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

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anarkhy    33

Turn it off, unless some weird application start acting strange there is no reason to waste space with that thing. Then try using your computer for a week or so, there will be no difference at all, if anything probably it will feel a bit more snappy, since windows wont have to keep track of a 8 gb file filled with junk.

Try it.

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anarkhy    33

just leave it.

the whole tweaking thing died years ago.

Fixed :p

For you and all those mac users, maybe. Still there are some nerds alive in the world, thanks to god.

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LiquidSolstice    115

For you and all those mac users, maybe. Still there are some nerds alive in the world, thanks to god.

Indeed, there are, too bad you're not one of them. Pagefile myths. Sheesh. What is this, 2001?

I lose respect for anyone who decides that Mac users aren't "nerds". I don't own a Mac (yet), but the stereotype is frankly ridiculous and retarded. I bet there are some Mac users out there that use the command line more often than you do.

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AimLXJ    18

Turn it off, unless some weird application start acting strange there is no reason to waste space with that thing. Then try using your computer for a week or so, there will be no difference at all, if anything probably it will feel a bit more snappy, since windows wont have to keep track of a 8 gb file filled with junk.

Try it.

You do know that it will cause more disk thrashing right?

<Snipped>

Edited by Anaron
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anarkhy    33

To the guy who asked, just try turning it off for a week, see for yourself, then you can switch it on again. your pc will not explode or meltdown.

All the pcs i work with perform better with the pagefile off. Some people experience will be different, in the end depends what programs you are running.

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Subject Delta    108

I have tried turning the pagefile off before, and any supposed performance benefit is just placebo. Windows only pages data out when it needs to anyway, so all you are doing by disabling it is ensuring that your physical memory isn't being used optimally.

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AimLXJ    18

<Snipped>

I have tried turning the pagefile off before, and any supposed performance benefit is just placebo. Windows only pages data out when it needs to anyway, so all you are doing by disabling it is ensuring that your physical memory isn't being used optimally.

+1[/font]

To the guy who asked, just try turning it off for a week, see for yourself, then you can switch it on again. your pc will not explode or meltdown.

All the pcs i work with perform better with the pagefile off. Some people experience will be different, in the end depends what programs you are running.

Of course it won't because the disk will be thrashing ;)

**EDIT**

If your going to recommend something to someone then please provide a full explanation and don't leave the user empty handed. Go ahead and disable the pagefile, but all your doing is

Thrashing is bad on a hard disk drive because of the amount of work the hard disk drive has to do and if is left unfixed will likely cause an early failure of the hard disk drive.

If RATiO listens to what you advised and if his/her drives breaks early then it'll on your hands since you advised it to him without providing the full pro/cons sides of turning the pagefile off. Nothing works perfect and there's always a con side to everything.

Source: http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/t/thrash.htm[/font]

Edited by Anaron

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Udedenkz    51

I have tried turning the pagefile off before, and any supposed performance benefit is just placebo. Windows only pages data out when it needs to anyway, so all you are doing by disabling it is ensuring that your physical memory isn't being used optimally.

Does that even matter with 8 gigs of RAM?

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AimLXJ    18

Does that even matter with 8 gigs of RAM?

Taken from a very old page:

So, if you have a lot of RAM, you don't need a pagefile, right? Not necessarily. When certain applications start, they allocate a huge amount of memory (hundreds of megabytes typically set aside in virtual memory) even though they might not use it. If no pagefile (i.e., virtual memory) is present, a memory-hogging application can quickly use a large chunk of RAM. Even worse, just a few such programs can bring a machine loaded with memory to a halt. Some applications (e.g., Adobe Photoshop) will display warnings on startup if no pagefile is present.

My advice, therefore, is not to disable the pagefile, because Windows will move pages from RAM to the pagefile only when necessary. Furthermore, you gain no performance improvement by turning off the pagefile. To save disk space, you can set a small initial pagefile size (as little as 100MB) and set a high maximum size (e.g., 1GB) so that Windows can increase the size if needed. With 1GB of RAM under normal application loads, the pagefile would probably never need to grow.

Source: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2005/10/running-xp-with-the-pagefile-disabled.html

It varies now because some programs are created to use pagefile extensively while others do not, so its best to leave it alone and save yourself the trouble of having your drive dying early; but whatever floats your boat, then go ahead and disable it for the placebo affect.

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OuchOfDeath    26

Taken from a very old page:

Source: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2005/10/running-xp-with-the-pagefile-disabled.html

It varies now because some programs are created to use pagefile extensively while others do not, so its best to leave it alone and save yourself the trouble of having your drive dying early; but whatever floats your boat, then go ahead and disable it for the placebo affect.

