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Virtual Memory Settings

by Walt H / November 1, 2011 9:08 PM PDT

Regarding Virtual Memory, is it best to use the "Recommended" setting or allow windows to manage the amount of memory?

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Re: virtual memory settings
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 1, 2011 9:41 PM PDT

That depends on what recommendation you follow?

Most people let Windows manage it. And they never have problems with that setting, unless the hard disk is so full that Windows can't allocate enough disc space when it needs it. But with the usual 500GB+ disk seen nowadays that's quite an exception.

Kees

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Those "Recommmended" Settings
by Jimmy Greystone / November 1, 2011 11:08 PM PDT

Those "recommended" settings are from an age when HDDs were still sub-1GB, and every MB counted quite a bit more than it does now. These days with drives going into the TB range, and 2-4GB of RAM being pretty standard even on low end units, there is really no point.

It doesn't matter if those "recommended" settings are to set it to 1.5X the amount of RAM installed, or to simply idle 10% of the HDD, they can be ignored equally. The 1.5X RAM was intended to reduce the amount of disk activity related to growing/shrinking the swap file more than anything else. The 10% idea is just total BS that gets parroted all over the Internet because rather than do some very simple math to show just how idiotic the idea is, people try and feign understanding. All you have to do is some very simple math to see the pointless nature of this one. Say you have a 1TB drive, and using a base 10 system for easier math, that's 1000GB. So what's 10% of 1000? These people are actually suggesting that you idle 100GB of disk space for swap use. Surely I can't be alone in thinking that seems just a little excessive.

I've yet to come across a compelling reason to not just let Windows handle the swap file. The closest I've ever seen is when you're running low on disk space, but barring the temporary shortage of drives right now thanks to mother nature, it's generally easier and more effective to just add more disk space. And if you set the swap file to a specific size, and go too low, you will hit a thrashing state far more often.

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Thanks...
by Walt H / November 2, 2011 12:34 AM PDT

Very helpful information.

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Let windows handle it.
by Bob__B / November 1, 2011 11:13 PM PDT

With the amount of ram in today's machines.....unless your a serious power user.....it's doubtful your even using it.

Bring up Perf Monitor and set it to monitor the swap file......mine shows very little if any activity.....no matter how much stuff I run.

If your running W7.....unlike older versions.... the ram manager seems quite good at tossing unneeded items from the ram and not using the swap file.

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