Sunday, May 13, 2007

Virtual Page/Swap File

The Virtual Page/Swap File is usually handled by the Operating System. However, if you want to maximize the performance of your machine, it will be better to handle it by yourself.

Ok, first, a simple explanation of Virtual Page/Swap File. The Page/Swap File is used when there is not enough memory to load up some applications. It's RAM on a harddisk. What WinXP does is it dynamically resizes the Swap File, depending on how much memory is needed. This will slow down the speed of the system and the swap file storage might be fragmented, causing the system to slow down further. To increase performance, it is better to at least set the Virtual Swap File to a fixed size so there's minimal harddisk accessing.

  1. To do this, go to My Computer Properties or hit WINKEY + BREAK. Go to the Advanced Tab and click on Performance Settings. Click on the Advanced tab.
  2. Click on the Virtual Memory Change button
  3. It is advisable to place your virtual swap file on a second harddisk or a faster harddisk. The faster the better...
  4. Click on Custom Size and set the Initial Size and Maximum Size to the amount of space you want to reserve for the Swap File (in MB). You can set it as the recommended value shown there, or play safe like me, and put 512MB. So far, I have never exceeded it and I have a background server and database running.

That's it... The system will reboot after this.

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