I guess we are slowly drifting towards the good ol' pagefile yes/pagefile no/but it should be system managed/no, I want full control on it debate, very like the Godzilla vs. King Kong one.
Just to make a few clear statements (IMNSHO opinion they should be called "the absolute truth" ):
- the pagefile is essentially a "mistification", a "poor man's replacement" for more RAM
- XP came out at a time where the "standard" amount of RAM available on common machines was 128 or 256 Mb, very, very few had 512 Mb
- in order to allow the stupid mass of bloat to work on these clearly underpowered machines, there was a "magic formula" amounting to have a pagefile on hard disk sized 1.5x to 2.x the amount of RAM or
- let the OS manage it automatically and
- even worse, let it be of "dynamic" size
- a number of (usually "high end" third party) tools would not run without a pagefile (a known one among the others Photoshop)
- the pagefile is also used for so-called RAM "system crash" dumps
Essentially, none of the above makes any actual sense, if not, partially, item #7.
If an OS *needs* RAM you should provide it with RAM and not give it instead a "replacement".
In an nutshell, IF the pagefile is hit (because there is not enough RAM in it's normal use) it is time to add more RAM or change Operating System and add more RAM.
Setting a pagefile as "dynamic" (on hard disk) makes NO sense at all, either you have enough space for it's maximum size or you do not, if you have it good and you can reserve it from the start in a "fixed" setting, if you don't, it's like having a small amount of dynamite under your chair, it is stable, it will never self-ignite, but IF it does, it will explode.
In case of a serious crash the risk of trashing data on the filesystem on the hard disk filling it up to the brim, is relevant.
Setting a pagefile as "dynamic" (on a RAM disk) is of course completely foolish, but even setting it as "fixed" on it makes little sense.
The only real reason why one may want to have a pagefile is (as seen above, points #6 and #7) for compatibility with a few stupid programs (but in this case there is no need for a "large" size pagefile, a very small one would do) and to have in case of crash a full memory dump, this latter might be useful in extremely rare events, i.e. in case of crashes.
Now there are two kinds of crashes:
- non-repeatable ones (call them "Acts of God" or "Voodoo", they simply happen )
- repeatable ones
the former ones are in practice non-resolvable, the latter ones, since they can be reproduced, allow for setting specifically a largish pagefile on hard disk to allow the full memory dump ONLY when you are troubleshooting the issue.
Of course since the use of a crashdump is to have access to it from another OS, the pagefile on a Ramdisk is not much suited for this, and in any case a 1 Gb pagefle on a 4 Gb RAM system would not hold the whole dump.
So, the only (maybe) reason where a (small) pagefile on a RAMdisk may actually make some sense is (while keeping the system compatible with the mentioned stupid third party apps) to make sure that no traces whatever of it are left at power off (actually after several seconds past it), i.e. for (rather paranoid) security reasons and of course it is completely vain, as "they" can read your mind the right moment you take off your tinfoil hat to shower and wash your hair.
Or - of course - another good reason is "just for the sheer fun of it" .
a la Tapatalk :
[Sent from Opera, running under XP operating system with NO pagefile since 2007]
And before you ask, after having run Windows 2000 from 2003 to 2007 with NO pagefile.
P.S.: And before I forget , the good ol' dinosaur can kick that grown up chimpanzee's @ss all the way to the moon and back with BOTH hands tied behind it's back, any time.
A semi-random couple links: