Recommended Virtual Memory settings for a Windows 7 64 bit machine with 16 GB of RAM

    General discussion

  • Hello,

    I plan on upgrading an existing Windows 7 64 bit Professional laptop machine from 6GB to 16Gb.  Can anyone  tell me what is the recommended settings for Virtual Memory on a machine with this much physical RAM.  For now, I don't suspect that the machine apps will really hammer the memory, the use is mainly many office type apps opened at the same time rather that memory intensive apps (such as graphics/gaming/video editing etc.). Thanks for your insights.

    Patrick Hackett

    • Edited by ITPatrick Thursday, August 08, 2013 10:42 PM double data
    Thursday, August 08, 2013 10:42 PM

All replies

  • Unless you have a Solid State Drive, for standard hard disk drives just let Windows manage the pagefile.  It will grow in size but unless you have very little available free drive space I wouldn't worry about it.

    J W Stuart:

    Never be afraid to ask. This forum has some of the best people in the world available to help.

    Friday, August 09, 2013 12:30 AM
  • By default, the minimum size on a 32-bit (x86) system is 1.5 times the amount of physical RAM if physical RAM is less than 1 GB, and equal to the amount of physical RAM plus 300 MB if 1 GB or more is installed. The default maximum size is three times the amount of RAM, regardless of how much physical RAM is installed.

    More information, you can refer to this article.

    Niki Han
    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, August 09, 2013 1:57 AM
  • Any update to the current situation.

    Niki Han
    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013 2:24 AM
  • Update,

    I installed the 16 GB and let windows manage it.  The user reported improved performance.  I had read that 32 bit apps could only use 2GB mem space. But, with more memory available they each can have their own chuck of 2GB (etc.) to work with.  I haven't done any Perfmon.exe etc. type analysis, but it looks like it has helped whatever the reason. Thanks all this is answered for me.

    Patrick Hackett

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013 3:30 PM
  • You're welcome.

    Windows 7 32Bit OS requires 1GB, that leaves 3GB for other purposes; of that 3GB about 2.5 is usable for applications, the other .5GB is used by the Graphics card and other hardware.

    More specifically, in round numbers XP, Vista and Windows 7 32-Bit Versions of the Operating System can only address 4GB. Does not matter how much memory you have installed 4GB is the max. From that max your video card has XXXMB of ram on the card so that limits the operating system to 4GB minus the cards XXXMB of memory.

    In addition other hardware also takes away additional amounts of memory (usually a small when compared to the video card)
    and the remaining memory (address space) is available for Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 OS and your applications.

    So that 4th GB thru 16 GB of ram you installed or will install goes unused on a 32-Bit OS. Does not matter what the BIOS reports or what the OS shows as installed memory it still limited to that 4GB address barrier.

    A link to the white paper titled "Gaming Performance Analysis" by Corsair
    Memory Inc. provides a good clear explanation of how a video card effects
    the amount of available memory in your PC.

    Intel Chipset 4 GB System Memory Support

    RAM, Virtual Memory, Pagefile and all that stuff:
    Basic information about the Virtual Memory implementation
    in 32 bit versions of Windows 2000, XP, 2003 Server etc.


    J W Stuart:

    Never be afraid to ask. This forum has some of the best people in the world available to help.

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013 3:53 PM