Page file question.

I have read over and over the recomended page file size is 1.5 x ram, but i dont get it. If you have a system with 4 gb ram, and you run with no page file for weeks and never even come close to the low mem warning, why would i want anything swapped out to my Hdd? Is there any performance benifit from enabling a page file? It seem to me it would only slow things down. Or since i never come close to using even 3 gigs of ram, should i just leave it disabled for optimal performance?

This question is for my vista x32 sys 4 gb ddr 800 ram, core 2 duo e6420 system with a 500 gb sata drive, and a 8800 gtx vid card.

Ps. i also run windows 7 beta on this same box, and am wondering if the answer would very between the two OS's
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  1. There is no definitive answer to this question, IMO. For one thing on systems with gobs of RAM it isn't clear how much is actually fetched from the HD even when there is a page file on it, so merely having a page file there is no guarantee that systems are even using it much.

    Some people seem to feel that some programs 'look' for a pagefile and will get confused if they cannot find one. I have no idea if this is correct or not.

    I'm not even sure if there are any reliable performance measures of having it on or off in Vista.

    I asked Ed Bott about it and he was adamant that you should let Vista manage it.

    This guy here may be the best authority and he has written a long article about it

    I tried it on and off and set to minimum size and I could not determine any difference. My system was a little unstable during the period I had it turned off but they could easily have been due to other things.
  2. I'd say there is no performance benefit to having paging/virtual memory enabled.
    But, having it enabled will usually prevent you from getting "out of memory" errors if you ever do run something that taxes your RAM (for example, opening an extremely large image).
  3. do what I do and set it to 4096 and don't worry about formulae it's just to trick the user into manually setting the page file instead of Windows automatically managing it. if you disable the page file you will experience hindered performance and possible system hangs.
  4. Hey guys,
    I just wanted to thank you guys for your replies. I've been wondering about this for a while.
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