Originally Posted by mav99
if you have 2.5gb of ram, then how small of a page file should you have?
How the hell do you have 2.5GB on a 9300/XPS?
And even with 2GB+ of RAM you should have about a 1GB min/max page file. I mean, come on, even with an 80GB HD you can spare 1 gig of space for stability. It should also be among one of the first things you do when you format and reload a system to make sure the file is as close to the innermost part of the drive as possible.
The REASON Windows needs a pagefile is not every program takes advantage of 2GB of physical RAM, so once it hits its programmed limit, it goes for the virtual memory - if it doesn't FIND anything to tap, you get a hang and probably a BSOD/reboot.
This can happen on the "dynamic" paging files (where it's set from 1MB to xxxxMB, for instance), too - since if a program suddenly demands a MASSIVE amount of virtual memory (most likely in the throes of a crash) to stay stable/active, and Windows can't provide, you also get screwed and get either an error, BSOD, or reboot. Static paging files (such as 1GB min/max constantly keep a chunk available for Windows to use). The only downside to a static paging file is it CAN become fragmented, but there are ways to deal with that, and it doesn't become an epidemic problem over a long period anyway on a laptop/home PC.
Memory leaks are also a VERY good reason to have about a 1GB pagefile...games might be taking advantage of 2GB now, but that still doesn't mean they don't have MASSIVE leaks in them from hasty releases. And like it or not, no matter HOW well-coded something is, run it long enough and you'll start filling up your physical memory.
So - long story short, you need a paging file.