Virtual memory settings on new T43?

T4x series specific matters only
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alpuzz
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Virtual memory settings on new T43?

#1 Post by alpuzz » Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:19 pm

While poking around the settings on my new T43, I found that my virtual memory has been set to a custom size of 768MB.
Two questions:

1. I thought that by default, Windows is set to let the system manage the size of the swap file? If so, then was this set at the factory for some reason?
2. I have another 512MB stick on the way from Crucial. After I install it, assuming I do want to keep a custom virtual memory size, what should I set it to once I have 1GB total?

Thanks,

--Al

edmonton
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#2 Post by edmonton » Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:15 pm

I have 1GB RAM and I disabled virtual RAM. It works flawlessly.

Scorpiontico
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#3 Post by Scorpiontico » Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:02 am

edmonton wrote:I have 1GB RAM and I disabled virtual RAM. It works flawlessly.
where and how?

thanks.
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fongj
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#4 Post by fongj » Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:09 am

I don't know about this kind of stuff firsthand, but the consensus from what I just google'ed seems to recommend to leave VM on...

http://www.neowin.net/forum/lofiversion ... 21532.html
http://www.tweakhound.com/xp/xptweaks/supertweaks5.htm

kaplanfx
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#5 Post by kaplanfx » Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:12 am

Scorpiontico wrote:
where and how?

thanks.
  • right click on my computer and select properties.
  • Click on the advanced tab.
  • In the performace bubble, click the settings button.
  • click on the advanced tab, and in the last bubble marked virtual memory click on the change button.
  • now you will see the virtual memory settings for no page file (no virtual memory) select the no pagining file radio button and press the set button.
CAUTION: make sure you have "lots" of RAM before you disable the paging file. On machines with low RAM diabling the page file can make the system unbootable. Even with systems that have 512-1GB of ram, you can get out of mem errors if you diable the paging file. I recommend you choose custom size and set both the initial and maximum size to the same number (in megabytes) something like 768-1GB is adaquate for a system that has a gig of real RAM, even with apps like photoshop and many images open.

-kaplanfx
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#6 Post by emorphien » Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:13 am

VM is one of those mystical things I've never found a concise and clear opinion on. I tend to leave it on myself but most people who turn it off have no trouble. People who turn it off say it performs better, people who leave it on saying turning it off can make your system unstable.

IMO there doesn't seem to be a big difference either way although I wonder if turning off VM has any affect on battery life on a laptop.
X31, T43p (on sale soon I think :( ), T400

Scorpiontico
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#7 Post by Scorpiontico » Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:36 am

lets say i have 65 processes average and 512 ram used from 1gb, should i or could i disable virtual memory (in order to improve performance)?

thanks.
ps:sorry but i sincerely dont understand anything about virtual memory, still what i want is to improve my system's performance as much as possible.
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#8 Post by gcchatel » Mon Jun 20, 2005 10:32 pm

Scorpiontico, I'll give you a quick explanation of virtual ram and that'll give you a better idea of what to do to optimize your system using it. What virtual ram is is essentially using your hard drive as extra ram. Your OS will look at what you currently have in ram and will store the information that has not been used much on the hard disk thereby freeing up more ram for other applications. In windows land you can find that area used by the OS in a file in the root of your OS hard drive called pagefile.sys.

So for example if you opened up a program and left it alone for a while while using other programs, the OS would copy the information from that program onto the hard drive because it isn't being used often, when you then tried to use that program later, it would have to go to the hard drive to copy it back into ram and that's where you see the performance difference.

Now, when deciding what to do with your virtual memory, you have to consider if you have enough ram to cover what you need to do. If you use an application like photoshop with many pictures open, those pictures are held in ram and you could run out of ram quickly, this would be when virtual ram could be nice (i use it for this purpose). If you just use a few basic applications open at a time, you can disable your virtual memory and will see better performance because all your apps will be in ram all the time.

Maybe that was more information than you needed, but I'm sure someone out there wondered what virtual memory and that huge file in their c drive were.

:)
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Scorpiontico
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#9 Post by Scorpiontico » Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:17 pm

i dont use photoshop (not even installed) or any ram eater program in particular (maybe office 2003) but what i do use alot are games such as doom 3 and unreal2004 (and alot of media burning work)... what would you suggest if you were in my situation? remember i only have 1gb.

thanks so much... you totally rock, dude!

ps: im gonna disable it and see what happens.
gcchatel wrote:Scorpiontico, I'll give you a quick explanation of virtual ram and that'll give you a better idea of what to do to optimize your system using it. What virtual ram is is essentially using your hard drive as extra ram. Your OS will look at what you currently have in ram and will store the information that has not been used much on the hard disk thereby freeing up more ram for other applications. In windows land you can find that area used by the OS in a file in the root of your OS hard drive called pagefile.sys.

