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View Full Version : Top Tip #347 - Virtual Memory



Spireite82
03-03-2011, 12:57
Some people may know that the FM series likes to chomp on our PC's virtual memory and in some extreme cases can cause the 'Running Low on Virtual Memory' problem. Bummer! :mad:

Even though i have never had this problem I always change page file size as it can boost the games performance whatever your PC specs are:-

To do this is simple.

1)On Win 7/Vista go to Start>Control Panel>System

2)Click on 'Advanced System Settings'

3)Click on 'Advanced' Tab

4)Under Performance, click on 'Settings' buttons

5)Click on 'Advanced' Tab

6)Under Virtual Memory, click on 'Change' button

7)Now click on 'Custom Size'

8)In 'Initial Size (mb)' field input x1.5 the size of your RAM in Mb (eg I run 4gb of RAM so this multiplied by 1.5 is around 6500mb give or take)

9)n 'Maximum Size' field input x2.5 the size of your RAM in Mb (eg I run 4gb of RAM so this multiplied by 2.5 is around 13000mb give or take)

10) Click on 'Set' button. You may get a pop up that you need to restart your system. Click 'Restart Now' then you're done!

I recommend doing this even if you have never had any problems with low virtual memory as not only does it stop your HD labouring so hard, it can boost your PC's every day performance. Hell. even Microsoft reccommend you do it! ;)

Anyway i hope this helps some people and thanks for reading

Koki
03-03-2011, 13:13
even Microsoft reccommend you do it!Not sure whether this is any good then. But seriously.. thanks for sharing :thup:

charlo116
03-03-2011, 13:27
:D terrible maths. 4gb x1.5 = 6000mb and 4gb x2.5 = 10000mb.

chesterfan2
03-03-2011, 13:35
Can we have a reminder of the other 346 tips in the series as well ? Ta.

PGB_SPURS_FM09
03-03-2011, 13:42
I've always set the value the same for initial and maximum size as this helps the swap file get used more efficiently when dumping things in and out of there...

I also want to know these magic other tips lol

Spireite82
03-03-2011, 13:48
:D terrible maths. 4gb x1.5 = 6000mb and 4gb x2.5 = 10000mb.

You're wrong aswell 1024mb in 1gb. Terrible lack of I.T knowledge...

I should have said that's x1.5 & 2.5 are minimum amounts. I'd always add a bit on for good luck

Spireite82
03-03-2011, 13:55
I've always set the value the same for initial and maximum size as this helps the swap file get used more efficiently when dumping things in and out of there...

I also want to know these magic other tips lol

You can set your maximum size to as much as you want, as Windows will only use what it needs, but i wouldn't set initial and maximum the same as certain spikes in processor and memory use (eg windows update, norton update kicking in in background) can easily knock it over the initial file size.

It's always best to be safe and sorry when dealing with Windows :-)

Spireite82
03-03-2011, 13:56
Can we have a reminder of the other 346 tips in the series as well ? Ta.

Tip #1 to 346 - See next tip :-)

PGB_SPURS_FM09
03-03-2011, 13:57
HOT TIP: To stop your CPU from constantly changing the paging file, set the initial and maximum size to the same value. For example, 500 and 500. The value should be at least 1.5 times more than your physical RAM. If your computer has 512MB of RAM increase the virtual memory paging file to 1.5*512= 768

Source: http://www.delete-computer-history.com/increase-virtual-memory.html

Spireite82
03-03-2011, 14:01
HOT TIP: To stop your CPU from constantly changing the paging file, set the initial and maximum size to the same value. For example, 500 and 500. The value should be at least 1.5 times more than your physical RAM. If your computer has 512MB of RAM increase the virtual memory paging file to 1.5*512= 768

Source: http://www.delete-computer-history.com/increase-virtual-memory.html

Would be interested to know if CPU has to change page file whether it affects processing speed and looking at the example this is back when HD space was a luxury.

