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Suggested Page File Settings for Specific System with SSD & 8gb RAM

Posted on 2012-03-14
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Good Morning All -

I've got a Samsung Ultrabook Series 9 NP900X3A which I've had for about a month and love.  The only thing I'd like to have different is more drive space, but they haven't released a 256GB mSata drive yet for retail purchase.

Here are the specs:
-  Intel i5 1.6Ghz Proc
- 8 GB RAM (Fastest BUS will allow)
- 128GB SSD (1 large partition + 1 200mb partition that Win7 makes upon setup)
- Windows 7 x64 Pro

Currently, I have the paging file set for it to be automatically managed and uses about 8gb on the SSD.  The configuration I use on all other systems with SSD is to add a large phyical drive, use the paging file on it only, and make it as big as reccomended - however - I don't have the space in this ultrabook.

Question
I've read a lot of different articles that say different things about what to do with your paging file (with an SSD) for the best performance, but they all vary.  My question is - Especially given my system specs, what is the best setting for my paging file?  

Some people have even said not to use one if you have enough RAM.  I usually wouldn't mess with it, but am trying to free up space and if it's recommended that I do not use one, the extra 8 gb would be great to have.

Thanks!
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Question by:BzowK
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John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 37720759
It is best to allow Windows to manage the Page File (always). However, in this case, you could try setting it for 4Gb in size.

(a) I would not delete it. Keep at least a small page file.
(b) Ensure you turn Hibernation off (Windows likes to turn it on) and do not Hibernate.

Otherwise, try it and see how it works. .... Thinkpads_User
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by:pgm554
ID: 37720829
The page file is a leftover from the old windows swap file days.
Basically it's purpose was when you exceeded your RAM  capacity,it used your disk as RAM.
As a secondary function it served as a memory dump area in case of a crash.
Nether of these are very relevant or necessary anymore.

If you want to save space,I would set the swap file at maybe 2 gigs and be done with it.

It really shouldn't hurt anything.
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by:xema
ID: 37720883
An old rule of thumb regarding the swap file was 1.5 times youre physical memory, now a days it's exagerated.

As we're talking of a small sized HD I'll do as pgm554 recomended a 2 GB swap file size,
But I'll go a little further, make the  initial size and the maximun size the same. I'll restart the sistem and perform a HD defragmentation.
It may sound exagerated with win 7, but that way the file will be cataloged as non movible.
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by:BzowK
ID: 37720949
Thanks - even though the final answers seemed consistant, the opinions varied even with all posts here - interesting.

I'll try setting it at 2gb for now - at least until another post saying otherwise is made - but don't agree with the HDD defrag.  It is an SSD you know - Thanks
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by:xema
ID: 37721132
BenKellerman;
As I said, it may sound exagerated.  But I've seen speed improvements by doing so with Win XP and Vista.
I know thad SSD HD's are fast but at the end they behave as a "normal" HD.
But I respect your opinion.
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by:pgm554
ID: 37721146
I used to set my swap file to static (initial the same as max) as as it made some sense in that hard disks upon boot up,would have to create the swap file dynamically,but with an SSD,you really don't see any performance hit.

15 second boot ,15 second shutdown on my laptop these days.

And no,it's not a good idea to defrag.
In fact make sure it's turned off in W7.
Trim support should take care of disk maintenance issues.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 37721169
There isn't much to choose between the first two answers, and they are consistent. Your choice between 4 or 2 Gb. I would also refrain from defragging an SSD.
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by:Callandor
ID: 37721728
>I know thad SSD HD's are fast but at the end they behave as a "normal" HD.

This is not true.  Random access times are 100x faster, since there are no moving parts, and sequential throughput can go up to 500MB/sec, something a hard disk can't do.  You do not want to defrag an SSD because 1) the SSD access doesn't improve - there's no moving head latency and 2) there's a limited number of write cycles for these drives.

For this system, I would put the paging file on a regular hard drive, to avoid the wear factor.  It won't bring down performance much.
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by:pgm554
ID: 37721824
XP  and Vista are not W7.

W7 has been tweaked with trim support for SSD's, resulting in better read and write response times for SSD's.

In fact,this article says if you got 4gb of RAM,just disable the swap all together.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storage/2009/08/27/ssd-performance-tweaks-for-vista/1
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by:Callandor
ID: 37721832
>For this system, I would put the paging file on a regular hard drive, to avoid the wear factor.  It won't bring down performance much.

I just realized this is a laptop with only one drive, so ignore this.
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by:xema
ID: 37722024
Callandor;
When I said "behave as a normal HD", I meant the structure and the process to write and read files, I'm aware they are sustancially faster, but also I've read they have a bigger "wear factor" than Normal, mechanical, HD.
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by:Callandor
ID: 37722971
xema, thanks for the clarification.
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by:StuWhitby
ID: 37727420
Set the page file size to 0, get hold of Process Explorer from http://technet.microsoft.com/sysinternals and watch your system commit history.  If this is has a nice consistent gap at the top then you don't strictly require a page file.... but it might be a good idea to launch PE at boot time and set that graph to show in your notification area (Options/Tray icons).  If this stays under about 80% (guessing) without a page file when you're running a fairly high (but not unreasonable) workload, then you don't need a page file from a memory management side.

Leaves you stuffed for finding out what happened in the event of a crash, though if you set it to hold on a bluescreen rather than reboot (can't remember where to set that, but I'm fairly sure the option exists), I find that a digital camera image of the screen is handy to try to track down what happened after it's back up.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 37793533
Thank you, and I was pleased to assist. .... Thinkpads_User
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