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Win 7 x64 - 8GB RAM - What to do with the pagefile?

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Biotoxic_hazard_835    151

Just leave it to Windows to manage it.

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Udedenkz    51

I get low memory warning with 3GB RAM when I have a bunch of applications open, a bunch of tabs in Iron open, and I run Minecraft.

Pretty much Windows will warn you when you have ~300MB RAM left.

So if you get this warning (unlikely with 8 ****ing GIGS of RAM), turn on your page file.

Also, BSOD crash dump will not work (this doesn't happen often on W7).

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philcruicks    259

I agree with most people so far, LEAVE IT!

EXCEPT:

For people having plenty of RAM and perhaps SSD's as well, having a big pagefile would be waste of valuable space. I have 12GB of RAM in my computer along with 120GB SSD. I think it's nonsense to make pagefile eat up 24GB of expensive SSD diskspace so I lower it to 1024-2048.

If you have an SSD then ideally move it to another HDD in the system, if you have no HDD disable it, a pagefile will kill an SSD much quicker because of the extra write cycles.

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OuchOfDeath    26

Where the **** did you get that idea? The page file has nothing to do with the hibernation feature. That's what hiberfil.sys is for!

I got the idea from Linux, since that's how it's done there. I was under the impression that Windows did the same. I specifically remember Windows using the pagefile for it, but upon further googling turns out I'm wrong. Thanks for the angry correction.

EDIT: I was also expecting Windows to do things properly. Another bad design decision.

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Udedenkz    51

I got the idea from Linux, since that's how it's done there. I was under the impression that Windows did the same. I specifically remember Windows using the pagefile for it, but upon further googling turns out I'm wrong. Thanks for the angry correction.

The whole "page file != hibernation file" design really screwed me over with Linux.

To evaluate,

"No Swap" + "Swap != Hibernation" + "Lid Down = Hibernation" + Laptop + Backpack

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Mr. Gibs    3,865

EDIT: I was also expecting Windows to do things properly. Another bad design decision.

Since you know so much about software dev, why not go apply for a job at Microsoft? Clearly you know more than their developers. :rolleyes:

I think you need to realize that Linux isn't Windows (and vice-verca). Oh and please stop telling people to disable the page-file.

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Phouchg    2,048

And that's one more great discussion for teh stores of interwebs. People get nervous about one little stupid setting that is not gonna give a crap. It's not gonna give rocket power to it whether it's default or off or munching hard drive space like tommorow's not coming. We're talking tenth of percent of total performance variation, if at all. Unless people here got access to the MS source code, both sides are just speculating about all this kaboodle. So none can be right. And whole Internet is wrong. Me too.

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soonerproud    22

I got the idea from Linux, since that's how it's done there. I was under the impression that Windows did the same. I specifically remember Windows using the pagefile for it, but upon further googling turns out I'm wrong. Thanks for the angry correction.

EDIT: I was also expecting Windows to do things properly. Another bad design decision.

Windows is not Linux and Linux is not Windows. They are not clones of each other. Just because Linux does something one way (how well does Linux hibernate again?) does not make it more correct than the way Windows designed a similar feature. Hibernate works spectacularly in Windows 7 where hibernate in Linux is a bloody mess.

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OuchOfDeath    26

Since you know so much about software dev, why not go apply for a job at Microsoft? Clearly you know more than their developers. :rolleyes:

I think you need to realize that Linux isn't Windows (and vice-verca). Oh and please stop telling people to disable the page-file.

<Snipped>

I'm well aware that Linux isn't Windows. What you're not aware of is there are simple design decisions that are simply faster than others and they apply everywhere, irrespective of operating systems. This is memory management, and it has nothing to do with operating systems being different. You should at least know something on the subject matter before making a smartass comment.

Also I'm not telling people to disable the page file. I clearly explained everything that will happen when you do, including possible BSOD's.

Windows is not Linux and Linux is not Windows. They are not clones of each other. Just because Linux does something one way (how well does Linux hibernate again?) does not make it more correct than the way Windows designed a similar feature. Hibernate works spectacularly in Windows 7 where hibernate in Linux is a bloody mess.

Yes it's indeed a bloody mess, but not because of the way it's designed. This is simple logic. A static partition will simply be faster than a file that is dynamically resized to fit its contents. This is even plainly stated for your virtual machine hard drives(you have a choice between making a giant static file and a dynamically resizing one). It's simply how things work. Again I'll mention that this has nothing to do with operating systems. It applies everywhere. These "Windows isn't Linux" arguments are pointless and just demonstrate that you don't exactly know what you're talking about.

Edited by Anaron

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+Majesticmerc    872
Decrease performance? Where are these benchmarks? I'd like to see them as that only makes sense if Microsoft coded the memory management wrong.

I got it from a copy of PC Format UK (link to article (PDF, legit)). Like I said, based on their benchmarks its a very slight decrease in performance, but if these benchmarks are to be trusted, its there.

Like I said though, it disables memory dumping, and also provides an overflow in the unlikely case of 8GB memory being exceeded, so I don't think it's necessary to disable it completely. It tends to cause more problems than it solves in the long run. Even if its only 1GB, thats only 0.1% of a 1TB hard disk.

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Salty Wagyu    107

Shorten it if you have an SSD, set mine to 2GB and has been so far so good for a full year. Most likely can get away with 512MB as others have suggested, 2GB was just a number I picked randomly.

a pagefile will kill an SSD much quicker because of the extra write cycles.

No it doesn't.

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XerXis    259

I agree with most people so far, LEAVE IT!

