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Thread: Setting Virtual Memory???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Van Nuys, CA

    Setting Virtual Memory???

    What is the best way to set the Virtual memory for best performance. I was told to set the min and max the that true?? I have 512 megs now...I have heard to set it to 1 and 1/2 the amount I have...for ex:1280 or just my ram amount plus half it's value...for ex:768...Is this true???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Ladysmith, BC Canada
    I read somewhere quite some time ago to set both the minimum and the maximum at twice your installed memory. I did it about 18 months ago and everythings been fine since.

  3. #3
    Member shahani's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Fort Lee, NJ, usa
    Yeah, 2-2.5 times RAM is what I use on a separate patrician dedicated to the page file only. Read some where that way it doesn't get fragmented. But I am not sure how valid this is over a range of RAM. I mean, if you have 1Gb of RAM, do you set it at 2.5GB? Do you even need it?

    In general, though, I would say 2 times is OK but but it on a separate partition on your fastest drive.

    There is a long discussion on this at SysOpt. Don't know if it's been imported here.

  4. #4
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Dallas, Tx
    With 512 I'd just let windows mamage it.

    The following is from a member named jerryctx. I've always liked the story:

    Swap file performance can (at least, theoretically) be improved by creating a fixed size swap file.
    However, the real performance issue is how often swaps are necessary.

    When virtual memory (aka swap file) was developed, computers were big and had many users. The operating system gave control to each user in turn for a fraction of a second. Because each user was running a different program (or a separate copy of a program), swaps generally occurred many times a second. Optimizing the virtual memory really mattered. It might avoid the need to buy a bigger, faster computer which in those days could cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yes, I am an old fogey but this was still true just 10 or 15 years ago. Its still true today with computers running multi-user OS's (Windows 2000, Unix, Linux, etc) although the hardware is a lot cheaper.

    However, Windows 98 is a single user system. Although it is multi-tasking, swaps are usually infrequent. For example, as I write this I have anti-virus, firewall, communications, browser and a few other processes "running". That is, their code is distributed across real and virtual memory. But swaps (according to System Monitor) are rare. The anti-virus hasn't been activated because I haven't started any processes. The firewall probably hasn't caused a swap because the only packets exchanged were normal HTTP messages (no hacker activity) and so on.

    A single user tends to use the same program for minutes at a time. Even if you are editing a publication, for example, and jumping back and forth between word processing and graphic apps, you'll be switching a few times a minute, at most, compared to switches dozens of times per second for multiple users.

    The memory management system keeps the most active programs (actually pieces of programs) in memory. With a single user there may be a flurry of swaps just after a new app is started. But it settles down after the most used programs have been swapped into memory.

    Forgive the long winded sermon... The point is that Win 98 users probably wont notice the performance difference no matter how you configure the swap file UNLESS you are very short of real memory, say less than 32M. And memory is cheap. Buy some more and see a real improvement.

    1: Install 128M memory

    2: Don't worry about swap files

    3: Enjoy your computer

  5. #5
    Xtreme Member NDC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Burbank, CA
    First of all, I would recommend you...

    1) Go to run and type sysedit

    2) Close all file except system.ini

    3) Look for a line that says [386Enh] and add
    ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1 just below [386Enh]



    4) Reboot the system....

    This will enable your OS to use as much of the physical memory before turning to the virtual memory...

    After that's been done, read here.

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Hagerstown, Maryland
    Steve & NDC are correct. With only 128 Megs of RAM, I cannot get my W95 system to use any swap-file unless deliberately using a stress-test program like HeavyLoad.exe, or taking a huge bitmap in primitive Micro$$ Paint and rotating it. Newer graphics programs use better programming techniques and can manipulate graphics w/o as much memory use.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    swap file size should be 2 times your RAM, and don't bother making it more than 350 MB.

    making the min and max the same size does 2 things. the first is keeping it from getting framented. the second is that your system does not have to dynamically increase or shrink the size of the swap file. that hinders system performance.

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