The page is a bit too old. XP has bad memory management and likely isn't a good benchmark. Furthermore, applications asking for a pagefile is bad coding practice. Under no condition should an application need memory that is 1000 times slower than RAM. It's pointless. You do understand that the application can just as easily write to a random temporary file on the hard drive and achieve the exact same goal, right? Hard drives are that just that slow. It's terrible coding design.

Anyway, I don't know what everyone is arguing about. The poster HERE provided some actual benchmarks. That there is at least some degree of proof. Argue over that, not made up talking points.

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AimLXJ    18

The page is a bit too old. XP has bad memory management and likely isn't a good benchmark.

The poster HERE provided some actual benchmarks. I don't know what everyone is arguing about. That there is at least some degree of proof. Argue over that, not made up talking points.

Like I said

Taken from a very old page:

Source: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2005/10/running-xp-with-the-pagefile-disabled.html

It varies now because some programs are created to use pagefile extensively while others do not, so its best to leave it alone and save yourself the trouble of having your drive dying early; but whatever floats your boat, then go ahead and disable it for the placebo affect.

It varies across different applications and OS, so its best to leave it alone because all applications works fine with it on and if you set it off some may run and others may have problems; so what ever floats your boat, go ahead and disable it.

**EDIT**

Don't forget about the disk thrashing when the pagefile is off ;)

**EDIT**

For those that's still confuse about the disk thrashing, pagefile and such are ALWAYS on, even if you set it off (just that the pagefile will be much smaller). Since the pagefile is smaller, it has to read/write more often due to its small size not being able to store enough memory. Let say you're running an application that requires a huge amount of pagefile, but you set your pagefile so small that the drive has to write/read nonstop that will cause loadup times to be a bit longer compared to a pagefile with default settings that has everything in place with a fewer write/read. Now, applications that requires very little pagefile on the other hand have just enough to fit in and the rest that can't fit (programmers may set what they see as unnecessary to be discarded when you don't have enough space) will be discarded hence the faster load times and maybe more problems

AKA placebo affect

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OuchOfDeath    26

I edited my post a bit. Also I do believe the days of using the pagefile are over ever since Vista showed up. XP is known to use the pagefile more often than it needs to, and some applications at the time had to make due with its ****ty memory management. I may be mistaken, but I do believe applications that are specifically written for post-XP Windows do not specifically require the pagefile because the memory manager in Vista/7 isn't bad any more, and they are written properly. Applications asking for the pagefile is a -hack-. It's the wrong way to go about things. It's not nearly on the same level, but it's like the old era applications that would directly write to memory. It's hacky coding that arose from Microsoft not enforcing proper coding practices.

A more glaring bad practice by Microsoft that everyone knows about was not enforcing proper user security in the operating system. We know this as the outcry from everyone about UAC. Everyone found UAC way too annoying, but nobody took a second to ask -why- it was so annoying. It was so annoying because every single program out there was NOT CODED PROPERLY and needlessly escalated privileges, opening up the operating system to security attacks.

Coming back to the pagefile, I want to emphasize how bad of an idea the pagefile is. It's literally a 1000 fold (if not more) slowdown jumping from RAM to the hard drive. It should literally only be used when there is NO other alternative, and that is how Vista manages memory. Everyone complained of Vista being a total memory hog, and while it is much heavier on the memory than XP, it manages memory properly by stuffing as many things into the RAM to avoid having to write anything at all to the pagefile.

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Southern Patriot    941

For those that's still confuse about the disk thrashing, pagefile and such are ALWAYS on, even if you set it off (just that the pagefile will be much smaller).

Good grief!!!! Where did this moronic myth come from??? And WHY is it still being parroted around here like it is true??

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Yusuf M.    1,364

Cleaned

There's no reason to post face palm pictures or any random picture that has no relevance to the discussion at hand. Stick to the topic and discuss things like civilized people and try not to get too emotional. :|

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Hum    6,933

Thanks for this fascinating thread. ;)

As much as the opinions vary here, it would seem each computer user should experiment, if they are so inclined, and find out what works best for them.

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+devHead    2,050

Backing up your statement:

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)

Thank you for that info! I have an SSD for my Win7 install, and wondered about that. It makes sense though; if they're smart enough to know to disable Prefetch and Automatic Defragmenting on a SSD in Windows 7, they probably would know enough to move the pagefile to another drive if that was better.

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xhesakh    29

Turn it off, unless some weird application start acting strange there is no reason to waste space with that thing. Then try using your computer for a week or so, there will be no difference at all, if anything probably it will feel a bit more snappy, since windows wont have to keep track of a 8 gb file filled with junk.

Try it.

To All this sum it all up i presume, just leave it the way it was designed.