Whenever i've spoken to IT nerds they have always to me to use the x1.5 / x2.5 rule

mackemforever
03-03-2011, 14:09
:D terrible maths. 4gb x1.5 = 6000mb and 4gb x2.5 = 10000mb.

Terrible maths.

Its actually 6144mb because 1gb of RAM isn't 1000mb, its 1024mb.

So, you're both wrong.

Ruudfood
03-03-2011, 14:20
The recommendation is also that if you have a 2nd (3rd, 4th or 5th) physical drive that the pagefile should be moved off of the system drive (the one on which Windows is installed) to prevent contention with the OS and thus improve performance.

isuckatfm
03-03-2011, 14:25
http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinovich/archive/2008/11/17/3155406.aspx

Basically if your Peak Commit charge when running FM (and whatever else you run at the same time) is less than Physical Memory, increasing Virtual Memory has little to no effect and any difference you see is all in your head. So changing the pagefile does not boost game performance regardless of PC specs, the two are intimately related and tied to the 'FM process load'.

crouchaldinho
03-03-2011, 14:38
I'm confused. :confused:

Blue_magic
03-03-2011, 14:48
I'm confused. :confused:

So am I! :o

santy001
03-03-2011, 15:05
Terrible maths.

Its actually 6144mb because 1gb of RAM isn't 1000mb, its 1024mb.

So, you're both wrong.

What's even more terrible math is that you're all horribly wrong, mb and gb = megabit and gigabit, it has to be a capital B to represent byte at the very least (should also be a capital M regardless) theres no 1 gigabit RAM sticks out there as far as I know (anymore would have been 128MB), although perhaps someone is waiting in the wings to pull me up too ;)

Lazaru5
03-03-2011, 15:30
yeah, as you're all wrong I'll pull you all up :p

Hard Drive manufacturers sell their devices in Gigabytes, however instead of 1 Gigabyte = 1024 megabytes (like it should) they actually say that 1gb is 1000mb. That is why, when you buy that 1Terabyte hdd, you don't have a formatted size of 1024gb but more likely you have a formatted size of around 950gb or so (the drive capacity is actually 1,000,000mb not 1,024,000 mb ;) )

The swap file works better if it is a constant size. It will be less fragmented (if at all) and it will use the same sectors on your hard-drive. There is no need to have a swap-file of 13gb if you have 4gb of ram, an 8gb swap file would suffice.


theres no 1 gigabit RAM sticks out there as far as I know

no, you can actually buy TWO gigabyte ram "sticks" now... put four of them in and you have 8gb of ram :rolleyes:

btw, megabyte not megabit, gigabyte not gigabit, terabyte not terabit (the *byte is 8 times greater than the *bit)

crouchaldinho
03-03-2011, 15:34
So many IT nerds in this thread. ;) :p

Don't worry though, I respect you guys. Now please help me make my computer run FM faster! Please! :o

PGB_SPURS_FM09
03-03-2011, 15:36
yeah, as you're all wrong I'll pull you all up :p

Hard Drive manufacturers sell their devices in Gigabytes, however instead of 1 Gigabyte = 1024 megabytes (like it should) they actually say that 1gb is 1000mb. That is why, when you buy that 1Terabyte hdd, you don't have a formatted size of 1024gb but more likely you have a formatted size of around 950gb or so (the drive capacity is actually 1,000,000mb not 1,024,000 mb ;) )

The swap file works better if it is a constant size. It will be less fragmented (if at all) and it will use the same sectors on your hard-drive. There is no need to have a swap-file of 13gb if you have 4gb of ram, an 8gb swap file would suffice.



no, you can actually buy TWO gigabyte ram "sticks" now... put four of them in and you have 8gb of ram :rolleyes:

btw, megabyte not megabit, gigabyte not gigabit, terabyte not terabit (the *byte is 8 times greater than the *bit)

Exactly what i know in my head, but could not of explained it as well as you because i'm rubbish at English writing despite being english :)

dragosani
03-03-2011, 16:51
You all need to get outside and smell some fresh air!!

