Thread: Defrag: A myth?
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Old 2007-08-16, 03:41   Link #59
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Originally Posted by Tiberium Wolf View Post
You still didn't tell us why is bad.

If you never go over the total RAM you have why do you need the swap file?
If you know that you will never exceed the total memory capacity of your system, due to your specific usage pattern, then yes the swap file is totally useless. This is certainly one strategy in managing memory, a finite resource. However, this strategy is quite poor in general, because no process uses all its memory at once, yet that memory's tied up regardless.

I think a good analogy would be financial management. If you were born with a silver spoon, then there's no point in investing any of your money: you already have all that you'll ever need. For the rest of us who are less fortunate, keeping all the money in shoe boxes underneath our beds clearly isn't the soundest strategy. Investing some of that money will generally yield better returns.

Now, is there a "best" investment strategy that will never fail? Whatever strategy you come up with, is it likely that it'll beat the one devised by teams of economists?

For example. You a few things opened. Now you go play a game a uses a considerable mem. Still in the overall it won't go over the total RAM you have. When you quit the game the system will be soooo slow coz it will be transferring from the swap the data of the other programs since the game ended so there is more free mem. This is 1 of the examples of what I hate the most. If you didn't have swap file there wouldn't be this unnecessary transfer.
I presume you're using XP when you experienced this, because I have similar experiences. This is an unfortunately common case where XP's memory management strategy fails, and supposedly Vista is better. The reason is because we (the users) have a different notion of "performance" than what XP has. I'm quite sure that XP strategy probably keep the memory bus filled, and thus the CPU data & instruction bus filled, so that the system is "working" more often than "idling." Of course, I could care less that the CPU spent a few million instructions less--and that's an underestimate--twiddling it's figurative thumb, if IE don't pop up the moment I click on it.

It's only recently that emphasis is put on interactivity over throughput. Obviously the latter is more important for servers, and computers has been servers far longer than "appliances." Going back to the money analogy, most investment plans assumes that you'll live until a certain age, say 75. If there's suddenly a plague that reduces the average lifespan to 45, then your investments become worthless as you'll not live to see it.
When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute--and itís longer than any hour. Thatís relativity.
-- Albert Einstein
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