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Pagefile confusion. Windows 10.

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My pagefile was system managed, it was set to 1GB. Using MSI Afterburner to monitor pagefile it reports usages around 10GB in some games. Is that an accurate reading?

So pagefile is set to 1GB but it uses 10GB? How is that possible.

When it says using 10GB, where is that 10GB being used? My system drive?
 
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Who knows whether MSI Afterburner makes accurate readings or not. I never heard of such issue, but if it's automatically managed and since you have 16 GB of ram it shouldn't take so much space - at least not by my opinion.
Anyhow, it depends how much storage the system leaves for the certain amount of RAM. I can check my system when I got home from work and write it down. It's possible that the system reserved up to 10 GB of space for 16 GB of RAM. It shouldn't bother you much. If it does, try setting it manually (custom) somewhere from 2048 MB min to 4096 MB max.
 
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I have my Pagefile on an separate SSD and set to 16GB playing heavily moded Skyrim SE using 4K textures and a butt load of other look good mods I can use upto 8~9GB's so yeah 10GB's for some games is quite accurate for some games they'll load in alot of textures and stream them in when needed... you say that your's was system managed which means it will grow and contract as needed if you don't want it to that and prefer it to use more ram then set it to 8GB's
 
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I played Doom for 5 minutes.
Top picture is with Pagefile set to use initial 4GB and maximum 8GB.
Bottom pic is with Pagefile off.
Results are basically the same.

4to8.png
off.png
 

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My pagefile was system managed, it was set to 1GB. Using MSI Afterburner to monitor pagefile it reports usages around 10GB in some games. Is that an accurate reading?

So pagefile is set to 1GB but it uses 10GB? How is that possible.

When it says using 10GB, where is that 10GB being used? My system drive?
If the page file was set to system managed, then it wasn't set to 1 GB. What you were seeing was the amount of space Windows was using under those circumstances.

System managed means it will change as conditions change, expanding or decreasing to use what it needs.
 
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my pagefile is set to off.. does every one know what pagefile is.. or what its purpose is.. ??

trog
 

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my pagefile is set to off.. does every one know what pagefile is.. or what its purpose is.. ??

trog
I know what the pagefile is and turned it off when I was running W7. With 16GB RAM I've never had a problem. For W10 I didn't bother and just let Windows manage it.
 
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my pagefile is set to off.. does every one know what pagefile is.. or what its purpose is.. ??
trog
Shouldn't you have known what it is, before turning it OFF?
 
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Shouldn't you have known what it is, before turning it OFF?
i do know what it is and what it does.. which is why mine is set at off and it has been for a very long time..

basically if any system is actually using its pagefile it will run like sick pig.. windows pagfile is a relic of the past when memory really was expensive and not having enough of it was common..

virtual memory.. a combination of real ram and pretend swap file memory.. one is fast the other as slow as a sick pig but limited only by the spare drive space.. make sure you have enough of the real stuff so that you never need the sick pig stuff.. if you do need the sick pig stuff it will be very very obvious..

trog

ps.. i like a small operating system (C drive) which is why i turn mine off.. plus many moons ago on this very forum i did it just to prove it could be done.. many people think its essential.. it isnt..
 
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So it turns out when MSI Afterburner is reporting "pagefile" usage, its actually reporting the Committed value.
Whoever designed that in Afterburner is to thank for my confusion.

Committed memory is the amount of virtual memory reserved for a process and it appears Windows 10 is more greedy with committed memory than previous versions of windows.
The amount of virtual memory available is the sum of physical memory and the pagefile size.



committed.png

What you set as Initial is what size the pagefile.sys file will be. And that adds onto however much physical ram you have installed, which then equals the Committed amount.

Sorry if i'm replying with solutions to my own questions, but that's why i come to this forum, to think about PC troubles i have and maybe even help someone out in the process to better understand our hobby. :peace:
 
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how mine looks with the pagefile set to off..



trog
 
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many people think its essential.. it isnt..
Even worse, it can severely hinder performance and downright crash a system in certain cases. I've been turning it off for years and have solved issues with it in certain cases. There's some older software that for some obscure reason will not run without a pagefile, but there is absolutely no logical reason to have it in a system with ample RAM.
 

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i do know what it is and what it does.. which is why mine is set at off and it has been for a very long time..

basically if any system is actually using its pagefile it will run like sick pig.. windows pagfile is a relic of the past when memory really was expensive and not having enough of it was common..

virtual memory.. a combination of real ram and pretend swap file memory.. one is fast the other as slow as a sick pig but limited only by the spare drive space.. make sure you have enough of the real stuff so that you never need the sick pig stuff.. if you do need the sick pig stuff it will be very very obvious..

trog

ps.. i like a small operating system (C drive) which is why i turn mine off.. plus many moons ago on this very forum i did it just to prove it could be done.. many people think its essential.. it isnt..

