Windows Vista Memory Tweak Guide
- From: trudogg <independent@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2007 06:40:15 -0400
With every release of a new operating system come new demands and
Windows Vista is by large no exception to this rule.
There are several relevant components to the Windows memory subsystem.
In this guide we will put special emphasis on the hard drive,
processor and RAM, taking you through a variety of settings to
optimally configure these and hopefully end up with an overall
smoother running system.
Note: Most of the information and setting modifications covered here
will require Administrative privileges.
For starters, it's always good practice making sure you have the
latest Vista updates installed. For the purpose of this guide this is
important as in many instances they may fix memory related issues,
e.g. memory leaks, not releasing memory, etc. You can find and
download relevant Vista updates using the built-in Windows Update,
while hardware driver updates can be found at TechSpot Drivers. For
application-specific updates check the developer/application site or
use any built-in auto-update facility.
The System Registry contains several settings which will allow to
further configure memory management features in Windows Vista. Used
properly this can further improve your PC's memory subsystem
performance - there are also several placebos we need to clear up as
To access the Registry click on Start, Run. Type in regedit and click
Ok. Navigate to
The options we are interested in are in the right hand pane. To edit
any entry simply double click on it or right click on the entry and
select Modify. In parenthesis I'll cover which format the Data is to
be changed in.
The more relevant options are as follows:
ClearPageFileAtShutdown. (Hexadecimal or Decimal). This setting allows
inactive Pages in the Paging File to be cleared (overwritten with
zeros) during shutdown. This is certainly worth considering if you're
highly security conscious.
* When set to 0 (Default) inactive Pages are not written with zeros
having no effect on shutdown time and making Page File data readable
(this is recommended and certainly safe for home users).
* A value of 1 enables inactive Pages to be cleared during shutdown,
which is useful from a security viewpoint. You can expect shutdown
times to increase as a result; this is more appropriate in a business
DisablePagingExecutive. (Hexadecimal or Decimal). This setting
controls how inactive kernel-mode drivers and system code are handled
by the memory subsystem.
* A value of 0 (Default) specifies that inactive kernel-mode drivers
and system code can be released from RAM and paged to the Page File.
* A value of 1 specifies that inactive kernel-mode drivers and system
code be retained in RAM.
It's worth considering that any performance benefit to this feature
will only occur when restoring a process which had been paged out to
the Page File. As such I would generally recommend setting this to 0,
but if RAM availability is not an issue then a value of 1 may provide
improved responsiveness when restoring applications that has been
inactive for some time.
LargeSystemCache. (Hexadecimal or Decimal). This setting controls the
size of the file system cache.
* When set to 0 (Default) a standard sized file system cache is
allocated (Less than 10MB RAM); this is recommended as it provides
best Application performance.
* When set to 1 this enables the use of a large file system cache (up
to total RAM amount minus 4MB!); this option is only suitable when
Windows Vista is acting as a Server not as a gaming system or for
other workstation use as it will be detrimental to performance as
When you enable System cache mode on a computer that uses Unified
Memory Architecture-based video hardware or AGP, you may experience a
severe and random decrease in performance. The Drivers for these
components consume a large part of the remaining application memory
when they are initialized during startup.
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