Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


"System Managed" Paging File Seems Low

  1. #1

    "System Managed" Paging File Seems Low


    My son's Windows 8 laptop has 6 GB of RAM. His paging file resides entirely on the C: drive and is the "System managed size".

    His paging file is set to 960MB. Doesn't that seem very low? It's even less than the recommended 4,067MB.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails VM Size.PNG  

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  2. #2


    Posts : 480
    Windows 8 Pro x64


    System Managed means the PF size is dynamic. Windows increases or decreases its size depending on memory allocated to running processes. With 6GB of RAM, it's entirely possible that 960MB of PF is enough at the moment. If you're to start a virtual machine with 4GB of RAM allocated, you surely will see PF growing
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  3. #3


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    I have 4 GBs ram on Win 8 Pro.

    I set page file to 6000 MBs. - (6 GBs) with no issues.

    I have 500 GB drive.

    Setting it to the recommended size won't hurt.

    Put the same size in both boxes. -- (Initial & Maximum)
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  4. #4


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there
    I'd just let windows manage it -- the OS is much better at handling this than by a "Random Guess". Paging algorithms are extremely complex - and this is one area I'd recommend users to "DO NOT TOUCH" as almost anything you do will degrade it to what windows has determined it needs.

    I have 16 GB RAM in this machine and a 120 GB SSD for the OS -- Windows determines that I only am using 2GB for paging -- that's fine and I'm not changing it --if Windows wants more it can allocate as required.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails paging.png  
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  5. #5


    Thanks to all for your help. I did not realize that the size of the pagefile can be dynamically allocated. I'll leave it up to Windows in that case.
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  6. #6


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by Daddyman View Post
    Thanks to all for your help. I did not realize that the size of the pagefile can be dynamically allocated. I'll leave it up to Windows in that case.
    That's a good choice.
    I just set mine large because I do a lot of image processing.
    My choice.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    System Managed means the PF size is dynamic. Windows increases or decreases its size depending on memory allocated to running processes. With 6GB of RAM, it's entirely possible that 960MB of PF is enough at the moment. If you're to start a virtual machine with 4GB of RAM allocated, you surely will see PF growing
    Incorrect

    When the pagefile is system managed the initial size will be set to some value related to RAM size and the maximum size some multiple of the initial size. The actual size depends on the OS and RAM size. Unless this initial pagefile is too small for the commit charge the pagefile will never be resized. It works exactly the same with user defined parematers, with the only difference being that the system managed pagefile size will be updated at bootup if RAM size changes.

    The idea that a system managed pagefile constantly varies with need is a myth. No NT class OS has ever worked that way.

    Edit: I would leave the pagefile configuration as is. I believe that the "recommended size" has lagged behind the configuration changes in more recent systems..
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  8. #8


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there
    Also partially incorrect

    Paging in Windows performs TWO tasks which are different but often confused -- "Classical Paging" and "Swapping". In Linux you usually have a separate swapping area.

    Swapping occurs when a good part of an application (or complete User's work space if a multi-user system is being used) . This simply copies out the entire "Users address space" as an image on to backup storage and occurs for example if a particular user or application hasn't been active for a long while while say memory is needed to start another user. Swapping doesn't normally cause severe system degradation but it's usually (in system terms) a much longer process than paging.

    Paging is used for example when an application needs more physical memory than is currently available in the system. Windows (or similar OS'es) can create a Virtual memory address space of much larger than the physical available RAM and what paging does is Map this Virtual address space to the physical RAM available.

    Only a fixed number of these pages can reside in memory at any one time so unused memory pages are written out to the paging device(s). A popular algorithm is often called LRU (least Recently Used algorithm) but efficient paging algorithms are quite complex. Pages are allocated in fixed storage sized chunks so the writing to disk is much quicker than when a "Swap" takes place. With Windows on a single user system you can essentially ignore the swapping process.

    If the system doesn't have enough RAM then as fast as a page is paged out a previously used one is paged back in - leading to computer lockup known as "Thrashing". This can be seen by the HDD light being solid on and the computer not being responsive or feeling "seized up".

    The size of the page file can dynamically change - and should -- and if it doesn't it's either that not much paging in the system is occurring or the OS has an error in it.

    As far as servers are concerned there really shouldn't be a lot (if any) paging if the servers are performing their basic functions and are adequately configured. Most of these are usually providing File sharing services or large Database accesses which have their own type of memory control and allocation anyway.

    @Medab1 -- if some of your image processing is in using things like PHOTOSHOP you would be far better off in allocating SCRATCH FILE AREAS on fast HDD's (or better SSD's) for these programs rather than use the system page files. PHOTOSHOP with some scratch files on SSD's works BLINDINGLY FAST -- I often process HUGE RAW files from PROFESSIONAL DSLR's (e.g canon 1D4's) with loads of layers in them for POSTER size printing (A2) for example. (Having the OS + applications on a separate SSD as well also helps --SSD's are quite cheap now and the difference in performance even on modest systems is HUGE).

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  9. #9



    The Contemplator
    (1963-2013)
    Doncaster, UK
    Posts : 638
    Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64


    This is how I have my page file set (note that I have 3 OSes installed, and only the currently active one will show a page file, which is fixed in size to 1024MB). They all share a dynamic page file on drive P, which is system managed and occupies 24448MB.

    Click image for larger version
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  10. #10


    Orbiting the Moon
    Posts : 2,975
    Windows 10 x64


    Nice examples on this thread.

    I have turned the pagefile off and having 16GB of RAM.
    This was also something seen by default (factory ACER settings) on a Vista laptop back in 2007.

    I believe the system still knows how to handle the things correctly since I don't have any issues.
    The minimum was 800MB and something lower than this or turned off would not allow error dumps and reports to be created I guess.

    In case I need the pagefile, I'll put it on the c drive SSD and with a fixed size, something of 1024 like seen in Dwarf's post above.
    EDIT: it's better to have it on than off since some programs (like photoshop and vmware) might need the pagefile or check for it.

    System managed usually has a variable size assigned. So low doesn't mean bad but it can get a bigger size when the system needs that.
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