With the modern operating systems, most of this isn't true anymore. Windows 10 is actually pretty smart about using the page file. On systems with plenty of RAM, like you and I with 32GB of RAM in your systems, disabling the page file has no real negative affect***.

However, Windows 10 likes to keep about 1/4 of the system memory in use idle when possible, and offload the non-essential crap, things that aren't going to slow down the user experience but still need to be running, to the page file. This is why if you ever really looked, an 8GB system will have about 2GB of RAM in use when the computer is basically idle, a 16GB system will have about 4GB in use, but a 32GB+ system will only have about 5-6 because at that point it has put everything in RAM and doesn't need anymore space.

At the same time, with SSDs, the virtual memory is not nearly as slow as it used to be. So needing to use a page file is not as agonizing as before. When the system used to have to constantly swap out to the hard drive, it was painful for sure. But then again, if you reached the point of being out of RAM and had no page file, worse things definitely start to happen. For example, I use Kodi(at the time this happened XBMC) a lot to stream media from my home server to HTPCs on my TVs. It buffers all the content, there is a setting that lets you adjust the amount of buffering it does that you change by editing a text file, and it buffers directly to RAM. On one of my PCs that only had 4GB of RAM, Kodi was crashing constantly and I couldn't figure out why. Turns out, by default, it was buffering too much data, and when it filled up the RAM it would just crash because I had turned the page file off.

Finally, while most of the time you can get away without a page file, there are occasions where some programs(I've even encountered a few games over the years) that will not work without a system page file. They just give some kind of error and either won't run, or will load to a point then crash. It is for this reason that I always set a small constant page file on all my systems. On my 16GB systems I make it 4GB, and on my 32GB systems I make it 2GB. On my 8GB systems I make it 8GB, and I won't have 4GB systems anymore... Really, I don't see a reason to not have a small constant sized page file. And if you have more than one drive in your system, you don't even have to have it on your system drive, just set it to use the secondary drive in the system. And 2-8GB really isn't a huge amount of space to be loosing.

Even worse, it can severely hinder performance and downright crash a system in certain cases. I've been turning it off for years and have solved issues with it in certain cases. There's some older software that for some obscure reason will not run without a pagefile, but there is absolutely no logical reason to have it in a system with ample RAM.
I've encountered far more problems with having it off than having it on, I've never really run into any time when the page file crashed the system. And please don't say "what about page_fault_in_non_paged_area", because that isn't caused by having the page file turned on.

As for the hindering performance, no it doesn't do that either. Anyone that thinks it does has no clue how modern OSes(meaning anything Vista and newer) handle the page file. It isn't a indiscriminate shared memory space that the system has no clue is there and will just use like normal RAM. Modern OSes are incredibly smart, and will only use the page file if it absolutely needs to(AKA system RAM it totally full) or if the process it is putting in the page file is a background process that doesn't affect the user experience. And they have gotten particularly good about the background process management in Windows 8 and 10.

So it turns out when MSI Afterburner is reporting "pagefile" usage, its actually reporting the Committed value.
Sorry for the long post, but this is exactly what I came here intending to say. MSI Afterburner's pagefile reading is misleading.
 
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When i have it system managed it puts it at 1GB, so not a huge waste of space, and it can increase as it needs to, but i do not max out my Committed memory so the pagefile size does not increase beyond 1GB. So looks like leaving it system managed is the best bet.

I just loaded up multiple games at once and my pagefile increased from the Initial 2GB i set to 4GB which was the maximum i set. Once the total Committed amount was full my games asked me to close them due to low memory.

But Committed memory should be physical and pagefile combined right? But if lets say ram is using 4gb, and the pagefile is using 2gb, that should equal 6gb, but instead i see values of 8gb, so how is the other 2gb being used? Something other than physical ram and pagefile?
 
