How to add more memory when limited by MB

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
John Sheehy Forum Pro • Posts: 21,743
Re: How to add more memory when limited by MB

Space the final frontier wrote:

I have maxed out the amount of memory (16 GB) allowed by the MB. There were times when I needed more. Is there a way to add more? Or a new computer is the only solution.

Do you currently have the pagefile and any scratchfile-type files on an SSD?

Paging can be much faster with a fast SSD than on a spinning disk with a moving head, especially the reads (writes can be efficiently buffered because it doesn't matter when they actually happen, as long as they happen before the drive is turned off).

Speeding up the pagefile may be all you need for the time being until you do your homework and upgrade the full system. SSDs big enough for the pagefile and any large file a program has to frequently access like a scratchfile are dirt cheap these days, or you could re-purpose one you already have, or buy one big enough for future needs to add into your next system.

If you are waiting for programs to respond when you switch between them, then an SSD pagefile may be all you need. If you work on lots and lots of big data, then maybe more RAM is what you need.

NVMe PCIe or M.2 SSD cards can be very fast at sustained access, but they aren't anywhere near RAM speed for random access, despite being much faster than hard disks for that (especially reads on the hard disk).

If you're not feeling actual slowdowns and are just looking at a system monitor and seeing that more memory is allocated than you actually have in RAM, I wouldn't consider that to be an actual problem. Typically, only a fraction of the memory that a program allocates is ever actually addressed. You need at least a pagefile about 50% of your RAM to even use all or most of your RAM, physically. IOW, if you specify the minimum 2MB for a pagefile in Windows, you will not be able to use some of your RAW, at all, except for theoretical allocations that don't actually need RAM, per se.

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