Swap file question

Discussion in 'Installation, Setup and Updates' started by losgood, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. losgood

    losgood

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    I'm doing a new build and will have 2 WD Caviar black 750 GB HDDs installed. I'll be setting up the swap files on the second drive and I had a couple of questions. I'll be installing 8 gigs of RAM, so should I set the swap file partition as 1.5 times the RAM (12 gigs) or would it hurt to make it a bit bigger to accommodate more RAM in the future? Or do I even need to have that much? And I read that you should provide at least a gig of swap file space on the OS partition as well. I've also read that only having the swap file on the other drive is fine. Which route allows for better performance and system stability? Thanks.
    losgood, Sep 5, 2011
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  2. losgood

    Ace Microsoft MVP

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    I would personally just let windows manage the page file, unless you really want to fool around with it. It should be adjusted to your current computer settings though, never futuristic changes, you change it when you need to change it to suit newer specs if that's what you want to do when you add more RAM
    Ace, Sep 5, 2011
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  3. losgood

    Elmer BeFuddled Resident eejit VIP Member

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    I've set up my page file as you are going to do, on my second drive. I've allowed 2 times my 4gb of Ram (8Gb) for the page files partition size. And I leave Windows to manage the actual page file size. Currently (and usually) stays around the 3.8Gb - 4.0Gb in size.
    Elmer BeFuddled, Sep 5, 2011
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  4. losgood

    losgood

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    Yeah, I was just saying that I'm going to set up a small partition at the beginning of the second drive for the swap file, and I was wondering if I ought to make a bit bigger than I need right now for future use. Windows could still use what it needs anyway, right? It would just be on a slightly larger partition, say 20 gigs instead of 10 or 12, for example.
    losgood, Sep 5, 2011
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  5. losgood

    losgood

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    I was planning on letting Windows control the file size. I was just going to move it for the performance boost, however much it is. Did you leave a small swap file on your OS drive as well?
    losgood, Sep 5, 2011
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  6. losgood

    Elmer BeFuddled Resident eejit VIP Member

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    No, I moved the lot over, the fiddly (read pain in the butt!) part was making sure the page file partition was at the beginning of the second disc. Just took a bit of juggling with files / partitions to get it there.

    Me? If I had 8Gb of RAM and working on the 1.5 factor (but as you say let Windows physically control its size) I'd set my partition at 16, maybe 20Gb for a round number, depending on space, which, on paper, will not be a problem for you!

    **For page file read Swap file!! Its been a long day ;)
    Elmer BeFuddled, Sep 6, 2011
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  7. losgood

    losgood

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    Cool...that's what I thought, but wanted to be sure before I dive into it. I'm going to set a small partition at the beginning of the second drive for the page file and use the rest for storage. I'll probably make an 80 or 100 gig partition on the first drive for the OS and the rest for backup. Ought to work fine. I can't wait to get this build going! :trytofly:
    losgood, Sep 6, 2011
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  8. losgood

    Nibiru2012 Quick Scotty, beam me up! Moderator

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    I have 6 GB of RAM and use only a 1GB swap file with no issues at all.

    The more RAM one has the smaller the swap or paging file can be.

    Let's say theoretically that you use a 12 GB swap file size, lock it to that size permanently because believe me it won't ever get bigger than that at all. Make your 1st partition on the 2nd hard drive at 16 GB max and you'll be fine.

    Personally, you could get by with a 2 GB Page File with no issues at all. Then I would make the partition no bigger than say 3 or 4 GB max.
    Nibiru2012, Sep 6, 2011
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  9. losgood

    clifford_cooley VIP Member

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    ????

    Is there a 12GB file size limit?
    clifford_cooley, Sep 6, 2011
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  10. losgood

    Nibiru2012 Quick Scotty, beam me up! Moderator

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    No Cliff, it is just when one sets the parameters in the swap file box. It gives several ways to do it.

