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Windows 7 Virtual memory Sizes

I was curious as to what this program does and how it works. Because there are a couple of options in the such as "no paging size" "auto manage paging size" & "System Managed size"

I've been looking up some gaming performance improvements, & i noticed this one guy had the paging file off since that's what he claimed to improve performance. Is that ok to do or will it mess with my PC? I have not altered anything yet since i never mess with anything i don't know how to use.
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  1. Best answer
    Technically if you have enough RAM, you shouldn't need a pagefile. Practically though some programs misbehave or simply will not run without a pagefile. Essentially the OS sets aside a portion of the HDD and file name is pagefile.sys. The OS uses it to cache data and programs that are resident in memory when it thinks it needs to free up physical memory. The OS determines what data or programs haven't been used in awhile and are unlikely to be needed soon and this is what is paged out to the pagefile. Thus the name virtual memory, it's not actual physical memory, it's OS simulated memory. It's purpose is to make sure you don't run out of physical memory which is bad.

    I am very skeptical of claims that turning off the pagefile drastically improved performance particularly when it come to games.

    For most users leave it as System Managed. The system can change the pagefile size on the fly depending on what it thinks it needs. The only reason I've ever turned this off was I didn't like where it was situated while defragging or it was broken up in more than one piece. In these cases I shut it off, reboot, defrag, turn it back on and reboot. Actually the same can be done for System Volume Information where all your restore points are kept. However the latter requires you to lose all your restore points.
  2. techgeek said:
    Technically if you have enough RAM, you shouldn't need a pagefile. Practically though some programs misbehave or simply will not run without a pagefile. Essentially the OS sets aside a portion of the HDD and file name is pagefile.sys. The OS uses it to cache data and programs that are resident in memory when it thinks it needs to free up physical memory. The OS determines what data or programs haven't been used in awhile and are unlikely to be needed soon and this is what is paged out to the pagefile. Thus the name virtual memory, it's not actual physical memory, it's OS simulated memory. It's purpose is to make sure you don't run out of physical memory which is bad.

    I am very skeptical of claims that turning off the pagefile drastically improved performance particularly when it come to games.

    For most users leave it as System Managed. The system can change the pagefile size on the fly depending on what it thinks it needs. The only reason I've ever turned this off was I didn't like where it was situated while defragging or it was broken up in more than one piece. In these cases I shut it off, reboot, defrag, turn it back on and reboot. Actually the same can be done for System Volume Information where all your restore points are kept. However the latter requires you to lose all your restore points.


    I have 8gb RAM, so i think i'm good. Thank you for the explanation!
  3. crysisman546 said:
    techgeek said:
    Technically if you have enough RAM, you shouldn't need a pagefile. Practically though some programs misbehave or simply will not run without a pagefile. Essentially the OS sets aside a portion of the HDD and file name is pagefile.sys. The OS uses it to cache data and programs that are resident in memory when it thinks it needs to free up physical memory. The OS determines what data or programs haven't been used in awhile and are unlikely to be needed soon and this is what is paged out to the pagefile. Thus the name virtual memory, it's not actual physical memory, it's OS simulated memory. It's purpose is to make sure you don't run out of physical memory which is bad.

    I am very skeptical of claims that turning off the pagefile drastically improved performance particularly when it come to games.

    For most users leave it as System Managed. The system can change the pagefile size on the fly depending on what it thinks it needs. The only reason I've ever turned this off was I didn't like where it was situated while defragging or it was broken up in more than one piece. In these cases I shut it off, reboot, defrag, turn it back on and reboot. Actually the same can be done for System Volume Information where all your restore points are kept. However the latter requires you to lose all your restore points.


    I have 8gb RAM, so i think i'm good. Thank you for the explanation!


    Yeah you'll want to leave that as system managed. It might work alright with it off, but eventually it'll cause you a problem with it off. Especially if you have a bunch of stuff running.

    However if your curious, you could turn it off and try some of your own testing. Benchmark your favorite game with it on and off. I can almost guarantee you that you'll see little to no difference with it off. And if that is the case, there is no point to turning it off and then later having stability problems from something that's no practical benefit.
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