EXCEPT:

If you have an SSD then ideally move it to another HDD in the system, if you have no HDD disable it, a pagefile will kill an SSD much quicker because of the extra write cycles.

another one of those myths, it would take years and years of constant writing to consume all the write cycles of an SSD

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_kane81    9

Page file is like an appendix. It's obsolete, it has no use, but it can still cause problems, if neglected. It might be a security risk, it eats up disk space, it often prevents full disk defrag. Windows and many programs still use loads of temp files for any imaginable purpose, even if machine has sh00tload of RAM. I won't let Windows to screw my hard disk(s), disabled. You decide now.

Wrong! Wrong!

To all the people that say to leave it how it is, is that just your opinion or do you have actual proof that changing it causes problems?

Do you have any proof that turning it off has any benefits?

Decrease performance? Where are these benchmarks? I'd like to see them as that only makes sense if Microsoft coded the memory management wrong.

Yes - I posted benchmarks on XP a long time ago (so long ago I cant find it in search) - system managed always performs better!

Try benchmarking using a tool and you will see a difference. I did to prove it to myself! - System managed has the best performance over static and none.

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Raa    1,583

Leave Windows to manage it.

Fiddling with the page file will only cause problems, and with 2TB hard drives in this day and age, is it REALLY a problem?

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OuchOfDeath    26

I got it from a copy of PC Format UK (link to article (PDF, legit)). Like I said, based on their benchmarks its a very slight decrease in performance, but if these benchmarks are to be trusted, its there.

Like I said though, it disables memory dumping, and also provides an overflow in the unlikely case of 8GB memory being exceeded, so I don't think it's necessary to disable it completely. It tends to cause more problems than it solves in the long run. Even if its only 1GB, thats only 0.1% of a 1TB hard disk.

Interesting read. Thanks for the link. For the OP, the PDF there shows that at 6 gigs there's more or less no difference between a 2 gig page file and no page file. The 2 gig page file is just a tiny sliver faster, but for what reasons I'm not sure.

Yes - I posted benchmarks on XP a long time ago (so long ago I cant find it in search) - system managed always performs better!

Try benchmarking using a tool and you will see a difference. I did to prove it to myself! - System managed has the best performance over static and none.

XP's memory management isn't very good. You shouldn't use it as a benchmark. Vista has had huge improvements in memory management, so you should use either that or Windows 7 for any benchmarks when it comes to anything in memory management.

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Phouchg    2,048
Wrong! Wrong!
Dear Sir.

Could you please care to explain what exactly is wrong at your earliest convenience? Full details. 'Cause, you know, I did some benchmarks on mah good old Win 95 OSR2 (32 MB RAM powah!) really long time ago. It was definitely zomg-faster if I was sitting face slighty angled southwards. Did some benchmarks, too. On a cardboard paper with a paperclip. Kthx.

I got it from a copy of PC Format UK (link to article (PDF, legit)). Like I said, based on their benchmarks its a very slight decrease in performance, but if these benchmarks are to be trusted, its there.

Finally some real benchmarks on the table. Thanks.

Judging from this, system managed turns out to be the worst possible option. Not one I would care about other than to rageface some interwebs people. I, for one, care about not wasting my hard drive space. This kind of reminds me of homeopathic stuff. Write your hard disk full of zeroes, so that it becomes lighter and spins faster. Uh-oh. Does it?

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cybertimber2008    43

another one of those myths, it would take years and years of constant writing to consume all the write cycles of an SSD

Backing up your statement:
Should the pagefile be placed on SSDs?

Yes. Most pagefile operations are small random reads or larger sequential writes, both of which are types of operations that SSDs handle well.

In looking at telemetry data from thousands of traces and focusing on pagefile reads and writes, we find that

?Pagefile.sys reads outnumber pagefile.sys writes by about 40 to 1,

?Pagefile.sys read sizes are typically quite small, with 67% less than or equal to 4 KB, and 88% less than 16 KB.

?Pagefile.sys writes are relatively large, with 62% greater than or equal to 128 KB and 45% being exactly 1 MB in size.

In fact, given typical pagefile reference patterns and the favorable performance characteristics SSDs have on those patterns, there are few files better than the pagefile to place on an SSD.

Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009/05/05/support-and-q-a-for-solid-state-drives-and.aspx (also plenty of other good Windows / SSD info there)

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Salty Wagyu    107

with 2TB hard drives in this day and age, is it REALLY a problem?

Pretty ignorant comment when some of us run SSDs. Read the thread.

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Raa    1,583

Pretty ignorant comment when some of us run SSDs. Read the thread.

I was referring to the OP who asked the question (who's signature specs indicates they have a large hard drive installed), not the rest of the thread.

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Whinges    0

I concur with the majority of posts here.. just leave it on.

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Subject Delta    108

I have 8 gigs of memory, and I just leave mine at "system managed"

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_kane81    9

Dear Sir.

Could you please care to explain what exactly is wrong at your earliest convenience? Full details. 'Cause, you know, I did some benchmarks on mah good old Win 95 OSR2 (32 MB RAM powah!) really long time ago. It was definitely zomg-faster if I was sitting face slighty angled southwards. Did some benchmarks, too. On a cardboard paper with a paperclip. Kthx.

1. Hey I admitted 'my' benchmarks were from XP - yes Windows 7 is different hence why I said you can benchmark it yourself if you want.

My theory was disabling the pagefile would increase performance. my benchmarks proved me wrong. a fixed page file didnt do as well either. System managed had the best results.

2.'Page file is like an appendix. It's obsolete, it has no use' - it is not like an appendix and it is not obsolete.

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Jason S.    1,540

just leave it.

the whole PF size thing died years ago.

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AimLXJ    18

just leave it.

the whole tweaking thing died years ago.

Fixed :p

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LiquidSolstice    115

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say "leave it the hell alone".

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