Page File & Gaming Performance w/ SSD

sugosugita

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I recently started to see slowdowns in several games I play, where FPS would drop to the teens or even single digits. Lowering graphical settings alleviated the problem only somewhat. The games I noticed this in were Bioshock Infinite, Metro LL, and Sleeping Dogs. I also had this problem in DayZ but chalked it up to bad game code.

I did some searching and came across a fix where I increased my page file setting to 7gb (I think it had been at about 1gb), and magically my problem disappeared. All games run at normal FPS now, 60+.

So is this an issue of not having enough RAM (I have 8gb), or is it related to some SSD issue I'm not familiar with? My GPU has 4GB memory, which is almost never maxed out, so I have to assume that perhaps it's related to some kind of Windows problem (I have 8.1)?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

teh_chem

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Do you mean Virtual Memory size?

Have you tried selecting 'system managed' and see if the problem is resolved?

You could monitor the GPU load, CPU load, and SSD access while gaming, to see if there is some correlation. I have never heard of pagefile size having a significant impact on gaming with modern systems. That's not to say it can't, it's just news to me.
 

GotNoRice

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If it was previously set to anything but system managed, it was the result of someone poking around in something they didn't understand and making detrimental changes, most often the result of reading an "SSD Performance guide" or similar. :rolleyes:

Don't repeat the mistake, set it back to system managed, and leave it alone.
 

sugosugita

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Do you mean Virtual Memory size?

Have you tried selecting 'system managed' and see if the problem is resolved?

You could monitor the GPU load, CPU load, and SSD access while gaming, to see if there is some correlation. I have never heard of pagefile size having a significant impact on gaming with modern systems. That's not to say it can't, it's just news to me.

It was system managed prior to my changing it, when the problem was occurring. As to the pagefile size relation to gaming performance, it was definitely the last thing I would have guessed, so I'm also confused at the cause.

I'll try monitoring SSD useage and see if anything looks weird.
 

sugosugita

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If it was previously set to anything but system managed, it was the result of someone poking around in something they didn't understand and making detrimental changes, most often the result of reading an "SSD Performance guide" or similar. :rolleyes:

Don't repeat the mistake, set it back to system managed, and leave it alone.

To be clear, it was system managed when the issue was occurring. After I manually set it as described above, the issue was resolved. Kinda confused as to why though. That's why I'm wondering if I have too little RAM.
 

sugosugita

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I'm wondering if it has anything to do with me running legacy BIOS rather than UEFI. Could the SSD running on legacy BIOS cause some issues?
 

Kaos_Drem

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Legacy bios is not likely to have an effect on SSD speed unless you were running a native PCIE controller.
 

haz_mat

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I have 16G of ram and use a pagefile set to 4g without any issues. In the HDD days it was beneficial to pre-allocate the entire size of the pagefile to prevent fragmentation, but this is no longer an issue on SSDs. I still keep the habit of a static sized pagefile, I suppose not having to grow and shrink the pagefile means the OS has less to do in the background, and setting it to a particular size helps me keep better tabs on how much free ssd space I have.

In your case, I do think that 1GB was too small, but who knows why that was the default. Just keep in mind that if you set the pagefile as pictured below then the file will always take up X amount of space on the drive.

EMELGlc.jpg
 

devil22

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I recently started to see slowdowns in several games I play, where FPS would drop to the teens or even single digits. Lowering graphical settings alleviated the problem only somewhat. The games I noticed this in were Bioshock Infinite, Metro LL, and Sleeping Dogs. I also had this problem in DayZ but chalked it up to bad game code.

I did some searching and came across a fix where I increased my page file setting to 7gb (I think it had been at about 1gb), and magically my problem disappeared. All games run at normal FPS now, 60+.

So is this an issue of not having enough RAM (I have 8gb), or is it related to some SSD issue I'm not familiar with? My GPU has 4GB memory, which is almost never maxed out, so I have to assume that perhaps it's related to some kind of Windows problem (I have 8.1)?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

I always say, if you're using your HDD as RAM, you don't have enough RAM. Now there are situations where this doesn't apply, when strapped for money, or running huge simulations, etc. that require more RAM than you can put in, or maybe for someone who doesn't use their machine much and it's just not worth it (think grandma), and maybe some others. But for advanced users, or gamers, I think generally it's true. I have 16GBs, when I ran with a page file, I got system stutters occasionally, without the pagefile those stutters disappeared. I have run without the pagefile for years now, and never encountered a problem, though there are some cases documented on the internet. Have you looked in task manager, are you ever close to full ram usage? If not, I would just try without the pagefile altogether, if so maybe throw in another 8GBs then disable it though some may frown at a suggestion that includes spending money.
 
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bigdogchris

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I recently started to see slowdowns in several games I play, where FPS would drop to the teens or even single digits. Lowering graphical settings alleviated the problem only somewhat. The games I noticed this in were Bioshock Infinite, Metro LL, and Sleeping Dogs. I also had this problem in DayZ but chalked it up to bad game code.

I did some searching and came across a fix where I increased my page file setting to 7gb (I think it had been at about 1gb), and magically my problem disappeared. All games run at normal FPS now, 60+.

