View Full Version : Swap file size

15-10-2001, 06:35 PM

I have found a web site (http://www.pen.net.nz/binbits/f_diskingA-Z.htm) that is offering the following advice regarding Swap file size:

'(Optional) Move the Swap file and make it permanent-

If you have more than one hard drive, you can generally improve performance by moving the swap file.

Assigning a fixed size makes it a PERMANENT file which is more efficient when your disk starts to get fragmented. We use a general rule of thumb of 2.5 times your real RAM amount. For example, on a 64MB system we would size the swap file to 160MB.

Right-click 'My Computer', then 'Properties | Performance | Virtual Memory...' and 'Let me specify my own virtual settings'. Make the Min and Max the same, and if desired, move it to another hard drive. Windows will complain and give you warnings, but if you re-boot with no errors, it worked. If not, boot into 'Safe' mode and undo your settings. (You may also find it interesting to note that on most systems with at least 32MB of RAM, you can actually boot Windows with NO swap file. This is sometimes useful for defragging the hard drive before assigning a permanent swap file.)

You will also most likely want to change the properties of the Swap file (Win386.swp) and make it 'Hidden'.'

My question is, is this useful and accurate information and, if so, how would it affect copying extra large files (i.e. bigger than fixed swap file size + RAM) to the clipboard? Am I correct in thinking that having, for e.g. a swap file 480MB in size and RAM of 192MB, that my clipboard would be limited to 672MB? Or is this not how the clipboard works, would it simply move data in and out of memory as it is processed?

15-10-2001, 07:01 PM
The information given is generally correct except for the x2.5 'rule' which does not make any sense whatsoever and I dont why it keeps getting propagated. If you had 512MB then for most purposes you wouldnt need a swap file at all, certainly not 1.2GB. The swap file is just virtual ram on your hard drive and slow at that.
It makes sense to put your swap file on a separate drive, a) it means your C: drive doesnt fragment due to the swap file changing; b) It's a bit faster as the heads for your C: drive and the swap file drive can work simultaneously.
Not sure about the clipboard question without research, maybe someone else can answer that.

15-10-2001, 08:02 PM
Yeah, be default, my swap file is like 750mb. Screw that.

15-10-2001, 08:22 PM
If you have 192MB of ram you are hardly going to need the swapfile at all. Prehaps a 100mb static one.

As was said, the 2.5x rule is stupid, the more ram you have the less swap you need.

I've got 256mb and the only time the swapfile even gets used is when I play Unreal Tournament (its very memory hungry).

15-10-2001, 09:01 PM
Perhaps wintendo 9x/ME combined with 256MB+ of RAM pagefile size becomes unimportant. However seeing as XP is on it's way, it is important to balance pagefile size correctly. What happens when you have 3 people running sessions on one of these boxes? And what's the big saving by shrinking the page file in these days of 100GB drives anyway?

15-10-2001, 09:30 PM
Hello GS,

Just to more or less agree with what the others have said, the 2.5 or 3 x business came in when it was the norm for PC's to have 32mb of Ram or less, with the vast amounts available now it is hardly necessary, but just for insurance purposes set it at min and max of around 100MB.


15-10-2001, 10:05 PM
thanks everyone

15-10-2001, 10:11 PM
O MY GOD ! ! you guys sound like pc wimp users. with win98se 128ram i normally hit 400-500meg swap file size. even with my new pc win98se 512ram i use around 60meg swapfile.

you guys pc's must be devoid of life or microsoft products ;-)

15-10-2001, 10:36 PM
512 M of Ram hitting 384 in swap file usage

15-10-2001, 11:23 PM
Well, not all of us are into games and MS bloatware, some of us have fast, lean, mean, machines fuelled by glitch-free freeware and the like, even really small DOS programs! :-)
Even when into some heavy memory useage like scanning photos editing and making albums, my resources tend to go first before the swap file gets to any size.

Maybe there isnt any one recommendation, just adjust your swap file size to suit what youre normally doing. If its on a different drive and there's lots of room it doesnt really matter except for speed.
Have fun.