Posts Tagged ‘virtual memory’
Increasing VM Space Can Speed Up Computer
You can run into memory problems in a few ways. First, if you don’t have enough RAM installed, your computer will be forced to rely on virtual memory to run most of your applications. Applications were designed to be run from RAM, so when the computer constantly pages back to disk, applications can seem to take forever to respond.
If you’re running the latest, greatest version of the operating system on the minimum recommended memory, then chances are more than good that you don’t have enough RAM installed. The ultimate solution here is to add more RAM. If your computer is older, you may have design limitations that restrict the maximum amount of memory your computer can address. There’s no point in installing more RAM than your computer can manage, but maxing out your RAM will definitely give your computer a lift in performance. If you can’t max out your RAM, try upping the amount of virtual memory available to the computer.
If you’re running a lot of applications at one time, you’ll notice a performance hit. The more applications you want to run simultaneously, the more RAM your computer will need. When the computer runs out of available RAM, applications will be swapped in and out of RAM when they’re being used. Close down the applications you don’t need and make sure your apps are not configured to auto-load at startup. This is a favorite trick of utilities and little single-purpose applications and toolbars. Cut these memory hogs off and you’ll get a faster computer.
Some programs that aren’t written very well create what’s called a “memory leak.” This often happens to applications that are open for long periods of time, like mail clients, games and Web browsers. A memory leak can gradually absorb available RAM. The offending program’s not actually using the RAM it’s amassing, but it’s not giving it up either! Eventually, the system runs out of memory and the application (or the system) crashes. Periodic restarts will clear out existing memory leaks, but they won’t prevent the leak from occurring again.
For consistent slow computer performance, try a registry cleaner like RegCure. This utility will clear out old, abandoned code in the registry and will help keep your computer running smoothly.
Photo Credit: Jeff Wilcox, via Flickr
When your RAM is not enough, your PC resorts to using the free space found on your hard drive in order to deal with data overflow. This free space that is used is called virtual memory, and it is pretty much RAM, that has been simulated on your hard drive. Having enough of this Faux RAM available is extremely important when it comes to keeping your PC running at its peak performance.
How Virtual Memory works…
Virtual Memory on your PC is akin to having a reserve fuel tank on your truck. When you are running at full throttle and your computer’s RAM is used all up, your PC starts dumping inactive parts of program applications into the empty space of your hard drive, restoring them to the RAM when they are needed. Virtual memory is pretty much a way to trick programs into thinking that there is still enough memory space to go around and keeps them running, while in reality your computer is merely doing a complicated juggling act, shifting used and unused data between its actual RAM and its Paging File.
How to increase virtual memory
Increasing the size of your virtual memory is relatively easy and requires no special downloads. First click on your Control Panel then go to the Performance and Maintenance Tab, now click on the System Icon. When the System Properties window pops up, go to the the Advanced Tab, then click on Settings tab in the Performance box which will open a Performance Options window. Move down to the “virtual memory” section and click on the Change.
How much Virtual Memory?
The general rule is to make the amount of virtual memory available about one and a half times bigger than the amount of RAM you are using. So, for instance, if you have 1000 MBs of RAM, make your Virtual Memory size 1500 MBs. Another good trick to know is to make minimum and maximum paging file size the same value. This will keep your PC from constantly changing your Page file Size and keep its performance more stable.
Sometimes having too much data flowing in and out of your virtual memory space can end up slowing down your computer even more. Thrashing happens when a chunk of data happens to be too large to be efficiently handled by your computer’s paging system and swapping it in and out of virtual memory causes frequent faults. The best way to prevent thrashing is to increase the size of your Ram.
Making more room
Another way to make more room within your virtual memory without increasing the size of it is to get rid of unneeded processes and freeing up resources in your computer’s registry. This can be done with any good registry cleaner.
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