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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    I just put new memory in my PC, bringing it to 2 gigs.

    I went to adjust the swap file, and it wouldn't let me go above 4 gigs.

    In Memory Support and Windows Operating Systems it states:

    "Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003 Memory Support. The maximum amount of memory that can be supported on Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003 is also 4 GB. However, Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition supports 32 GB of physical RAM and Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition supports 64 GB of physical RAM ."

    It seems that they are saying that XP will support up to 4 gigs of memory... then why only a 4 gig swap file?

    Or is there something I need to do that I haven't?

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
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    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    Chuck,

    With even TWO gigs of memory, WHY do NEED a swap file at all?

    I doubt you would ever have to utilize the swap file with ONE gig of memory. Are you running a super CAD app or something like that?

    Don't waste your money.
    BOB
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  3. #3
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    Re: XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    I'd like to ask a sideways question: with that much physical memory, why on earth would you want a 4GB swap file? 99 percent of it would go unused. 4 GB for a swap file is absolutely insane. Even with high-end video editing I never approach that limit (even though the software I use maintains its own swap files).
    -Mark

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    Chuck,
    Do a little reading at this site regarding RAM and a lot of side catagories.

    RAM
    BOB
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    Re: XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    Why not just set the swap file to be controlled by the OS, it will use what is needed and not waste a lot of disk space.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    OK Guys:

    First, I am admittedly in new water here. That being said:

    Bob:
    No, I want to run VM software, and what I get from the support people involved is "at least a gig"... so there I am... BTW, I'm heading off to read the link you sent...

    Mark:
    Under any "normal" circumstance, I'd quickly agree. But do the same criteria apply if you are running virtual machines?

    Dave:

    Again, I could be totally wrong, but I've ALWAYS heard from all sorts of sources that you get far better performance by NOT letting Windows control the swap file.

    So guys, whatcha think? In the mean time I'm gonna go look at Bob's link.

    Regards,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

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    Re: XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    Running VM software, to me, is definitely a "normal circumstance." You'll benefit more from additional processing power and physical memory than a bloated swap file. Think about what you're doing here: you're emulating PC hardware using... PC hardware. Thus, the faster your computer can crunch data, the faster the VM will be. Disk access is probably the slowest component in a PC (being limited to mechanical movements) and is a poor substitute for physical memory.

    As far as whether or not Windows should control the swap file, I'm of the mind that the operating system can manage memory far better than carbon-based life forms. With modern versions of Windows and the hardware it runs on, swap file usage generally becomes a problem only when you have too little physical memory - not the other way around. Lack of physical RAM is what causes the swap file to be used; it's a substitute for RAM.

    There are a million tweaks and changes you can make, but as they relate to real-world performance, they do very little that is noticeable to the user. Don't overcomplicate things.
    -Mark

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    Mark:

    At the top: you couldn't be more right, IMHO, that adding physical memory is best. "Dat's" why I just added 1320 megs of the stuff.

    Maybe where I get entangled is not seeing a clear line in the logic used in the development of the system components. A perfect example is this very discussion. As I had said earlier, "every" (present company excluded) source I've ever read (not a ton, but a fair amount) says that a static sized swap file is faster, since it relieves the processes of having to re-calculate. In addition, I've always heard that the swap file ought to be between 1.5 - 3 times the size of actual physical memory. And yet, here we are.

    I say "entangled", because first I hear "swap file should be 1.5 - 3 times the size of memory", then, investigating VM, I'm told "at least 1 gig to get reasonable performance", so, I say to myself, that means..... 2 gigs of memory, x's 3 equals... (I should add here that going to a 3x swap file in my days of 64 megs of memory is what alleviated the drain on resources somehow, so...).

    So why isn't there any resource out there for trouble-makers like me that says:

    Listen, Chuck, all that crap you heard applied at 64 megs of memory, in a Win 98 environment, but not anymore. HERE'S the REAL story:

    THEN maybe I'd feel like, let alone appear to making progress.

    I was just trying to get this thing all set before delving into the VM issue. Maybe for now I'll just do as you suggested, and turn it back over to Windows....

    Regards,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  9. #9
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    Re: XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    There are resources out there that say "all that crap you heard" - look in the right places and you'll find articles like this one that explain it. Don't forget to look at this John Saville article and of course what Microsoft has to say about it.

    The crap about 1.5x to 3x the size of installed memory falls apart in the face of logic. Does everyone have the same shoe size? Of course not. What is optimal for you is going to be different than it will be for someone else, so blanket statements like that are just bad advice. So is tweaking just for the sake of tweaking.

    Why not just use the Task Manager and view the actual usage? Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be. If you encounter performance issues when you use the software, then, and ONLY then, start looking at alternative solutions.
    -Mark

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    Re: XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    <hr>WHY do NEED a swap file at all?<hr>
    Because you'll waste RAM by forcing Windows to lock the virtual address space. I don't understand why everyone seems to think that circumventing the design of the operating system will be beneficial. Windows has always been designed to use a paging file.
    -Mark

  11. #11
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    Mark:

    I'll read through the links, thanks. If questions arise during or after, you will no doubt, hear from me.

    Regards,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
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    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  12. #12
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    Mark:

    But you do understand that, as I start reading the "stuff" you pointed me to, I near immediately found myself on the Microsoft page you sent me to where:

    >>
    A frequently asked question is how big should I make the pagefile? There is no single answer to this question, because it depends on the amount of installed RAM and how much virtual memory that workload requires. If there is no other information available, the normal recommendation of 1.5 times the amount of RAM in the computer is a good place to start. On server systems, a common objective is to have enough RAM so that there is never a shortage and the pagefile is essentially, not used. On these systems, having a really large pagefile may serve no useful purpose. On the other hand, disk space is usually plentiful, so having a large pagefile (e.g. 1.5 times the installed RAM) does not cause a problem and eliminates the need to fuss over how large to make it.
    <<

    Then, in "this John Saville article" he states:

    >>
    Although the discussion so far might lead you to believe that Windows stores only active code and data (plus the core OS) in physical RAM, Windows actually attempts to use as much RAM as possible
    <<
    Where in fact I think we all have come across scenarios where we find in fact half of the available memory is being used, and the swap file is quite active.

    Understand, I am NOT saying you are wrong in what you propose... rather, I am noting that even the creators direct us in, perhaps, the wrong directions?

    Regards,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  13. #13
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    Mark:

    Also, in Alex Nichol's article, he mentions problems when

    "The page file has been put on a different drive without leaving a minimal amount on C". The statement, but no discussion.

    I came across this once or twice before, but, for instance, no warning from MS when I set my swap file up (this time) on another drive.

    What does this cause?

    Regards,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  14. #14
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    Mark,

    There has been SO much discussion on this subject that the pro and con sides have become blurred.

    IMHO, the need for a swap file or at least a huge swap file is non existent when you have one or two GIGS of RAM. The tried and true formula for swap file size of 1.5 times the size of RAM, might apply when you have 512MB or less, but 1 to 2 GIGS?

    NO.

    I am talking about the average non power user, which I think most of us are. Much discussion to follow, I'm sure.
    BOB
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    Today it is called golf!

  15. #15
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    Re: XP Maximum memrory (XP - SP-2)

    I think that not having a swap file on your boot drive can cause Windows not to be able to capture a dump if your system crashes/

    Joe
    Joe

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