Optimum Swap File Size with 4G of RAM

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by Walter_Slipperman, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. I have Vista Home Premium 64 and 4G of RAM.

    I have set up my 750G drive with 1 primary drive for Vista, 1 primary for
    XP, 1 primary for an alt OS, and then 1 extended drive that contains 1
    logical drive for Vista swap, 1 logical drive for XP swap and the remaining
    large logical drive for Data.

    I have set the swap drives to be 4G each because it seems to me that they
    won't need to be as large as the otherwise suggested two or three times the
    RAM because I figure with that much RAM I shouldn't find myself using
    virtual memory. As far as I know I don't do things that require hugh
    amounts of memory, like photo and video editing.

    - Is it a mistake to have the virtual memory (the swap file) approximately
    the size of the RAM even when I have a lot of RAM?

    -- I assume that I can use Disk Management to increase the size of the swap
    drives at the expense of making other drives smaller. If I do want to
    increase the size of the swap drive how would I make sure that the Data
    drive is the drive that is being shrinked to accomodate this?

    --- If there is data on the Data drive (there is none yet) how do I insure
    that the swap drive gets an efficient section of the Data drive if it eats
    into it?

    ---- And does XP behave the same way with this issue, because I also have a
    4G swap drive for it?

    Walter_Slipperman, Jan 11, 2008
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  2. No. In fact, the real/swap ratio should go down as the amount of
    real memory rises.

    The old rule of thumb was 2x real memory. As real ram amounts
    increased and thus decreased the need for paging this moved to swap size
    should equal ram size. Certain operating systems use swap space as temp or
    scratch space and motivate you to allocate extra swap. Windows doesn't
    do that AFAIK.
    the wharf rat, Jan 11, 2008
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  3. Walter_Slipperman

    John Smith Guest

    1st of all you dont need to put a swap file on each drive
    2nd 32 bit OS's cannot access of handle chunks of memory either ram or
    virtual that are bigger
    than 4 gigs..

    making partitions for virtual memory (pagefiles) is stupid unless you put
    the pagefile on a SECOND drive

    thus the smartest thing to do is to make a FIRST partition of a very fast
    second or third drive that is not used for other things much, and put it
    there.. the only reason for the parition is to ensure that it wont be
    fragmented.. and that its located in the outer rims of the disk where the
    speed of the disk is maximum thus it can provide faster data flow

    But really all this is crap.. you wont see much difference.. if you want
    speed first of all, you should avoid vista (the worst OS microsoft has made
    since windows ME) that is 50% slower than XP in everything...
    John Smith, Jan 11, 2008
  4. Thanks.
    Walter_Slipperman, Jan 11, 2008
  5. Walter_Slipperman

    HeyBub Guest

    The optimum amount of a swap file is contingent on the applications running
    at the time. For ordinary, piddly, things, virtual memory may be virtually
    unused. When really pushing the machine, lots of paging may be required for
    efficient use. That's why it's usually best to let the system manage the
    file - it can do so dynamically.
    HeyBub, Jan 11, 2008
  6. Do you think that it doesn't make sense to make a swap partition and I
    should just let Vista do it on the Vista partition?
    Walter_Slipperman, Jan 11, 2008
  7. Hmmm...

    "The optimal solution, other than the solution of adding more physical
    memory, is to do the following:

    1. Create one paging file on the boot partition by using the
    default settings.
    2. Create another paging file on a less frequently used partition
    on a separate physical disk or RAID volume.
    You can create additional paging files for each separate physical disk or
    RAID volume. "

    Quoting the KB, BTW.
    You won't see any difference unless you work with a lot of
    very large processes frequently (IE video editing) or switch users a lot.
    All the stuff about drive layout optimization is also IMHO pointless. The
    few milliseconds you might gain is lost in the noise.
    the wharf rat, Jan 11, 2008
  8. Oh, gosh, no. Allowing dynamic page file management is bad for
    a couple of reasons:

    1. Growing and shrinking the pagefile is simply unneseccary

    2. It leads to fragmentation of the page file.
    the wharf rat, Jan 11, 2008
  9. The only reason to have a pagefile on the boot partition is to
    get kernel dumps. The reason to put it on a seperate partition is that it
    allows more efficient use of the boot file system. The reason to put it on
    a seperate drive is that few IDE controllers are capable of intelligent
    queueing so paging interferes with data access.

