When you add Ram

When you add Ram (512mb stick of Kingston PC 2700 333MHZ) are there any other settings in Windows XP Home that can make the computer run more effiently. Like changing the amount of Virtual memory, or using the system cache function in the Properties of “MyComputer”?

You can try turning off virtual memory all together. If you have 1gb ram, it will run fine, and your dvd burns might improve!

Also goto tweakxp.com there are different categories for tweaking your system.


Leave pagefile management on system-managed and XP is adjusting automatically to the new ram size.

Those performance tips do work to a certain degree with slower PATA HDs but are pretty ineffective once u run fast SATA HDs.

The only thing worth to mention is limiting System-Restore to about 1% of your HD size.

I have 1.5 gig of Ram. The recommended Virual memory is not what is allocated. I currently have it set to system magaged but I was just wondering what if anything Virual Memory has to do with burning and ripping.I always heard that when you add Ram you should change some settings but I do not know what they are.

My personal opinion is the pagefile (size) is only important (performance wise) for older low-ram systems up to 768MB ram. From 1 gig on just leave it on “auto” and all will be well as long as u have a decent contemporary system. U score nothing by following inappropriate “rules”.

Thankyou Bronco04: I will take your advice. I feel that XP should adjust to the size of the Ram in the system.

You have 1.5gb, your system will NEVER need that much ram!

Why will turning it off help burning!? because its another step for your HD, so it speeds up HD transfer.

Just try it :slight_smile:

may I suggest your tip is a bit Maverick :slight_smile:
Some applications simply do not work/start without an active pagefile.
And if your system’s power is failing everything cached in ram is lost forever - not so if that cache has been written to a pagefile.

I mean the price is too high for just gaining a fraction of a second better performance.

yep windows was designed to page, set a high minimum if you have the disk space to spare, for gaming mostly.

I’ve never had a program fail to load or run properly. Also any program that has anything important to save (like MS Word) saves temporary files automatically (not in system paging). In addition if you have a power failure and don’t have a UPS (which I hope most people do, since they start at $20)you will loose everything anyway. :slight_smile:

I play games (Q4) with just 1gb ram (DDR400) and it runs flawlessly. Games are huge today, but the whole game doesn’t load each time. :slight_smile:

Strictly speaking Virtual Memory is always in operation and cannot be ‘turned off’. What is meant by such wording is ‘set the system to use no page file space at all’.

This would waste a lot of the RAM. The reason is that when programs ask for an allocation of Virtual memory space, they may ask for a great deal more than they ever actually bring into use - the total may easily run to hundreds of megabytes. These addresses have to be assigned to somewhere by the system. If there is a page file available, the system can assign them to it - if there is not, they have to be assigned to RAM, locking it out from any actual use.


So what you are saying is that it is better to have the pagefile.sys active than not. I have 1.5 gig if Ram and Xp in "System Managed " mode is only allocating 1527MB to the pagefile. Is this correct?

What rbrtpl basically says is without pagefile valuable ram is used to act as pagefile - software is commonly very generous in claiming/reserving pagefile space which is hardly ever used by the software. This impacts drastically on available system ram especially when u run complex background tasks or have multiple programs open/running.

Again, Alan, leave the pagefile on Auto and it will automagically adjust the size to the needs of your software applications. XP by default sets the pagefile’s initial size very generously - unlikely that this inital value ever needs to be resized by the system.

I have 1gig ram in my box and the pagefile is ~1.5 gig - I never managed to use more than 500-600MB active pagefile.

Indeed… let the virtual memory settings on auto. The one thing you may want to toy with, is the location of the pagefile. The best location is on the fastest harddrive (that is not used by (m)any other programs).

Oh and btw… you really do need that pagefile. Some programs just need it. Some other programs make page files of their own (like Photoshop). There aren’t many computer that come with unlimited memory, so there sure is a need.

Can I put the pagefile.sys on a harddrive that doesn’t have an operating system on it. I have two hard drives, 120Gig Seagate broken up into two partitions. This contains my C drive Operating System and program files. the other partition is my D drive empty. Now I also have a second HD Western Digital G drive that I just use to download movies while transcoding and burning but I do not store any data there either. Could I put the Pagefile on my D drive, it has 94 gig free space.

Yes, Alan, u can do that! Just make sure this drive is not slower than the system drive. Otherwise u see a (more or less) performance decline.

Thanks Bronco04 for all your help, I really appreciate it.

I’ve read some articles authored by MVPs that they actually recommended manual settings (Custom size), which I’m currently using. Their recommendation is to set the Initial Size to 1.5x your system memory and the Maximum Size to twice the Initial Size.

In short, if your system memory is 1.0GB RAM, then set the Custom Size:
Initial Size (MB): 1536
Maximum Size (MB): 3072

In any case, if you decided to set to Custom size or System managed size, just make sure the pagefile is not fragmented. If it’s fragmented, I usually do the following: set to no paging file, reboot, defrag the HDD, and set it back (custom or auto), and reboot.

So with 1.5 gig of Ram I set it to 2250mb for inital size and Max or 4096Mb for Max size.

a few minor points
always leave a small swap file on the system drive incase of some failure
the fastest drive for a swap file is another drive on a different controller/cable
it’s all about head movement and seek times
btw ~4095 is the limit, xp’s limit for addressing virtual memory
Vista will address like 32000?
true geeks set up a monitor log in performance and then set minimum from that