So for example if you opened up a program and left it alone for a while while using other programs, the OS would copy the information from that program onto the hard drive because it isn't being used often, when you then tried to use that program later, it would have to go to the hard drive to copy it back into ram and that's where you see the performance difference.

Now, when deciding what to do with your virtual memory, you have to consider if you have enough ram to cover what you need to do. If you use an application like photoshop with many pictures open, those pictures are held in ram and you could run out of ram quickly, this would be when virtual ram could be nice (i use it for this purpose). If you just use a few basic applications open at a time, you can disable your virtual memory and will see better performance because all your apps will be in ram all the time.

Maybe that was more information than you needed, but I'm sure someone out there wondered what virtual memory and that huge file in their c drive were.

:)
IBM ThinkPad T43 2668-72u + RAM upgraded to 1GB = not just as best for business but also as best all-purpose professional portable computer ever!

edmonton
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#10 Post by edmonton » Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:20 pm

That way, I think you should set some vRAMs. Make sure it's fixed in size and stored in a non-system partition.

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#11 Post by JHaislet » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:52 pm

Even if you disable the pagefile, windows will STILL create a pagefile and use it just like before.
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#12 Post by sugo » Tue Jun 28, 2005 6:42 am

JHaislet wrote:Even if you disable the pagefile, windows will STILL create a pagefile and use it just like before.
I read about that before but haven't been able to prove it myself. After disabling page file, the gain in hdd space matches exactly the original fixed sized page file.
X61

JHaislet
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#13 Post by JHaislet » Tue Jun 28, 2005 8:12 am

Yeah, I've noticed the same thing. A guy on another board (2cpu.com) who is a windows VM expert proved that by design, windows creates one that's invisible to the user if the default PF is deleted/removed. He was saying the stability of the entire operating system depends on it having access to a phyical, disked pagefile.

This evolved through a rather lengthy discussion on using those PCI cards that have ram slots on them, which show up as a physical disk in windows. I can't for the life of me remember what those cards are called, but they take like 4 sticks of DDR and create a RamDrive.
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#14 Post by sugo » Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:14 pm

The RAM drive from Gigabyte? I thought they barely started selling it.
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JHaislet
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#15 Post by JHaislet » Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:29 am

Here we go: http://www.cenatek.com/

Gigabyte might be the first out with a PCI Express slot, but Cenatek has had 32 & 64bit PCI-X RocketDrives that run at 33,66,100, & 133mhz PCI-X bus speeds for almost 5yrs now.
Vista Business on T43 w/ Dell 2405FPW @ 1920 x 1200
Thinkpad T43 (2687-DSU) | PM 2.0GHz @ 1.068v | 100GB Hitachi 7K100 | 2.0GB Dual-Channel | X300 64MB | 14.1" SXGA | DVD+RW | Intel 2915 ABG | ThinkDock II & Mini-Dock |

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#16 Post by Navck » Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:16 pm

A nice trick is to run all the memory intestive programs you have, and see how much vRAM they use. Then set your VRAM to that number (Higher if its maximum ammount, lower if it isn't, and leave 50-100MB as headroom)

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#17 Post by eharley » Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:41 pm

Navck wrote:A nice trick is to run all the memory intestive programs you have, and see how much vRAM they use. Then set your VRAM to that number (Higher if its maximum ammount, lower if it isn't, and leave 50-100MB as headroom)
It seems like a couple of people have recommended setting it to some fixed value if you're going to leave it turned on. What's the disadvantage to letting Windows manage it instead of setting it to a fixed size? Is it just a matter of keeping more space on my HDD free? I figure, if I have enough memory, the file won't get too big anyway so it shouldn't matter. Then again, in the off chance that I'm doing something crazy and actually do manage to fill my memory, Windows can increase the size of the page file if it needs to.

If the only argument is HDD space, you're probably in trouble anyway if you can't spare 1GB. If there's a performance argument for fixed size vs. Windows managed, I'd like to know what it is.
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#18 Post by JHaislet » Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:50 pm

As your harddrive gets filled up, the VM swap on the hdd can become fragmented, thus slowing everything down. The idea behind setting a huge, fixed vm size, is if it's done with a lot of free space on the hdd, then it should be created as a continuous file and remain unfragmented.
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