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Last post Author Topic: Windows XP Myths  (Read 38408 times)

f0dder

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2006, 04:54:16 PM »
Mastertech: I have to wonder if you're a troll or just dull. Windows will never ever "create a paging file in memory", and such a term doesn't even make any sense at all. The only thing that can happen from disabling the paging file is that you might run out of memory, and some greedy application will be denied a memory request.

Also note that this only works for XP, Windows 2000 and below require at least a minimal (~20meg) paging file, and will create one at boottime if you've disabled it.
Yeah in RAM and multitasking performance will suffer.
Wrong, on disk - easy to verify. And again, only 2k does this, XP doesn't. And again, no such thing as "paging file in RAM".

The article also seems to confuse 80386 protected mode "virtual memory"/"paging" with the process of paging in/out from disk - just because 80386 paging is enabled doesn't mean you have to page (or swap) to disk.
People confuse paging to disk with Virtual Memory, thus they think disabling paging to disk is disabling virtual memory.
Some people do, I don't. x86 paging/virtual memory cannot be disable on windows, but the use of a paging file can (on XP). There's a big difference between "paging" (protected per-process virtual memory space) and the "paging file" (swap storage on disk).

Once you've mastered x86 protected mode, know what a kernel debugger is, and what the numbers in Process Explorer means, feel free to try and correct me.
- carpe noctem

mouser

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2006, 04:56:05 PM »
f0dder please try to be more respectful, there is no reason to resort to name calling, especially to a new visitor.

f0dder

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2006, 05:00:50 PM »
Sorry. Hard and annoying evening at work and I haven't had my sugar dose.
- carpe noctem

Mastertech

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2006, 06:02:45 PM »
Mastertech: I have to wonder if you're a troll or just dull. Windows will never ever "create a paging file in memory", and such a term doesn't even make any sense at all. The only thing that can happen from disabling the paging file is that you might run out of memory, and some greedy application will be denied a memory request.
Disable paging to disk, reboot and look at the Task Manager, Performance Tab. Oh and I have already corrected you on your incorrect advice on LargeSystemCache.

f0dder

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2006, 06:14:47 PM »
Mastertech: I have to wonder if you're a troll or just dull. Windows will never ever "create a paging file in memory", and such a term doesn't even make any sense at all. The only thing that can happen from disabling the paging file is that you might run out of memory, and some greedy application will be denied a memory request.
Disable paging to disk, reboot and look at the Task Manager, Performance Tab.
Look at process explorer from sysinternals which has the real name for the value: "commit". The read up "Inside Windows 2000" (or Windows Internals as the more recent version is called) to get an idea of how the windows memory management works.

Oh and I have already corrected you on your incorrect advice on LargeSystemCache.
Nope :)
Try doing disk-cache intensive stuff in a large-memory system and you'll see what I mean. The Microsoft cautions in the knowledge-base article you refer to apply to low-memory systems. The default windows 2k/xp memory management settings might have been fitting for ~128meg machines, but are a bit conservative for modern machines.

Do keep in mind that the filesystem cache is dynamic, and will thus be adjusted depending on full system needs. LargeSystemCache simply means than, on a large-memory machine, your RAM won't be wasted.
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Mastertech

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2006, 01:43:01 AM »
Quote
Try doing disk-cache intensive stuff in a large-memory system and you'll see what I mean. The Microsoft cautions in the knowledge-base article you refer to apply to low-memory systems. The default windows 2k/xp memory management settings might have been fitting for ~128meg machines, but are a bit conservative for modern machines.

Do keep in mind that the filesystem cache is dynamic, and will thus be adjusted depending on full system needs. LargeSystemCache simply means than, on a large-memory machine, your RAM won't be wasted.
The knowledgebase article makes no mention of less than 128 MB machines and specifically states the following:

Quote
System cache mode is designed for use with Windows server products that act as servers. System cache mode is also designed for limited use with Windows XP, when you use Windows XP as a file server. This mode is not designed for everyday desktop use. If you use a server product as a desktop, you should consider changing the resource allocation to Programs mode or adding more physical RAM.

When you enable System cache mode on a computer that uses Unified Memory Architecture (UMA)-based video hardware or an Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP), you may experience a severe and random decrease in performance. For example, this decrease in performance can include very slow system performance, stop errors, an inability to start the computer, devices or applications that do not load, and system instability.

