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[ The PC Guide | System Optimization and Enhancement Guide | System Optimizations and Enhancements | Operating System Performance Optimization ]

Optimize Swap File Size

The swap file is the file on your hard disk that is used for virtual memory paging. When a multitasking system such as Windows has too much information for it all to be held in memory at once, some of it is stored in the swap file until it is needed.

By default, Windows 95 uses a dynamically-sized swap file that "grows" as you open more programs that require more memory. This hurts performance, so eliminating resizing is a good idea. In order to eliminate resizing you must choose a fixed size for the Windows 95 swap file.

The key tradeoff here is virtual memory size vs. disk space. If you make the swap file too small, you may run out of memory--in fact, the problem is worse than just an "Out of Memory" error, because in some cases you may cause the system to crash or behave strangely if the amount of virtual memory is too low. If you make the swap file too large, you will be wasting disk space.

The optimal swap file size is hard to determine, because it depends to some extent on how you use your PC. I generally find that a fixed swap file size of about 50 MB is good for most uses. I would recommend that you try this amount and see how it works for you. If you use a lot of large files, have many large applications open at once, or have problems with a 50 MB swap file, try increasing the size. (I don't think you'll have any trouble, actually.)

This section describes the procedure for changing the virtual memory setup.

Next: Optimize Swap File Location on Your Hard Disk Volumes

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