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Does moving the pagefile off the boot partition increase system performance?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by M0rt, Jul 30, 2013.

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Does moving the pagefile off the boot partition increase system performance?

Poll closed Aug 3, 2013.
  1. No, leave the bloody thing alone!

    16 vote(s)
    55.2%
  2. Yes, move it to a secondary partition on an SSD.

    1 vote(s)
    3.4%
  3. Yes, but only if it's moved to an entirely different drive.

    12 vote(s)
    41.4%
  1. mircx New Member

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    It still amazes me how there is so much discussion about pagefile.

    We seem to have three groups of users:
    - the overly cautious. They let Windows manage their pagefile because it is risky to disable it, some programs might still use it. Of course this leads to space waste, 8/16 GB on a SSD is a lot to lose.
    - the overly confident. They have a fast SSD and lots of RAM so they disable the pagefile. No space wasted but there is a risk some programs will not work correctly.
    - the third group uses a fixed pagefile size (1 to 4 GB usually). The benefit is no pagefile fragmentation. This is a more sensible compromise but it's still not optimal. Set it too low and some programs might fill it up. Set it too high and there is space waste.

    There is another way.

    1. Use the fastest drive available, usually the same drive as the operating system.
    2. Use manually adjusted setting.
    3. Set the minimal size to 512/1024 MB and max 4096 MB or even higher, doesn't matter really.
    This setup will use the minimal size 99.99999% of the time, virtually it will not grow.
    Space waste is minimal, almost 0% chances of fragmentation, 100% chances all programs will work without problems.

    The ideal minimal size can be find by observing pagefile utilization over time using AIDA64 (memory section) or a similar utility. It will report current usage and max usage. Use the max usage as a guideline, round it up to 256/512/1024 and set this as starting size for pagefile. Some will get by with as little as 256MB, while some will need 1024MB.

    For example:
    Low end system - 256MB minimal size, 4096MB max. It will not reach max anyway but why risk setting it lower then there is no gain?
    Mainstream - 512MB starting size, 4096 max
    Power users - 1024MB starting size, 4096 max
     
  2. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I fall into the category of people that use what works by essentially doing nothing. I don't bother thinking about page files until I see these threads. :)
     
    silkstone and remixedcat say thanks.
  3. Dent1

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    I've had page file disabled for almost 3 years.

    I've never encountered any problems or conflicts running applications.

    I've had 16GB of RAM installed almost throughout those 3 years too. I've configured Windows in a way so it caches more applications directly into the RAM so it's not wasted memory.
     
  4. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    You know, if you have enough ram available, practically nothing will use the swap file anyways. As long as your not trashing, it really shouldn't matter. With 16GB of ram, I too have disabled the page file though (to the extent that Windows lets you).
     
  5. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i use ultimate defrag, lets me assign where the files end up. is nice.
     
  6. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    I guess you still do not defrag a SSD?
     
  7. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    of course. my page file is on my mechanical.


    having a page file that changes size is guaranteed to fragment, FYI mircX. thats the entire point of setting it static.
     
  8. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    I have moved mine to my mechanical, shall I make it a set size? how big? thx Mussels
     
  9. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i use 4GB since i go by the theory that any one 32 bit app cant use more than that anyway. if you got the space, go 8GB. i've only seen one warning about 'low memory' (meaning full pagefile' in windows once in years, set to 4GB.
     
  10. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    It's going on my 2TB WD, so I will mkae it 8GB. thx :)
     
  11. silkstone

    silkstone

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    If you're eating into the pagefile, you really need to buy more ram.

    IMO, the only reason you really need a pagefile is if you are doing lots of image or video editing. In that case, I would move it onto a dedicated SSD.

    Partitioning it on boot SSD is not going to make a difference and mechanical drives areso slow, any improvements you make through partitioning aren't going to make much difference.
     
  12. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    some apps forcibly use it. you cant stop it. playing starcraft II with 8GB of ram (more than enough for a 32 bit game!) and i ran out of page file on 2GB, and had an error once on a custom map with a memory leak at 4GB.

    the theory is all well and good that page file = ran out of ram, but in reality it doesnt work that way. some things automatically get put there, and you cant stop them since windows just creates and deletes the page file if you set it to 0.
     
    silkstone says thanks.
  13. silkstone

    silkstone

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    I didn't know that. There are some apps that can create the pagefile on a virtual drive created from the ram. I downloaded one with my mobo apps, but I don't use it. I might save for another 8gb and start doing this.

    Still, messing with the pagefile really is pointless unless you are wanting to move it do a dedicated SSD/virtual drive.
     

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