    [​IMG]
    Nibiru2012, Sep 6, 2011
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  11. losgood

    Thrax Moderator

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    FWIW, I have completely disabled the page file on my computers with 6 and 8GB of RAM, respectively. They don't seem to have suffered for it.
    Thrax, Sep 6, 2011
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  12. losgood

    clifford_cooley VIP Member

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    I turned my Pagefile off too back when I was using XP and never noticed a difference either until the moment I actually ran out of memory. Trust me if you ever need a Pagefile and you don't have it setup, you will experience a very sluggish system if not a complete shut down. After that I started setting my pagefile to 512MB for XP and 1GB for Windows 7. If the system ever needs a larger pagefile, it will adjust the size automatically. I now have 8GB of memory and may do as Thrax once again. After hearing Thrax's comment, I know I will once I purchase an SSD.
    clifford_cooley, Sep 6, 2011
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  13. losgood

    losgood

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    So is a small swap file required with the OS or can I just just make the separate file on the other drive?
    losgood, Sep 6, 2011
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  14. losgood

    clifford_cooley VIP Member

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    Having a Pagefile on the OS drive is not required. In fact moving the Pagefile off of the OS drive is recommended when using an SSD.
    clifford_cooley, Sep 6, 2011
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  15. losgood

    Ace Microsoft MVP

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    No because it's really hard to use up 6-8GB RAM for most average computer users though, but for high intensive memory use, it would make a difference. The reason why people don't notice a difference with a swap file if they have lots of physical RAM is because the physical installed memory has to be used up before the virtual does it's thing.

    If you do create a page file though, you need to make sure that it's on the main partition of whatever drive it's being created for if you have your main OS drive split up into several partitions. Keep the others empty.

    My current settings are set up like this:
    Untitled.png

    But I have 8GB of installed memory on my system. I have 4 RAM sockets that each hold 2GB cards
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
    Ace, Sep 6, 2011
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  16. losgood

    Thrax Moderator

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    You can put the swap file on any drive or partition you like. You don't need to do this:

    Thrax, Sep 6, 2011
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  17. losgood

    Ace Microsoft MVP

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    It's suggested that you put it on the first partition of the drive however. And if you only have one hard drive or your secondary drives are a lot slower than your primary then you shouldn't be managing the page file manually.
    Ace, Sep 6, 2011
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  18. losgood

    TrainableMan ^ The World's First ^ Moderator

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    Thrax, I think the idea of putting it on the first partition has to do with a slightly faster seek time if you create the swap partition right where the heads are parked; I remember Nibs mentioning this a long time ago too. But, yes it will function on any partition.

    Personally I think you should just create a 10GB (if you do huge graphics projects etc then maybe 16GB but I doubt you'll ever use near that) partition right on the front of your second HD losgood, and then ONLY put the swapfile on that partition, nothing else.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
    TrainableMan, Sep 6, 2011
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  19. losgood

    Super Sarge

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    I have 12 gig of Memory, I just let windows handle the Swap file, with a 1.5 TB drive the 12 gig swap file is taking up a minor amount of space it may never be used but is there if needed. Also if you have a crash the swap file is needed to record the memory dump to create the mini-dump file at least that is my understanding. I have also read that some programs may require a swap file, such as Cad and graphics programs
    Super Sarge, Sep 6, 2011
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  20. losgood

    clifford_cooley VIP Member

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    If I'm not needing the use of a Pagefile, I would prefer to not set one up.

    If anyone makes regular disk image backups, the pagefile will add to the size of your disk image backup file. For anyone that doesn't use Hibernation, Hibernation can be disabled to remove the hibernation file. The hibernation file also adds to the size of your disk image backup file.

    Basically drive space is being wasted and for every disk image backup created, this wasted space multiplies. And the kicker behind all this is that, the ratio of wasted space is a side effect of having more memory than the system really needs to begin with.

    Everyone keeps talking about CAD program this, CAD program that, or Graphically Intense applications. The fact of the matter is these people that do use these apps, know who they are and what they need to run them. Bringing these scenarios up is pointless every time the topic of purchasing memory arises. If someone has to ask how much memory they need, chances are very high they don't have these applications.
    clifford_cooley, Sep 6, 2011
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