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Brent-- asked on

Should I change the size of my page file?


If I change the size of the page file, will I see an increase in system performance?

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Brent-- replied on


Leaving the page file size set to automatic is generally the most efficient setting.  Any improvement that you might see by increasing the file size would be minimal at best.

A good explanation of what virtual memory is and how the page file works can be found at: 


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Pyryara replied on


That is not entirely correct. Generally it is a bad idea to just set the size of the page file to automatic because changing its size leads of course to fragmentation, and makes it slower.

If you have the space, set the paging file size to twice your RAM size. Make it at least 2GB however. If you can, chose a hard drive for it that does not contain Windows Vista and the programs that you want to run. This will allow faster transfer of data as it's slower when a hard drive has to read data and write it to itself then when it reads the data only and the other hard drive writes it. The performance increase is not great, but noticeable.
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Hordie replied on


Pyryara said:

That is not entirely correct. Generally it is a bad idea to just set the size of the page file to automatic because changing its size leads of course to fragmentation, and makes it slower.

Sorry, but your logic is flawed.

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Chris Federico replied on
Umm Pyryara is dead on ..

I always set the maximum and Minimum setting to the same number .Like Pyryara said if you have another Physical Drive its wise to move the page file to that drive . Not the whole page file though I usually leave a 50 MB page file on the C drive for mini dumps in case Windows Blue screens .

You will get much better performance that way . There will be little page file fragmentation also .



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legierk replied on


I also set mine to twice the RAM size with about 50mb difference. My page file is on a 150 GB RAID 0 (2x 80GB) drive set at 8100 to 8150 mb.  Don't know why I always thought it was good to have a little "play" in the size, but it's efficient for me.  BTW, the OS is on a 1Tb RAID 0 (2x 500GB) drive.
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btb42693 replied on


Ok, this is actually some good help here :) but one question...I want to move my pagefile over to an external hard drive....is this possible? And if so, how do I do it? I don't want to screw my computer up or anything. I have 3 gigs of DDR2 RAM and have 500 gigs of space on my other hard drive, so I figure that I would allocate about 6000 megs over on that hard drive, correct? I thought that if I just went into the Advanced tools located in the System settings, I could have just moved it from there but I guess that doesn't work. Any good tips? I don't know a ton about computers but I know enough to get within the "intermediate" user range. 
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Amit Mehta replied on


Hi btb42693,

You can do the same as you mention just get in your system settings and move the file from the default location to the new location where you would like to transfer.

Microsoft recomment about 1.5 times the size of the Physical memory on the computer and that would be the maximum size used by the computer no matter you increase it to any extend.



Amit mehta

Amit Mehta

Thank and Regards,
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Zantar replied on
Salutations everyone...

While true that MS suggests 1.5x of the ramm I find that this setting is for general users of an average system like most of their sugestions of this type..  We run a " Heavily Weighted " system and have always used a large page file because of it.  Thank you for the suggestion of moving the swap to a different drive.  I have considered it for several years but only recently managed a decent system with enough space...  I noticed an almost 25% performance increase over last values and an over 2 minute decrease in load time for the OS itelf, as well as quite a bit shaved so far from the average program load time and even simple things like loading of specialty webpages that have a lot of flash and the like... Most interesting.  It pays to use a fast drive for the swap.   It is one less decision for windows to make anytime you can take a setting off of " Automatic " and thus save time and usage of the CPU and other facilities in making these " Decisions " for you... Furthermopre.. Windows never sets the page file value high enough to accomodate even the " Recommended " value in the swap file settings.  I also make note that its onboard management facilities for Virtual Memory have  always been poor..   Many users I know, both those for whom We have designed and built their systems, and those who have my help to manage, tweak and customize their computers have made noe of this condition.  I was there in 1976 when the first PCs came on the market and took some of the first computing classes back in junior high.. I have never seen a computer that did not benefit from custom manipulation of the page file as per the users needs and over all usage of the system, and have owned virtually every edition of windows there is... v3.11 is even still on file for historical archive purposes..  Windows is indeed a fine operating system that has finally Graduated to a new level with Vista... Even if you DO.. Have To tweak it with a bit more refinement and sometimes more in depth than before. 

My standard values for the page file have been 3500MB minimum and 4000MB maximum for some years now..  Vista suggested that We have no less than a 200MB Swap fin case of system crash so we set those values to 300/310..

Thank you for your time and helpful suggestions..

Blessed Be...

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GrundigTheMad replied on

If I change the size of the page file, will I see an increase in system performance?

It is important to consider what type of RAM is used on the system (DDR, DDR2, etc.), if have different ram speeds and if so, is your slower ram simm holding back your faster ram due to it's location (slot) on your motherboard.   In addition, it's important to note that BIOS settings, other hardware, etc. can all limit or enhance your systems performance to such a degree that changes to your pagefile may be imperceptible.  

I would like to know what Microsoft's recommendation's are for both the Minimum and Maximum sizes, i.e. percentages of available ram.   I continually hear 1.5 or your available memory as a guideline but then why do MS Knowledge articles and Windows Help say you should at 300M to the available RAM.   Also, when you use the "automatic" settings, always uses a value that is less that the recommended amount on the Virtual Memory status frame below the list of drives.....
It's a dog eat dog world and I'm wearing Milk-Bone underwear"
Man, I gotta get some sleep!
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mighttuss replied on
I like to know what the MB should be set on 160bg WB mybook?Every time i set it says It is wrong.iIt tells me I have no access cause there is no index on the drive.
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