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Windows 7 Thread, Do we still need virtual memory? in Technical; I've noticed that a great deal of cheap PCs now are shipping with 8GB or more RAM, my workstation here ...
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    chazzy2501's Avatar
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    Do we still need virtual memory?

    I've noticed that a great deal of cheap PCs now are shipping with 8GB or more RAM, my workstation here has 16GB of RAM. I'm wondering if I really still need Virtual RAM enabled?

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    I believe you need a minimum amount of pagefile (256mb iirc) to allow crash dumps, but to be honest, other than that... not for 90% of use cases, no.

    But then there's probably not much reason to disable it unless you're really low on space on your C drive; it's not likely to significantly impact SSD lifespan given that you need to be writing something like 40Gb a day to a drive for 5 years to wear it out.

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    chazzy2501's Avatar
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    Most of my machines still have HDD, I was wondering if the OS was using the virtual memory in preference to RAM and slowing the PC down. I hate to see my HDD thrashing around for no good reason.

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    i have found on machines with >4GB ram keeping a small page file for system dumps is still useful and i have noticed a problem with performance on either normal HDD/SSD. you can fix a min and max size to stop it from growing if windows decides the need..

    and to be honest on a pc with 8GB of ram in the average home isnt going to be taxing that hardly so there isnt a need for a page file of any great size

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    ive actually had a program(s) fail in the past if i turned off virtual memory it just refused to load (cant remember what it was though)

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    Some old apps do trip up without a page file so its easier to just leave it there for compatibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazzy2501 View Post
    I'm wondering if I really still need Virtual RAM enabled?
    The answer is yes. 16GB may sound like a lot of RAM, but it isn't.



    Quote Originally Posted by chazzy2501 View Post
    I hate to see my HDD thrashing around for no good reason.
    If you disable the pagefile, you will get more thrashing, not less.

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    If you disable the page file Windows will usually create a new, temporary page file when you re-boot. It is not a good idea to run without a page file.

    If you have the disk space it is best to set the Windows page file to a fixed size on day one (after running Defrag). That way the page file doesn't get fragmented. (I always set the maximum reccomended size, which is usually about double the RAM value.)

    If you have a second hard drive installed, set the page file on that, rather than your system drive. Your OS will read and write to two separate drives much quicker than one!

    Nigel.
    Last edited by Naughty_Nigel; 2nd July 2012 at 09:58 AM.

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