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left to its own devices window occupies or sets aside a given amount of drive space to use if it needs to..

this amount is governed by the amount of ram installed.. the more real ram the more drive space windows sets aside for pretend ram.. in my case 32 gig of ram windows will set aside another 16 gig of pretend ram.. back to front logic if ever there was..

windows sets aside drive space because its quicker than creating it on the spot... but it can and will create as much of it as it needs.

and however fast people think an ssd drive is its a joke compared to real ram.. make sure you have enough of the real stuff.. then windows will never have to use the virtual pretend stuff..

i have been ruining no swap file for the the last 15 years.. most of that time with only 4 gig.. and the comment that some software looks for a swap file and wont run without one is also part of the past..

there isnt anything to be gained (expect drive space) by turning the pagefile off but on the other hand being as 99% of the time its doing nothing there is nothing to be lost ether..

i have given my reasons for running without one.. my reasons wont apply to most people.. so they are better off just leaving it to windows..

the only point i am making is that unless people are running systems with very low levels of installed ram.. some tablets fit this description.. all pagefile talk is confusing waffle.. most people havnt a clue as to what it is or how it works..

trog
 
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I have tested it with page file on and off and found little difference in performance in everyday work... fact is ... if it's there and you don't need it, it's just as if it wasn't there. I have also seen problems when page file is too small, but never on our own machines. However many apps, workstation apps in particular, force writes to temp and page files no matter how much RAM is available. The one thing you can do about page files that is productive, is to not let Windows manage it, at least long term. We place the fixed size page file as well as all temp files on their own partition right "behind" the OS partition when on mechanical drives. Our machines are all 16 - 32 GB and yes, we still see page file activity. By keeping page and temp files on the outside edge of the disk which is twice as fast as the inner, it insures optimum performance. Outside of that, I would recommend complying with app vendor recommendations. On SSds ,many folks are concerned about the constant writes leading to excessive wear. Others say it's ridiculous and that SSDs never die within thir useful life. I have 3 bricked ones that counter that 2nd claim but they are from the days when 120 GB was all that was affordable. In short, not seen data to justify an opinion either way. I haven't had cause to worry about it. Good reading here:

https://mcpmag.com/Articles/2011/07/05/Sizing-Page-Files-on-Windows-Systems.aspx?Page=1
https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/motiba/2015/10/15/page-file-the-definitive-guide/
 
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Lots of good info gents! I feel when in an Enterprise environment it is wise to keep a page file and also smart to manually manage the size (standard for myself)
curious John Naylor as to what app you guys are using to placement for Pagefile on harddrive ? I know Defrags often have an option to optimize or prioritize hard drives.
 
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basically if any system is actually using its pagefile it will run like sick pig.. windows pagfile is a relic of the past when memory really was expensive and not having enough of it was common..
Here we go again. :( Sorry, but that is just not true! Just because something has been around a long time does not make it a relic. Contrary to what some what everyone else to believe, the developers at Microsoft are not stupid! One of their top priorities is for Windows to optimize the hardware's performance! It is silly to think otherwise. If for no other reason, they want that to keep the haters from bashing Microsoft - again!

Why would any developer of any program keep code in their program if it caused the system to run like a sick pig? They wouldn't. They would get rid of it. Even bad developers know that.

To suggest the page file in W7, W8, and especially W10 are relics is suggesting they are the same Page Files used in XP and previous versions of Windows. That is simply false. The PF in these modern versions has evolved significantly since 15+ years ago, and continues to evolve and improve.

it is wise to keep a page file and also smart to manually manage the size (standard for myself)
No it is NOT wise to manually manage the PF size, not unless you are a genuine expert at virtual memory management, you know how to determine "commit levels" and you totally understand how "pool usage" and "memory mapping" works. If you are not a real expert, you need to understand and accept that the developers at Microsoft who developed the memory management and page file code are! They have decades worth of experience and exabytes of empirical evidence and scientific data from 100s of millions of computers to draw from.

Those who claim the modern versions of Windows does not need or does not use the Page File if you have lots of RAM installed clearly are NOT experts! Because that is simply wrong!!!!!

Those wannabe experts who disable the PF because they think they are smarter than the Windows (and Linux, MacOS and other OS) developers just outsmarted themselves. A real expert would want to know exactly what happened to their system should there be a system crash so they can troubleshoot, learn and prevent recurrence. But guess what? Disable the PF on the boot drive and you get no memory dumps to analyze.

A real expert would want Windows to optimize memory to improve performance. But guess what? Disable the PF and Windows fetch routines (used to speed up program loads, for example) are defeated.

And if you do know what commit levels are and how to properly set your PF sizes, contrary to what these wannabe experts think, it is NOT a "set and forget" setting! "EVERY TIME" there is any significant change to the computer's hardware configuration, major OS updates, major changes or additions in the programs the user runs, changes in the number and type of users who use the computer, page file requirements are likely to change and the PF size should be adjusted.

Why do you think Microsoft made the PF size "dynamic" when it would be so much easier to just set some arbitrary size?

Even if you have 32, 64, or 128GB of RAM installed, Windows will still use the Page File. And that's a good thing, not bad!

