The swap file: it's still there ...


The proposed Microsoft work mechanismwith the memory that uses the swap file, was so effective that it is present in all Windows operating systems (Windows). At the time of appearance, he was extremely in demand. The main reason for this is the ability to run Windows applications that are demanding the amount of RAM installed on the computer. Users who came to the beginning of the Windows era and sunset DOS remember that CD-ROMs with DOS-programs always indicated the requirements for the computer configuration: the type of video adapter, the speed of the processor, the amount of free disk space, and the amount of RAM. If the memory was less than required, the program did not start. This is now, when on most computers the Windows system is installed, such requirements began to be of an advisory nature (although there are rare exceptions, for example, support for the correct version of DirectX). This is made possible by the fact that the modern system uses a swap file. We can assume that this mechanism increases the amount of RAM. Imagine a situation where the application being launched requires 2 GB of memory, and the module is physically installed in 1 GB. In this situation, the Windows system creates a special paging file (virtual memory) on the hard disk with which it will work the same as with its physical counterpart. Of course, "the same" from the point of view of the user.

The operating system Windows, perhaps, isone of the most customizable. For it released a huge number of tweakers and optimizers, with which you can do almost everything with the system, adjusting the parameters for your tasks.

But all the same, the "default" settings are not alwaysallow you to realize explicit and hidden opportunities in full. Did not ignore the swap file. The management of this system mechanism is possible with the help of built-in tools. In popular Windows 7, to access the settings, open the properties "My Computer", follow the "System Settings", where we open the "Performance" tab. By selecting "Advanced", you can configure the work with virtual memory.

Often the forums ask the question: "How do I choose the size of the paging file?". The answer depends on the range of tasks (applications to be launched) and the amount of installed RAM. There are many tuning recommendations, but they all rely on the claim that without a paging file, the computer is faster. The computing power of modern computer systems casts doubt on this postulate. The quad-core processor and the SATA-3 drive based on solid-state memory, which are increasingly found even in home systems, reduce the effect of the swap file size on the overall performance. So, if the RAM is not less than 4 GB, then you can try to disable paging. We follow in the "Virtual Memory", remove the check mark for automatic configuration and instruct Windows not to use this mechanism. It is recommended to reboot. If you have problems with running applications, you will have to buy memory models or even not think about disabling the paging file.

But the trip is, of course, an extreme. Sometimes you can optimize the system by setting the file size yourself. This is, in fact, an effective way to reduce fragmentation. Select "Specify the size" and make a focus: the original size is set equal to the maximum. Which one? You can follow the advice of Windows and hard to prescribe an automatically defined size, and you can also correct it in one way or the other. The best results are achieved when installing Windows on an empty disk partition and immediately (before installing applications) indicating the size of the paging. If the file fragmentation is not present, this will slightly improve the performance. As an option: allocate a separate partition of the hard drive for paging, as is done in Linux-based systems.

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