    That being said, if you just pick a nice static size, like 2GB,
    and leave it wherever windows puts it you probably will never notice any
    small performance penalty over some complicated location scheme...
    the wharf rat, Jan 11, 2008
  10. So should I just forget about the swap partition and delete that partition?
    And then just let Vista do Virtual Memory with it set to "Automatically
    manage paging file size for all drives"?

    The whole idea of setting up swap drives was recommended to me by a guy who
    helped with the initial hard drive partitioning when I was first setting up
    the computer. I'm really not trying to tweak every last bit of performance
    from the system. I just want something that is easily manageable. I could
    delete the partition (and the XP swap partition too that I've set up for a
    multi-boot system) and free up some space for my Data partition or the Vista
    partition. What do you suggest?

    Walter_Slipperman, Jan 11, 2008
  11. No.

    You had the right idea. A fixed size pagefile approximately
    equal in size to the physical ram size and on a seperate drive from the
    boot drive if possible.

    Dynamic pagefile management is counterproductive as is carefully
    trying to position the pagefile in any certain cylinder. Leaving the
    pagefile on the boot partition is probably a noop for an ordinary desktop
    the wharf rat, Jan 11, 2008
  12. Walter_Slipperman

    John Smith Guest

    you want my honest advice?

    Just leave it to automatic and forget about it..

    if you want to get more perfomance just add more ram and/or a readyboost
    John Smith, Jan 11, 2008
  13. Then I'm back to the question - how do I tell it that a particular partition
    is supposed to be used as the location for the pagefile? In the Virtual
    Memory settings window it lists all the drives:

    c: = system managed
    d: = 1000 - 3773 *
    e: = none
    f:: = none
    g: = none

    * this is the swap file. It says 3773 MB available. I have set it to 1000
    for Initial Size and 3773 for Maximum size. and the window in front of it,
    the Performance Options window says that I have Total paging size for all
    drives = 5394 MB. That would mean to me that I have 1621 MB ( i.e.
    5394 -3773 = 1621) of page file on the c: system managed drive. Is that
    what I want? (I think I'm not up to speed on your explanations.)

    Walter_Slipperman, Jan 11, 2008
  14. Walter_Slipperman

    AJR Guest

    In a "system managed" page file - size is set at 1.5 times RAM.
    AJR, Jan 11, 2008
  15. Your requirements for the swap partition seem to be:

    MUST be large enough to hold your minimum sized swap file (looks
    to be 2GB)
    SHOULD not be on the same drive as the boot partition

    It looks to me like "D:" meets those requirements, so IMHO you
    should set a fixed size pagefile on partition D: of at least 2GB and
    not more than 3.7GB. Remember to tell windows NOT to put a partition on C:
    or it will do so anyway.

    Because Windows *always* knows what you eant better than you
    do, lol :)
    the wharf rat, Jan 11, 2008
  16. Okay. Now I get it. By setting the C: to "No paging file" and having
    values set for the D: I have placed the pagefile on to D: partition. And I
    have bumped up the Initial Size from 1000 up to 2000, and have the Maximum
    size set to 3773. Thanks for your help. Now I move on to the regedit
    tweak that I wamt to do to remove the D: from general view - mentioned in
    another thread that I posted this morning. Once again thanks for your
    help, everyone.

    Walter_Slipperman, Jan 11, 2008
  17. Walter_Slipperman

    Wizard of Zo Guest

    Having a page/swapfile on a different -partition- of a drive serves n
    useful purpose and will actually slow the system somewhat. Pictur
    yourself jumping from the phone in the LR to the phone in the kitchen t
    have a conversation. That's what it's like - the system is jumping fro
    partition to partition and slowing drive access

    You should not put a swapfile on a mirrored drive (RAID array), if a
    all possible because it could cause permance decrease

    The optimum size is actually determined for you by Vista. Once you'v
    run your system and put it through it's paces, set the swap file size t
    Custom Size with minimum and maximum both the same as the maximum was i
    System Managed. If you're concerned about PageFile fragmentation, defra
    your drive(s), turn off all PageFiles and reboot, then set it as th
    custom size outlined

    If you have a second fast drive, you should configure the system to us
    it for the swapfile instead of the OS drive
    Wizard of Zo, Oct 25, 2009
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