then I
suggest you use 1gb min and 2 gb max.
With 3gb of ram I would suggest you let windows handle the page file.
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by:BigBadWolf_000
ID: 26088264
Intitial size = 1000MB
Max size = 1500MB

If youre not running your machine on heavy database, running multiple OS via virtual machine, or hosting your machine as email server, you probably wont need a big page file. I would recommend 1GB of page file for a 3GB RAM configuration
 
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 26088455
For best performance Virtual Memory should be set as so.
-
#1: manually set min and max to the same number. [This can be a big performance issue.]
- This minimizes windows writing to the drive just to resize it [which windows does often in auto].

In a 32-bit OS.
Set to from 1x to 1.5x the amount of physical memory
- - BUT do not go over 4GB.
Memory address tables in a 32-bit OSs only have 4GB worth of addresses.
[Virtual memory has an address table just like the physical RAM does.]
If you assign more than 4GB you will have Virtual Memory locations with no Addresses so the OS won't know how to find it. [Kind of like adding phones to a phone system but not giving them phone numbers.]

In a 64-bit OS.
Set to 1.5x the amount of physical memory.

So,
- If your XP is a 32-bit and you have 3Gb of RAM set Virtual Memory to 4Gb.
[If you had 4Gb Ram you would also set to 4Gb.]

- If your XP is 64-bit and you have 3Gb of RAM set Virtual Memory to 4.5Gb.
.
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by:LMiller7
LMiller7 earned 375 total points
ID: 26088883
Unless you have a specific reason to do otherwise, let Windows manage it. In the large majority of cases this will be optimum, or as close as to make no difference.

There is no need or benefit in setting the initial and maximum size the same. NO resizing will occur unless the initial size is too small. A system managed pagefile with 3GB RAM will rarely need to expand - if ever. Having a larger maximum size allows expansion if you experience exceptional needs. This provides a completely free safety net if you ever need it. Contrary to many claims to the contrary, pagefile fragmentation is rarely a significant issue. In most cases it isn't an issue at all.

Without using PAE the maximum size of a pagefile is 4GB. If you have ample disk space there is no point in setting the maximum pagefile to anything less. A larger than necessary pagefile will not encourage excessive usage.

Also, the pagefile is NOT virtual memory. I know that some Microsoft documentation implies this but it is not correct. Virtual memory is MUCH MUCH more than the pagefile.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 26089160
Wrong, and goes against conventional wisdom.
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Hard setting the Virtual Memory min/max has been common practice for over a decade.
It is as effective now as it ever was and it results in noticable performance gains.
Any tech with significant experience knows this off the top of his head.

- Your plagurism from that article about pagefile not actually being virtual memory is noted.
The problem with that idea is that in a 'stock' installation of Windows you can only adjust pagefile size by tweaking Virtual Memory settings. That is WHY Microsoft documentation is unclear about it not actually being the same thing.

PAE will allow a larger pool of addresses however it adds another step in the processing of data between the CPU and RAM [in both directions]. In essence the system has to check two address tables instead of one before it finds the memory location.
- It allows more memory, but it significantly slows down the data's speed through the system.

PAE is generally recommended only for Servers.
Using PAE is somewhat like doing the grocery run in a 5 ton dump truck.
Yeah, it hauls more but it's slower.
- If you never fill the truck to capacity [use -ALL- the RAM] you are loosing overall.
.
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by:senad
ID: 26089654
Big games fill memory very fast (and usually do not know how to release it).
So unless you restart (or free memory in some other way) your page file gets under fire. :-)
I suggest you leave it to Windows ....
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 26089707
Yes, you definitely want system resources being used rewrite files on the hard drive when you are doing something demanding... that'll help performance... NOT!!!
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by:LMiller7
ID: 26090496
Sometimes false ideas become so established that they become established wisdom. These need to be corrected.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 26090846
More often cocky inexperienced people are just wrong.

What I'm saying is verifiable.
I suggest you set up a test system and run some benchmarks.
You'll learn something.

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by:BigBadWolf_000
ID: 26091661
To summarize pwarren1212,

Manually setting the size to 1 or 1.5 GB (higher if video editing or other mem intensive apps) will work well or letting Windows choose will also work well.

If you are interested the the nuts and bolts specifics, there are plenty of opinions on this site or you can even google it.
:D
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Author Comment

by:pwarren1212
ID: 26091793
I appreciate all the advice.  I will try all three ways, min and max same, changing the min and max to different sizes, and letting windows decide and see which one works best for me.  I am making movies so I know that is a memory hog.  I wil let you know which choice I take and assign points accordingly.

Thanks again  I did google the question and got lots of different answers also.  Just wanted professional advice.  
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 26094160
Not 1 or 1.5 GB ... but 1 or 1.5 times the physical memory in the system [without going over 4Gb].
.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 26102153
Another error that needs corrected.

PAE - WILL NOT - allow more than 4GB of Virtual memory.
Virtual memory is 4GB max in 32-bit Windows and there's not a thing you can do to raise it.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555223
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Author Closing Comment

by:pwarren1212
ID: 31668146
I tried setting the pagefile to all suggested settings, so I picked letting windows manage it.  I couldn't really tell any difference setting the min. and max myself.  
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 26107264
Sorry but part of that is wrong. I'm not going to leave as is to mislead other people later on.
-
With a 32-bit Win OS even WITH PAE the maximum size of a pagefile is 4GB.
READ -> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555223
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by:LMiller7
ID: 26107988
I wouldn't be so sure.
I have experimentally set a pagefile size of 6000MB on an XP system using PAE. The pagefile size is listed as 6,144,000 KB and the commit limit is adjusted accordingly.

 
 
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by:LMiller7
ID: 26108006
This Microsoft article seems to indicate that the maximum pagefile size on x86 using PAE is 16TB.

http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/archive/2007/12/14/what-is-the-page-file-for-anyway.aspx


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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 26108511
Congrats Miller.
You just created 2Gb of UNADDRESSABLE pagefile.
-
I'll take the MS Support Site's word for it over something said in some guy's Blog any day.
.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 26108532
You could put 64Gb in a Win98 system and it will run fine, but it's not going to use all the RAM.
You just did essentially the same thing with a pagefile setting.
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by:senad
ID: 26111061

Perhaps one of the most commonly asked questions related to virtual memory is, how big should I make the paging file? Theres no end of ridiculous advice out on the web and in the newsstand magazines that cover Windows, and even Microsoft has published misleading recommendations.

How Big Should I Make the Paging File ?

http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/
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