Since most laptops have 5400rpm hdds, page filing looks to be slower on them than on a desktop. I know how to disable pf (virtual memory) and I think the memory I often use is below my installed memory. Will disabling pf increase my speed or does loading too much data in ram decrease speed more than page filing on a 5400rpm hdd?
Technically how many percents of a ram must be free for the best performance?
I wouldn't disable the page file unless you had 12GB or more of RAM.
Note that some programs will look for a page file whether they actually need it or not. If you disable the page file, those programs won't run. The only way to know whether your programs will work is to test them out with the page file disabled.
There is no magic number. Load all of the applications you would use on a heavy-usage day, all at the same time. Then see how much of your resources you are using. If you use less than the amount of RAM you have installed, you might be able to get away with disabling your pagefile. However, some applications specifically depend on a pagefile, so you might be better off reducing the size to 128mb. Your computer will tell you if you are running out of resources. If you do, then increase the pagefile size as needed.
Don't get "Standby" and "Free" confused, they both are essentially 'Unused' or available. In most circumstances "Standby" is RAM available for your GPU as "Shared Physical Memory" but is a variable amount based upon "Free". In other words, it can and will go down to offset "In Use" or App memory. Under Windows 7, see below, you want the "Used Physical RAM" to remain below 50%-75%, and I you're seeing > 75% frequently then it's time to consider an upgrade.
Clearly, if you are doing 'Rendering' then more is better and translates to faster rendering times. Use, it's a good idea to shutdown as many Apps prior to playing Games or using other intensive Apps if there's no good reason for them to be running.
I don't recommend you turn-off you Page File, some Apps can become unstable if there's no Page File regardless of how much "Free" memory you have - poor programing by the App(s) author(s).
leo2kp said:"There is no magic number. Load all of the applications you would use on a heavy-usage day, all at the same time. Then see how much of your resources you are using. If you use less than the amount of RAM you have installed, you might be able to get away with disabling your pagefile."
Well, this is all I wanted to know. Thank you leo.
to jaquith: Thank you for uploading those useful photos and good explanation. I learned a lot.