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Page file needed in Win7 with 16GB RAM?

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  • Memory
  • RAM
Last response: in Memory
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November 16, 2009 3:39:04 PM

I was wondering if a page file is needed with a large amount of RAM installed, or could it be a smaller size? Would that affect performance at all?

Currently I have 16GB DDR2-667 FB SDRAM installed in my machine, with Windows 7 x64 Professional. I have it set to System Managed size. There is 16,381 MB currently allocated to the page file size, but it says 24,571 MB is recommended. Suggestions?

More about : page file needed win7 16gb ram

November 16, 2009 4:09:36 PM

It depends on how much memory you need.
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a b } Memory
November 16, 2009 11:50:29 PM

A good rule of thumb is half the installed RAM as a page file. If you have 4 GB installed, set the PF to 2 GB.

But after 8 GB of installed RAM, a page file larger than 4 GB becomes pointless.

Given that you are using Fully Buffered SDRAM, I'm assuming you're running a server. Probably best to keep your Page File at least equal to the installed RAM. So set yours to 16 GB.
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November 17, 2009 12:32:42 PM

It's a Dell Precision workstation, actually
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November 17, 2009 1:53:47 PM

do you stress your ram, do you use more than 80%?
if yes: keep the pagefile, if no; remove the pagefile.

If you keep it when you dont need it you risk getting unnecessary hard faults.


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November 17, 2009 1:55:26 PM

"when you stress your ram, do you use more than 80%?"


annoying that I cant edit my previous post...
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November 17, 2009 2:01:56 PM

maltenp, you are allowed, if you use the quick-edit function
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a b } Memory
November 18, 2009 3:33:53 AM

With 16GB RAM, you could safely set the pagefile to some nominal minimum such as 512MB and set the maximum to 2GB. Then run your applications and see how or if the pagefile grows beyond the starting minimum. Windows will grow the pagefile as needed but it doesn't shrink again until restart.

Setting the pagefile below the amount of RAM will impact the ability of the system to perform full memory crash dumps, however. Full memory crash dumps are rarely ever required for debugging. A kernel memory crash dump will usually suffice.
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a b } Memory
November 18, 2009 12:59:47 PM

PatrickGSR94 said:
I was wondering if a page file is needed with a large amount of RAM installed, or could it be a smaller size? Would that affect performance at all?

Currently I have 16GB DDR2-667 FB SDRAM installed in my machine, with Windows 7 x64 Professional. I have it set to System Managed size. There is 16,381 MB currently allocated to the page file size, but it says 24,571 MB is recommended. Suggestions?



In older versions of Windows, the default is to keep RAM clear of things which aren't of immediate value. This obviously lowers RAM usage, and increases usage of the page file. In newer versions (Vista and 7), the default is to keep objects which may be used in memory in order to keep the system running as efficiently as possible (plus the much denigrated caching routines).

What this means is that disabling the Page File in (XP) can result in some amount of increased performance because you are forcing the OS to maximize the number of objects in memory because it now has to maintain the objects that "might" be useful instead of just what's actually needed at the time. In Vista and 7, disabling the PF is unlikely to result in any performance differences since the OS already works to minimize PF/maximize RAM usage by default.

For this case, I would recommend manually setting it to some level you are comfortable with and, provided you note no issues, leaving it at that. As pointed out by TC above, all you should really need is a couple gig at most.
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January 17, 2013 9:07:14 PM

Resurrecting an old topic, I've been thinking of a similar setup with 16GB but using 4gb of that memory as a RamDisk for applications that don't like not having a paging file. Thus limiting hits to my SSD and keeping all data in ram.
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January 29, 2014 7:45:31 PM

So I am buying a new PC and mount it with only an SSD drive and have been browsing for a "fresh" thread about this subject for some time. So I registered (and so hi all) to participate in the resurrection of this topic.

I was wondering if you could share a bit about what you did. Here is what I want to try.
Moving to ram drive:
- Browser caches
- %user% temp dirs
- I am quite wondering about the windows temp dir itself. I suspect that on some occasions, such as windows updates, it might create problems. If Windows Updates uses the temp dir of course.
- Torrents while downloading. Not saying that... :) 
- Now about the page file. What was your experience ? What is your setup now after... 12 days ?

Now I read a lot about RamDisk. You are using it ?

Any other little things we could list on this thread ?
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