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Thread: Virtual Memory

  1. #1

    Virtual Memory

    ok i was wondering how you could gain more virtual memory using your hard drive, for say use some of your hard drive for virtual memory. If there is a way to do this. All replies appreciated.

  2. #2
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    I assume you're using Windows??

    If so, you can set or increase the amount of hard drive space available as virtual memory- or let Windows manage it.

    To set or change the virtual memory settings you do the following (this is on Windows XP but should be close to other Windows versions as well):

    Right-click My Computer
    Select Properties
    Click the Advanced tab
    Select the Settings button under Performance
    Click the Advanced tab
    Select the Change button under Virtual Memory
    Select a drive and assign a minimum and / or maximum space to be used for virtual memory

    FWIW- Windows can only effectively use so much memory. In other words- allocating 5Gb for virtual memory won't necessarily give you an increase in performance. Standard practice suggests using an amount of virtual memory equal to 1-1/2 to 2 times the amount of actual RAM in the system. I don't think you will see any benefits from increasing virtual memory beyond 2 times the RAM.

  3. #3
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    That's what your pagefile in Windows is. Virtual memory. You can manipulate it through the control panel. But you should probably leave windows to manage it like it suggests.
    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

  4. #4
    kool thx guys, ill try to set it. if it dont seem to work that well or see a performance ill just let windows detect it. thx guys i appreciate it

  5. #5
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Hi silent-mage,

    Basically "virtual memory" means "virtual RAM". When Windows has used up most of the available memory in your machine it uses space on the HDD. That is very simplistic, however as a lot of things need "real" RAM, or your machine will hang/crash/BSOD or whatever. Also, some of the virtual memory will be used on boot-up to open and identify the resource.

    There are "magic" areas of your RAM such as the first 640k and the rest up to 1024k. I don't think that you really need to worry about that, as your OS will sort it out for you. This is basically where "permanent" stuff runs. The rest is used by proggies and the things that they need to work (.dll files for example).

    There is a lot of crap talked about virtual memory, particularly by guys trying to sell you lame "tweaking" applications. The basic math/arithmetic is that the more real RAM you have the less virtual memory you are likely to need, and the faster your system will run. This is because the processor communicates with the RAM a lot faster than with your HDD. Using this logic, it is pointless to create a virtual memory of 2Gb if you have 1Gb of real RAM?

    As already suggested, it is usually OK to let Windows make the decision for you. In very high security environments I have used a fixed virtual memory because I had a proggy that overwrote it 7 times. These apps work better with a fixed target

    Given the functionality of virtual memory it does make sense to have it on the fastest drive in your box. You can change drive locations in the same place as Tony has mentioned above.

    I can remember the days when drives and FSBs were very slow, so if you could afford it, you put in extra RAM and created a "Ramdrive"......completely the opposite concept, because you were making spare RAM act as HDD space

    But I am an old fart.

    Hope this helps


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