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is setting virutal memory good? newbie need advice

Discussion in 'Earlier Versions of Windows' started by Xenos, Jan 6, 2002.

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  1. Xenos

    Xenos Thread Starter

    Oct 7, 2001
    Just wanted to know if changing virtual memory improves performance in games. The following is an excerpt for the game Unreal tournament.

    "you have a set virtual memory on your computer. To find it, right click My Computer, then properties, then performance, then Virtual Memory. Now you want to set it to "256" max. & min. Your computer will try to talk you out of it, but don't let it scare you, go ahead & set it. Now go to File System & under the Hard Disk tab, set your computer role to "Network Server". After you have done both, re-start your computer & then defrag it. This will set the Virtual Memory & the Hard Drive Thrashing should be gone after you make a few settings in the Advanced Options for UT."

    Excerpt off an Unreal Touranment site
  2. BPM


    Jan 7, 2002
    In theory, changing virtual memory should not cause problems. That is why they have it as an adjustable setting. However, it has been my experience that Windows (at least 95' and 98') does unpredictable things when you play around with virtual memory. A better solution would be to run a clean system by cleaning up your system tray and by being aware of what programs are running in the background. Unecessary program extensions often juice resources, especially if you are trying to run a resource hungry application like a game. My advice, stay away from virtual memory!
  3. Kento


    Aug 2, 2000
    I'd let windows handle it. If you do play around with virtual memory don't set a max number or you might end up getting out of memory errors.
  4. hewee


    Oct 26, 2001
  5. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

    Oct 4, 2000
    The "old" purpose of setting min/max the same was to make the swapfile contiguous.
    And on Win95, doing a defrag first, would work, because Windows always recreated the swapfile at boot time.
    BUT, Win98 does not delete it.
    So, in order to get the file contiguous, the following should work:
    1. A defrag is OK, but not necessary
    2. Set the MIN parameter
    3. Restart to DOS and delete \windows\win386.swp
    4. Restart to Windows

    In order to determine a "good" MIN parameter, you need to run SYSMON for a while, monitoring Swapfile Size (not in use), while you run a heavier than normal bunch of apps.
    Then, take the size noted from Sysmon, add 10-20MBs and use that as the MIN.

    **Also note that this does create a contiguous swapfile, BUT, the file is going to be at the very end of all of the rest of your files (if you defragged). Meaning, the disk heads always have to move there, to get at the swapfile.
    By letting windows manage it, the swapfile is in smaller chunks scattered throughout the drive. Meaning, the disk heads should not be travelling as far, when the swapfile is needed.
  6. Gary R

    Gary R

    Aug 9, 2001
    Quick Question:
    How do you monitor Swap File size with System Monitor? (Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Monitor).
    All I get with it is various ways to graph the Kernel usage.
  7. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

    Oct 4, 2000
    Start > Run > SYSMON

    Edit > Add Item > Memory Manager > SwapFile Size
  8. Berillio


    Jul 9, 2002
    Just to add to WhitPhil posting.
    If You have Norton Utils, Speed Disk can Defrag/Optimize the swap file too AND move it to the beginning of the disk, just the matter of specyfing the individual file (look for the tab), win386.swp.
  9. slipe


    Jun 27, 2000
    I think you want “swapfile in use” rather than “swapfile size” to determine how much swap file you are using. It would probably be a good idea to have it keep a log so you can determine how much you are using during games since the system monitor isn’t usually available then.

    You most likely aren’t using it at all if you have 256Mb of RAM and have your msconfig/startup reasonably cleaned out. And if you aren’t using it the last place you want it is cluttering the fastest part of your HD. If you aren’t using it let Windows manage it and move it to another partition if you have one.
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