santy001
03-03-2011, 16:58
yeah, as you're all wrong I'll pull you all up :p

Hard Drive manufacturers sell their devices in Gigabytes, however instead of 1 Gigabyte = 1024 megabytes (like it should) they actually say that 1gb is 1000mb. That is why, when you buy that 1Terabyte hdd, you don't have a formatted size of 1024gb but more likely you have a formatted size of around 950gb or so (the drive capacity is actually 1,000,000mb not 1,024,000 mb ;) )

The swap file works better if it is a constant size. It will be less fragmented (if at all) and it will use the same sectors on your hard-drive. There is no need to have a swap-file of 13gb if you have 4gb of ram, an 8gb swap file would suffice.



no, you can actually buy TWO gigabyte ram "sticks" now... put four of them in and you have 8gb of ram :rolleyes:

btw, megabyte not megabit, gigabyte not gigabit, terabyte not terabit (the *byte is 8 times greater than the *bit)

You completely missed the point I was making there, I know you can buy 2 GB sticks of RAM, the point I was making is that 128MB of RAM (or as it works out 1Gb) is unlikely to still be available. I was being overly pedantic as others were in some cases about the math to pull them up on it, and strictly speaking a byte isn't 8 times greater than a bit, it is actually 8 bits. :P

A small but vital distinction!

x42bn6
03-03-2011, 19:23
To be honest if you run out of virtual memory with 4 GB of RAM, you are clearly doing something wrong...

Another way is to stick your page file on a partition of your hard drive with nothing on it - this way it never gets fragmented and performance improves. So if you have an 80 GB hard drive C:\, you can partition it into 76 GB C:\ and 4 GB E:\ and set your page file to the full 4 GB E:\ drive. I would imagine SSDs are prime candidates for this but remember that SSDs have limited numbers of writes - using it as a pure page file can seriously hurt it over several years.

Luka Lennon
03-03-2011, 19:32
so long story short should i have followed the op advice or not?

Aytumious
03-03-2011, 19:37
It really depends on your operating system and how you generally use your PC. Most users should just let windows handle it.

If you have less than 1 GB of memory in your computer, I could see the need to play with this setting. If you have 1+ GB of memory, just let windows deal with it. Any gains with this type of tweaking are extremely negligible (to the point of being unnoticeable).

Lazaru5
03-03-2011, 19:51
You completely missed the point I was making there, I know you can buy 2 GB sticks of RAM, the point I was making is that 128MB of RAM (or as it works out 1Gb) is unlikely to still be available. I was being overly pedantic as others were in some cases about the math to pull them up on it, and strictly speaking a byte isn't 8 times greater than a bit, it is actually 8 bits. :P

A small but vital distinction!

lol

1 byte = 8 bits = 8 times greater ... :confused:


so long story short should i have followed the op advice or not?

Sort of, it will work better if you make the swap file a fixed size, i.e. "initial size" = "maximum size"

DeadPanda
03-03-2011, 20:37
I love binary.

But in regards to if you should have followed the advice, it is widely recognised that increasing the amounts does actually help in boosting such performance.

PS; In a single GB, there is 1,073,740,000 bytes. Or, 8,589,920,000 bits.

x42bn6
03-03-2011, 20:46
I love binary.

But in regards to if you should have followed the advice, it is widely recognised that increasing the amounts does actually help in boosting such performance.

It sort of depends... The more dependent you become on paging, the slower your system becomes, because more and more of your memory usage is getting swapped to disk. The flip-side is that you get more stability because you can exceed the amount of RAM on your machine.

So it is a bit like putting a nitrous engine in your little Golf GTI - yes, it will allow your little car to achieve silly speeds, but it is probably going to damage the car in the long-run.

The question is whether it is a good idea to put a nitrous engine (i.e. increase swap size) in your Golf GTI (i.e. your PC) or consider getting a better car (i.e. more RAM).

Putting a nitrous engine in your Golf GTI will doubtless allow your Golf GTI to do more, but with seriously diminishing returns, and at some point you will start to damage the car (i.e. thrashing where the processor spends a large amount swapping pages to and from memory because so much is being used on disk).

So if that counts as improved "performance", then yes - but virtual memory really shouldn't be used as a performance booster as such.

charlo116
03-03-2011, 22:22
You're wrong aswell 1024mb in 1gb. Terrible lack of I.T knowledge...

I should have said that's x1.5 & 2.5 are minimum amounts. I'd always add a bit on for good luck

touché, i really have no I.T knowledge at all. I suppose i just always assumed there were 1000mb in a gb. :D

SCIAG
03-03-2011, 23:03
How is this done on XP?

Spireite82
03-03-2011, 23:10
To be honest if you run out of virtual memory with 4 GB of RAM, you are clearly doing something wrong...

Another way is to stick your page file on a partition of your hard drive with nothing on it - this way it never gets fragmented and performance improves. So if you have an 80 GB hard drive C:\, you can partition it into 76 GB C:\ and 4 GB E:\ and set your page file to the full 4 GB E:\ drive. I would imagine SSDs are prime candidates for this but remember that SSDs have limited numbers of writes - using it as a pure page file can seriously hurt it over several years.

I know quite a few people who have had the 'low memory' problem with 4Gb of RAM. It's not that uncommon if you are running FM with anti-virus, firewall etc. Also certain software updates can cause a massive spike in memory usage.

Spireite82
03-03-2011, 23:12
How is this done on XP?

1.Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2.Click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
3.On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.
4.On the Advanced tab, under Virtual memory, click Change.
5.Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file that you want to change.
6.Under Paging file size for selected drive, click to Custom size check box. You can enter the amount of memory you would like to reserve for Virtual memory by entering the initial and maximum size.
7.Click Set
When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

Spireite82
03-03-2011, 23:16
You all need to get outside and smell some fresh air!!

Get plenty of that when i'm watching Chesterfield hammer teams week after week. Hehe

CaptainPlanet
04-03-2011, 00:00
PC world standard answer = buy more RAM.

Johnjo
04-03-2011, 01:21
Came for the tips, Hung around for the nerd wars :)

Spireite82
04-03-2011, 07:31
Came for the tips, Hung around for the nerd wars :)

And not one quote of Star Trek or Star Wars in sight!

...May the force be with Johnjo...Always...

*Uncomfortably pushes glasses up and tokes his inhaler*

Ruudfood
04-03-2011, 10:09
PC world standard answer = buy more RAM.

And that is a correct answer if you want real performance improvements. While strategies like moving the pagefile, defining multiple pagefiles, setting up partitions specifically for the pagefile to avoid fragmentation, and so on will show slight performance improvements there's nothing to beat good old-fashioned physical memory.

PDAquinas
04-03-2011, 10:23
Forgive the probably daft question but I thought I would ask while there are computer literate people around-

Would plugging in a flash drive and selecting the option that is something similar to 'use drive to boost my PC's performance' make any useful difference to game speed?

x42bn6
04-03-2011, 11:04
I know quite a few people who have had the 'low memory' problem with 4Gb of RAM. It's not that uncommon if you are running FM with anti-virus, firewall etc. Also certain software updates can cause a massive spike in memory usage.

Then I think they are simply doing something wrong. Isn't the default page size equal to RAM on Windows (so 4 GB RAM = 4 GB page file)? So if you somehow manage to load 8 GB worth of "stuff" into memory, you are clearly doing far too much or there is a dodgy program somewhere.

In practice, you will never hit 8 GB memory usage unless you have giant uncompressed image files open in, say, Photoshop.

Giantplaything
04-03-2011, 12:12
As far as I was aware FM is still a 32bit application so only uses 2GB of memory. If you have more RAM than that in your machine it will be being used by the OS, Anti-virus etc.

Am I wrong?

Spireite82
04-03-2011, 12:30
Then I think they are simply doing something wrong. Isn't the default page size equal to RAM on Windows (so 4 GB RAM = 4 GB page file)? So if you somehow manage to load 8 GB worth of "stuff" into memory, you are clearly doing far too much or there is a dodgy program somewhere.

