Use a Larger Pagefile for Better Performance

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 24 March 2005 / Last Updated on 24 March 2005]

The default pagefile size isn't always enough for best performance, especially when you're running memory-hungry server apps.

While the default setting of 1.5 x RAM is sufficient for pagefile size for some server roles, if your machine is running disk- and memory-intensive applications like Exchange or SQL Server then you may want to increase the initial pagefile size to 2 x RAM or even larger. Microsoft doesn't recommend increasing the pagefile to more than 3 x RAM, however, and the maximum allowed size for any one instance of pagefile.sys on a machine is limited to 4GB. So, if you have a powerful machine with 4GB of RAM then you have to split the pagefile to overcome this limit. This splitting can be done in two ways: create separate pagefiles on different volumes (done in the usual way) or create multiple pagefiles on a single volume. (See KB 237740 for how to do this.) On a more modest machine with 1GB of RAM though, you would probably be best served to set the initial pagefile size to 2GB (2 x RAM) and the maximum pagefile size to 3GB (3 x RAM).

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