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  1. #1
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    Paging Paging File... (V2002 Pro)

    I've read that with large amounts of memory better performance can be had with setting the Paging File Size to zero. I've also read that the Paging File Size should be 3 times the size of the total memory. Under what conditions is either of these ideas true?

    Thanks,

    Chris (Hunt)

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    Re: Paging Paging File... (V2002 Pro)

    What you've heard sound like myths. There really is no perfect solution or formula to determine what sizes to set for the page file, because it depends largely on what you are doing with the PC.

    First, I'd never set it to 0. Ever. Windows in all its flavors is designed around the concept and use of a swap file, and my personal experience is that it's going to use it, period. The best that you can do is to minimize its use instead of eliminating it.

    Three times the size of memory is not good. What happens to the people with 640MB of RAM? 640 x 3 = 1,920. Wow. That's a lot of disk space that will never get used. But 64 x 3 = 192. A reasonable amount for many purposes.

    What do you plan to do with your PC? Heavy multimedia tasks will ask for a little more, but if all you do is check your email and surf the web, you can get by with a lot less.

    What I like to do with my own systems is to set up one disk partition to prevent fragmentation of the swap file. Two other tricks may also benefit you if you can get away with it:
    1. <LI>Put the swap file on a separate hard drive, or on the fastest hard drive if you have more than one.<LI>Set the minimum and maximum values to the same number, so that Windows doesn't have to take time out to resize the paging file.
    Just remember - one size doesn't fit all! Search the Lounge for "Swap File" and "Page File" and you'll see a lot of interesting information.

    HTH,
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: Paging Paging File... (V2002 Pro)

    Thanks for replying so quickly and informatively. I was suspicious - that's why I asked! (Actually the advice about 3 x RAM came from Windows XP help...). I mainly use the PC for graphics and audio work (CorelDraw and Acid). I've just started doing some video editing (Vegas Video) and I'll probably be doing more of that in the future which is why I asked. So by using something like Partition Magic I could make a separate partition for the swap file, but how big should it be and where? I have two fixed hard drives and they are the same speed. Having the Swap File on C: drive makes more sense to me - why a separate drive?

    Thanks again for your help,

    Chris

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    Re: Paging Paging File... (V2002 Pro)

    That's the kind of information that helps a lot in figuring this out! XP help, eh, someone actually read it! <img src=/S/sarcasm.gif border=0 alt=sarcasm width=15 height=15> Acutally....I wish more people did. It's a good resource most of the time.

    Before you go much further consider how much RAM you're using. Anything less than 256MB with Windows XP will usually result in a noticeable slowdown just because of the potential for bottlenecks. Like its NT brethren, XP likes memory. Feed it well and keep it happy. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    For multimedia tasks, you'll want to use a larger swap file. I do a lot of digital image work and multitrack recording on my home PC, and I've found that 512MB RAM and a 999MB swap file are great. You may have to experiment if you notice a lot of disk activity. Why 999MB? Because I installed on of my kids' games and it yelled at me saying it couldn't find enough free memory. The swap file was 1.2GB in size, and this software decided that there couldn't ever possibly be something so large, so it must simply not exist. "oops." 999MB is the max I can get away with while my kids play games on this beast.

    Depending on your hard drive's size, I'd say 1.5GB is plenty of space to work with. Start with a 1GB file size and adjust if needed. The where is answered next....

    <hr>Having the Swap File on C: drive makes more sense to me - why a separate drive?<hr>
    Because you don't want the swap file on the same partition as the operating system if you can help it. If the OS needs to read from the swap file and the paging file simultaneously, it can do that in a double-drive setup as I described. If they live on the same drive, you have a wait state that is unavoidable because it requires the drive's read/write head(s) to move to a different location. Yet a third option is to split the swap file across the two drives, smaller on the system drive if you want, but I have always had better luck with it being separated.

    HTH - post if you have more questions!!
    -Mark

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    Re: Paging Paging File... (V2002 Pro)

    Wow! You should get an extra accolade for speed of replies! Thanks - I see what you mean about the separate drive. I'll set one up on my D: drive with a fixed size as you suggest and see what happens.

    Thanks again,

    Chris

    PS No hurry for a reply on this - but is it possible to have too much memory? Is there a point where extra memory has no use or is even counter productive?

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    Re: Paging Paging File... (V2002 Pro)

    <hr>is it possible to have too much memory? Is there a point where extra memory has no use or is even counter productive?<hr>
    Parctically speaking, you can go up to what the motherboard supports. Support for 1 gigabyte (that's a lot of zeros and ones!) is not uncommon these days. If you can get more things to run directly in RAM your system will be faster. Windows 2000 and XP gobble memory and ask for seconds. Personally, sure it would be great to have that much RAM installed, but would I really use it? I think 256 MB would be a minimum for Windows XP, 512 optimal, and anything beyond that window dressing. I always find some way other than buyin more memory to fritter away my income in the end. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

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