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Old 07-07-2011, 03:33 PM
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Benoni Benoni is offline
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Exclamation Re: To page or not to page

In general, there is no real benefit by disabling your page file. Which by default should only be on the OS drive. No need to enable it for non OS drives. I would set the Min and Max to the same amount. I set mine to 4GB min and max, but it can vary based on other factors.

Here is more info from Mark Russinovich

Some feel having no paging file results in better performance, but in general, having a paging file means Windows can write pages on the modified list (which represent pages that arenít being accessed actively but have not been saved to disk) out to the paging file, thus making that memory available for more useful purposes (processes or file cache). So while there may be some workloads that perform better with no paging file, in general having one will mean more usable memory being available to the system (never mind that Windows wonít be able to write kernel crash dumps without a paging file sized large enough to hold them).

Configuring a system with lots of RAM to run without pagefile may have either negative or positive perf impact depending on what the system is doing. The general recommendation in this case is to create a reasonably sized pagefile (for example, 4 GB) and increase it if the Paging file\% Usage counter gets close to 100%.

By the way, there are actually 2 separate reasons why pagefiles are necessary.
The first reason is to allow dirty pages that are never (or very rarely) referenced to be moved to disk, freeing up more RAM for other purposes.
The other reason is to enable better use of *virtual* memory, given that physical memory is allocated on demand. Remember that when a process calls VirtualAlloc(MEM_COMMIT) there are no physical pages allocated at this time. Physical pages are only allocated when the app accesses virtual pages for the first time. This is good because it makes committing pages a relatively cheap operation, so apps can commit memory in bigger chunks, without having to worry about each page they may or may not use.
Now, even though committing memory does not allocate physical pages, it still guarantees to the application that reading from/writing to the committed pages will never fail (or deadlock). It might be slow if other physical pages have to be moved to disk in order to make room, but it will eventually succeed.
Originally Posted by Jeff Atwood from Coding Horror

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.

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