Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

RAM instead of Virtual memory?

Last response: in Memory
Share
July 18, 2006 5:51:34 PM

Since I got my laptop, I have gone from 1 gig to 2 gigs of RAM - specifically, Mushkin DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) Dual Channel
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820146440

We all know that RAM is much faster than paging data to the hard drive for virtual memory, but would it work better to completely turn off the page file? I know some program require it, but what would be the lowest possible setting to use that wouldn't be detrimental? I don't want to have the standard 3 gigabyte (recommended 1.5x amount of ram), and right now I have a 512 meg file. I turned it off completely once, and my computer *seemed* to run slower, it may or may not have.

More about : ram virtual memory

July 18, 2006 6:47:16 PM

It's simply impossible to tell Windows not to use the pagefile even if you have 1GB of free RAM, because Windows sucks!
I have 2GB of RAM and even with 1.5GB of free RAM and setting all undocumented registry settings that affect pagefile usage, it still allocates at least 300MB... it's not *nix :-)

If you are absolutely sure you don't need swap space you can manually set the minimum and maximum values both to 0MB under Control Panel/System/Advanced/Settings (the first of the three buttons)/Advanced/Change (bottom of the page).

But if for some reason you have programs that occasionally require big amounts of memory for buffering you can get an OutOfMemory.
July 18, 2006 6:58:37 PM

Windows pages things for good reasons, not everything has to sit in RAM. So does other Operating Systems. Even on Linux its not recommended to turn off swap.
Some of the stuff that the system rarely uses is paged. And also, open up task manager and go see what is using up swap.
View > Select Columns > and Check 'Virtual Memory Size'

Heres what mine looks like on my 512 machine


And keep in mind just because it says Commit Charge is XXXM doesnt mean that its being all used up, it just means that that much has been allocated to programs.

Did you see the review for IE7 Beta? When you minimize it, it pages much of its data in memory until you unminimize it.
Related resources
July 18, 2006 7:41:37 PM

Disable executive paging. It's a simple tweak that can improve your performance. Leave the Page file intact though. Disabling it will just give you more headaches than benefits.
July 18, 2006 8:57:41 PM

Are you referring to changing the setting from Programs to System Cache?
Thats not even a tweak.
July 18, 2006 9:18:52 PM

No, it's a registry key change. I use it since years, but it give absolutely no difference in performance and the amount of free RAM increases by 1-3%.
July 18, 2006 9:44:50 PM

Well it's been 3 months now w/out a pagefile. I play HL2DM, Prey, Oblivion and Battlefield 2. My machine works perfectly, although I have to add my pagefile when I want to use adobe photoshop(stupid monkey), but I can use adobe premier 6 w/o pagefile. 2 gig of ram btw
July 18, 2006 9:50:17 PM

The IE7 beta I used was a joke - a pathetic attempt by MS to catch up with Firefox. And Firefox let's go of system memory too when you minimize it, although it is not perfect. IE7 beta refreshed it's window every time I opened a tab or un-minimized it, which drove me up a frickin wall because I can't stand it changing it's place in the taskbar. Anyways this isn't a Firefox/IE rant or bash, so I'll drop this now lol.

The point is, I have 2 gigs of RAM and think it is kind of retarded to use the page file when I have 2 gigs of RAM. Ideally it would only use the RAM until there was none available, and performance should increase with that too. I might some day use 2 gigs of RAM at one time (for what, I have no clue. Encoding/decoding/photoshop/gaming/autocad? I don't check how much memory each thing uses), but I don't really need a page file until I hit that day.
July 19, 2006 5:32:40 AM

No, changing it from the System Properties control panel does the samething as the 'registry hack'
July 19, 2006 5:39:01 AM

Quote:
And Firefox let's go of system memory too when you minimize it, although it is not perfect. I


I've never seen that happen and I have the latest stable version of Firefox. Is that a feature in 2.0 beta?
Firefox is a total RAM hog (its used 150MB of RAM and allocated some 100MB of swap) and probably has more mem leaks than IE.
July 19, 2006 3:54:00 PM

It was in Tom's review of IE7 Beta, someone told them and they showed what you had to change in the config file. I have enough RAM I left it off though since it seems to slow things down slightly (I guess it has to transfer to/from the hard drive maybe? I dunno).
July 19, 2006 9:26:20 PM

Without VM, you are going to see a lot of memory errors (windows sucks), and with most people having a big hard drive, why would you care about VM taking up space?
July 22, 2006 6:42:17 AM

Quote:
Without VM, you are going to see a lot of memory errors (windows sucks), and with most people having a big hard drive, why would you care about VM taking up space?


Pretty much every OS needs virtual mem. Even Linux and Mac OS X. You should see how much Macs swap. Go to a Mac run 10 and open up terminal and type 'top'
July 22, 2006 7:08:19 AM

I have 2GB of RAM and no page file, works fine with no errors at all... And makes WoW have zero lag :) 
July 22, 2006 8:46:51 AM

As a programmer that is intimately familiar with Operating System Memory Management I can tell you that running Windows (or any other OS that I know of, including all variants of unix) is a BAD idea.

I am unable to explain in simple terms why. There are simply too many aspects that come into play. If you'd like to know exactly why, read the following:

Windows Internals
Mark Russinovich and Dave Solomon

and the Intel processor manuals (3 volumes).

Happy reading!
July 23, 2006 12:52:54 AM

Quote:
I have 2GB of RAM and no page file, works fine with no errors at all... And makes WoW have zero lag :) 


wow someone else just like me. I don't get errors whatsoever, big deal. as for why would you not want to pagefile is easy, to write to RAM is a lot quicker than writing to your disk. So your processor reads the HD, it all gets stored up into a 2gig cloud of fast ram for better response time.
!