> Does having a large paging (swap file, I'm assuming these are the same)
file
> really make a difference in system performance?

If the program needs more than the pages file has then the OS will have to
enlarge the page file which takes time and then you have chunks all over
the hard drive and the seek time of the drive slows things down. With a
fixed unfragmented paging file the drives prefetch ability speeds up the
accesses to the swapped memory when the program needs it back.

Setting a minimum page file that is big enough for most days and
defragmenting the drive allows the OS to put everything together so it can
be written and read quickly, thus speeding things up.

I find a larger than neccessary page file minimum with no maximum works
great and then when I get into one of those marathon sessions that need
extra memory it is quicker.

ROb





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