0

I read a lot about disabling pagefile pretty much everywhere and some places tell you that doing so is a great thing for performance (given a lot of ram) and other places tell you that even with a huge ammount of ram it can lead to an unstable system.

Context: I work with a windows 10 machine, 4 slots of ram with 4gb each running @ 1600 MHz, an i7 4790k 2 SSDs and a normal HDD. My peak load was around 12 gb, this machine does not shut down ever (well, rare occasions maybe). Running win 10 pro.

I disabled pagefile in all drives and since then, performance increased like 10 times; pretty much everything opens significantly faster and some hangs i encountered every once in a while are no longer there; so far there is no stability issues nor any other problem.

My question is: On the long run, how it can affect me negatively? Since this computer is always powered on and run some services (game servers, iis...) could this be an issue? Should i look at other configurations before actually shutting pagefile off? Should i keep an eye for page faults while running on this configuration?

Do have in mind i don't really care about critical system crashes nor stuff like that; such information is not valuable to me in any way (at least not now, this system has been stable for months with pagefile on and if ever necessary to diagnose such problem i can turn it back on to do so).

Also, my focus is on pure performance and i don't rely on cache to do the trick (that's why 2 high-performance SSDs with programs i open often), so stuff like superfetch has little to no utility here (also, most programs are always loaded on memory from the startup, at least the ones i use the most so there should not be any need to access disk to get anything often).

Additional context: All the memory i have should be all the memory i need; over-commiting is not an issue and i can manage what goes in and out if really needed (as i said before, i know very well my peak workload and the available ram i have is more than 'nuf for the task). The main idea is to have everything in memory without the need to i/o to disk or whatsoever. I keep at least 4-6GB of ram available at all times for critical tasks and to handle situations where a process might ask for more memory, if it asks too much it will be denied memory (as it should be) instead of swapping; in such event i can manually shut down other processes to free up ram if extremelly necessary.

8
  • 1
    The only reason it is faster is because you have SSDs, and disabling your page file, is one of those optimizations you are suppose to do if Windows is running on a SSD. It sounds like your not aware of how the page file helps an operating system running on a mechanical drive. You should do some research on that subject.
    – Ramhound
    May 4, 2016 at 15:51
  • Windows pagefile size with large RAM and SSD. In other words benchmark your system and determine if you actually need a page file based on your usage habits.
    – Ramhound
    May 4, 2016 at 15:52
  • 1
    possible duplicate of (Windows Swap (Page File): Enable or Disable? May 4, 2016 at 16:15
  • Also see: serverfault.com/questions/23621/… May 4, 2016 at 16:17
  • 1
    I very much doubt that disabling the page file made your system any faster. You're probably just convincing yourself. Also, programs may reserve a lot more memory (commit charge) than they actually use. Disabling your page file means those reservations count against physical memory, even if never used.
    – Daniel B
    May 4, 2016 at 22:19

2 Answers 2

1

In Windows 10 Microsoft changed the paging a lot. Now Windows compresses data that would go in pagefile in earlier Windows versions and stores it in SYSTEM process. This reduces the pagefile usage a lot and Windows is now much more responsive. There is no need to disable the pagefile.

4
  • 1
    Shouldn't compressing data require more processing thus using more resources? Also it would have to decompress data when page fault occurs and force me to wait until data is available again to resume operation. May 5, 2016 at 15:56
  • the decompression should faster compared to read it from pagefile where other IOs delay reads. Watch the liked video for more details. May 6, 2016 at 4:32
  • That feature was implemented in the memory manager, it should be active regardless of pagefile being active. Also, the system was using pagefile even when there was a lot of ram available, especially when it was idle for a long time most applications had a small "hang" when resuming operation, since i disabled pagefile things seem to resume operation much more smoothly but then again, since it has been up for less than a week i still don't know long term effects. May 6, 2016 at 15:37
  • This is a bad answer, especially the part "There is no need to disable the pagefile" since it is obvious that the disabling improves performance as stated in the basic question. I can confirm the same thing. With 16 gb ram, the computer is more responsive when the page file is turned off.
    – SaleCar
    Nov 26, 2020 at 11:36
0

Regarding the question "how it can affect me negatively?", disabling the paging file can sometimes cause apps to hang or crash if they are badly-designed and depend on the paging file to operate, or over-commit memory.

I too run Windows with the paging file disabled for various reasons, including potentially serious security issues related to the paging file which, strangely, are rarely mentioned in the responses to kinds of questions.

I experienced the hanging and crashing problem described above in one install. Never happened until I switched to Windows 11 though so I think the fact that various applications were popping up with memory errors might be more do to with my particular system. Under Windows 8 right up to and including 10, I had the paging file disabled and never had any memory management problems. Here's my SU post about that: Memory errors since disabling Windows paging file (for data security and other reasons)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .