Have an Older Inspirion 8300 Desktop with Windows XP SP3 and 3 gigs of ram.
What are the principles... and maybe some of the numbers... of choosing how much virtual memory to set in the min and max boxes.
I have a 10,000 rpm 160 gig C: Hard Drive... and a 7200rpm 320 gig 😧 Hard drive for Data...and 3 Gigs of Ram
My machine seems to max out and slow down some at times. I have defragged the drives, run several virus programs, and have cleaned temp things out and did a registry optimization.
The next step is to set the virtual memory. I can set it to Operating system choose the settings...but I was wondering what are the best settings are and how do you figure that number out. I had some really high number of gigs chosen for scratch disk...and im thinking that maybe ive got too much max space set.
Generally, it is recommended to use 1.5 x the installed RAM. This provides for enough space for the entire contents of RAM to be swapped to disk and for memory dumps. If you are somewhat low on disk space, it is recommended to set it as a static amount ... otherwise, when it needs to increase and the disk space is not available, the system won't crawl or crash.
One exception might be if you have way more RAM than needed - say 12GB installed and never more than 8-9 used. Windows would still use the swap file, but it would be unnecessary and could be set to its lowest setting (but to match the error/recovery settings).
For your setup, I would simply set it as a static 4.5GB (max and min set to the same amount).
Thanks Flash...you make perfect sense. Thanks for the conceptual guidelines. Sounds like right reasoning.
I was thinking my Virtual Memory was way too big at 4096 MB and it was taking a long time to read that much back into my machine. I use photoshop and video editing...so I can tend to get kind of maxed out pretty quick.
Are there any other things I should need to know to help my older machine perform better with memory hog programs (besides moving up to Windows 7 and 64bit hopefully after the turn of the year)
64-bit will add a marginal performance increase.
Increasing your RAM will improve the system significantly for programs like Photoshop - the 8300 can be upgraded to as much as 16GB of RAM. 32-bit Windows can only use 4GB, but when you move to 7x64, you might consider upgrading to at least 6-8GB of RAM. Memory for this upgrade is pretty inexpensive right now.
But if you want to see an upgrade that will knock your socks off - upgrade your hard drive to a Solid State Drive (SSD). Photoshop opens on one of my computers with a standard 7200RPM drive in around 20-25 seconds, and on a comparable system with an SSD it takes 3-4 seconds. They are spendy (60GB was $120), but I'll never go back (you would want to get 60GB minimum). Also, with the swap file on your SSD, you all but eliminate the slowdown inherent with paging memory to the disk.