The drivers for these components consume a large part of the remaining application memory when they are initialized during startup. Also, in this scenario, the system may have insufficient RAM when the following conditions occur:
•   Other drivers and desktop user services request additional resources.
•   Desktop users transfer large files.

This is repeated over again in other articles with no mention to the amount of RAM in the system but rather the usage of the machine. If the machine is not being used as a file server you should NOT enable this.

http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/library/efa621bd-a031-4461-9e72-59197a7507b61033.mspx?mfr=true
Quote
Increasing the size of the file system cache generally improves server performance, but it reduces the physical memory space available to applications and services. Similarly, writing system data less frequently minimizes use of the disk subsystem, but the changed pages occupy memory that might otherwise be used by applications.

0 = Establishes a standard size file-system cache of approximately 8 MB. The system allows changed pages to remain in physical memory until the number of available pages drops to approximately 1,000. This setting is recommended for servers running applications that do their own memory caching, such as Microsoft SQL Server, and for applications that perform best with ample memory, such as Internet Information Services (IIS).

1 = Establishes a large system cache working set that can expand to physical memory, minus 4 MB, if needed. The system allows changed pages to remain in physical memory until the number of available pages drops to approximately 250. This setting is recommended for most computers running Windows Server 2003 on large networks.

I'm sorry but I believe Microsoft knows what they are talking about in relation to their Operating Systems. If this setting only related to the amount of available RAM than that would clearly be mentioned. If this setting improved application performance than Microsoft would not only be recommending it but have it enabled. >128 MB systems were nothing knew when XP was released.

f0dder

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2006, 09:25:18 AM »
Microsoft target their knowledgebase articles at the general masses and the general needs. Now let me quote myself, this time with a bit of emphasis:
This tweak can be nice on Desktop machines, not just servers, depending on the way you use your system.

I've got a lot of memory in this system (2 gigabytes) and I regularly do lots of file operations. LargeSystemCache=1 is a noticable improvement for me, even though this is a desktop machine and not a server. At the same time it doesn't have negative impact, since the FS cache is dynamically adjusted when apps need more memory.

Do take a look at "Inside Windows" and the sysinternals tools if you want to be able to talk about topics like this.
- carpe noctem

nudone

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2006, 10:59:01 AM »
f0dder, i've got 2 gig of ram. i use photoshop, acdsee, illustrator, maybe dreamweaver now - all at the same time. do you think i'd benefit from doing the 'largesystemcache=1'?

i also do a fair bit of messing about with video, i.e. editing with premiere and virtualdub encoding - could they benefit from the above question also?

thanks.

f0dder

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2006, 05:07:54 PM »
nudone: probably not for most of the stuff; the settings tell windows it's okay to use just about much RAM as it wants for filesystem cache, and cache more aggressively. This is mainly useful if you shuffle a lot of file data, and if you need the data more than once.

Think software development, where header files and libraries are used again and again. Or messing with nLite setups and testing in vmware, where the resulting .iso file can often remain cached during install.

There might be some advantage when doing premiere editing, but it depends on how much memory premiere wants to gobble up for itself...

While you might not gain an improvement, you shouldn't see a penalty for the setting - there are situations where it could happen though, like if an application restricts it's memory use based on the currently physically available amount of RAM.

And then there's the warning that you should never enable the setting if you use an ATI card, since their drivers sucks (I wouldn't be surprised if ATI is the sole reason for the BSOD warning in the Microsoft knowledgebase article).
 
Might be worth a try for you.
- carpe noctem

nudone

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2006, 05:10:46 PM »
thanks for the advice.

f0dder

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2006, 05:14:09 PM »
Let me know the results if you try it out.
- carpe noctem

Mastertech

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #36 on: October 11, 2006, 07:33:54 PM »
Microsoft target their knowledgebase articles at the general masses and the general needs. Now let me quote myself, this time with a bit of emphasis: This tweak can be nice on Desktop machines, not just servers, depending on the way you use your system.
No they clearly explain how something works and what it is for. This tweak is ONLY for if you use your machine as a File Server. The reason is it will consume up to 80% of your RAM with the file cache thus forcing the working set down on running applications and causing more paging. The absolute last thing you should do with large applications that need more RAM like Adobe Photoshop is limit how much RAM the application has available. Adobe is well aware of the default memory situation in XP and is designed to cache what it needs. Increasing paging because you constrained the available memory for applications is a bad idea.

