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What has more impact on performance: Readyboost or paging file on a system with 2GB RAM?

What has more impact on performance: Readyboost or paging file on a system with 2GB RAM?

I have my paging file turned off in Vista as i have heard that it is not needed and in some cases may slow down a system that has >=2GB RAM. (no sure how true this is, but i notice that having it switched off doesn't really impact performance noticeably.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 145
Total answers/comments: 2
Guest [Entry]

"Regarding page files, Mark Russinovich (pretty much the expert on Windows in everyway) wrote an article that can be found here: http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2008/11/17/3155406.aspx.

He finds that turning the pagefile off is a huge mistake. The key quote is probably:

Perhaps one of the most commonly asked
questions related to virtual memory
is, how big should I make the paging
file? There’s no end of ridiculous
advice out on the web and in the
newsstand magazines that cover
Windows, and even Microsoft has
published misleading recommendations.
Almost all the suggestions are based
on multiplying RAM size by some
factor, with common values being 1.2,
1.5 and 2. Now that you understand the role that the paging file plays in
defining a system’s commit limit and
how processes contribute to the commit
charge, you’re well positioned to see
how useless such formulas truly are.

Since the commit limit sets an upper
bound on how much private and
pagefile-backed virtual memory can be
allocated concurrently by running
processes, the only way to reasonably
size the paging file is to know the
maximum total commit charge for the
programs you like to have running at
the same time. If the commit limit is
smaller than that number, your
programs won’t be able to allocate the
virtual memory they want and will fail
to run properly.

So how do you know how much commit
charge your workloads require? You
might have noticed in the screenshots
that Windows tracks that number and
Process Explorer shows it: Peak Commit
Charge. To optimally size your paging
file you should start all the
applications you run at the same time,
load typical data sets, and then note
the commit charge peak (or look at
this value after a period of time
where you know maximum load was
attained). Set the paging file minimum
to be that value minus the amount of
RAM in your system (if the value is
negative, pick a minimum size to
permit the kind of crash dump you are
configured for). If you want to have
some breathing room for potentially
large commit demands, set the maximum
to double that number."
Guest [Entry]

"ReadyBoost does produce a huge performance increase regardless of how much RAM you have installed in your system. ReadyBoost works by caching frequently used data to the flash memory of the device that is allocated to use ReadyBoost. The ReadyBoost cache works in tandem with the system page file.

The page file in Windows is actually an area of the hard disk that is allocated as if it were RAM. Therefore Windows caches data and runs programs from this allocated area of the hard disk in the same fashion as it does RAM. When ReadyBoost is functioning and enabled (using a fast enough device such as an SDHC ultra Sandisk SD card 15MB/s, or a High performance flash drive), it works with the page file by moving data that otherwise would have been paged to the hard disk to the flash memory device allocated by ReadyBoost.

A larger page file actually degrades performance by forcing the mechanical drive to read and write data more often. We have RAM in our computers because when we launch a program or a file, windows takes the data from the hard drive (program, file, etc) and moves it to RAM, which is where data is traditionally processed from. Use a Sandisk SD 15MB/s card or flashdrive, set your page file to 2GB or more if you want.

Either way, Windows will cache this data to the ReadyBoost cache instead of your hard disk. You will see a huge performance increase. Also, use only 7200 RPM hard drives and the fastest RAM your system supports. As well, it's best to use at least 4GB of RAM.

I have worked with computers for more than 22,000 hours over 6 years. I am a licensed, certified, college educated computer specialist in St. Louis, MO. I hope my explanation helps to clear things up here. A lot of misleading information on the web these days."