In modern operating systems, including Windows, application programs and many system processes always reference memory using virtual memory addresses which are automatically translated to real (RAM) addresses by the hardware. Only core parts of the operating system kernel bypass this address translation and use real memory addresses directly.

Excerpt from MICROSOFT Support

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2267427

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OuchOfDeath    26

To All this sum it all up i presume, just leave it the way it was designed.

The bit you're quoting isn't saying what you think it does.

"Application programs and many system processes always reference memory using virtual memory addresses which are automatically translated to real (RAM) addresses by the hardware."

This is in contrast to back in the day when applications could directly access whatever parts of memory they wanted. In the Windows 95/95 world there was no memory protection, so an application could literally crash another one just by making a call to modify any part of memory. It could do the same to the kernel as well, and crash the entire operating system. The sad state of this design was that very often when an application crashed, it would bring down the entire operating system as well as the corruption from the application would spread to the areas in memory the operating system was running in. Not to mention that it was the most insecure system ever conceived.

The quote there states that memory in modern operating systems is handled by a protected kernel-level memory manager that decides which parts of memory an application gets allocated to. An application simply has to run, and the memory manager does all the allocation for it, and the locations are all abstracted, meaning the application doesn't actually know the physical area of memory it's running in. Only the OS knows. It's a standard protected memory design that came with the 32-bit instruction sets and all that ( I don't know the exact terms for that).

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Subject Delta    108

Does that even matter with 8 gigs of RAM?

Yes, it does. It doesn't matter how much RAM you have, Windows is designed the way it is for a reason. If it was optimal for it to completely disable paging, it would so, it's enabled for a reason.

The page is a bit too old. XP has bad memory management and likely isn't a good benchmark. Furthermore, applications asking for a pagefile is bad coding practice. Under no condition should an application need memory that is 1000 times slower than RAM. It's pointless. You do understand that the application can just as easily write to a random temporary file on the hard drive and achieve the exact same goal, right? Hard drives are that just that slow. It's terrible coding design.

Anyway, I don't know what everyone is arguing about. The poster HERE provided some actual benchmarks. That there is at least some degree of proof. Argue over that, not made up talking points.

Applications don't ask for access to the paging file, they simply request memory. The OS decides how it's allocated.

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OuchOfDeath    26

Actually some do, and some even refuse to run if it's not present. I'm sure there are a ton of examples you can google, but one that I specifically remember not running without a pagefile present is the game Age of Mythology. But yes I think the OS does the actual allocating.

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Udedenkz    51

Actually some do, and some even refuse to run if it's not present. I'm sure there are a ton of examples you can google, but one that I specifically remember not running without a pagefile present is the game Age of Mythology. But yes I think the OS does the actual allocating.

Some also use Trident engine to render their interface.

Kill them with fire.

EDIT: And those that assume that C:\ is the system partition.

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soonerproud    22

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.

You are the one equating how Linux implements hibernation with how Windows does and then you come to the conclusion that the way Windows designed hibernation is a bad decision. I never even mentioned the pagefile in my post but was pointing out your fallacy in comparing apples and oranges. You then concluded that Windows version is a bad design decision even though hibernation works on Windows and is a mess in Linux. You admit to not even using the feature and then make sweeping conclusions that the way Linux codes hibernation is proper?

Pot meet kettle because you clearly are clueless when it comes to Windows.

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

OCZ recommend moving the pagefile to a traditional drive if both are installed in their tweaks section on their forum.

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Subject Delta    108

Some also use Trident engine to render their interface.

Kill them with fire.

EDIT: And those that assume that C:\ is the system partition.

The XUL interface from Mozilla is every bit as bad, if not worse. Applications should just use native interface controls.

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Julius Caro    55

The page is a bit too old. XP has bad memory management and likely isn't a good benchmark. Furthermore, applications asking for a pagefile is bad coding practice. Under no condition should an application need memory that is 1000 times slower than RAM. It's pointless. You do understand that the application can just as easily write to a random temporary file on the hard drive and achieve the exact same goal, right? Hard drives are that just that slow. It's terrible coding design.

Anyway, I don't know what everyone is arguing about. The poster HERE provided some actual benchmarks. That there is at least some degree of proof. Argue over that, not made up talking points.

You do realize that stuff is placed on the pagefile based on the ... probability (not sure if I'm using the correct word here) to need those resources right? Sometimes the penalty of putting something in the pagefile is manageable when compared to the penalty of leaving large chunks of RAM occupied by something you are not going to be using often or at all.

Now, I'm doubting that apps can actually *ask* the OS to place/retrieve stuff onto/from the pagefile, and I believe it's another myth. Windows should be handling all that, and the most an app can do is to check whether pagefile is on or off and act accordingly.

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