A. It's common to base page-file size on a system's amount of physical RAM. A common recommendation is to set the page-file size at 1.5-times the system's RAM. In reality, the more RAM a system has, the less it requires page files. You should base your page-file size on the maximum amount of memory your system is committing. Your page-file size should equal your system's peak commit value (which covers the unlikely situation in which all the committed pages are written to the disk-based page files).

In Windows XP and Server 2003, you can find the peak-commit value under the Task Manager Performance tab. However, this option wasn't included in Windows Server 2008 and Vista. (Learn about paging File Sizing in Exchange Server 2007 and how to determine the appropriate page file size for 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP).

To determine Server 2008 and Vista peak-commit values, you have two options:

  1. Download Process Explorer from the Microsoft "Process Explorer v11.20" web page. Open the .zip file and double click procexp.exe. Click View on the toolbar and select System Information. Under Commit Charge (K), find the Peak value, as the following figure shows:

    Figure 1

  2. Use Performance Monitor to log the Memory - Committed Bytes counter, and review the log to find the Maximum value.

Make sure you run the server with all of its expected workloads to ensure it's using the maximum amount of memory while you're monitoring. Also, learn more about the Windows Server 2012 virtual machine Smart Paging File.

Check out all the latest John Savill's FAQs for Windows.