Speeding up winXP by increasing page file size?

By wompai ·
Hey guys,

I have been reading your "Five Tips For Speeding Up Windows XP Performance" article lately and I wondered, I've got this 500GB IDE harddrive (the only one) in my pc. I've got 1.5 GB of RAM and 768 MB page file. What amount of page file would any of you recommend? What ammount would give me the greatest performance and is there a limit to the page file size?

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All Answers

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4096 is the limit

by Slayer_ In reply to Speeding up winXP by incr ...

However, unless you are actually using page file, there won't be a performance increase. Leaving it set to system managed is usually good enough. I personally have 4gb of page file, on a second hard drive, this way the two drives can work together to speed up paging operations, but I rarely need to page. Occasionally games like Gothic 3 will cause me to page.

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If you really want to fine-tune paging,

by seanferd In reply to Speeding up winXP by incr ...

you need to estimate and start the max number of apps and open the max number of files that you would have occasion to actually use, then look at the commit. Otherwise, the 1.5 to 2 times the RAM size rule is OK.

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Other drives

by wompai In reply to Speeding up winXP by incr ...

I'm planning to build in a 10GB IDE HDD. I will only use this drive for the page file. Is it ok to use 1.5 times the RAM of page file on my standard HDD and 4096 MB on the 10GB IDE HDD?

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Other drives

I'd remove it from the standard drive, otherwise Windows will use the C drive page file first.

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Reponse To Answer

by seanferd In reply to Other drives

Yep. Paging file on one drive only.

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Paging file

I've always (if possible) put in a 2nd hard drive to use as a paging file, and in an IDE system, on the 2nd IDE connection. I then create the page file on that drive with the min and max set to 4096. I turn off the page file for the C drive. Simply put, if the paging file is on the C drive then Windows will be trying to "page" out data to the swap file while still trying to load from the same drive. If you use a 2nd drive for the paging file then "data out" is going through the 2nd connection and not using the primary connection as a paging out/reading data at the same time. I was taught this many, many years ago and it seemed like a good idea.

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by wompai In reply to Speeding up winXP by incr ...

This really helped me a lot! Thank you for your help!

I just have one other question involving page file and RAM:

If somebody would buy a small (let's say 10GB) SSD hard drive and remove as much RAM as possible so that windows is forced to page. Plus, the page file is on the SSD hard drive. What would this mean for the performence of the pc?

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Drive Always Slower than RAM

by TheChas In reply to Speeding up winXP by incr ...

Any hard drive even a SSD is ALWAYS going to be slower than system RAM. Even a RAM based rather than a flash based SSD will be slower than system RAM just because of the limits of the drive controller interface.

In theory, the more system RAM you have the less Windows will use the page file..

Perhaps the best method for overall system speed would be to go with a high RAM 64 bit system, fill all the RAM slots and then dedicate 1/2 of the RAM as a RAM drive. Place the page file on the RAM drive.

One of the primary benefits of placing the page file on a second drive is that you reduce the chance that the page file will get fragmented. The more fragmented the page file, the slower page operations run.

There is a very good article on virtual memory (page file) posted here:


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