What Should I Set my "Virtual RAM" to?

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by JayCool, May 11, 2002.

  1. JayCool

    JayCool Guest

    After I reinstalled XP, I noticed it took a lot longer to do things that involve a lot of memory (ie scanning my computer for ads using Ad-aware). Can someone please tell me what I should store my settings at? I have a PIII 866Mhz w/ 256MB of SDRAM. Thanks in advance
  2. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Guest

    Hi Jay,
    the old rule of thumb is to have it set at one and a half times the RAM, so for you that would be 384. If I were you I would disable my Paging File, defrag my hard-drive then re-enable my Paging File and set both minimum and maximum to 384.
    Keeping the two min and max the same will prevent the Paging File from fragmentation and subsequent slow down in your system.
  3. Piett

    Piett ...will circle this city

    Calgary, Alberta
    Dirk is defenatly correct, 1.5 times your system RAM is the optimum value for your page file.
  4. ChrissiCom

    ChrissiCom Guest

    I also have 256 MB Ram and use a ~300 MB paging file. I stored it on a single 320 MB FAT16 partition (still the fastest file system). E.g. this improves the speed of clear paging file at shutdown a lot and also there is no paging file fragmentation.

    I suggest using Partition Magic 7 to create such a small drive for your paging file preferably at the beginning of your hdd. This will greatly improve system perfomance.

    rofl, are you doing real time video encoding all the day ?!? such a big paging file normally slows your system down especially when you have a lot of ram. Windows will use the paging file even before there is no more physical ram free and I am sure that there is a lot of paging file fragmentation at this size.

  5. Sm|th 6th

    Sm|th 6th Guest


    I have 512 megs of ram can I disable the pagefile all together??? I read somewhere that you could if you have that much ram. Then you get a little program that wipes the ram when you use like 90% seems a little odd so I thought I would ask.

    I too have mine set to 1.5 and max and min values the same (that tip came out way back with win98 :D )

    btw is fat 16 really still the fastest file system???
  6. Sm|th 6th

    Sm|th 6th Guest

    one more thing... I have 2 partitions (both ntfs) one is c: 30 gigs and d: 30 gigs the drive is 7200 spin I put the vitual mem on drive d: (xp is on c: ) is this a good idea?? or does it matter??
  7. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Guest

    Do not disable the Paging File, if you do Windows will just ignore you and make another one, and some programmes will fail to run if there isn't one. It doesn't really matter where the Paging File is since its actually only one drive.
  8. ChrissiCom

    ChrissiCom Guest

    Well, you can disable the paging file when you mainly play games and only use programs which either do not need a paging files or programs which have their own paging file (e.g. Photoshop, Corel, AutoCAD, 3DSMAX all use their own paging files). 512 MB Ram is surely enough to work without a paging file and apps which really do not work without the windows paging file are very rare... I suggest that you just try if everything still works after you disable your paging file. Normally your system should run faster afterwards.

    FAT16 is the fastest file system because it uses the largest clusters. This wastes space on your hard drive (that's why normally no one uses the file system) but it also improves disk perfomance. When you use the FAT16 file system only on a small drive with your paging file on it you don't waste space though.

    You should definitely use the second hard drive (without XP) for the paging file. But make sure that the drive is fully defragmented before you create your paging file. Also it's a must that you have min and max set to the same when you store your paging file on a 30 gb partition to prevent fragmentation of your paging file. But as I already suggested it's better to store your paging file on a single partition with FAT16 file system. You can create such a partition with PMagic 7 without loosing any of your data.
  9. ZAnwar

    ZAnwar Guest

    I have my Virual Memory page file set to 0. I have 768Mb RAM !
  10. w0lv3rin3

    w0lv3rin3 The Source Political User

    Barrie, ON
    Well all u need is:

    all you need is just about 200-300 Vir Mem
  11. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Guest

    I have one and a quarter gigs of RAM but my Paging File still gets up around 120 Megs, and thats without using any major Memory sucking programmes. So if you have only a limited amount of RAM and cap your Paging File at 200 Megs, your asking for trouble.
  12. Static 99

    Static 99 Guest

    Is it ok to share the same Paging File between two operating systems?
    I have have XP installed on C and J and i was thinking of making one extra partition for my Paging File and use it for both systems.

    note: security is not an issue because i'm the only user.
  13. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Guest

    Abolutely, thats what I do. Just point both to the same position and same size and your away.
  14. dadx2mj

    dadx2mj Guest

    Just thinking out loud here, but with more ram shouldn't you be able to use a smaller page file. I have 512 megs and set my page file to 300 for both minimum and maximum. The 1.5 times the amount of physical ram rule just doesn't make sense to me with large amounts of ram in a system
  15. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Guest

    Yes, the more RAM you have the less amount of Virtual RAM you will need, but to cap it low or disable it is not a good idea in my book, unless your doing what ChrissiCom says.
  16. Static 99

    Static 99 Guest

    Thanks Dirk!
    I allway's wondered if it was possible.
  17. Sm|th 6th

    Sm|th 6th Guest

    great info here

    One other thing :D

    I am going to make a fat16 partition with partition magic... where should I make it. Someone said at the beginning of the drive (what exactly does that mean in terms of numbers etc)

    Also, if I have 512 megs of ram I assume I would make that partition 768.. yes??

    Last thing can I put the photoshop page file on it too??

  18. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Guest

    If your making a partition out of another partition, then it doesn't matter where it is.
    It only matters if its a completely seperate hard-drive, in that case it should be at the front.
    With 512 megs of RAM a 768 meg Paging File is OK. Try it a little smaller if you want.
    If you can place the Photshop Paging File wherever, then it makes sense to have it in the Windows Paging File. I don't know if thats possible though.
  19. Sm|th 6th

    Sm|th 6th Guest

    i did it

    Ok I made a 3rd partition (fat16).. drive now looks like this:

    c:/ 30 gigs NTFS
    d:/cd burner
    e:/ 29.5 gigs NTFS
    f:/ 500 megs fat 16

    this is all 1 hardrive just partitioned. I moved my page file, my photoshop page file and my tempory internet files all to the 500 meg fat16 drive.

    Just wondering is there something I could do better... or is this ok??
  20. Sm|th 6th

    Sm|th 6th Guest

    how do you turn off that stupid drive cleanup thing that pops up all the time now that I have the 500 meg drive :D