Swap File and Virtual Memory

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Jack, Jul 17, 2003.

  1. Jack

    Jack Guest

    Hey,

    I've just purchased a new laptop with 1024MB of DDR SDRAM (PC2700 333mhz)
    with a 40gig 5400 RPM hard drive and a 120gig external 7200 firewire HD.
    Two questions -

    Which HD would allow for a faster swap file? The 5400 internal, or the 7200
    firewire?

    Second, how big would you reocmmend a swap file to be? What criteria should
    I use to determine it's size?

    Yours,
    Jack
    Jack, Jul 17, 2003
    #1
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  2. Jack

    Win Guest

    with that much ram who needs a swap file
    firewire would be saster I think
    go to google and type
    hard disk drive speed test download
    in win 3.1 swapfile was 2.5 times total ram
    and that is as far as I know still recomened
    ie win98 pc with 64 ram the above would be fine
    but win98 with 128 ram probably would not need 3?? of ram
    but for you I recon no swap file or 512
    Win

    "Jack" <> wrote in message news:mKtRa.80501$N7.10672@sccrnsc03...
    > Hey,
    >
    > I've just purchased a new laptop with 1024MB of DDR SDRAM (PC2700 333mhz)
    > with a 40gig 5400 RPM hard drive and a 120gig external 7200 firewire HD.
    > Two questions -
    >
    > Which HD would allow for a faster swap file? The 5400 internal, or the

    7200
    > firewire?
    >
    > Second, how big would you reocmmend a swap file to be? What criteria

    should
    > I use to determine it's size?
    >
    > Yours,
    > Jack
    >
    >
    Win, Jul 17, 2003
    #2
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  3. Jack

    Ron Martell Guest

    "Win" <> wrote:

    >with that much ram who needs a swap file


    Everyone, especially if they want to get full value from the RAM.




    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    --
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service
    http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

    "The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much."
    Ron Martell, Jul 17, 2003
    #3
  4. Jack

    Ron Martell Guest

    "Jack" <> wrote:

    >Hey,
    >
    >I've just purchased a new laptop with 1024MB of DDR SDRAM (PC2700 333mhz)
    >with a 40gig 5400 RPM hard drive and a 120gig external 7200 firewire HD.
    >Two questions -
    >
    >Which HD would allow for a faster swap file? The 5400 internal, or the 7200
    >firewire?
    >
    >Second, how big would you reocmmend a swap file to be? What criteria should
    >I use to determine it's size?
    >


    What version of Windows?

    With a new machine I will assume that it is Windows XP.

    Is the external drive always going to be connected? Always, without
    exception? It will *never* happen that the computer will be booted up
    without the external drive being connected?

    Windows XP supports the use of multiple paging (=swap) files and with
    2 physical drives it is generally good practice to configure a paging
    file on each drive. Windows can then use whichever file is most
    efficient for a given circumstance.

    With 1 gb of RAM you are probably not going to encounter much (if any)
    actual movement of memory pages back and forth between the paging file
    and RAM. However the paging file is still important because the
    memory manager can use space in the paging file, or even the
    *potential* to create that space should it be needed, in order to
    satisfy the memory address space requirements of the unused portions
    of memory allocation requests. And because Windows components and
    application programs invariably request memory allocations that are
    larger, sometimes very much larger, than they actually need in normal
    usage, these unused portions can add up to a very substantial amount.

    That is why it is important to have a paging file with XP. With no
    paging file then Windows must allocate RAM for all requested memory,
    even the excessive portions.

    Some other considerations affecting the paging file:

    1. Windows XP uses the paging file on the boot drive for system
    failure memory dumps. The paging file on this drive must therefore
    be large enough to hold the contents of whichever memory dump option
    is selected. The default setting is "complete memory dump" but this
    can be easily changed in Control Panel - System - Advanced - Startup
    and Recover Settings. I normally choose either the "small memory
    dump" or "none". And while you are in this screen you should also
    deselect the "automatically restart" checkbox in the System Failure
    section.

    2. If you have multiple users configured on the computer and if fast
    user switching is in effect then the paging file is used to roll out
    the memory contents of the previous user. So if several users are
    regularly switching back and forth during the day this could require a
    fairly substantial paging file size.


    However for normal use I would configure the system with a paging file
    on each drive. On the boot drive I would set the minimum to 50 mb and
    the maximum to 500 mb. On the removable drive I might try similar
    settings but would probably increase the maximum to 1 gb or so.

    I would be very surprised if the actual size of either paging file
    ever got above the minimum, but the potential ability to do so will
    allow Windows XP to use your RAM to maximum effectiveness.

    Good luck


    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    --
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service
    http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

    "The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much."
    Ron Martell, Jul 17, 2003
    #4
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