So is this an issue of not having enough RAM (I have 8gb), or is it related to some SSD issue I'm not familiar with? My GPU has 4GB memory, which is almost never maxed out, so I have to assume that perhaps it's related to some kind of Windows problem (I have 8.1)?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Do you have an HDD in the system? It's possible the page file was on the hard drive for some reason.

My personal recommendations is that on an SSD set the page file to minimal 400MB and maximum to be equal to ram size. This allows the system to still utilize a page file if it needs it, but saves a lot of space on the SSD. The system will start with 400MB and raise as it's needed, then be reset to 400MB on next boot. With 8 GB of ram mine rarely goes above 400MB. I recently upgraded to 16GB and still have the 400MB minimal and it typically always is at that.

I think turning off the page file, like some have recommend, is foolish for two reasons. 1) Microsoft knows their OS better than we do. If they felt that it could run without a page file due to an arbitrary memory amount (like what is always suggested), then they would code it to do just that. 2) If your system has full memory and wants to page some data to make room for an application that needs ram, why wouldn't you want it to do that?

The idea that the page file is "using your hard drive for ram" is nearly a fallacy because anything being paged to disk is not actively being utilized by memory, unless your system is severely under specked.
 
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daglesj

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Back in the old days (and I mean the old days) I used to notice a lot of disk thrashing when running the Pagefile as System Managed.

Setting it to a fixed size stopped the disk thrashing and the system grinding to a halt every few minutes.

Nowadays I set my Pagefile to 256MB with 16GB of system ram as I like to have one still for those archaic parts of the system that like to know one is there to function. Other than that I want as much as possible to sit in all that lovely fast ram I paid for.

As for MS knowing best? Well I reckon they have forgotten all about the Pagefile as back around the turn of the century having a Pagefile helped to push the less utilised/cacheable stuff out of precious system ram. But now in 2014 I really don't reckon a 25GB+ Pagefile is all that sensible/necessary really. Certainly not helping folks that run a single SSD now is it?

MS just hasn't bothered to change their Pagefile calculation formula since Windows 95 when 8-16MB of ram was the norm.

Keep it in the ram if you got it!
 

Snowknight26

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MS just hasn't bothered to change their Pagefile calculation formula since Windows 95 when 8-16MB of ram was the norm.

Sure they have. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2860880

Not understanding what a page file is used for is no justification for thinking that the people who developed the operating system haven't changed the recommended page file size to something more 'appropriate.'
 

daglesj

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Crash Dumps...so useful to ...what? 0.001% of Windows users? Man I love pouring over crash dumps...

But I'm right about them not changing the formula..."However, the reason to configure the page file size has not changed."

Pagefiles...the computing equivalent of the human appendix.

Real truth be told, it's an old legacy feature that's probably helped them get off masses of support calls when their OEM partners didn't put enough ram in the machines. Crash Dumps indeed...

Pagefiles...for those of us that have a strange compulsion to have an Event Viewer list with no red exclamation marks saying "Crash dump initialization failed!"
 

ebduncan

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I guess folks here don't use a lot of ram.

I commonly max out my 16gb of ram :) , having a page file keeps things going when this happens.

people with small page files what do you use your computer for? just gaming?

I have a whole SSD dedicated for page file use. I guess I'm one of the few who actually uses all the system memory.
 
D

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The idea that the page file is "using your hard drive for ram" is nearly a fallacy because anything being paged to disk is not actively being utilized by memory, unless your system is severely under specked.

Incorrect. You work from virtual to physical. Not the other way around. If a segment of RAM is occupied and an application cannot reside in that segment due to the occupation it will be in virtual memory. Just because it is not RAM does not mean that it is not memory; virtual memory is to extend memory.

Virtual memory was to extend RAM, when there was less. Then it was to protect, then it was used to make programs cooperate and share memory as stated above.

This is why Translation Look Aside Buffers are important to performance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Translation_lookaside_buffer
 

devil22

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I guess folks here don't use a lot of ram.

I commonly max out my 16gb of ram :) , having a page file keeps things going when this happens.

people with small page files what do you use your computer for? just gaming?

I have a whole SSD dedicated for page file use. I guess I'm one of the few who actually uses all the system memory.

I use mine for web browsing, downloading, movie watching, gaming, light visual C#. Let me ask you though, when you are working, and you overflow your 16GBs, doesn't your computer slow down a lot? Seems if you do heavy duty computing and are hitting the page file, you'd be more productive with more RAM (in general, I guess if you just barely overflow your 16GBs you wouldn't really notice). Any ways, 16GBs is probably over kill for what I do, but it was only $160 total when I brought it, I figured why not since back in the day I purchased 2GBs for my Pentium 4 at $400.
 

ebduncan

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I use mine for web browsing, downloading, movie watching, gaming, light visual C#. Let me ask you though, when you are working, and you overflow your 16GBs, doesn't your computer slow down a lot? Seems if you do heavy duty computing and are hitting the page file, you'd be more productive with more RAM (in general, I guess if you just barely overflow your 16GBs you wouldn't really notice). Any ways, 16GBs is probably over kill for what I do, but it was only $160 total when I brought it, I figured why not since back in the day I purchased 2GBs for my Pentium 4 at $400.


