Change the Custom Pagefile Size on Windows 7 computer.

When setting a custom pagefile through the windows gui interface, which of the following is correct?
Example: 2GB Custom Pagefile

Do you enter:

Minimum: 2000
Maximum: 2000

OR

Minimum: 2048
Maximum: 2048

There are references from Microsoft Windows articles that say "2000" without the ending numbers.

However, there are just as many articles by others that use "2048" since it follows 4kb paging multiples.

 

I would be inclined to believe the Microsoft Support articles, which show pagefiles as being entered in flat numbers, like 3000 and 4000, but as I've seen soo many times over the years, many of those web pages are often refuted by a plethora of people, some of which have great clout, like Mark Russinovich. And then sometimes, the articles are simply outdated, so they no longer apply.

 

*Also, whatever is the correct answer, does it apply to all versions of Windows?

Answer
Answer

For the average user which makes up the vast majority of windows users, I agree, system managed is the best.

 

The reason I'm asking though, is because I am an avid tweaker, and hardcore gamer. I strive to get the absolute most out of my machine, and operating system.

 

For those types of people, system managed is not good.

 

I finally found an answer with information to back it up, during my countless hours of research...

I read this article several times, including many many others:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2160852

There is a small key piece of information that shows what is correct:

"When the memory being used by all the existing processes exceeds the available RAM, the operating system moves pages (4-KB pieces) of one or more virtual address spaces to the computer’s hard disk. This frees that RAM frame for other uses"

[4-KB] pieces is the important part.

In order to get the most EFFICIENT use of your pagefile it should be set in multiples of 4.

There is no incorrect size per say, but if you want it to be most efficient, for those of us that have performance/stability OCD in our computers and like to tweak everything perfectly. Use a multiple of 4.

I.E. 1024, 2048, etc.

Also, for those that are curious for more info. A pagefile is REQUIRED by many games and applications to even Launch. Also, if you enable the console in-game and read the data after launching the program, (for those games/programs that do start without a pagefile) check your application log files, you may find errors when you set pagefile to disabled. Most programs will run with it disabled, but they often complain about it.

Yes there is a stupidly miniscule performance increase by disabling the pagefile, due to a reduction in system overhead, however it's so small (do your own testing and benchmarks, it's only a few points) that you ultimately lose as much as you gain, or more, in terms of stability. Also, because you now have extra data being written to those log files, you have increased overhead from hard drive writes, thus losing any performance benefit you just gained.

Everyone argues this issue so often, but never really says "WHY" to disable it, or to set it. Those are the reasons, and you can test them yourselves. They are true, I've done it multiple times and tested it over and over, in my quest for the perfectly tweaked system for hardcore gaming. Its fairly easy to do.

Also, for those who want the most optimum setup, you'll also want to set the minimum and maximum size to the same amount.

This helps prevent the pagefile from being fragmented, due to fluctuating sizing. Also it helps to alleviate issues on the hard disk platter, because games and other software will get installed in the spaces adjacent to the pagefile, so if you have a pagefile that needs to grow due to heavy computer usage, it has nowhere to grow, so it literally moves and recreates itself to the next open block of your hard drive, which is further back on the plates, which as many people know, the further back you go on a hard drive, the slower the access times are.

 

The best thing to do for these types of users, is to disable pagefile completely (steps can be found on google) after a FRESH install of the OS. Then defrag the hard drive to make it contiguous. Restart PC, wait for everything to finish loading, all background process to finish. Then defrag one more time, including the Freespace on the drive, only specialized defragmenters can do this, IE. Defraggler by Piriform for example. Then set the pagefile to a static number, like 2048-2048 min/max.

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Last updated March 15, 2018 Views 1,632 Applies to: