Am I overdoing my RAM for a 32 bit version of Windows 7 Pro
August 9, 2010 8:43 PM   Subscribe

I have a HP Pavilion dv6700 (dv6780se) laptop which i recently upgraded to Windows 7 pro via a free copy from the msdn alliance. I am currently running 3 gigs of physical RAM in 2 slots. I recently read an article suggesting a change to the virtual memory paging file size. From what i gathered you should or can increase the size by multiplying the current amount times 1.5. This would change my total virtual memory to 4605, is this wise? Should i leave it on the save hard drive has my OS or move it to a partition or separate external hard drive? I've also read that readyboost can increase performance... is this still quite debatable for Windows 7 and am I already pushing the limits of my RAM and virtual memory?
posted by isopropyl to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Response by poster: The performance leaves a bit to be desired. It's just a 3 year old system and I'm trying to keep up. I was quite hesitant to upgrade to 7 as opposed to downgrading to xp but the hype got the best of me. It runs stable I'm just looking to upgrade and tweak as much as possible.
posted by isopropyl at 9:24 PM on August 9, 2010

Response by poster: I also have the option to upgrade to 64-bit if that helps or just creates headaches for the time being.
posted by isopropyl at 9:25 PM on August 9, 2010

The more physical RAM you have, the less you should need a paging file. Determining the size of the paging file as a multiple of the physical RAM makes no sense.

eg: my work machine (HP Z400) has 12Gb of physical RAM. I am yet to notice it swap. Assigning 18Gb of disk space for a swapfile would seem to me to be a waste of disk space. Of course, if you've got tons of disk space, and lots of people do, it won't really hurt much.

You should certainly not move the paging file to an external drive. This will just slow the machine further, if it is, in fact, swapping.
posted by pompomtom at 10:55 PM on August 9, 2010

While I don't have the source, everything I've read indicates that Windows 7 is far better than you at setting the paging file size and that you should just let it be. Forcing a size on it or working to ensure it hits 1.5 doesn't help in the way you'd think. If you have 3 GB, you'll probably see almost no benefit from forcing a paging file of any particular size. Do what you can to minimize heavy paging itself, such as keeping things shut and cleaning things up on a regular basis, but I've also heard you can do more harm than good.
posted by disillusioned at 11:42 PM on August 9, 2010

Best answer: With a 32 bit Windows and 3GB RAM, there is no point at all in making the page file bigger than 1GB, since the total address space available to a 32 bit system is 4GB (232 bytes). And unless you're actually suffering from page file thrashing and you can find a way to wedge more than 3GB RAM in there, there's no point at all in going to 64 bits.

It's also quite hard to figure out exactly how much RAM your apps are using with Windows 7, since it aggressively employs free RAM for disk caching when it's not being used for anything else.
posted by flabdablet at 2:31 AM on August 10, 2010

Just let Windows manage the page file.

You may be able to tweek it yourself and do better - but there is a much higher chance that you'll just make it worse.
posted by mr_silver at 2:56 AM on August 10, 2010

Just a silly question, but have you gone into PERFORMANCE and set it to "high" versus "balanced"? Many people don't know about/forget this step.
posted by TomMelee at 5:21 AM on August 10, 2010

« Older Rules of engagement after termination   |   Looking for a point-and-shoot that can handle... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.