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I have 3gb of ram idling according to taskmanager. Is it possible to improve windows file system by telling it to use more ram?

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migrated from Apr 19 '12 at 0:41

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It already does that: data read will be cached in RAM. You might be able to get a benefit by preloading files if you're working on a particular dataset, but in general it's best not to second-guess the operating system.

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I've really only seen this come up when doing mass exports where the file size might exceed several GB, and all this does is creates a buffer so your process doesn't crash, it's possible to set the page file size to a custom size to anticipate this, but Windows generally does an excellent job of managing memory on it's own, but this page file size is considered virtual memory and what it's doing is keeping your environment afloat by caching what should be RAM data to your hard drive, but because your hard drive is optimized for long term mass storage instead of fast access caching it will significantly slow down your system.

also keep in mind depending on your specs, 3GB is the maximum amount of RAM recognized by a 32Bit Windows operating system, if you're not running a 64bit OS you might consider this especially when you can pick up 8GB DDR3 kits for around $50 anymore.

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To avoid further confusion, here’s the official documentation. It clearly states all the necessary details, including how Windows 8 x86 is still limited to 4 GB physical memory. – Daniel B Jul 16 '14 at 8:29

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