Solved: Swap / Page File...

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Thread Starter
Apr 2, 2010
Is having a Swap / Page File necessary anymore? I have been toying around with getting rid of it on Win 7 and have not had any issues so far. Is there any performance boost in getting rid of the paging file and just using the RAM or does that paging file not even kick in until the RAM is all being used? Im usually never doing any crazy multitasking or anything like that so I usually only have 2 or 3 things open at a time. The system has 4GBs of RAM which I don't even think I've come close utilizing all of it. I'm just trying to get your opinions on the matter. Same question applies to Linux, (Specifically Ubuntu) as well, I'm dual booting with no swap on there and no issues either, maybe I just don't push my PC hard enough lol.

aka Brett

Nov 25, 2008
Personally I would keep the swap unless you are sitting on top of 8 gigs of ram...and then it would just be for benchmarking tests.
Consider the page file as a{ cache.}
With 7 it becomes more of an importance as ram is filled many times from whats in the page file..

When the page file can effect performance negatively would be when it was changing its size.other than that it is a benefit.

Now one can play with different sizes for a large page files takes longer to write and to also read.

An example would be something crazy like 50 gig page the hd looks through the page file..doesnt find what it needs and hit the rest of the drive.{time wasted}

A very small page file can be too small and effect performance as data that could be in the page file isnt and then the hd goes to the rest of the drive for the data.{time wasted}

Some apps will cause a problem without a page file...rather than hog memory exclusively they use the page file as cache
Oct 3, 2007
Normally yes, the page file is not used until the ram is all used, but most say not to disable it, there is no gain and only potential losses or system instability by doing so. Some programs use PF regardless of available memory.

Sep 17, 2009
There is always a risk that a program will attempt to allocate more memory than available. If the page file is disabled and too much memory is requested (more than physically present) you will receive out of memory errors (program crashes) instead of slow performance from the hard drive io read/writes to the pagefile.sys.

The below article states and in Microsoft kb literature that Windows only uses the page file as a last resort, and you will achieve no performance gain from disabling the page file.

KB 308417 highlights some tuning you can use to improve performance when the page file is used.

Some of Microsoft recommended tips:

  1. Try to avoid having a paging file on the same drive as the system files, usually drive C.
  2. Divide it among as many physical hard drives as possible
  3. Avoid putting a paging file on a fault-tolerant drive such as a mirrored volume or a RAID-5 volume. Paging files do not require fault tolerance, and some fault-tolerant computers experience slow data writes because they write data to multiple locations.
  4. Do not put multiple paging files on different partitions on the same physical disk drive.
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