Increase Virtual Memory to Speedup Computer Performance
Increasing Virtual Memory can Speedup Your Computer Performance. Not increasing it can even lead to occasional Computer Freezes and Crashes if you overload the memory and virtual memory. Virtual Memory is also called Page File. Virtual Memory as the name suggests is virtual in nature. Virtual memory is that part of your computer hard disk which the Windows operating system uses to swap items from your RAM or Random Access Memory. The swapping of memory from RAM to hard disk is the method your computer uses to never allow your RAM to run out even if you double click and run all the software installed in your computer. When you double click an application, Windows loads it into the RAM. But if you have less RAM than what Windows plus all the currently open applications need, then Windows will transfer a part of these files into a reserved space on your hard disk called Page File or Virtual memory. Increasing the Virtual memory can tremendously speedup your computer performance and you will not see Windows errors like “out of memory”.
How Much Virtual Memory is Needed to Speedup Computer ?
Virtual memory is managed by Windows by default. What ever is the amount of RAM you have installed in your computer, Windows will add 300 mb to that figure and reserves a part of your hard disk as the virtual memory or page file size. The minimum virtual memory allowed is 2 mb. You can also set the virtual memory yourself upto three times the total RAM or random access memory installed in your computer. This however does not include the RAM you had allocated for sharing with your graphics card.
How Do I Find the Virtual Memory in My PC ?
To get the amount of the Virtual Memory, the amount of installed RAM and many other basic information about your computer press two keys together namely, the Windows Key and the Pause Break keys on your keyboard. You should see your computer’s basic system information in this dialog box. You can lick on the plus signs and get to know much more about your computer using the system information dialog box which you see below: –
Alternately, you may also click on the Start button at the bottom left of monitor screen, then click on the All Programs, then click on Accessories, then click System Tools and then click on System Information. This should open the system information dialog.
How to Increase Virtual Memory to Speedup Computer Performance?
Now you need to click on the Advanced System Settings in the system information dialog to get the system properties. In this you click on the Advanced tab and you will see the Virtual Memory written. Click on the Settings button under it to open visual effects.
Once again click on the Advanced tab in this dialog box and you should see page file size or virtual memory presently set on your computer. Click on the change setting and you should see the minimum allowed, currently allocated and recommended settings. Change your virtual memory as you like. The max allowed virtual memory is usually 3 times your installed RAM.
When will Increased Virtual Memory Speedup My Computer?
Once you have set the Virtual Memory to maximum possible size, you need to close all dialog boxes and restart your computer. Once restarted Windows will accept the new virtual memory size and page your files from RAM more efficiently. You will no more get any Windows errors that your computer is out of memory and you need to increase virtual memory. You can feel the power of your computer immediately there after especially when you run many software together like photoshop and other memory intensive applications.
Virtual Memory on Other Drives Also Speedup Computer Performance?
No and Yes. No because Paging file is a single file. So virtual memory should be set only on one partition of one drive. There is no point breaking up paging file and storing them on different partitions of the same drive. But the answer is Yes if you have more than one physical hard drives. In this case you may set paging files on each drive. If possible avoid setting the virtual memory on the drive that has the Windows operating system installed. This is because the hard disk can be used by Windows only to either load the application you double clicked into the memory or to write the paging file to the virtual memory. But if you have set the virtual memory on another hard disk then both these can happen together and speedup computer performance tremendously.
More RAM or Large Virtual Memory will Speedup Computer Performance ?
The answer is RAM. This is because, Virtual Memory only acts as your RAM. Hard disk data access times is very time consuming compared to RAM which allows your computer access data almost instantly. Further, if you have set virtual memory on the same hard disk as your operating system then application loading will need to wait till the RAM is emptied into the same hard disk area designated as virtual memory. The computer speed will further degrade if you set a virtual memory in more than one partition of the same hard disk. So resort to increasing virtual memory only if you do not want to buy more RAM. Today RAM does not cost much. So I would recommend everyone to install a total of 2 GB or more RAM. But if you do not run memory intensive programs then stick with the presently installed RAM and increase virtual memory for increase your computer performance without spending more money on your old PC/Laptop.