Hige pagefile usage?

By thespian721 ยท 4 replies
Sep 19, 2006
  1. Hi all-

    I'd appreciate some insight/thoughts on my system's pagefile usage.

    Quick background: I just underwent a good thorough trojan & nasties cleaning and ended up removing Norton AV from my system. I picked up ZoneAlarm, AVG, and ewido. Since these changes, my online games (COD2 and BF2) seem to be a tiny bit choppy. Not too bad, I still have high fps, but it doesn't feel normal.

    I've been researching pagefile info since I know that BF2 is a ram hog and I only have 1gb of ram. Here's my question: In the task manager right now, with just Firefox open, my pagefile is at 427mb used, while I still have over half my physical memory available. Shouldn't the system be using the ram first? It looks like the pagefile usage is matching the ram usage. But even at idle, there is still pagefile usage showing. I'm wondering if this hd write/reading is possibly causing some of the visual chatter in my games?

    Any info is greatly appreciated!
  2. smore9648

    smore9648 TS Rookie Posts: 697

    Try to clear your prefetch in BF2
  3. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    If you mean the "PF Usage" bar in Task Manager's Performance tab, it's not the "pagefile.sys" file usage. It shows the memory usage in total, where the maximum memory is physical memory + pagefile.sys.

    A better way to check (with Task Manager) if you're running out of memory is to observe the "Commit Charge" info in the lower left corner. If "Peak" goes too close to "Limit", you should 1) check which process is consuming memory, 2) add more RAM, or 3) increase pagefile.sys size.
  4. thespian721

    thespian721 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for the suggestions. I am realizing that, aside from needing/wanting more ram for BF2, my in game "hiccups" may be caused by the new security programs I've installed. I'm playing with different setups to see what works best.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,177   +990

    This is a common misunderstanding. We visualize that our systems would use
    real RAM and when needed, overflow into virtual memory(VM) and spill into the
    swap file (pagefile on windows). This is not how it's done.

    Picture for yourself a checker board of 64 squares.
    To play the game, you move pieces according to the rules.
    An OS with VM support is 'playing the game', moving data and programs
    about according to its rules, albeit, there's far more than 64 squares.

    The checker board is the VM logical memory size which allows a program to
    require more memory than the RAM installed. As data is loading into this VM
    space, real memory is allocated to one of the squares so as to allow the CPU
    to read/write the content as needed (notice the CPU acts on real memory
    but the programs are loaded into the VM space of the checker board). If all real
    memory is allocated, the next requested square on the board will do two things,
    save the existing data in the swap file, and free up that real memory space
    for re-use (know as page stealling). Notice, two virtual memory squares have
    had the same physical ram page for their data! The OS VM manager understands
    this and even if data is being moved between these same to VM squares, the
    OS will arrange it so that BOTH can be in memory at the same time to support
    the MOV instruction (hint: we use page stealling to 'borrow' some other RAM page)

    CONCLUSION: real RAM is the backup for logical operations performed via the
    virtual memory space, not the other way around.
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