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Is it okay to decrease virtual ram

I currently have 16gb physical memory and I dont think I need that much virtual memory allocated. or do I?

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Recommendation would be not toying with page file, especially decreasing it. 16gb isn't as big as it seems since i do see titles like WZ and MSFS hit 10gb mark easily without other programs on task manager (I do have 32 for this reason).

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17 minutes ago, John... said:

I currently have 16gb physical memory and I dont think I need that much virtual memory allocated. or do I?

It rather depends, ideally you want it to be able to page out as much of your RAM as possible in an emergency to avoid a crash.

 

It doesn't hurt to have too large a pagefile, but it does hurt to have too small.

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3GB as recommended is very little. Your system is already using 9GB as pagefile. I often go over 32GB pagefile so as a short term fix I've set 256GB max pagefile size on my HDD until I get more RAM.

 

Side note, does it matter if pagefile is set to go onto SSD or HDD?

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11 minutes ago, venomtail said:

Side note, does it matter if pagefile is set to go onto SSD or HDD?

Yes, as it will be much much slower on HDD, more likely to see your OS stutter/hang while its accessing it.

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1 minute ago, Alex Atkin UK said:

Yes, as it will be much much slower on HDD, more likely to see your OS stutter/hang while its accessing it.

I see. Doing a bit more research myself that seems to also be the case but saw a number of people saying the slower speeds are worth it because your SSD will have a dramatically shorter lifespan. Perfectly ok if someone is using an SSD purely for pagefile but not ideal if one has files on it + pagefile allocated to it.

 

How significant could this life span shortening problem be? I could look into getting a 256-500GB M.2 purely as pagefile space, since my motherboard has max 32GB RAM limit.

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6 minutes ago, venomtail said:

How significant could this life span shortening problem be?

Completely insignificant, unless you're out of RAM all the time but the PC would be unbearable to use at that point anyway.

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7 minutes ago, Kilrah said:

Completely insignificant, unless you're out of RAM all the time but the PC would be unbearable to use at that point anyway.

I am always out of RAM with productivity. A beautiful, constant 15.9GB usage line. Never thought I'd get close to 16GB of RAM usage when I built the PC but here I am.

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You should add more then, pagefile is more of an "emergency fallback" than anything. 

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The page file was expanded to 9791 MB because some programs needed more ram than what you had physical in your machine, and Windows had to move some less used data from RAM to the page file. 

If it's configured as dynamic size and there's enough free space on that drive, Windows won't bother to shrink the file even though at this moment there may be only 500 MB or 1 GB of actual paged content in the page file. 

 

Manually forcing it to a smaller size will just cause more writes because the operating system would have to clean that file more often, removing no longer needed paged stuff to make room for other stuff.

 

On a mechanical hard drive, it would make sense to have that page file as a fixed size file and at a reasonably large size (recommended 1.5x-2x the actual ram amount). 

Fixed page files can be defragmented and moved to the start of a mechanical drive, where you have the lowest access times (the drive read/write heads have to move less, and the data tracks get read much faster, because the sectors move faster under the read/write heads).

With SSDs, this is no longer any issue, wherever the data is physically located doesn't matter, all the flash chips are read at the same speed and same access time.

 

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I have mine set to 0, because for the most part I don’t need it, and to save wear and tear on my ssd.

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1 minute ago, freeagent said:

I have mine set to 0, because for the most part I don’t need it, and to save wear and tear on my ssd.

That's bad idea. Also, kinda pointless. Instead of letting the operating system move stuff if needed, you force individual applications to change their behavior and not all applications are coded well.

 

Think of it like this ... let's say your computer has 16 GB of ram and  there's 8 GB of free ram available.

You start Google Chrome and it detects how much RAM it can use... in one scenario Chrome thinks it has 8 GB because the pagefile is set to 0,  in the other scenario it thinks it has 24 GB because there's 8 GB free ram , plus Windows says there's  up to 16 GB of pagefile available.

 

Depending on how much memory is available, Chrome may change its behavior.

First scenario : I have 8 GB free, so I'll only use up to 6 GB, just in case other applications are launched and use this RAM. With only 6 GB available, I'll keep less stuff in ram, especially if there's lots of tabs, and I'll use a bigger disk cache to cache content in inactive tabs and release memory for other tabs. 

Second scenario : I have 24 GB free, I can use up to 20-24 GB and there's still gonna be room for other applications. 

 

Each time you change a tab or open a new tab, Chrome will manage the amount of memory it thinks it has available ... think what tabs were less accessed and potentially remove the stuff from that page from memory to have more free ram for the new opened tabs. 

Chrome will also more aggressively cache the content you load to disk, in order to have that cached content should it need to quickly dump that tab's content from ram to make room for new tabs. You're not writing to page file, but you may be writing more to the SSD with dumping tabs to disk, loading them back, forcing other applications to write their temporary data to disk or switch to using disk buffers because there's too little ram available... 

 

Pagefile also holds things the operating system caches and reuses every time you restart the pc.. For example Windows Explorer builds a list of icons it shows for various files... those icons can be written in the pagefile once and remain there, and next time you restart the PC Windows can load the icons in one shot instead of opening tens of DLL files and executables to extract the icons for various file types. 

Same for fonts in your Windows and other resources, they can be cached in that pagefile once and then read multiple times and you get a snappier operating system. Without page file, these things are still done, but then they stay in ram, because windows explorer is always running as the bar at the bottom with the start menu.

 

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