Question Page file usage in relation to total RAM usage

ShangWang

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I know it's best for windows to manage your PF, but I would like to set it static anyway just because I feel more comfortable with it even though it makes no difference in performance.

In general will PF be utilized more when RAM usage is 90%+, or does it not matter?

What would be the approximate max PF Windows would use with RAM usage that is more or less 50%, and would it ever be higher than 4096mb?
 

USAFRet

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Pagefile is used when the system runs out of physical RAM.

It is a temporary space to hold stuff that otherwise would be in RAM.
As opposed to tossing it out completely, due to running out of RAM space.

How much physical RAM do you have?
 
for a while it was suggested to keep your Page File matching the total size of your RAM or even double.
i kept up this practice until RAM sizes became much larger.
at 16GB i left it at a static 8GB, now at 32GB i've kept it at a static 16GB on a single but separate disk.

with this much RAM it really isn't necessary for the tasks that i perform but it's just a habit i've developed after decades of computing.
leaving it as managed by the OS should be fine for average use.
will PF be utilized more when RAM usage is 90%+, or does it not matter?
if files being loaded exceeded the last 10% of RAM left, definitely.
 

ShangWang

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Pagefile is used when the system runs out of physical RAM.

It is a temporary space to hold stuff that otherwise would be in RAM.
As opposed to tossing it out completely, due to running out of RAM space.

How much physical RAM do you have?
I have 16GB, I believe PF is used regardless of the current RAM usage, but will definitely increase when near the max.
If I am only using up to 80% of total RAM, approximately how many mb of page file would I be using, and would it ever exceed 4096mb?
 

ShangWang

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for a while it was suggested to keep your Page File matching the total size of your RAM or even double.
i kept up this practice until RAM sizes became much larger.
at 16GB i left it at a static 8GB, now at 32GB i've kept it at a static 16GB on a single but separate disk.

with this much RAM it really isn't necessary for the tasks that i perform but it's just a habit i've developed after decades of computing.
leaving it as managed by the OS should be fine for average use.

if files being loaded exceeded the last 10% of RAM left, definitely.
Thanks, I'm in the habit too but I keep the static size smaller because I am quite cautious about ever using too much of my RAM. I recently upgraded so I really doubt I'd ever even exceed 80% based on my past usage. Do you think page file usage could ever exceed past 2GB or 3GB during normal usage?
 
I know it's best for windows to manage your PF, but I would like to set it static anyway just because I feel more comfortable with it even though it makes no difference in performance.

In general will PF be utilized more when RAM usage is 90%+, or does it not matter?

What would be the approximate max PF Windows would use with RAM usage that is more or less 50%, and would it ever be higher than 4096mb?
Just a comment.
We all run our machines different.
I don't have a clue how windows handles the page file.
Does it do preemptive swapping or does it wait for the ram to fill to some trip point....beats me.

I don't use a page file one less thing for windows to do.
I've seen no negative effect.
 

USAFRet

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I have 16GB, I believe PF is used regardless of the current RAM usage, but will definitely increase when near the max.
If I am only using up to 80% of total RAM, approximately how many mb of page file would I be using, and would it ever exceed 4096mb?
Yes, there may be a tiny bit of swapping, even if you are not 'out of RAM'.

"approx how much" is not a number than can be predicted.
The OS uses what it needs, and swaps what it needs, when it needs.
 
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USAFRet

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Just a comment.
We all run our machines different.
I don't have a clue how windows handles the page file.
Does it do preemptive swapping or does it wait for the ram to fill to some trip point....beats me.

I don't use a page file one less thing for windows to do.
I've seen no negative effect.
Having NO pagefile can impact crash diagnosis.
Windows often writes any possible crash info to the pagefile for recovery later.
 

ShangWang

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Yes, there may be a tiny bit of swapping, even if you are not 'out of RAM'.

"approx how much" is not a number than can be predicted.
The OS uses what it needs, and swaps what it needs, when it needs.
Thanks! Though generally would you say 4096mb is more than enough if I never exceed 80%?
 

ShangWang

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True....have not had any crashes either.
If that stuff starts happening I'll enable the swap file.
So far no negative effects with it off.
You're not missing out on much by turning it off honestly. If I were you I'd be on the safer side and set it to at least 1GB unless you don't have that much space at all. Windows supposedly does use PF regardless of RAM usage during normal use for most computers, not sure why some do not react to not having a PF.
 

ShangWang

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Probably.

Back when I had a tiny SSD (120GB) and 16GB RAM, I set it as 1GB min/max, just to preserve drive space.
Never had an issue.

You're overthinking this.

Set it at X. Or System Managed.
If you see issues, change it.
Hello, I apologize for overthinking about RAM usage but I was just wondering if the phrase "unused RAM is wasted RAM" is really true if you're running a game with 90%+ total RAM usage due to more page file swapping.

What kind of performance loss would you see with high RAM usage, or will you not actually notice any effect?

Wouldn't the game have high RAM priority so it would only utilize physical RAM and not suffer from page file swapping/high RAM usage, or would it still suffer in some way, and how would that performance loss look like? FPS drops/stuttering?
 

USAFRet

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unused RAM.

If you have 32GB RAM, and you system never ever goes over 15GB actual used RAM...most of that RAM ($$) is just sitting there wasted.

Like having an 8 passenger SUV, and never carrying more than 2 people.


Software will only use what it needs. Anything more than that is just sitting around.
 

ShangWang

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unused RAM.

If you have 32GB RAM, and you system never ever goes over 15GB actual used RAM...most of that RAM ($$) is just sitting there wasted.

Like having an 8 passenger SUV, and never carrying more than 2 people.


Software will only use what it needs. Anything more than that is just sitting around.
I see, though I'm wondering when that saying should not be completely true when you're using almost all of it in regards to game performance.

I'm asking what kind of performance drop you would see when using 90%+ total RAM when using a game, or if you wouldn't see any performance drop and why for whichever the answer is regarding page file.
 
I see, though I'm wondering when that saying should not be completely true when you're using almost all of it in regards to game performance.

I'm asking what kind of performance drop you would see when using 90%+ total RAM when using a game, or if you wouldn't see any performance drop and why for whichever the answer is regarding page file.
I think your into what triggers windows to send stuff to the page file and when the trigger happens what stuff does windows pick to send.

If the stuff that's picked is needed for the game then it will need to be rolled back as needed.

That would likely cause some game delay and stuttering.
 
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ShangWang

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I think your into what triggers windows to send stuff to the page file and when the trigger happens what stuff does windows pick to send.

If the stuff that's picked is needed for the game then it will need to be rolled back as needed.

That would likely cause some game delay and stuttering.
I see, thanks! So even if your game is something that consumes a lot of RAM/is high priority, it will not use virtual RAM, but will be forced to release it for other programs at 90%+ total usage?

At this stage you will only see momentary stutters and FPS drops, but it won't be a constant performance drop because there is just not enough RAM to consistently be utilized without constant page file swapping?
 
I see, thanks! So even if your game is something that consumes a lot of RAM/is high priority, it will not use virtual RAM, but will be forced to release it for other programs at 90%+ total usage?

At this stage you will only see momentary stutters and FPS drops, but it won't be a constant performance drop because there is just not enough RAM to consistently be utilized without constant page file swapping?
I have no idea how the page file functions.
The how/when/why beats me.
I just look at it as an extension of ram that the OS does magic with.
 

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