Page file not needed for 8gb ram?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Ov3rbyte, May 9, 2011.

  1. Ov3rbyte

    Ov3rbyte Member

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    I heard this from online somewhere and was curious if this is true. I have my specs down below obviously if you want to see what type of ram I have.

    As for HDD's i have a seagate barracuda 250gb 7200rp for my OS, and 500gb/1TB for storage/games.

    Any tips and how-to's appreciated! :D
     
  2. EspHack

    EspHack Ancient Guru

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    just disable it, RAM is faster than page files from HDD's welcome to the club :)
     
  3. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    While it's not necessary, it doesn't hurt to have a small pagefile. Since I chunked out 1 GB of my RAM for a RAMDisk, I popped a small pagefile on it :p.

    deltatux
     
  4. PhazeDelta1

    PhazeDelta1 Ancient Guru

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    if you have a flash drive, you can put your PF on that or dont have one at all. i cant even remember the last time i had a PF on any of my computers. ive heard over and over again that you need one because certian programs require it. its funny, because ive never ran into these programs before. so i think its just a matter of personal choice.
     

  5. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    I have ... some programs like VMWare uses the page file to handle more virtual machines working all at once by shelving idle VMs to the page file and once they are active quickly load them back to RAM.

    deltatux
     
  6. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    The only danger is that if you do run out of memory, your system will crash.
    Ordinarily, your system would slow dramatically as it pages to the swap file, at which point you will notice something is wrong.
    With no pagefile, it will crash with warning.

    However with 8GB, you have much less chance of that happening (running games etc) unless you get a bad memory leak from an app or program.
    They would have to be 64bit though due to the 2GB 32 bit standard restriction or have multiple 32 bit apps leak (not very likely).

    If you are running memory intensive apps that can use 8GB+, you shouldnt disable the pagefile.
     
  7. chanw4

    chanw4 Ancient Guru

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    Since HDD space is cheap, just enable the PF. It would not hinder your performance at all with 1GB (Mine set to 10GB with 4GB RAM) PF just to be safe.
     
  8. peanutmanak47

    peanutmanak47 Master Guru

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    what does the pagefile do exactly?
     
  9. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    It is temporary storage for data in memory that isnt needed for a while, or for data that must be cleared from memory to make space for a program you are running.
    So if you are running out of memory, the least used (a simplified version of what happens) data is placed in the swapfile (and can be recovered when needed), freeing memory.
    This is why a swap file 'can' cause a system to run slow, it makes large use of the swapfile when system memory runs low, so you become limited by the hard drives speed.
    But because it is running slow, it prevents a crash.

    Ordinarily there is little impact from the swapfile if you have enough system memory.
     
  10. WhiteLightning

    WhiteLightning Don Illuminati Staff Member

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    OFF its ok till you see this message

    [​IMG]
     

  11. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    It's just a scratch space for the operating system by storing non-essential information or data that's idling on the RAM. Instead of actually deleting the RAM to make room for active data on the RAM, it just shelves it while it idles, then use that freed up space for the active data and when it becomes active again it just loads the data back to the main memory.

    In theory having a page file should be faster because it keeps the idle data on the disc and the system can just fetch it again when the software needs the data again than load it from scratch. However, the operations are so fast now-a-days the difference is rarely felt.

    The second use of the page file is for extra storage when your main RAM is exhausted it can page the memory to a file on your HDD. This is the most common use these days, however wasn't the original reason why page files were designed to do.

    In the UNIX world, this space is called the swap space or swap partition. It's usually a partition that's dedicated for paging memory to disc and has the advantage of how Windows does it where it doesn't have any file system overheads. However, unlike the Windows approach, its only drawback is that it isn't resizable.

    deltatux
     
  12. Deathspank

    Deathspank Maha Guru

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    why turn it off? there is no performance gain from doing it plus you could run into problems. i would recommend just reducing it to 1.5GB or something.
     
  13. gamerk2

    gamerk2 Ancient Guru

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    The Page File is the reason why you can have multiple programs using more RAM then your system currently has installed.

    Essentially, think of the page file as temporary storage. Because it is unlikey you have enough free space in RAM to hold all your applications data at one time, the data is stored in several "pages" that are saved to the HDD. The Page File is basically the file that points to where those pages are stored, and what application they belong to.

    When the CPU tries to access data in RAM, and it does not reside there, the page that holds that data is loaded into RAM from the HDD, and some other page currently in RAM is saved to the HDD. This way, even though you may be working on 8GB worth of data, only a small percentage of that exists in RAM at any one point, insuring there is always enough RAM avaliable for applications to run.

    That being said, removing the page file does not give significant performance benifit. The time it takes to load a page into RAM is miniscule, and is often faster then the time it takes to scan RAM to find consecutive open blocks large enough to hold a programs data. [Remember, if I have a 16MB data structure, I need 16MB of consecutive free space to hold it. If I have 2GB free, but no 16MB block, I don't have enough space.]

    Now, currently, its unlikely you'd actually run out of RAM, because most programs are written in 32-bit, and thus bound by their 2GB Virtual Address space limit. So if you had 8GB installed, you'd need more then three programs running at their max memory capacity at one time to run out of space, which is very unlikely. As we move to 64-bit though, it is very possible a single application with a single memory leak could eat all the avaliable RAM, so I suspect the no Pagefile club will be in for a rude surprise in the comming years, as more and more programs are compiled as 64-bit executables.
     
  14. IcE

    IcE Don Snow Staff Member

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    Windows 7 doesn't crash, it just closes whatever is using the most memory.
    Page file is such a small portion of memory, and since my SSD has tons of free space, I leave a 2GB PF on there just in case.
     
  15. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    Pagefile on a SSD is not recommended due to the fact that there's constantly read/write operations (albeit small ones but constantly) thus it will degrade the lifespan of your SSD.

    deltatux
     

  16. Mr Dohz

    Mr Dohz Active Member

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  17. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Thats a good read but it doesnt address the main point that Deltatux made which is that an SSD will wear out faster with a pagefile on it.
    This is the pagefile section
    So the workload is easily handled but how much data is written isnt covered.
    It would be nice to have some stats of how much data is written in a 24hr period typically.
    I imagine the log files for AV and firewalls arent very SSD friendly either.
     
  18. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    Last edited: May 10, 2011
  19. Chock

    Chock Ancient Guru

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    you should never use your ssd for the pagefile...... if you have alot of memory just make a ramdisk.
     
  20. DesGaizu

    DesGaizu Ancient Guru

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    Never used a pagefile since i first got 4gig of ram way back, never had any problems with DAWs like ableton live, reason ect and lots of games.

    imo it was technology invented when pc's ran on small amounts of ram and programs would run out fast these days its just unneeded.

    but anyways everyone's got different opinions best thing to do is run it without for a week see how it goes if no problems stick with it if any bump it up to 512mb

    also make sure its on your second hard drive that will help with performance.
     

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