The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

Started Aug 18, 2014 | Discussions
McGraw Forum Member • Posts: 56
The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

Hello there.
I know this question has been discussed a million times in various forms but I wouldn't mind opinions on my set up.

I have 16gb of RAM which I know will only ever get used when I'm using Lightroom and Photoshop at the same time.

Obviously Photoshop uses its own scratch file so is unaffected by Windows pagefile.

My budget stretched to a 16gb of RAM and a 256gb SSD or 8gb of RAM and a 512gb SSD. As I am in a 2 RAM slot ITX board I wanted to max out for longevity and go dual channel. I also like the idea of being able to open pretty much anything I want without running out of RAM.

With this in mind I want to keep my SSD as clear as possible for apps and games and having a 16gb pagefile is offending me.

So I'm thinking of moving the pagefile to a mechanical drive (purely for legacy purposes) and leaving more room for the PS scratch file on the SSD.

Am I thinking this through properly? When I use Lightroom on its own I never get anywhere near to using more than 8gb of RAM....although I haven't specifically checked to see whether I have 1:1 previews enabled in my new install.

Thanks a lot.

mclewis Senior Member • Posts: 1,049
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

I have a 240GB SSD and 16GB of RAM. I let Windows use the default pagefile options and have no issues. With an SSD that size there is plenty of space left over after accounting for the OS and any software I have installed.

Leave the pagefile on the SSD. It will be faster than on the regular disk.

(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 14,338
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

I too have agonized over this on my similarly configured system.

I considered:

* Moving the pagefile to another partition.

* Removing the pagefile completely.

* Reducing the size.

Ultimately, I dropped the pagefile back to a fixed 4GB size and that has worked out well for me.

OP McGraw Forum Member • Posts: 56
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

Ok well I'm going to do an experiment with lightroom and see how much page file gets used under my heaviest usage conditions.

I think I'll be having a small page file on the ssd and a bigger on an hdd just in case.

tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 12,746
Make it small.

You don't need a 16GB pagefile.   I have mine set at 1GB with 12GB of RAM.   You don't even want windows to try to page that much.    I run huge servers at work (Some with 384GB of RAM) and I was recommended 8GB as a reasonable upper limit on pagefile size by a Microsoft engineer.   You technically don't even need one if you have enough RAM, but for stability a small one is still recommended.  Hence the 1GB size for me.

*With the caveat that you need a pagefile slightly larger than your RAM to capture full memory dumps for troubleshooting.

tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 12,746
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

McGraw wrote:

Ok well I'm going to do an experiment with lightroom and see how much page file gets used under my heaviest usage conditions.

Interestingly, the more page file space you have, the more it gets used.  But that's not necessarily a good thing.  You shouldn't need to page at all under most circumstances with adequate RAM.  However, some programs still use swap when its free just because it is there.

I think I'll be having a small page file on the ssd and a bigger on an hdd just in case.

You want slower performance after spending all that money for 16GB of RAM and an SSD?  Why would you ever want your system to cache on your slowest device?

Russell Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 12,617
Did you turn hibernation off?
1

McGraw wrote:

With this in mind I want to keep my SSD as clear as possible for apps and games and having a 16gb pagefile is offending me.

It's not really needed with an SSD and will save 16Gb of space on your SSD. If you have a Haswell CPU, with a motherboard and PSU that will support the C7 sleep state, you'll only be drawing 0.5-0.6 watts in sleep mode.

Thank you
Russell

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,985
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

I've been running my Windows 7 64-bit system with no page file for five years now, and have never had any issues whatsoever. At first I had 12GB of RAM with Photoshop, then I upgraded to 24GB when I started using Premiere Pro.

RAM is cheap these days, there's really no particularly good reason why you shouldn't just buy enough so that all your programs will fit in memory and then just do away with the page file altogether.