In practice, you will never hit 8 GB memory usage unless you have giant uncompressed image files open in, say, Photoshop.

Nope the 'default page' file isn't set to your psyhical memory size, hence the reason for this entire thread. Also, Virtual Memory doesn't work exactly like your description :p

when i let Windows mange my Pagefile, it onyl allocates 2800mb to use which is below my psyhical memory size.

'Dodgy' programs? Nope, not on the PC's i've seen.

Spireite82
04-03-2011, 12:33
As far as I was aware FM is still a 32bit application so only uses 2GB of memory. If you have more RAM than that in your machine it will be being used by the OS, Anti-virus etc.

Am I wrong?

It's 3.5gb for the maximum on 32-bit Windows 7 and i believe XP was a maximum of 2gb but i'm not sure of they updated this.

x42bn6
04-03-2011, 13:12
Also, Virtual Memory doesn't work exactly like your description :p

In what way? Virtual memory allows hard disk space to be used for "inactive" pages of RAM, effectively extending the amount of RAM you have on the system, albeit with the caveat that paged space is very slow compared with physical RAM. As a result, it is better for the kernel to "swap" in pages into RAM rather than try and process the page file as if it were RAM. For example, if I minimise Firefox, then Windows may swap Firefox's memory pages into the swap file because it's not "active", giving me more physical RAM to work with for other things. If I open Firefox up again, then it must move those pages back into physical RAM, possibly swapping other things out. (Very crude representation of swapping)

Therefore I believe my example is correct except for perhaps the amount - it effectively allows you to load up to 8 GB (assuming a 4 GB page file) into memory, although perhaps you won't want to have all 8 GB "active".


when i let Windows mange my Pagefile, it onyl allocates 2800mb to use which is below my psyhical memory size.

I don't know why yours is set so low. 1.5 times your RAM is a sensible figure although it depends on what version of Windows you run (Vista and above require more memory for various memory dumps).


'Dodgy' programs? Nope, not on the PC's i've seen.

It's not always something visible. Anything that leaks memory - Firefox is a nasty example where it can consume gigabytes with badly-designed plugins and lots of Flash videos.

Spireite82
04-03-2011, 14:15
In what way? Virtual memory allows hard disk space to be used for "inactive" pages of RAM, effectively extending the amount of RAM you have on the system, albeit with the caveat that paged space is very slow compared with physical RAM. As a result, it is better for the kernel to "swap" in pages into RAM rather than try and process the page file as if it were RAM. For example, if I minimise Firefox, then Windows may swap Firefox's memory pages into the swap file because it's not "active", giving me more physical RAM to work with for other things. If I open Firefox up again, then it must move those pages back into physical RAM, possibly swapping other things out. (Very crude representation of swapping)

Therefore I believe my example is correct except for perhaps the amount - it effectively allows you to load up to 8 GB (assuming a 4 GB page file) into memory, although perhaps you won't want to have all 8 GB "active".



I don't know why yours is set so low. 1.5 times your RAM is a sensible figure although it depends on what version of Windows you run (Vista and above require more memory for various memory dumps).



It's not always something visible. Anything that leaks memory - Firefox is a nasty example where it can consume gigabytes with badly-designed plugins and lots of Flash videos.

I know all about memory leaks, the FM series have suffered with them since the CM's were on the scene and i think it's silly to suggest nobody with 4gb of RAM ever has this problem unless they're running something 'dodgy'. What with all the programs that 'auto-update' these days (itunes, quick time, java, adobe, anti-virus, defender, windows etc) and the amount of RAM Fm can take up it's not impossible for it to get to this amount. Heck i've seen FM using nearly 2gb of my physical RAM before.
I believe some of us are getting too technical for some people on here but the bottom line is that if people do get the 'low virtual memory' fault, whatever the spec of their PC, follow the steps and it should rectify the problem.