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I have a laptop with 4GB of memory with Windows 7 on it and I often experience with Eclipse that it is swapped out to disk.

On the net they usually write 4GB of RAM is more than enough for average use and aside from Eclipse+Android Emulator I don't really use other extra apps, yet Eclipse is always swapped out if I haven't used it for a while (say, 1 day) and it is annoying it to wait for it to be resurrected from swap.

My question is: would an upgrade to 8GB solve the issue of swapped out applications? With 8GB would windows 7 keep everything in memory? Or it wouldn't change anything and Eclipse would be swapped out regardless of the amount of memory, because Win 7 has a habit of kicking out every application from memory which hasn't be used for a while?

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Are you running 64bit Windows 7. No use installling more than 4GB if not. – Dave M Mar 20 '12 at 18:07
Actually, my current computer has Win 7 32 bit, so it cannot use the full 4GB either, but I plan to buy a new laptop in the near future with 64 bit Windows 7 and I'd like to know if I should buy one with 8GB RAM to solve the swapping issue or it won't help, so I shouldn't aim for 8GB ram, but invest the extra money in some other feaure instead. – Tom Mar 20 '12 at 18:29
up vote -1 down vote accepted

Unless you turn off the paging file, Windows will end up using it regardless of RAM. At 8GB of RAM you might want to consider doing that.

To disable you paging file, right click your computer and click on Properties,

Right click on my computer then go to properties

Then click on Advanced System Settings,

Click on Advanced System Settings on the far left side

Then click on the Advanced, then Settings under the Performance header, Then click on advanced -> and then settings under the performance header

Then advanced again, clicking on the Change button under the Virtual Memory header,

Change buttan

Then set No Paging File for all drives,

Set no paging files

Then finally, restart the computer to free up the Paging Files.

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Are you, then, recommending an upgrade to 8 GiB ram? – Eroen Mar 20 '12 at 17:47
It's not quite a recommendation for 8GiB. More accurately, he's saying that you can disable the swap, and the more RAM you have the less restrictive you will find this. When the Swapfile is disabled, you will run out of memory sooner. With only 4GB, it's not that hard to run out, but that depends on your workload. With 8GB it is much less likely to happen. You could certainly try disabling the swap with 4GB, just be aware of the possible consequences. – Myrddin Emrys Mar 20 '12 at 18:07
It's strange if there is a swap file then windows will swap out things eventually regardless of the amount of RAM. I'd think the swap file is used only if there isn't enough physical RAM to hold all the running apps and that's why something is swapped out to disk. Why would the system swap out something if there's no shortage of free memory? – Tom Mar 20 '12 at 18:32
Disabling the pagefile will not eliminate paging! (Don't take my word for it. Disable it, then check the page fault counters in PerfMon.) It merely eliminates paging of private committed address space (the amount that's in the "commit charge"). Contents of mapped files (mostly code files, but not just that) will still be paged. But without a pagefile, every last byte of private committed memory in the system has to be kept in RAM. With a pagefile, the system has a place to chuck the old stale stuff out, making more room for mapped file contents (like code you want to run). This is a net win. – Jamie Hanrahan Jul 23 '14 at 8:39

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