If you need the extra few gigabytes of disk space you get by disabling the PF, you as the user have failed to properly setup and maintain your storage requirements! Disabling the PF is NOT the proper fix. That's like putting a piece of black tape over the Check Engine light in your car. And yes, it is a few, gigabytes. Microsoft does not set your PF to 1.5 X RAM as some suggest. That is a stupid formula that means nothing.

Here is the Speccy report for my system, which has 16GB of system RAM installed.

Physical Memory​
Memory Usage 24 %​
Total Physical 16 GB​
Available Physical 12 GB​
Total Virtual 18 GB​
Available Virtual 13 GB​

What does that show? It shows my Windows managed page file (and I do know what commit levels, mapping, and pool usage are) is currently set to just 2GB, not some massive size like 24GB (16 x 1.5 = 24).

So again, if you are not a virtual memory management expert, JUST LET WINDOWS MANAGE IT! If you are a true expert, it is NOT a "set and forget" settings. And if you are an expert, do NOT assume what is good for you is good for everyone else - it likely isn't.
I know Defrags often have an option to optimize or prioritize hard drives.
Just remember, SSDs on normal consumer computers don't need and don't get defragged - ever! And Windows will automatically defrag hard drives. So again JUST LET WINDOWS MANAGE IT!

W7, W8, and especially W10 are NOT Windows XP. So we need to stop treating them like they are. The default settings in Windows most likely really are the best settings for your computer - regardless who you are or how you have your computer hardware configured.

If you want to set a manual size, fine. That is certainly your right. But don't let anyone on this, or any other site tell you that you don't need a PF, or what size to set it to. You need to calculate that yourself. Don't know how? That should tell you to let Windows manage it. But if still stubborn, do it right. Study Mark Russinovich's (the world's preeminent - I kid you not! - expert on virtual memory management) Pushing the Limits of Windows: Virtual Memory and learn about commit limits, pool usage, and memory mapping and do it the right way.
 
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Here we go again. :( Sorry, but .
Normally in an Enterprise arena the end users are NOT configuring their systems, the IT department is and the end users normally do NOT have Admin level rights to do so but the Tech in the IT department at Enterprise arena's do have the knowledge to understand how to and what size the page file should be with in the department of said computers.... but hey maybe your just trying to be funny.:p

Also worth a mention is Defrag tools will NOT even try and defrag a SSD so what are you on about here exactly? They will however Trim it ;)
 
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Here we go again. :( Sorry, but that is just not true! Just because something has been around a long time does not make it a relic. Contrary to what some what everyone else to believe, the developers at Microsoft are not stupid! One of their top priorities is for Windows to optimize the hardware's performance! It is silly to think otherwise. If for no other reason, they want that to keep the haters from bashing Microsoft - again!

Why would any developer of any program keep code in their program if it caused the system to run like a sick pig? They wouldn't. They would get rid of it. Even bad developers know that.

To suggest the page file in W7, W8, and especially W10 are relics is suggesting they are the same Page Files used in XP and previous versions of Windows. That is simply false. The PF in these modern versions has evolved significantly since 15+ years ago, and continues to evolve and improve.

No it is NOT wise to manually manage the PF size, not unless you are a genuine expert at virtual memory management, you know how to determine "commit levels" and you totally understand how "pool usage" and "memory mapping" works. If you are not a real expert, you need to understand and accept that the developers at Microsoft who developed the memory management and page file code are! They have decades worth of experience and exabytes of empirical evidence and scientific data from 100s of millions of computers to draw from.

Those who claim the modern versions of Windows does not need or does not use the Page File if you have lots of RAM installed clearly are NOT experts! Because that is simply wrong!!!!!

Those wannabe experts who disable the PF because they think they are smarter than the Windows (and Linux, MacOS and other OS) developers just outsmarted themselves. A real expert would want to know exactly what happened to their system should there be a system crash so they can troubleshoot, learn and prevent recurrence. But guess what? Disable the PF on the boot drive and you get no memory dumps to analyze.

A real expert would want Windows to optimize memory to improve performance. But guess what? Disable the PF and Windows fetch routines (used to speed up program loads, for example) are defeated.

And if you do know what commit levels are and how to properly set your PF sizes, contrary to what these wannabe experts think, it is NOT a "set and forget" setting! "EVERY TIME" there is any significant change to the computer's hardware configuration, major OS updates, major changes or additions in the programs the user runs, changes in the number and type of users who use the computer, page file requirements are likely to change and the PF size should be adjusted.

Why do you think Microsoft made the PF size "dynamic" when it would be so much easier to just set some arbitrary size?

Even if you have 32, 64, or 128GB of RAM installed, Windows will still use the Page File. And that's a good thing, not bad!

If you need the extra few gigabytes of disk space you get by disabling the PF, you as the user have failed to properly setup and maintain your storage requirements! Disabling the PF is NOT the proper fix. That's like putting a piece of black tape over the Check Engine light in your car. And yes, it is a few, gigabytes. Microsoft does not set your PF to 1.5 X RAM as some suggest. That is a stupid formula that means nothing.

Here is the Speccy report for my system, which has 16GB of system RAM installed.

Physical Memory​
Memory Usage 24 %​
Total Physical 16 GB​
Available Physical 12 GB​
Total Virtual 18 GB​
Available Virtual 13 GB​

What does that show? It shows my Windows managed page file (and I do know what commit levels, mapping, and pool usage are) is currently set to just 2GB, not some massive size like 24GB (16 x 1.5 = 24).

So again, if you are not a virtual memory management expert, JUST LET WINDOWS MANAGE IT! If you are a true expert, it is NOT a "set and forget" settings. And if you are an expert, do NOT assume what is good for you is good for everyone else - it likely isn't.
Just remember, SSDs on normal consumer computers don't need and don't get defragged - ever! And Windows will automatically defrag hard drives. So again JUST LET WINDOWS MANAGE IT!

W7, W8, and especially W10 are NOT Windows XP. So we need to stop treating them like they are. The default settings in Windows most likely really are the best settings for your computer - regardless who you are or how you have your computer hardware configured.

If you want to set a manual size, fine. That is certainly your right. But don't let anyone on this, or any other site tell you that you don't need a PF, or what size to set it to. You need to calculate that yourself. Don't know how? That should tell you to let Windows manage it. But if still stubborn, do it right. Study Mark Russinovich's (the world's preeminent - I kid you not! - expert on virtual memory management) Pushing the Limits of Windows: Virtual Memory and learn about commit limits, pool usage, and memory mapping and do it the right way.

i have manged for a great many years without one on my main desktop machine bill.. can you please explain to me how i have managed to do this if having one is essential..

also if a swap file is essential why does windows give you the option to turn such an essential thing off.. :)

i await your answer bill.

and you are right about the "here we go again".. swapfile discussions have been cropping up on this forum for more years than i care to remember.. taking part in such discussions was one of the reasons i first turned mine off.. its been off as my standard practice along with the hibernation file i never use ever since.. it saves me 30 gigs of disk space on my small easy to back up C drive..

trog
 
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How hard to wash of those damn snake oil stains!
 
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i have manged for a great many years without one on my main desktop machine bill.. can you please explain to me how i have managed to do this if having one is essential..
Where did I say it was essential for Windows to run? I didn't.

Why do you assume, "because it didn't break anything" is a valid excuse to disable it? That, to me, is like saying I got rid of my spare tire. I never got a flat so I guess I was right to get rid of my spare tire. Is a spare tire essential? Nope.

Why do you assume because you cannot "see" any degradation that disabling the PF is "better".

Why do you assume just because Microsoft gives the option to disable the PF that disabling the PF is "better". They give the option to run without any security. Does that mean it is better? They give us the option change display resolutions to something other than the recommended setting. Does that mean it is better to change them?

Show us a real study - with scientific tests that actually measure results - that shows, for the majority of users, disabling the PF is "better".

Show us where running without a PF for years without problems is valid evidence and justification for running without a PF in Windows 10 to make it run "better".

Are you a virtual memory expert? Do you fully understand commit levels, pool usage, memory mapping? If so, great! But that again does not mean what works for you is best for everyone, or anyone else.

Normally in an Enterprise arena
What does the Enterprise arena have to do with discussions in these forums where we have "normal" users in home environments?

Using exceptions to justify a cause, as though the exceptions apply to the majority is just twisted. I really don't understand why some feel citing some unrelated example is valid rationalization to justify their position - especially in technical debates!

also if a swap file is essential why does windows give you the option to turn such an essential thing off..
Because (1) there is in some cases, reason to move the PF to a secondary and faster or larger drive. So you may want to disable it on the boot drive. And there are some cases, POS computers or "workstations" for example, where a PF is not needed. But again, those are exceptions, not the normal, home computer scenarios.
 
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In the March addition of MaximumPC there is a good article on streamlining and optimizing Windows. What services, features. You can shut off. Nowhere does it sujest messing with the page file.
 
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yes bill.. sorry i misunderstood you i thought you were saying it is essential.. now you claim you never said that.. he he

my mistake.. he he

trog
 
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