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Windows 7 swap/page file size and location?

Last response: in Windows 7
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October 28, 2010 5:48:23 PM

Hello all, just built a new i7-930 and installed Windows 7 Professional.
With older versions of Windows I was told to put the swap file on another drive and to have the begining and ending sizes the same.
Does this theory still hold true for W7? Looking for advice, I have 6GB of Ram on an Asus Rampage II Extreme MB.
Thanks!
October 28, 2010 11:37:38 PM

Personally I'm still setting the beginning and ending sizes to be the same. I do it for defragmentation purposes.
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October 29, 2010 2:25:39 AM

Ok superfishnz, appreciate the feedback. What are you basing the beginning and ending sized on? Are you doing a percentage of total Ram? And if so what percentages?
Thanks in advance! Mike
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a b $ Windows 7
October 29, 2010 2:29:25 AM

Set the page file to about 1GB or so. There is no reason you need a 12GB+ pagefile when you have more than 4GB RAM. Even with 4GB you can reduce the pagefile to about 1GB or less.

I have had my page file set to anywhere from 512MB - 1024MB since XP x64 and I have not run in to any problems.
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
October 29, 2010 3:19:45 AM

If you've got enough memory on your system then the location of the pagefile is not very important as it won't be accessed very often. If it IS being accessed a lot, then it means you're low on memory and you'll be a lot better off adding RAM to your system than worrying about where the best place for the page file is.

In fact, with 6GB of RAM you may not need a pagefile at all. If Task Manager never shows you using more than, say, 4GB of RAM on your 6GB system even when you're running the most programs and have the largest number of documents / web pages, videos, etc. open, then the pagefile is basically just a waste of space. In that case (assuming you don't have some ancient program like Photoshop 6 which doesn't work without a pagefile) it may be just as well to eliminate it altogether.
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October 30, 2010 8:23:29 AM


I agree with what other has written already. If you got enough RAM then the pagefile is not important and you should not care about old advices like 1.5 X RAM size. Just make up how much you want to possible overcommit your RAM and set the pagefile size to that amount.

I have always liked to set the pagefile to the same start and max size, mostly to minimize the fragmentation of other files. For the pagefile itself it does not matter much if it is somewhat fragmented.

As for placing on another drive I belive that advice came from a time where the disks were much slower than today. If your system drive is not using up all available IOs then there is no need to move the pagefile. Typically not much is read or written from the operatingsystem on C: after it is loaded. IF you have some very disk intensive application reading and writing to C: and IF you also overcommit your RAM a lot, then there could be interesting to move the pagefile away from the system drive.


sminlal said:
(assuming you don't have some ancient program like Photoshop 6 which doesn't work without a pagefile)


Here is something interesting. I have not worked with Photoshop at all, but does it need the Windows pagefile? It is not some internal swap file it sets up?

I belive that typically the concept of system pagefile is hidden for the applications. They just address pages inside their virtual memory space, and the OS together with the CPU does the translation for the correct physical RAM page or perhaps the need to retrieve it from the pagefile.
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
October 30, 2010 3:24:24 PM

ricno said:
I have not worked with Photoshop at all, but does it need the Windows pagefile?
The current versions of Photoshop (I'm using CS4) do not require a pagefile. But Photoshop 6 did - it wouldn't run if I removed the pagefile. I'm not exactly sure why, but I have a theory that it was trying to find the pagefile so that it could make a decision about the best place to locate it's swap files (not on the pagefile disk if possible).

I've also heard that there are a few other older programs that wouldn't work properly without a pagefile - but I haven't heard of any current-generation programs that need it.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 30, 2010 11:27:10 PM

Also, I may add that I DO NOT recommend completely disabling the pagefile as if you do this and your PC BSOD you won't get a log recorded. At least have a 220MB pagefile (Win 7, other OSes will vary).
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
October 31, 2010 12:15:35 AM

Shadow703793 said:
Also, I may add that I DO NOT recommend completely disabling the pagefile as if you do this and your PC BSOD you won't get a log recorded. At least have a 220MB pagefile (Win 7, other OSes will vary).
To be fair, even in the rare occasions that Windows does crash the log file is not that useful for most people. And if you get a situation with a repeatable crash it's easy enough to turn the pagefile back on long enough to get a mini- or full crash dump.

I've been running Windows 7 without a pagefile for well over a year with nary a problem.
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October 31, 2010 12:32:07 AM

sminlal said:
If you've got enough memory on your system then the location of the pagefile is not very important as it won't be accessed very often. If it IS being accessed a lot, then it means you're low on memory and you'll be a lot better off adding RAM to your system than worrying about where the best place for the page file is.

In fact, with 6GB of RAM you may not need a pagefile at all. If Task Manager never shows you using more than, say, 4GB of RAM on your 6GB system even when you're running the most programs and have the largest number of documents / web pages, videos, etc. open, then the pagefile is basically just a waste of space. In that case (assuming you don't have some ancient program like Photoshop 6 which doesn't work without a pagefile) it may be just as well to eliminate it altogether.


Agreed - 4 gig dual channel seems to work well for me.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 31, 2010 1:41:45 AM

sminlal said:
To be fair, even in the rare occasions that Windows does crash the log file is not that useful for most people. And if you get a situation with a repeatable crash it's easy enough to turn the pagefile back on long enough to get a mini- or full crash dump.I've been running Windows 7 without a pagefile for well over a year with nary a problem.

Good point. I doubt most people even know about the crash log. Me on the other hand, in the rare case that I do get a BSOD I try and dig as deep as I can to find what happened. To be fair, I haven't had a BSOD in a long while, even on OCed systems.
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November 10, 2010 12:49:41 PM

Best answer selected by Carlo72323.
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November 10, 2010 1:42:54 PM

sminlal said:
The current versions of Photoshop (I'm using CS4) do not require a pagefile. But Photoshop 6 did - it wouldn't run if I removed the pagefile. I'm not exactly sure why, but I have a theory that it was trying to find the pagefile so that it could make a decision about the best place to locate it's swap files (not on the pagefile disk if possible).


That is a good point and something reasonable too! Except for that kind of built-in "logic" there should really be no need or use for a application to worry about the pagefile itself.
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October 12, 2011 3:13:14 PM

sminlal said:
To be fair, even in the rare occasions that Windows does crash the log file is not that useful for most people. And if you get a situation with a repeatable crash it's easy enough to turn the pagefile back on long enough to get a mini- or full crash dump.

I've been running Windows 7 without a pagefile for well over a year with nary a problem.


He is listing two issues.
Issue 1: There is no log-file
Issue 2: Disabling pagefile will cause additional BSODs

While you are right that #1 is pointless to many people, #2 isn't.
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October 12, 2011 5:59:35 PM

taltamir said:
He is listing two issues.
Issue 1: There is no log-file
Issue 2: Disabling pagefile will cause additional BSODs

While you are right that #1 is pointless to many people, #2 isn't.


I am not really following you here?

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a c 416 $ Windows 7
October 12, 2011 9:15:00 PM

This topic has been closed by Area51reopened
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