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Virtual Memory Questions


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#1
dyslexic

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I just bought a new hard drive and I have seen people recommend a partition for virtual memory. I have 1GB of RAM and rarely come close to using all of it. Only when running demanding games and I plan on getting Half Life 2 pretty soon.
I dont really understand how virtual memory works but why is it that it should be 1.5 times more than my RAM? Since i have more ram than someone with 512MB wouldnt i need a smaller paging file since my actual RAM could take care of more programs?
Windows isn't using virtual memory at the moment since i am not doing anything that takes more than 1 gig of RAM, right?

So is a partition needed or even a large paging file size for that matter? And if so, how big? I have two drives currently, a 120 gig and 160 gig.
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#2
Hardhead

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Hello dyslexic,

Here's 2 pages about how virtual memory works. Look here and here for a better understanding.
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#3
nestorey

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in a nutshell virtual memory is the moving of program files that are open but idle at the moment from the memory to the harddrive so that the memory can be utilized by programs that are currently being used by the processor. moving your virtual memory off of your boot partition will improve performance by not allowing the OS files to interfere with the virtual memory (or page file). it's true that you should set the size to 1.5 what your actual memory is. being that you have so much mem i can't imagine your HD can't handle sparing 1.5 gogs to accomidate your VM. another tip is to set the initial size to the same valuable as the maximum allowable size...again this should be 1.5 gigs (values must be set in megs) and on a different partition than your OS files.
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#4
dyslexic

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hmm. so the drive that is going to have XP on it is 7200rpm but it will also have my programs on it. So the threads are more likely to be busy most of the time. Maybe putting the partition with the page file on my second 5400rpm drive would be best even though it is slower because there will only be data files there. Playing movies probably won't require more than 1GB of RAM.
Thanks for the links Hardhead but i only need to know one last thing and i dont have time to read all that right now. Is the page file in use if not all of my physical RAM is being used?
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#5
nestorey

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not for sure on that but i can't see why it would be...
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#6
Hardhead

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Hello dyslexic,
I have to agree with nestorey. With 1GB of Ram, I see no reason to worry about changing any VM setting with the size of Ram that you currently have. I use the philosophy, if it's not broke don't fix it.

by Alex Nichol

Should the file be left on Drive C:?

The slowest aspect of getting at a file on a hard disk is in head movement (‘seeking’). If you have only one physical drive then the file is best left where the heads are most likely to be, so where most activity is going on — on drive C:. If you have a second physical drive, it is in principle better to put the file there, because it is then less likely that the heads will have moved away from it. If, though, you have a modern large size of RAM, actual traffic on the file is likely to be low, even if programs are rolled out to it, inactive, so the point becomes an academic one. If you do put the file elsewhere, you should leave a small amount on C: — an initial size of 2MB with a Maximum of 50 is suitable — so it can be used in emergency. Without this, the system is inclined to ignore the settings and either have no page file at all (and complain) or make a very large one indeed on C:

In relocating the page file, it must be on a ‘basic’ drive. Windows XP appears not to be willing to accept page files on ‘dynamic’ drives.

NOTE: If you are debugging crashes and wish the error reporting to make a kernel or full dump, then you will need an initial size set on C: of either 200 MB (for a kernel dump) or the size of RAM (for a full memory dump). If you are not doing so, it is best to make the setting to no more than a ‘Small Dump’, at Control Panel | System | Advanced, click Settings in the ‘Startup and Recovery’ section, and select in the ‘Write Debug information to’ panel


Thanks for the links Hardhead but i only need to know one last thing and i dont have time to read all that right now. Is the page file in use if not all of my physical RAM is being used?

Virtual Memory is always in use, even when the memory required by all running processes does not exceed the amount of RAM installed on the system.
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#7
dyslexic

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should the VM partition be FAT32 or NFTS?
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#8
Hardhead

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Depending on which drive you plan on using and if it is FAT32 or NFTS.

http://www.theelderg...file_system.htm

Edit: Let me also add this link too.
http://www.digit-lif...tfs/index3.html

Edited by Hardhead, 30 May 2005 - 11:40 AM.

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