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Question RE: Swap/Page file for my PC w/ 8GB

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I have a system with 8GB of OCZ Reaper X, 2 AMD FX-74 processors, 2 8800 GTX GPU's, 4 WD Raptor 150's in RAID 0 and other top end components. My question is, do I need to have a swap/page setup at all? I been told yes and no.

Currently I have it set to the main RAID 0 array (Vista 64) and is 3000MB in size (non expandable). Because I have so much memory, is it a waste to even have this enabled? If it is advised, should it indeed be on the RAID 0 array which is the fastest drive or on my other RAID 0 array for gaming.

Tim

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Set your pagefile to 512Mb min, 512Mb Max. Some programs expect a pagefile, so you need something there, but you have enough RAM that you shouldn't need to dip into it. 512Mb works for me, and I've only got 4Gb (for the moment... 4 more on the way.)

If you do somehow manage to run out of RAM and swap space, increase it a little - but I really doubt that will happen. Go ahead and set the DisablePagingExecutive and LargeSystemCache registry tweaks as well, if you have not already.

EDIT: Oh yeah, put the pagefile on whichever drive Vista is NOT on, unless the system drive is more than twice as fast (or would that be four times as fast? Just put it on the other drive - it will be little used anyway.)

Edited by DrewWinters

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i add 2 giga of ram to my system [now i have 3giga]

i change the pagefile to 200mb start size to 4500mb Finish size

the system dont use it

i guess its use the hibernation's file instead

everest info:

Paging File C:\pagefile.sys

Initial / Maximum Size 200 MB / 4591 MB

Current Size 200 MB

taskmgr info:

756M / 3219M

btw even the system is heavily working the pagefile is not used fully

Edited by aviv00

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I've been running various systems with no paging file for years, on both XP and Vista 32/64-bit. They all had 2 GB of RAM or more. My current Vista x64 system has 4 GB.

Even with 2 GB, I never once had any problems working with no paging file. I run typical desktop applications, audio/video editing software, and games. I've even worked with Gigastudio (software synth) and multiple-GB sample libraries, which is a memory-intensive application.

So, I think with 8 GB, you are more than safe. If you want to be 100% sure that you will never have any problem whatsoever, then I guess the best thing to do is give yourself a small paging file... but I have yet to encounter one of these programs that "expects" a paging file regardless of the amount of RAM. The only minor exception to this is Photoshop (at least older versions, like CS1 and earlier), which complains about the lack of a paging file upon startup, but runs perfectly fine after clicking "OK" and ignoring the error.

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I have had several programs outright crash without a pagefile, and one that wouldn't start at all (an old driving game: Need for Speed Porsche Unleashed) If I'm not mistaken, however, they were all games - nothing as sophisticated as Photoshop (which can create its own 'pagefile') has given me trouble. I've never tried Vista without a pagefile, however, so this was on XP. The only memory trouble I've had in Vista was with Supreme Commander. The game would run out of RAM *and* the pagefile and crash, but that would probably occur anyway, since it's a bug.

Also, Windows itself warns that it "may not records details" if a system crash occurs if a pagefile is not present. I've not run without a pagefile when my system was unstable, so I haven't tested this.

One more note: if you use a program to test your memory (like 64-bit Prime95) it may intentionally use up all your available RAM - without a pagefile this may cause a system crash.

All this to say: GetCool is mostly right - but there really are a few programs/situations that will not work without a pagefile - but they are rare. I ran without a pagefile when XP was new and I had 512mb of RAM: it took me a year before I had trouble with anything. If your system is not mission-critical (sounds like a gaming machine to me) then you'll be fine without a pagefile; it won't destroy anything. If you have trouble, just add "turn page file back on" to your list of troubleshooting steps. Windows seems pretty smart about not paging important things anyway, so it won't make much difference in performance one way or the other. Best of luck!

Edited by DrewWinters

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Personally, I would disable it, but on some forums i've posted i've disabled it and i get things like, nooo you will die and all your children and childrens children will be unable to use any pc or pc related item ever!, I use 3 gig of memory, and since turning it off i've noticed boot times increased, responsivenes after boot is much quicker, and i no longer seem to have random harddrive thrasing all the time...(the one thing that really bugs me with vista is the seemingly random harddrive thrashing, almost ordered a SSD as it bugged me so much)

i've run all versions of windows since 2000 without the paging file (when i've had machines with enough memory to do so that is!) and the only ever problem i've encoutered was that quake 4 (demo) on xp64 run out of memory and windows just popped up with a box saying increasing swapfile size, system became totally unresponsible for a few minutes whilst it did this and then shoved lots of memory in it, after that run fine, although had to disable the pageing file again! (was running with 1.5gig of ram, and quake 4 demanded another 300mb....all i did was click ultra settings to see what would happen!)

the only real reason I see to turn on the paging file in this day and age is for bluescreen's to dump the kernal to file for diagnostics.

Its refreshing to see people post that it will not damage anything!

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I have a machine with 8gb and it worked well without a swap file until I started playing Settlers 6 and it kept bringing a warning up about low swap space. I guess its all to do with how the app is coded.

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Out of curiosity, I disabled the pagefile on my desktop (4Gb RAM) several days ago. Nothing has crashed or complained, but I really haven't noticed much difference in performance - but then, with an overclocked quad-core and 4gb of RAM, things are pretty quick to begin with. <shrug> YMMV

Edited by DrewWinters

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The problem with disabling the pagefile on a system with a large amount of RAM is that in general, the memory manager will try to keep pages in memory for running applications - with 8GB of RAM, that's a lot of memory to commit to running apps, and as such the pagefile doesn't get used much anyway (this isn't always the case, but it usually is). Thus, it would probably be better (and safer) to create a really small pagefile, say 512MB min and max, that way you can still page out most or all of kernel paged pool and executive if need be, and the bias for the memory manager will be weighted almost entirely to putting pages in RAM, as your commit limit is RAM+512MB, rather than RAM+a few GB.

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