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There seems to be some disagreement on whether or not you need a pagefile in XP if your system has large amounts of RAM.
Microsoft says they don't advise the disabling of the pagefile (the no pagefile setting). However according to their formula your pagefile should be 1.5 X your installed RAM. This, to me, makes no sense - that means someone with 128megs RAM - pagefile should be 192, and someone with 768megs - pagefile should be 1152. Now common sense dictates that the person with 128 RAM needs a larger pagefile than the person with 768 RAM.
I personally have 768megs of RAM and have had pagefile disabled right from the start, (XP recommends 1150 pagefile - right in line with the above formula) I have had NO problems whats so ever with it disabled. For more info on WinXP pagefile and other memory issues check here:
Windows will quite happily work without a Pagefile if you have a horse and cartload of RAM, but views vary widely on how much RAM is enough. However, there are a number of applications that do require the paging file, and will moan most audibly if there isn't one present.
Make of that what you will!!

Thanks a lot for the link, i'm off to read it now, so I might have to come back and modify my reply!?!



NTFS Stoner
I had it turned off until i opened Photoshop6....... bahhh.. wouldnt open so i got to say its application dependant b4 u slam it.



I've enabled system managed pagefile - I'll leave it on for 1 week to see if I see any performance increase - I'll post my results at that time.

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
sage, here's the fair test...run a few programs in succesion, tim when they're usable...then dissable, restart, and time again...make the whole scenario as symilar during each episode as possible...make sure you are loading the programs that arecached in the pagefile before you time the first episode


1 week not needed

With a pagefile my system was slow as s--t, everything was slower. I ran several of my most commonly used apps / games and loading was much slower (seconds). Also shut down was alot slowers 10-15 sec, where before it was almost immediate. So I guess this is a topic where we will have to agree to disagree :)
For me I don't use any real memory intensive apps, games used QIII, Unreal Torn, counterstrike. Just a final note however, After I had run QIII I checked cacheman and the maximum pagefile used was 8.5 megs, yet windows had allocated 1151megs. I don't use any photo editing software, so for me this no pagefile thing seems to be best.


Actually the paging file is not a cache, it's virtual memory. And it's used by all progarms and services, not just the most common ones. It supplements your actual memory (ram) when needed (and sometimes even when it's not). There are one or two programs that won't even run if they don't detect a paging file no matter how much ram you have installed.

Here's a link that may help explain it all:


Dealer, I believe you are confusing the Paging File with the Prefetch Folder (which is, in fact, a system cache).


Re: Update

Originally posted by Sage
I've enabled system managed pagefile - I'll leave it on for 1 week to see if I see any performance increase - I'll post my results at that time.
You should not let Windows manage the pagefile. This will slow things down as Windows continually changes the size. Set it to a static amount od 1.5x your physical ram.


I'm sorry Hal...
Political User
I have 512 DDR ram and i have limited my pagefile to 200mb (incase a program needs one), both before and after I did this I have never noticed my ram usage go above 300, even if i'm running mutliple programs and graphics intesive game and I seemed to get a little performance increase
I honestly think the old 1.5 X Your RAM calculation is a throwback to the days when we only had 16-64MB of RAM in our PCs.

Then you would need a pagefile 1.5 time the size, because
you literally didn't have enough memory sometimes.

These days, unless a specific program requires one, "forget about it..."

Personally, with 512MB of RAM, I still keep a 50MB pagefile, just in case.

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