If you run Task Manager and pay attention to your memory usage you can get a feeling for how much memory your programs actually use so that you have the confidence to get rid of your page file.

mclewis Senior Member • Posts: 1,049
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

Sean Nelson wrote:

I've been running my Windows 7 64-bit system with no page file for five years now, and have never had any issues whatsoever. At first I had 12GB of RAM with Photoshop, then I upgraded to 24GB when I started using Premiere Pro.

RAM is cheap these days, there's really no particularly good reason why you shouldn't just buy enough so that all your programs will fit in memory and then just do away with the page file altogether.

If you run Task Manager and pay attention to your memory usage you can get a feeling for how much memory your programs actually use so that you have the confidence to get rid of your page file.

There are many good reasons to use a Pagefile. It is not recommended to get rid of it even though that may not cause any major issues. If you get rid of it then you don't understand why Windows has one in the first place.

There is nothing wrong with limiting the size if you wish but keep the pagefile.

A post in this http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1248731 forum topic details why a pagefile is a good thing.

sankos Senior Member • Posts: 1,921
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

I've got the Samsung SSD 840 Evo 250GB as my system drive. I installed the Samsung Magician software that helps you set things up efficiently with the disk. It allows you to enable the RAPID mode, over-provisioning and guides you with system optimization. It suggested that if you've got more than 4GB of RAM you should set up virtual memory to 200MB with the maximum of 2GB. In my 16GB RAM system, with the Intel gfx and 3GB RAM disk which take away some chunk from the system RAM, the 200MB page file is sufficient and the SSD flies (Random Reads at 164000 IOPS, Random Writes at 109000 IOPS). I also moved my Temp folders and the PSE scratch space to the RAM disk and after using the disk for 1 year the total writes to the SSD are around 1TB of data so I imagine the disk should be good to go for a couple of decades (touch wood).

Other suggested settings: Hibernation off, Indexing service off (don't need the search functionality), Prefetch/Superfetch off, Write Cache Buffer On, Write-Cache Buffer Flushing On, System Restore points -- don't need them.

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OP McGraw Forum Member • Posts: 56
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

Thanks for all your replies.

I think I will try a 2gb page file on the SSD for now and see how I get on.

I had assumed that by having a secondary safety net page file on a mech drive it would be used only when the first one filled up but I now believe they are accessed in parallel.

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,985
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

mclewis wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

I've been running my Windows 7 64-bit system with no page file for five years now, and have never had any issues whatsoever. At first I had 12GB of RAM with Photoshop, then I upgraded to 24GB when I started using Premiere Pro.

There are many good reasons to use a Pagefile.

A post in this http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1248731 forum topic details why a pagefile is a good thing.

You know that post is over 13 years old and refers to 32-bit systems, right?

64-bit is a whole new ball game.

OP McGraw Forum Member • Posts: 56
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

I set it to 2gb last night and I was doing so I noticed that windows was recommending a size of around 5.5gb but had still allocated 16gb.

Why is It contradicting itself?

Ho72
Ho72 Senior Member • Posts: 1,819
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

Sean Nelson wrote:
You know that post is over 13 years old and refers to 32-bit systems, right?

64-bit is a whole new ball game.

Posted: 05 Jul 2014

Second sentence, first post: I'm running Windows 7, 64 bit on a machine with 8GB of RAM...

Maybe you should actually read through it, especially the responses from Driver Guru and Hat.

mclewis Senior Member • Posts: 1,049
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

Sean Nelson wrote:

mclewis wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

I've been running my Windows 7 64-bit system with no page file for five years now, and have never had any issues whatsoever. At first I had 12GB of RAM with Photoshop, then I upgraded to 24GB when I started using Premiere Pro.

There are many good reasons to use a Pagefile.

A post in this http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1248731 forum topic details why a pagefile is a good thing.

You know that post is over 13 years old and refers to 32-bit systems, right?

64-bit is a whole new ball game.

Someone can't read the date on forum posts and the contents methinks.