Please quote and post from what page in the WinInternals book that says this setting is recommended for applications or desktop use in XP. And I mean this exact setting LargeSystemCache. If it doesn't or you don't have the latest version of the book don't tell me to read something you are guessing at.

f0dder

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2006, 02:18:57 AM »
Quote
No they clearly explain how something works and what it is for. This tweak is ONLY for if you use your machine as a File Server. The reason is it will consume up to 80% of your RAM with the file cache thus forcing the working set down on running applications and causing more paging.
filesystem cache will be purged if needed. While windows does use the paging file when not needed, it will still prefer to resize FS cache before paging out to disk.

Quote
Please quote and post from what page in the WinInternals book that says this setting is recommended for applications or desktop use in XP. And I mean this exact setting LargeSystemCache. If it doesn't or you don't have the latest version of the book don't tell me to read something you are guessing at.
It doesn't mention LargeSystemCache, but it describes how the windows memory system works, how the filesystem cache works, how paging works, et cetera.
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Mastertech

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2006, 09:14:21 PM »
It doesn't mention LargeSystemCache, but it describes how the windows memory system works, how the filesystem cache works, how paging works, et cetera.
Therefore the book is irrelevant to this setting. If the book does not describe how the FS cache works or Windows Memory in direct relation to this setting your argument is moot. Microsoft clearly documents this setting and what it should be used for, which is only if you use Windows as a pure file server not as a workstation or application server.

f0dder

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2006, 03:31:56 AM »
Whatever, I'm not going to waste any more time on you. People can try out the settings for themselves and judge whether it works for them or not.
- carpe noctem
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 03:36:55 AM by f0dder »

Mastertech

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2006, 05:50:07 AM »
Whatever, I'm not going to waste any more time on you. People can try out the settings for themselves and judge whether it works for them or not.
Yes please don't waste anymore time NOT being able to provide a single reputable source to back up your claims. Microsoft clearly documents how this setting works and what it should be used for, which is ONLY for use as a file server. This is not something that is an opinion, it is about how something clearly works. Enabling this setting increases the size of the file cache to 80% of available RAM, which reduces the amount of RAM available for your applications, which reduces their working set and increases paging when running applications. Anyone who uses their PC for anything other then a pure file server should NOT enable this setting.

mouser

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2006, 06:17:29 AM »
Ok guys (Mastertech this means you too), can we please try to keep it civil.  It seems to me that both of you have some real knowledge about these things, and its silly to see you guys arguing about stuff that doesn't need arguing about.  There are going to be situations where these settings help you and hurt you; it's interesting to debate when those conditions are met.  No need to get all defensive about it.  Pleas remember we keep discussions civil on this forum!

app103

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2006, 06:43:57 AM »
Remember, folks...this is the same Microsoft that brought you things like WinME...which even they have never had any clue on how to make it stable.  ;D

Mastertech

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #43 on: October 13, 2006, 06:48:03 AM »
Remember, folks...this is the same Microsoft that brought you things like WinME...which even they have never had any clue on how to make it stable.  ;D
Windows ME was more stable than 98 since that is what it was based on. It simply required ME compatible drivers and Bioses. During the time ME was released, mainboard manufacturing moved over to mainland china, we saw the beginning of the capacitor fiasco and people were trying to install Win9x drivers on ME. There was nothing inherently unstable about ME, no more than 98. It was not Microsoft making ME unstable but the end users and the hardware. Both of which are obsolete and don't hold a candle to 2000 and XP.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 05:34:29 PM by Mastertech »

f0dder

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #44 on: October 13, 2006, 06:51:10 AM »
Remember, folks...this is the same Microsoft that brought you things like WinME...which even they have never had any clue on how to make it stable.  ;D
Windows ME was more stable than 98 since that is what it was based on. It simply required ME compatible drivers and Bioses. During the time ME was released, mainboard manufacturing moved over to mainland china, we saw the beginning of the capacitor fiasco and people were trying to install Win9x drivers on ME. There was nothing inherently unstable about ME, no more than 98. It was not Microsoft making ME unstable but the end users and the hardware. Both of which are obsolete and don't hold a cadle to 2000 and XP.