My page file is on a SSD, so its not a drastic slow down, yes its slower. I would like to get more ram, but this cpu will not support more than 2 sticks of ram at speeds I am running. I suppose I could reduce the memory speed. I will likely just hold off for now and upgrade to a new platform. Something tells me I will be moving to a 2p xeon system.
 

daglesj

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What always makes me laugh on these 'high ram usage' discussions are the folks that say "I run out of ram with 200 browser tabs open!"

In those instances I really don't think it's the hardware that's at fault.
 

cyclone3d

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Sure they have. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2860880

Not understanding what a page file is used for is no justification for thinking that the people who developed the operating system haven't changed the recommended page file size to something more 'appropriate.'

Well.. that is an "interesting" KB article.

So if I leave the page-file on my system to "system managed", the max page file size would be 96GB? What kind of silliness is that?

We also used to leave the page file setting where I work on auto, but even with crash dumping disabled, it would always set the page file minimum size to the amount of RAM.

With most of your systems having 8GB of RAM, quite a few having 16GB, and some having 32GB, it was just wasting space.

So now everything is forced to a 4GB page file.

This is on Windows 7 x64 Enterprise.

1x RAM size for minimum page file size is just retarded.
 

ochadd

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I have consistently set page files to 100 MB up to a max of 512 MB static only for the last many years. Basically accounts for the random old software that may reference the page file directly (SAP and an older version of an Adobe software). Have never had a problem. A machine frequently crashing that needs a memory dump reviewed can have it extended for troubleshooting. I've been doing tech support or managing an IT department since 1998.
It's not a big deal either way but there's no use wasting space and write cycles to have it. I see it like storing 3 spare tires in your car just in case. There might be a situation where they come in handy but the waste in space and performance isn't worth it.
 

Runt.

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I use mine for web browsing, downloading, movie watching, gaming, light visual C#. Let me ask you though, when you are working, and you overflow your 16GBs, doesn't your computer slow down a lot? Seems if you do heavy duty computing and are hitting the page file, you'd be more productive with more RAM (in general, I guess if you just barely overflow your 16GBs you wouldn't really notice). Any ways, 16GBs is probably over kill for what I do, but it was only $160 total when I brought it, I figured why not since back in the day I purchased 2GBs for my Pentium 4 at $400.

Heh I remember when RAM was even cheaper when I got my 16GBs for $80. I can't believe they still haven't gotten back to that price.
 

Tsumi

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Heh I remember when RAM was even cheaper when I got my 16GBs for $80. I can't believe they still haven't gotten back to that price.

You clearly don't know the RAM market.

There's the early adopter phase. That's high prices. Then the general downward trend as the years go on and production ramps up. Then there's the rock bottom prices as the market becomes saturated. Then production decreases, and RAM prices begin going back up. Towards EOL, they will continue to rise as production is phased out for the next generation.

At this point in time, DDR3 prices will not drop. They will only continue to rise. They hit rock bottom about 3 years ago, and have been steadily on the climb ever since.
 

bigdogchris

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Incorrect. You work from virtual to physical. Not the other way around. If a segment of RAM is occupied and an application cannot reside in that segment due to the occupation it will be in virtual memory. Just because it is not RAM does not mean that it is not memory; virtual memory is to extend memory.
Yes I understand that. The reason I said that is that some people believe that your system is going to be using the page file portion of virtual memory for actively used memory, which as I said it shouldn't and stated this by saying "Nearly" (a fallacy) and unless your system is "severely under specked" (memory wise).

I suppose I could of used a different way to say that because I can understand why you took it that way.
 
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pallesen

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Just remember to differ between virtual addressing and the pagefile. Two different things. :)
 
D

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I suppose I could of used a different way to say that because I can understand why you took it that way.

True and I agree. "Nearly" when it is memory, even though it is virtual. Not being utilized segments and being utilized segments are paged. It is not that it is not being utilized that it will only then be paged. This is what triggered me to post.



Just remember to differ between virtual addressing and the pagefile. Two different things. :)

They are different, but they are part of each other. Paging is the very implementation of virtual memory, q.v. paging
 

Geforcepat

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What always makes me laugh on these 'high ram usage' discussions are the folks that say "I run out of ram with 200 browser tabs open!"

In those instances I really don't think it's the hardware that's at fault.

Lol yep.i usually average about 80 or so tabs:eek::D
 

sugosugita

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Resolution for anyone whose search turns up this thread, my CPU heatsink was loose, heat was causing my processor to throttle down. Finally noticed it by monitoring temps. Go figure.
 

lodoss900

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It goes GPU, CPU, Memory hard drive..

Your vitual memory is all hard drive.

Managing your virtual memory is a byproduct from long time ago .. Unless your running a SQL server, I never mess with it anymore. Keep the defaults..
 

lodoss900

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"At this point in time, DDR3 prices will not drop. They will only continue to rise. They hit rock bottom about 3 years ago, and have been steadily on the climb ever since."

Prices are dropping .. 32GB kits can be had for 280
 
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