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,985
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

mclewis wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

mclewis wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

I've been running my Windows 7 64-bit system with no page file for five years now, and have never had any issues whatsoever. At first I had 12GB of RAM with Photoshop, then I upgraded to 24GB when I started using Premiere Pro.

There are many good reasons to use a Pagefile.

A post in this http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1248731 forum topic details why a pagefile is a good thing.

You know that post is over 13 years old and refers to 32-bit systems, right?

64-bit is a whole new ball game.

Someone can't read the date on forum posts and the contents methinks.

Whoops, you're right. I was reading the "registered" date instead of the "posted date". So much for my technical prowess...

Nonetheless, there's nothing posted in that thread that says a page file is required. In fact, "DriverGuru", the person who seems most knowledgeable, states:

There ARE circumstances where you can live without a pagefile... as long as you never run a workload that needs more commit charge than you have RAM.

...and that's exactly the point.   If I can run my programs in 12GB of RAM with a 12GB pagefile, then I can run them with 24GB of RAM and no pagefile.  There's no difference in terms of the amount of virtual memory that's available to my programs, so if I don't change the way I run my programs then it won't cause any issues.

PalmettoFellow Senior Member • Posts: 1,171
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

I run my pagefile off a mechanical hard drive for my one desktop with an SSD.  My laptop with just 1 SSD simply runs without a pagefile.

Today's Samsung 850 Pro is rated for 150 TB of writes...which is 40GB per day for 10 years (warranty length).  I am considering buying one of these for my new desktop...and I don't think I can ever come close to using it up over that 10 years.  In fact, I bought an 840 Pro less than 1 year ago, and it's already been replaced by the 850.  I'll probably upgrade before I use up the life of the 840, and if I get the 850, I'll barely ever use it up.

If you get the 850, I don't think it's going to matter where your pagefile is.  Also, with 16GB of RAM, your pagefile can be quite a bit smaller if you want...or if you go mechanical, it can be VERY large if you want.

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mclewis Senior Member • Posts: 1,049
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

Sean Nelson wrote:

mclewis wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

mclewis wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

I've been running my Windows 7 64-bit system with no page file for five years now, and have never had any issues whatsoever. At first I had 12GB of RAM with Photoshop, then I upgraded to 24GB when I started using Premiere Pro.

There are many good reasons to use a Pagefile.

A post in this http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1248731 forum topic details why a pagefile is a good thing.

You know that post is over 13 years old and refers to 32-bit systems, right?

64-bit is a whole new ball game.

Someone can't read the date on forum posts and the contents methinks.

Whoops, you're right. I was reading the "registered" date instead of the "posted date". So much for my technical prowess...

Nonetheless, there's nothing posted in that thread that says a page file is required. In fact, "DriverGuru", the person who seems most knowledgeable, states:

There ARE circumstances where you can live without a pagefile... as long as you never run a workload that needs more commit charge than you have RAM.

...and that's exactly the point. If I can run my programs in 12GB of RAM with a 12GB pagefile, then I can run them with 24GB of RAM and no pagefile. There's no difference in terms of the amount of virtual memory that's available to my programs, so if I don't change the way I run my programs then it won't cause any issues.

Yes you can run without a pagefile but the advice is to use one because Windows is designed to use one and you can cause issues without one. All this is in the topic.  If you don't know about the technical details just use one.  It won't cause any harm to a SSD.

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,985
Re: The age old question: 16gb of RAM, 256gb SSD and pagefile sizes

mclewis wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

If I can run my programs in 12GB of RAM with a 12GB pagefile, then I can run them with 24GB of RAM and no pagefile. There's no difference in terms of the amount of virtual memory that's available to my programs, so if I don't change the way I run my programs then it won't cause any issues.

Yes you can run without a pagefile but the advice is to use one because Windows is designed to use one and you can cause issues without one.

The oft-quoted advice to set the minimum and maximum sizes of the pagefile to the same size is just as likely to cause issues, namely: exhaustion of a finite resource.   It's not whether or not you have a pagefile that causes issues, it's how much resource you provide for your workload.

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