Back in the day my school bought ~20 new boxes from a big vendor with pre-installed WinME with only WinME drivers... after a month, it had to swap all the WinME licenses for win98. The amount of BSODs simply was too much.
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Mastertech

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #45 on: October 13, 2006, 06:53:55 AM »
Remember, folks...this is the same Microsoft that brought you things like WinME...which even they have never had any clue on how to make it stable.  ;D
Windows ME was more stable than 98 since that is what it was based on. It simply required ME compatible drivers and Bioses. During the time ME was released, mainboard manufacturing moved over to mainland china, we saw the beginning of the capacitor fiasco and people were trying to install Win9x drivers on ME. There was nothing inherently unstable about ME, no more than 98. It was not Microsoft making ME unstable but the end users and the hardware. Both of which are obsolete and don't hold a cadle to 2000 and XP.

Back in the day my school bought 20 new boxes from a big vendor with pre-installed WinME with only WinME drivers... after a month, it contacted Microsoft and got all the WinME licenses swapped for win98. The amount of BSODs simply was too much.
Then you should have contacted the vendor and had them give you working systems with compatible ME drivers and hardware. BSODs are clear sign of a hardware/driver incompatibility. If you think for a minute ME just caused random BSODs then you have no business giving anyone advice. Yes we saw initial compatibility issues with drivers and Bioses but we got them resolved by demanding updates from the hardware vendors who fixed the problems and the clients never saw any problems because of it. I sold thousands of ME systems the year it was out before XP was released and tech support was down 25% because of it.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 06:55:31 AM by Mastertech »

f0dder

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #46 on: October 13, 2006, 07:48:52 AM »
Whatever.

Done wasting time on you.


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Carol Haynes

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #47 on: October 13, 2006, 11:59:07 AM »
Remember, folks...this is the same Microsoft that brought you things like WinME...which even they have never had any clue on how to make it stable.  ;D
Windows ME was more stable than 98 since that is what it was based on. It simply required ME compatible drivers and Bioses. During the time ME was released, mainboard manufacturing moved over to mainland china, we saw the beginning of the capacitor fiasco and people were trying to install Win9x drivers on ME. There was nothing inherently unstable about ME, no more than 98. It was not Microsoft making ME unstable but the end users and the hardware. Both of which are obsolete and don't hold a cadle to 2000 and XP.

ROFLMAO - you serious! Even MS abandonned ME and recommended users with win98 stay with it. They didn't even run through the usual lifecycle process for a new OS.

Darwin

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #48 on: October 13, 2006, 12:31:47 PM »
I purchased notebooks with each of the o/s's mentioned above (98SE, ME, 2k, XP Pro and XP Home) preinstalled (and desktops with 98 and 98SE), all labelled with the "Designed for Win [version here]" label attached, at least a year after the OS was released. I would rank ME far below the others in terms of stability. Whether these were driver compatibiltiy issues or not is irrelevant. As an end-user (and not a system administrator/techie) ME was a nightmare. All I did was install Office 2k on my ME system (which came with ME preinstalled and all the drivers were ME certified from the OEM - Compaq) and use it for light word processing and e-mail/net surfing, and it blue screened a lot more often than 98. So much so that I was leary of newer windows versions and stuck with the 98SE machine before discovering that 2k was a quantum leap over both in terms of stability. I switched to Win2k  late in 2001 and finally bought my first XP Pro machine in March 2004.  I'd rank 2k slightly ahead of XP Pro/Home for stability and speed, with XP far ahead of 98/98SE and ME dead last with a comfortable gap separating it from 98. I still use the original 98 machine, which has been upgraded to W2k, and it is ROCK solid (remarkable for a notebook that is 6 1/2 years old). The ME machine, too, shines with Win2k installed and is still in service with my sister, who uses it in exactly the capacity I had envisioned for myself when I bought it (light office duty and e-mail/Internet). I've numerous friends that had the same experience with ME preinstalled on notebooks/desktops from major manufacturers. The two XP machines see the most use now and are very solid, though I remain convinced (and it's a gut feeling only) that the Win2k machines (which saw two years service with me before I moved on to XP) were less susceptible to blue screening.

Just my 2 bits - an end-user's perspective.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 12:33:18 PM by Darwin »

Mastertech

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Re: Windows XP Myths
« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2006, 01:36:13 PM »
ROFLMAO - you serious! Even MS abandonned ME and recommended users with win98 stay with it. They didn't even run through the usual lifecycle process for a new OS.
Where did Microsoft recommend users stay with Win98? Please post your source. Microsoft retired 98 and ME at the same time since XP was already out. Since 98 and ME are so similar (ME is simply a newer version of 98) it makes no sense to keep supporting ME when you drop support for 98. I here alot of this nonsense online as everyone just fabricates things about ME.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 05:42:52 PM by Mastertech »