The question of disabling the Windows pagefile has already been discussed quite a bit, for example here and here and here. People continue to upvote answers that say "you should not disable your pagefile even if you have plenty of RAM", but I have yet to see any concrete, verifiable reasons being given for this advice. As far as I can see, if you never need to read from the pagefile (because you have enough RAM) then performance could only be worse with it enabled due to Windows pre-emptively writing to it. At best, performance would be the same. I can't see how it could possibly be improved by writing data you never need to read.
So my question is:
Assuming that I have enough physical RAM for everything I do, is there any reason I should not disable the pagefile?
Let's say the version of Windows is Windows XP x64 SP2 or Windows Server 2003 x64 SP2 (same thing). If it's different for Windows Server 2008 x64 I'd be interested to hear an answer for that as well. I'm looking for specific, objective reasons from good sources, not just opinions. Something like "here are the benchmarks done with and without a pagefile and the results were better with a pagefile, even with enough RAM" or "according to this MS KB article problem X occurs if you disable the pagefile".
So far the only reasons I've seen mentioned are:
- Even if you think you have enough RAM you might run out. OK, but for the purposes of this question, let's just take it as a given that I have enough. Maybe I only ever read my email and I have 16GB RAM. Or 128GB. Or 1TB. Or whatever - but it's enough for 100% of what I do, 100% of the time. Another way to think of it is: if I have x MB physical RAM and y MB pagefile and I never run out of RAM in that configuration, would I not be better off, performance-wise, with x+y MB physical RAM and no pagefile?
- Windows is "used to" having a paging file and it might not function as reliably (from Understanding the Impact of RAM on Overall System Performance That's rather vague and I find it hard to believe, given that MS has provided the option to disable the pagefile.
- Windows knows what it's doing better than you. No - it doesn't know that I won't run more programs or load more data, but I do.